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Turning the dog days of summer into the HAWG days of summer

Extreme Sportfishing
Created 5 years 61 days ago
by Extreme Sportfishing

Hello my name is Shawn McLaughlin, I am a 31 year old multi-species angler from Windsor, Ontario. Fishing is no longer a pastime for me but a passion/addiction that has grown tenfold since the age I could hold a pole in my hand.  Targeting mutli-species for a number of years from crappie to walleye to musky. I have a great knowledge of large and smallmouth bass, also walleye and do very well for muskies. I have a dream of one day having my own TV show or possibly owning a lodge myself. I have a never dying love and passion for the outdoors and would love nothing more then to work my way up to that goal. I would consider myself not only a positive image but an important asset to any establishment promoting conservation, education and enjoyment of the outdoors.


  • 1st Place Fall Brawl Musky Tourney 2010.

  • 1st place from shore and 2nd overall 2014 Muskie Challenge

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  Turning the dog days of summer into the HAWG days of summer

When things start heating up in the summer months fishing can get tough and you have to be versatile if you want to turn a tough day's fishing into a great one. Here is a perfect example…


  While out on a mission the other day with my buddy Dane, we headed out to do a little summertime bassin. We started off in an area where we had had some prior luck in 15 to 17fow and were marking fish but for some reason the smallmouth just did not want anything to do with the tubes or dropshots we were presenting to them. With our conventional methods not producing we decided to troll some deep cranks over a large flat to cover water and give the fish something they hadn’t been seeing. First five minutes into our troll and we boated a solid fish with a few others to follow. After a little while the bite slowed down and I decided to switch gears since the sun was blazing. 


  I followed my instincts and we headed for shallow water in search of largemouth seeking shade amongst the docks and shoreline. Not five minutes in and we started catching fish and as we worked our way along the shoreline the fishing only got better. Pulling out numerous quality bass after bass, I even surprised myself at the size of some of these summertime largies.


There are a few ways to fish docks such as flipping or pitching but my favourite would have to be skipping baits into shaded pockets. One of the reasons I prefer skipping over any other technique for one, is it allows you to get under the docks while keeping a good distance from the structure and avoiding spooking fish. Second, skipping for example a wacky rigged stick worm with a small weedless hook allows you more stealth when you don’t get that perfect cast versus using a flipping jig where if the lead hits the dock you can potentially spook wary fish.


All in all it was a great day, with lots of action and good times. I guess you could say the moral of the story is… “when the going gets tough”, think outside the box and don’t be afraid to switch things up you just may be surprised how a slow day can turn into a HAWG day of summer!


-Shawn McLaughlin

@Extreme Sportfishing


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  • Marty 5 years 60 days ago
    Nice article Shawn! Stepping outside the box is always a good thing to try on those tough days. I tend to stick to methods I have used for years. I need to spend more days coming out of my comfort zone to become a more complete anglers.