The promised (forecasted) warm up is coming at a crawl. Cool, clouds and lots of wind are raising water temps ever so slightly. What should have been “a Crappie weekend” was decent, but not fantastic, maybe this coming one?
Crappie: Very Good-Good – Been hard to get an overall fix on the bite. As always, different sized lakes warm at different rates. Reports of Crappies in 2’ of pencil reeds as well as staging in 5-8’ of cabbage and even been found in 14’ breaks. Minnows the best bet when Crappies are being reluctant. Small leeches stay on hooks better. With water temps slowly making their way into the upper 50’s by late week (we hope) tiny tubes, Mini-Mites and small twister tails will start working better.
Walleye: Good – Post spawn action in weeds of 6-10’. Jig and minnow/leech combos, as well as, shallow running stick baits (Jr. Thundersticks, Rattlin Rouges) and 1/8 oz jig and twister or snap jigging 3” swim baits.
Northern Pike: Good – Artificial bite a little slower at times. If you can’t get hit on spinner baits or #3 Mepps, switch to a weedless jig and chub to coax light biters. Use a light wire leader to prevent bite offs of jigs and a jaw spreader and pliers to prevent bite offs of fingers! (tip-o-the-week!)
Smallmouth Bass: Good – Staging outside spawning areas, Smallies hitting lipless cranks banged on rocks in 6-12’ of water. X-Raps suspended over same areas also effective as is Ned rigging along same spots. Some dandy fish of over 5#’s reported. Catch & Release only until June 20th!
Largemouth Bass: Good – Cruising shallows on warming days. Pitch 3” Wacky worms unweighted or twitch #5 or #7 Floating Rapalas. Large leeches on a light wire hook around any trees/brush in water.
Yellow Perch: Good – Shallow weeds of 4-8’. Thunderbugs, small leeches, minnows under small floats.
Bluegill: Fair-Good – Not being targeted with all the wind, but work extreme shallows of 1-5’ as Gills cruising looking for bugs and warmest water.
A good # of incidental reports of Musky cruising the shallows and being hooked by anglers targeting other species. With surface temps probably moving to upper 50’s, low 60’s watch for more of this.
Looks to be a good weekend, maybe some evening clouds/rain, but temps should be good and the Crappie spawn should stretch out on most of the large lakes to give anglers plenty of opportunity.