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Minocqua Area Fishing Report - 5/8/23

It Happened!!!

We had an opener! 2023 Walleye opener and it was a good one! With ice still at a few landings, even opening morning, plenty of opportunities to launch and get out on the water.

Walleye: - Excellent to Very Good – With the late ice out, Walleyes were ready to spawn. Anglers who headed out early in the morning (pre-dawn) reported great action shallow in 2-3’ of water. As morning progressed, Walleyes moved out to 5-8’ depths, and deeper, on many lakes to ready for the next evening’s spawn. Rip N Raps, Rattle Traps, Husky Jerks and Rattlin Rouges from shore for the “midnight” crowd. Big girls to 28” reported. For daytime, 1/16 oz Jacks Weedless jigs and Invasion jigs tipped with Tuffy minnows (redtails and dace not available) were the ticket for “second shift”. Lots of action, lots of keepers and lots of released slot and big females! With water temps ranging 38 degrees (Trout) to 52 degrees (Willow) lots of opportunity for similar action and some great post-spawn action to come.

Crappie: Very Good – Not much attention paid to this weekend, but for the few who did, good reports. Finding the warmest water on the lake, with standing weeds in 4-8’. Crappies and Largemouth Bass staging in the warmest water (usually 2-3 degrees above rest of lake). These Crappies are skittish. Small, heavy floats for long cast so you don’t spook fish. Try using no weight. Let tail hooked minnows swim naturally to attract bites.

Northern Pike: Good – Not targeted much, but some incidentals by anglers jigging for Walleyes.

Yellow Perch: Good to Fair – Most by accident. Those that have been are ripe with spawn as they will be next in line.

Largemouth Bass: Fair – Rarely targeted, but anglers reporting some catches while working soft bottom bays for Walleyes.

Smallmouth Bass: Fair – Ditto as in Largemouth, yet on rocks instead of soft bottoms.

Increasingly warming temps will accelerate the Walleye spawn this week. Once spawn bite dies down, look for Eyes to move to weeks to feed up, should be good for next couple weeks. Crappies, Gills and Bass will continue to “herd” up where the warmest water can be found. Lots of anglers out for the opener, but pressure will lessen as the week goes on.


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