Despite a couple cold mornings recently (5/20 & 5/21 were 33-36 degrees) shutting fishing down for the early a.m. anglers, fishing has been very good. Water temps sky rocketed into the upper 60’s on most afternoons, but cooled overnight into upper 50’s to low 60’s by morning.
Walleye: Very Good. Post spawn activity picking up in shallows. Green weeds key, new coontail growth or cabbage in 3-7’. 1/16 oz. invasion jigs or Jack’s weedless jigs tipped with large fatheads, dace, mud minnows, or leeches. Also 3” swim baits on 1/8-1/4 oz. heads have been hot, as have thundersticks, husky jerks, and floating rips.
On large lakes where spawn is just finishing up black or rainbow chubs, 1/8-1/4 oz. jigs on Lindy style rigs along gravel edges of 10-18’ best. Lots of nice “extras” this year, result of extended growth stocking no doubt.
Crappies: Very Good. Where committed; crappies bedding in shallows among timber. Cold nights of late have moved those just getting started back out into staging areas. Mini-mites, codpen fresh water shrimp and small hair jigs as well as the typical small minnow under a float has scored well. Lots of nice 10-12” fish with plenty of stories and photos of 13-15”SLABS!
Northern Pike: Very good. Pike are actively taking spinners (#3 Mepps) spinnerbaits and 3-4” swimbaits. Chubs and minnows meant for walleyes are also being chowed on. 4-9’ depth with good, new weed growth preferred.
Bluegills: Very Good. They are stacking up in shallows to bask in the warm water in the afternoons. Long casts with rocket bobbers into 1-3’ shallows to deliver tiny offerings of small leeches, worms, or waxies on tiny jigs. No bedding yet just soaking up the sun.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good. This species seen cruising shallows even bedding on a few small lakes. Top water action towards evening.
Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good. Working shallows taking medium fatheads and medium leeches as these fish are feeding up to recover from spawn.
Smallmouth Bass: Good. Catch and release only. Nice incidental catching of 18-20” bass by walleye and pike anglers reported.
Musky: Season opens this coming Saturday May 26th. With such warm water temps and sightings of musky spawning last week we should be in good position for some good action this weekend.
Despite losing opening weekend fun the exceptionally nice weather has made for some very successful outings this May. A week of highs in the 80’s starting Wednesday could push a lot of spawning for the nesters, crappies, smallmouth, largemouth and gills. It’s been a strange season and looks to get stranger.