Fishing report 03 June 2023

Good morning, the rain has mostly missed us here by the quiet lakes, heard lots of thunder yesterday and it looked threatening, but not a drop by the house or bait shop!  Temps will be warm for the weekend here with another round of rain this afternoon.  Monday is bringing a slight cold front with temps dropping into the 70s for the rest of the week.  Very little chance of rain after today, so I don’t think the cold front will affect the fishing much.  The fishing bite overall has been pretty good for all species and should continue with stable weather.  And although we need rain, hopefully this dry spell will rid some of the mosquitoes from the area, they have been absolutely horrendous and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.   Anyway enough complaining, it is the North WOODS after all!  Water temps are skyrocketing and I just had a customer tell me he was seeing 78 degree surface temps last night, which is crazy since ice went out just over four weeks ago!  On to the report….

Musky–We only have one musky on the board here at the bait shop and it was caught on opening day.  A perch colored rapala got that fish to eat.  I think most anglers have been having good luck fishing other species so musky haven’t been targeted too much yet.  My guess is they are in a little bit shallower water still chasing gills and crappie and perch.  Focus on weed edges in bays during the day and shallow sandy shorelines at dusk.  Bucktails and larger spinnerbaits are a great choice to cover water and find fish right now.  At dusk I would be throwing top waters (head explosion! since its the first week of june) such as walk the dogs, or buzzers or creepers.

Northern pike–I have not got a whole lot on the pike bite lately, but like the musky bite the pike are probably in shallow water and preying on panfish.  Use spinner baits and crankbaits to trigger strikes.

Walleye–The walleye bite has been steady since opener so its bound to let up soon and have fish going for deeper structure.  Most anglers are finding walleye on the deep weed edge and using leeches under slip bobbers or jigs to entice bites.  The deep weed edges may not be fully developed yet, but with how fast water temps are rising fish where you have found that edge in the past.  On most lakes around here it is in the 10-12 FOW range.

Largemouth bass–Already hearing reports of bass smashing topwater baits like whopper ploppers, lucky 13s, and frogs.  Its honestly crazy as that bite generally happens in late July/August, but like I said before water temps are way up on the surface so it does make sense.  Look for bass on shallow shorelines and around lily pads, and if fishing weed beds that are not lily pads, spinnerbaits and plastic worms will be good choices.

Smallmouth bass–Not much to report on smallies, but they should be relating to deeper rocky bottoms off of points and main lake humps.  Crankbaits, ned rig plastics, tokyo rigs and drop shotting can all be good tactics for smallies.  Even something as simple as a jig/minnow cast out and worked along bottom back to the boat can be great right now.  

Crappie–The crappie bite has been good, but I believe they have spawned out and kind of scattered.  Most fish will still be in the 5-8 FOW range but you may have to work for some nicer fish.  Simple jigs with minnows or plastics works great, as do baits like mimic minnows and beetle spins.  

Bluegill/Perch–The panfish will still be shallow as the weed beds are not fully developed/defined yet.  Fishing off of and around docks should be great right now as well with the water temps where they are at.  Simple set ups, with plain hooks and a chunk of nightcrawler under a bobber is the way to go.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Fishing report 27 May 2023

Good morning, MUSKY season is upon us!!!  First and foremost, take some time to thank/honor our veterans this weekend.  Their sacrifices allow the rest of us to enjoy the woods/waters and recreate how we choose.  Looks to be great weather for a while with a +/-50% chance of rain in the middle of the week.  Temps will be in the low 80s and upper 70s for the week as well.  Water temps are in the low to mid 60s so all of the fish should be active and it should make for a great start to the musky season.  It sounds like most of the panfish have spawned out and are still up in shallow water.  

Musky–The musky bite should start off strong as we have good water temps, consistent weather and lots of bait fish up shallow.  I would start with fast moving baits such as bucktails/spinner baits and slow down to glide baits/jerkbaits if you are getting no action.  I would also start shallow and work towards deeper edges.  Weed beds should be a great place to start your hunt for musky this year.

Walleye–The walleye bite has slowed up a bit from the opener and it sounds like fish are moving a little deeper.  I am hearing reports of fish hanging around structure or points in the 10-15 FOW range.  A few anglers are finding jigs with crawler chunks or minnows to be productive.  I have also heard trolling crankbaits in that depth range is working as well.

Northern pike–Pike are still up in the shallows chasing and eating panfish as they are just now in a post spawn.  With the water warming up, casting a spinner bait or shallow diving crankbait can also be fantastic for pike this time of year.

Crappie–A majority of the crappie have spawned, but most are still in shallow water.  I would look for fish in 3-8 FOW and around the emerging weed beds.   Most crappie are still being taken on bobbers and hooks or small jigs with crappie minnows or fatheads.

Largemouth bass–Largemouth are also up shallow in some of these smaller bays most likely feeding on minnows and other small baitfish.  Most likely bass are hitting simple setups like a bobber rigged with a bit bigger plain hook, sinker and good sized chunk of nightcrawler.  Spinner baits will also start producing well for LMB right now.

Smallmouth bass–I have not heard much on a smallmouth bite, but my guess would be anglers will be finding them on and around the same areas where they would find walleye.  Look for rocky points or sandy/rocky shorelines that head out into deeper water.  Jigs/crankbaits and even drop shot rigs can all produce right now for smallies.

Bluegill–Bluegill will be stacked up in shallow weeds right now and should still be active as they are starting a post spawn (for the most part).  Keep the rigs simple with a bobber/hook/crawler.  Folks are also doing very well on small jig/plastic combos as well i.e. cubbies, beetle spins, mimic minnows…..

Perch–I have not heard too much about a perch bite, but my guess would be some will be found in shallower weeds, while some may be holding a little deeper along rocky points or deeper rock/gravel bars.  Set ups with bobbers/hooks/crappie minnows always seem to work well for perch.

Have a great weekend and we will talk soon!