Fishing report 20 May 2023

Good morning, most of the rain they were calling for Thursday and Friday either missed us or happened overnight so didn’t hamper too many activities!  We are currently under a frost advisory while I am writing this, however we look to be in the 70s and even an 80 degree day in there for the 15 day forecast.  A lot can change in that amount of time, but certainly warmer temps and very little precipitation is showing now.  While helping out with Fishing Has No Boundaries on The Big Chip yesterday, I was able to get some great info on fish locations and where we are at with the crappie/bluegill spawn so here goes for the fishing report.

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–A few pike came in during the contest and one had what looked to be a panfish in its belly.  Pike are most likely up in the shallows chasing and eating panfish as they are concentrated in one area for spawning.  I think most anglers were catching them on the same jigs/hook/bobber set up they were for panfish although casting a spinner bait or shallow diving crankbait can also be fantastic for pike this time of year.

Crappie–A lot of the participants at the FHNB event yesterday brought in some nice crappie.  Surprisingly a lot of the females still had eggs so I’m not sure the crappie have fully spawned out yet.  Most anglers were finding them in the shallow bays in calm water (we had a pretty good NW wind yesterday) so they are definitely up there getting ready to spawn.  Most crappie were 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.  I don’t have a lot of reports on catches, but I have talked to a few anglers that have seen them up shallow and a few participants yesterday brought some in.  Most likely bass are hitting simple setups like a bobber rigged with a bit bigger plain hook, sinker and good sized chunk of nightcrawler.

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.  Targeting smallmouth seems to be more of a summer sport up here, but they are catchable now and should be relating to a little bit deeper water.  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.

Crappie/bluegill/perch–LIke I stated in my opening crappie are up in shallow water 4-8′ and getting ready to spawn. I am going to lump them all together for this post as they are all being caught in the same areas.  Most are hitting the simple setups of bobbers/hooks/minnows and fish are aggressive right now.  I heard a few boats yesterday had catches of 25+ fish during the day.  The limit on the chip is 10 panfish per angler per day so most fish went back, but it shows that they are territorial and the bite is good!

That should do it for this weeks’ report, pretty simple fishing right now as most fish are aggressive and active.  If you can find them, most likely you will have a good day of fishing.  With the stable weather that looks to be happening for the next week or two, patterns should stay the same if you get on fish.  If anyone is in the Hayward area today (Saturday May 20th) stop out by the Lake Chippewa Campground this afternoon and see what Fishing Has No Boundaries is all about!  It is a great event, and we hope to see you there!

Have a great weekend, take care, and we will talk soon!


Fishing report 13 May 2023

Good morning, great weather on tap for the next week with the only chances of rain coming Thursday/Friday.  A slight cold front will bring in that rain, otherwise temps in the high 60s low 70s all week.  The fishing has been following the trend of the weather for the first week of the open season.  It started with a hot walleye bite which has leveled off a bit, but anglers are still reporting lots of action.  The crappie bite was a little slow opening weekend, but is really starting to pick up now.  It seems that the flowages or river system lakes have had a better crappie bite than the inland lakes mostly because the water temps are a little warmer in them at this point.  I have also heard that a few anglers are running into some nice bass, both largemouth and smallies while walleye fishing so overall the bite has been solid.  

Walleye–The walleye bite remains good even as most fish are in a post spawn right now.  Jigs tipped with fathead minnows have been producing as well as small crank baits such as Rapala shad raps in the #5-7 sizes.  Most fish are still being found along shallow break lines with sandy shorelines.  Look for fish in 10 FOW or less, cast up shallow and work baits back to the boat.  Shoreline fishing can also be good for walleye right now with these same baits, especially around dusk or low light conditions as fish will move way shallow into the warmest water.

Crappie–The crappie bite is heating up as they are moving to shallower water to start spawning.  Look for fish in the 5-10 FOW range and fish early emerging weed beds.  Tactics vary and some anglers do well with small crank baits or pre rigged jig heads with plastics (mimic minnow, beetle spins, etc) but a number of years ago I got schooled by my old man with spring bobber, followed by a split shot sinker and down to a snelled #6 aberdeen hook tipped with a crappie minnow……sometimes the fad stuff works, but at the end of the day most fish won’t pass up on some live bait swimming in front of them!

Largemouth bass–I am hearing reports of largemouth being up shallow and anglers catching them off of docks in shallow bays.  Sounds like they are moving into spawning areas as well.  Sight fishing for bass on beds is a great time and using drop shot rigs, wacky rigged worms, or anything that a bass feels is a threat usually gets smacked.  And again using a live nightcrawler on a plain hook under a bobber can be a great way to catch largemouth right now as well.

Smallmouth bass–Although anglers cannot harvest smallmouth bass until June 17th, they can still catch and release them until then.  RIght now anglers will find smallies mixed in with walleye along points, shallow break lines, and rocky ledges that drop off into deeper water.  Smallies tend to hit baits hard along the bottom so jigs/plastics or minnows is a good tactic.  Jig heads rigged with tubes are also fantastic for smallies as are baits like jigging raps and crank baits that make bottom contact.

The woods are still active as the turkey seasons are still going for a couple more weeks.  I have had a few hunters in the bait shop, but they are all saying the birds have been pretty quiet.  My season starts Wednesday so I will be trying to fill my tag over the next week.

Take care and we will talk soon.