Saturday and Sunday’s rain and sleet put a kabosh on what looked like the start of a great weekend as of Friday. Temps creeping up, Crappies moved in…Walleyes starting to get active…then WHOOP…back to the drawing board.
Thankfully, Monday’s return of sunny skies has lured Crappies back in by most reports. Walleyes are still a bit finicky. Anglers also seeing Muskies in the sunny shallows, Bass nearby.
Crappies: Very Good-Excellent (if you discount the weekend) – Good reports of slabs being taken on staging in 5-7’ of water using MiniMites, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp or small fatheads below slip-floats. Check in tight to wood in 1 ½ - 3’ also as some Crappies have committed to the nesting process, even after the cold.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Action on 4” Swim baits (360’s, Kietech), Spinner baits (Boonie, BooYah) and 4-5” Twitch baits (X-Raps, Husky Jerks) all working well in 5-8’ cabbage.
Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good – Improving with warming water in shallow bays. Light 1/8 oz Bass jigs tipped with 3-4” grubs in dark colors over dark soft bottom bays. Twitching smaller Rattlin Rouges and Husky Jerks also effective.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good (all catch & release up this way!) – Staging out in 8-14’. Anglers fishing finesse jigs with small imitation craws, Senkos (3”) or Ned rigs reporting some bruisers in the 17-19” range on Monday. Watch for this species to show up by the weekend if we can believe the forecast.
Walleye: Fair – Just haven’t seen a hot bite as expected. Some anglers fishing #6 Rip ‘N Raps scoring some big post-spawn fish towards dusk. Fishing evenings has been best due to cold mornings (some in upper 20’s) but this should change with predicted warm up.
Bluegill: Poor – Few reports, little effort. This too should improve with forecast for holiday weekend coming up.
It’s tough to predict what the Musky opener will be like. Should be good. Anglers seeing fish cruising shallows. Leave the paired spawners alone, please! Otherwise, forecast looks good for Sat/Sun/Mon on water.