Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 5/30/23
Such a wonderful Memorial Weekend! Mother Nature showed great compassion by giving us a Memorial Weekend with not so much as even a threat of rain. Warm weather, lots of sun, good fishing. Not a thing to complain about…almost! The mosquitos are horrendous! We need Dragonflies! Any place with no wind, shade, vegetation made me feel like King Kong on the Empire State Building (only I didn’t have my beautiful wife in one hand, needed both to swat the skeeters!). Enough whining…It’s tough to rank which species of fish bit the best over the weekend, we had so many great reports.
Crappie: Excellent (OFF THE CHART!) – While water temps shot through the 50’s into 60’s (and some bays low 70’s with sun and not wind) not as much bedding fish being observed as staging fish in 3-7’ of water. Casting small (1/32 oz and smaller) jigs of plastic or hair and good ol’ float and minnows had lots of anglers reporting limits of Crappies. Probably the best holiday Crappie fishing weekend we’ve had.
Smallmouth Bass: Excellent –Smallies bedding on most lakes with anglers reporting days of over 100 fish per boat from both staging and bedding fish. Technique? Our choice! Tubes, Ned rigs, top-water, suspending twitchbaits. Rising water temps had fish on fire, lots of action and of course lots of fun! Remember, Catch and Release only!
Walleye: Very Good – Despite the fact weed growth is still behind on most lakes (but catching up), keep in mind most lakes still had ice on them the first couple days of May. Most stomach contents of filleted Walleye still containing mostly larvae of midge and mayflies. The full on weed bite is just beginning. That being said, leeches have been the ticket for a lot of the best catches. Of note, guide Greg Bohn had a three day stretch of three 30”+ and over Walleyes on three different lakes-he’s not telling, but from his purchase history here, he’s probably using chubs, both black and redtails (when available), just guessing.
Northern Pike: Very Good – Find standing weeds and you’ll probably find Pike. Swimbaits, spinnerbaits and jig and suckers have been hot. Lots of action and good fish into the low 30’s.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Staging in the warm shallows. Shallow running square billed crankbaits, 3 1/2“ swimbaits and flukes have been getting hammered. Don’t be surprised that if water temps crest and hold into the 70’s on some lakes that Largemouth won’t start bedding soon.
Bluegill: Very Good – Not bedding, but staging in the shallows. Fly anglers using small poppers and dry flies as well as “normal” anglers using tiny tubes, worms, leeches or thunderbugs scoring very well in 2-4’ shallows. Look for cover such as wood or flooded saplings.
Yellow Perch: Very Good-Good – Not as much attention from the panfish crowd as most are targeting Crappies and Gills. But Perch cruising the newly greening weeds in 4-8’ taking medium leeches, medium fatheads and thunderbugs on small jigs or under slip-floats.
Musky: Good-Very Good – With only three days of the season in, some good reports from anglers boating Musky using smaller bucktails (think Smity’s Wizards, Bucher 500’s) and smaller twitchbaits. Lots of fish being seen, but not hitting in shallows as fish paired up to spawn. Top reported fish here was Charlie Scott’s 45”.
With highs in the low to mid-80’s forecasted for the remainder of the week, expect more of the same on fishing with certain species (Walleye, Bass and Musky) only expecting to get better. Great time to be out on the water, just don’t forget the bug spray!