In the beginning…of the month of May, 2018…our lakes were ice covered! We lost much of our opening week of the gamefish season due to the late ice out. NOW we have lakes with surface temps we never saw all last summer.
Fish have been bedding and spawning at accelerated rates. Most of what you know of bedding fish timing should be thrown out the window this season! There are largemouth bass and bluegills bedding during the smallmouith bedding time (which is almost already done!) These are things we normally don’t see till mid/late June!
Bluegills: Excellent. Bedding already! Even where they aren’t, they are in shallow and voracious! Thunderbugs, leafworms and small leeches. Poppers, dry flys as well as the tiniest of jigs tipped with plastics are producing lots of nice gills. An 11 ½” er, caught and released was reported late last week.
Largemouth Bass: Excellent. Top water action in the shallows! Twitching Rapalas, walking baits and various creature baits are hot in shallows. Lots of #’s and fish to 21” reported C&R.
Smallmouth Bass: Excellent. Most done, some finishing up. X-raps, husky jerks and slug-gos. There are reports of hot action, but best early and late due to traffic on holiday weekend.
Crappie: Very Good. Anglers disappointed to not find bedding fish. Good catches out and away from bedding, but not too deep (6-8’). Mini-mites, tiny tubes, gapen freshwater shrimp. minnows, and small leeches under floats.
Norther Pike: Good. Early and later day are best. Spinnerbaits, #3 Mepps, and 3-1/2” to 4-1/2” swimbaits.
Walleye: Good. Some surprisingly shallow evening action on #11 Rapalas, thundersticks. Leeches becoming relevant as water warms. Some crawler action reported.
Yellow Perch: Good. Cruising weed beds of 3-8’. Thunderbugs, small-medium leeches. Nicer perch of 10”+ taking medium leeches on ½ oz jigs.
Musky: Good. Evenings are best. Topwater action, small #500 series bucktails and 6” Twitch baits in shallows as muskies seem to be patrolling bedding bluegills.
Water temps as high as 79 degrees recorded this weekend (could have been higher in places). As this warm water pushes down, look for early mayfly hatches to start playing havoc on walleye bites.
Despite weather almost too hot to fish in (a few days over 90 degrees), fishing is relatively good.