With just one weekend of gamefish angling left to the season, it’s time to pull out the stops if you’re planning on one last fresh meal of Walleye, Pike or Largemouth Bass to tide you over ‘til May!
Recent heavy snows are making travel tricky as only trucks, snowmobiles or quads with tracks are making it across the lakes right now. 12-14” of new snow may get rendered down this week with highs in the low forty’s forecasted, but then it will be slush anglers will have to deal with!
Bluegill: Good – Windows of activity, usually in the afternoons, have anglers doing well using #3 Fiskas tipped with red, motor oil or purple J&S Ice Mites. Using a tungsten jig to get down past the smaller Gills is necessary at times. When the bite is “on”, the larger Gills are rising to brighter jig/plastic combos of white, yellow or chartreuse. Waxies and moussees also working. Most Gills found in 7-10’ but some anglers finding larger Gills mixed with Perch in 18-28’ mud taking Flash Champs tipped with red spikes.
Northern Pike: Good – Large shiners, suckers or frozen smelt set on wire leader rigs in 5-12’ doing well below tip-ups. On some shallow, weedy lakes check minnows 15-20 minutes after set-up. If minnows dead, raise bait 12-16” higher. Continue with this adjustment ‘til minnows survive. A few of these type lakes are suffering low dissolved oxygen levels, but as the oxygen levels get lower, higher levels are found higher in the water column, fish will move higher to survive.
Yellow Perch: Good – Best out over mud. Heavy, quick sinking jigs and spoons (Sliver Spoons, Hali, Kastmaster, #5 Fiskas) tipped with wigglers, red spikes best. With mild temps, tip-downs with small minnows working.
Crappie: Fair-Good – Deep still best! On some lakes, 35’. Reports of movements up into bays at times. Minnows on tip-downs good, glow jigs tipped with waxies also producing. Some reports from anglers using plastics (black unusually HOT!) doing well.
Walleye: Fair – Anglers moving and jigging scoring some nice fish in the low-mid 20” range, but with new snow, mobility may be an issue. Stick to tip-ups with suckers to score a few last of the season Walleyes.
Largemouth Bass: Fair – With warm up action on medium shiners and slender spoons should improve.
Take a shovel if you’re traveling by truck, or follow existing trails best you can. Ten day forecast has nights below freezing but days of mid 30’s to mid 40’s. Comfortable temps, but could get messy.