Good morning, a little bit of rain overnight last night, but nowhere near what we need. Things are very dry and lakes are a little lower than where they should be this time of year. This weekend highs are supposed to only be in the 60s which is good to help moderate that, but temps look to climb back into the upper 70s and low 80s during the week. Not much in the way of precipitation the rest of the week either. The lakes are also very warm already with most lakes in the mid to upper 70s and I have had multiple people tell me the Chip is right around 80 degrees. The fishing has remained pretty solid for most species and my guess would be it will continue with this stable weather.
Musky–The musky bite hasn’t really taken off yet and I think part of that problem is the water got too warm too quick. I was out most of the day Tuesday of last week fishing musky pretty hard and we had no luck. We only saw one fish after throwing a walleye jig out in deeper water. Other than that, we didn’t find any musky where they are “supposed” to be. Such is musky fishing! So switch things up and try to get on a pattern that works, we were working weed beds with bucktails mainly, and then topwaters later in the day.
Northern pike–We crushed the pike while we were out boating 10. Most of the pike came on a small bucktail in about 8 FOW fishing over weed beds. A few of the others came on spinnerbaits in the same areas.
Walleye–The walleye bite has remained pretty good since the fishing opener. The bite right now seems to be fish holding on the deep weed edges and most anglers are catching them on simple set ups such as a jig tipped with a leech or a slip bobber and a leech.
Largemouth bass–We also caught a few largemouth in those same weed beds as the pike, the spinnerbaits doing the work on the bass. I have also had anglers telling me they are doing good on wacky rigs right now as well. Sounds like fish are mostly off of their beds and out in slightly deeper water. I would look for fish in the 3-5 FOW range vs up on the shorelines. With water temps so high, casting topwater baits into lily pads could be a great choice as well.
Smallmouth bass–The smallmouth bite has been good with anglers working structure with ned rigs. Sounds like fish are on hard bottoms that transition into the basins. My guess would be any kind of baits worked close to bottom should be good right now. Drop shots, ned rigs, and even jig heads with tubes on them will all produce.
Crappie–The crappie bite has slowed down quite a bit and fish have spawned and scattered. I’m not sure they are schooled up out in basins yet, but I don’t think they are in shallow weeds anymore either. Anglers may want to start working deeper weeds with jigs and minnows. I haven’t heard a whole lot on anything else as far as crappie lately.
Bluegill/Perch–The panfish bite has been hot lately although you have to weed through a bunch of small fish to get some good ones. Most anglers are doing well on leaf worms for panfish right now. Sounds like a simple hook and worm is the way to go for bluegill and perch. Fish are still in shallow and will be focused on shoreline with structure such as docks/trees/and any other stuff hanging down into the water column.
Not a big change from last week and should give anglers a good starting point if they choose to come up! Mosquitos were slowing down a bit, but with the rain last night they were out in force this morning. Anyway, have a great weekend everyone and we will talk soon.