GREAT – Outstanding – Wonderful – Awesome – are just some of the words to describe what’s going on in the fishing world these days. There are a lot of different bites going on with the late ice-out up here. There are spawn bites, past-spawn bites, northern & bass bites, along with crappies getting close to their time. Put all this together and you have some of the best fishing opportunities you can have here in the North.
If you’re chasing walleyes this weekend, check out the weed bite as spawning is wrapping up or done. On the big, clear lakes I would look at rock structure in 16-25 feet of water. Jig + minnow combinations will work well as usual. Keep your retrieves very slow. Drift fishing during light winds has also been effective. Anglers will also find good action on slip-bobbers. There is a very strong walleye bite and if you have a little patience and fish hard, you should be rewarded with a nice catch. You must work areas completely.
Northern Pike are also starting to shine. As water temps rise, these toothy critters are making the most of it by feeding hard on baitfish. You should find these fish up shallow and around green weeds. All types of bait and lures should work well.
We have also started finding some very nice smallmouth bass. We are catching these mainly on the warmer waters and have been finding them up fairly shallow near spawning areas - but these fish are there feeding, not sitting on beds. Jig + minnow combos and minnow baits are working well.
When it comes to crappies, the action is still slow. As of this posting I have not seen or heard of any serious crappie action. The smallest little puddle lakes have had some activity. The cooler temps will probably hold them back a bit. Traditionally this is a big week for spawning crappies, but things are running behind a bit. I would think by the weekend we should see things starting to pop. If they are around it shouldn’t take long to find out. If they are not there, pull back to some deeper water right outside the spawn areas. These fish should be staging there.
Overall, the weekend should provide anglers with some great fishing opportunities. I am curious if this cold front will affect fishing as we head deeper into it. Hope it’s short!
See ya later.