Spring seems to be taking its own sweet time getting to the Northwoods. Sunday morning’s launch temperature was 26 degrees, water temps hovering in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. On a few lakes, ice was still floating about (Fence) with surface temps only 38 degrees! Luckily, we have a lot of different sized lakes and flowages to choose from up here, so while everything is not where we would like it to be (or someone predicted it would be), there are options.
Walleye: Good – Usually fishing is better this time of year. The post spawn feeding binge is past due on most lakes. Been finding Walleyes holding in 14-20’ over mud, full of Mayfly larvae. Medium leeches under slip floats work well here. Small to mid-sized lakes seeing some weed action on jigs and minnows. The Rip N Rap craze from the Sturgeon Bay area has found its way here with anglers reporting good success on Walleye, up to 29”, working those baits in 10-14’ of water.
Crappies: Good – Look for water in low 50’s or above to find staging Crappies in 5-7’ of water. Mini mites, small minnows and small leeches working. Big slabs to 14” this past week.
Northern Pike: Good – Search out Broad Leaf Cabbage in 5-8’. Jig 3-5” chubs, large fats or shiners. Swim baits and Spinner baits with orange, yellow or green colors working on these fish as they are foraging on same size (and sometimes larger) yellow perch.
Largemouth Bass: Good – Dark bottomed, weedy, warmer bays. Twitch baits and Swim baits the ticket. Bass jigs, lighter the better, with a 3” trailer (twister tail) also good.
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Some success for anglers using medium fatheads or leeches in weeds of 6-10’.
Bluegill: Fair – Few reports. Warmer days ahead will increase participation.
I’ve been predicting the Walleye bite will be get better, first time in my short memory I can recall being wrong! The Walleyes holding in deeper water tells me shallows need to warm a bit more for the bait fish to move in and Walleyes to follow. Should get that this weekend.