Fishing report 08 April 2023

Good morning, a big warm up on the way and looks like it may stay well above freezing for the foreseeable future.  While it will rapidly deplete the ice on the lakes, it could make for a big mess for some of the roads around the area.  We do still have some solid ice on the lakes, but by mid week much more runoff will be happening so anglers should be mindful of that.  As far as fishing goes I have not heard a whole lot close to here.  A few customers have been traveling to some of their favorite panfish lakes that they have been fishing for years.  That can still benefit anglers here, as it tells me most fish are probably in shallow water staging up for the spawn.  

Crappie/Bluegill/Perch–With longer days and higher sun, weeds will get some much needed sunlight to start growing under the ice.  Combine that with runoff water coming into the lakes this time of year and things will be happening in shallow water for panfish.   Bluegill will be feeding on any of the bugs anywhere in the water column and jigs tipped with waxies is the most common way to target them.  Try different jig styles to really dial in the bite (banana style jigs seem to be producing up here right now).  Perch will most likely be taking larger offerings of crappie minnow heads on spoons or baits like jigging raps or puppet minnows.  The crappie bite can go either way right now, jigs tipped with plastics or waxies can catch fish and so too can larger offerings much like you would fish perch.  The crappie spawn is just a few weeks away so fish will be aggressive and starting to get territorial.  For all species of panfish I would start fishing anywhere from 5-10 FOW and try to find some new weed growth or fish existing weed beds.  

Have a great weekend, and we will talk soon.


Fishing report 01 April 2023

Good evening, we avoided most of what was supposed to hit us last night for snow/ice……as I am writing this there are blizzard conditions going on. Wind gusts of 30+ mph and snowing hard, looks like we may get somewhere in the 5-7″ range as we already have a few inches on the ground. We may be in for more snow mid week also….could be a little or could be a “potential winter storm” so who knows!?

Ice conditions were favorable this week and should continue to be for the next week or so. I was hearing reports of hard packed ice that is anywhere from 2 to 2-1/2 feet thick and I don’t really doubt that with the sustained cooler temps we have had during the days and bitter cold temps the last few nights. It just hasn’t warmed up enough to take much ice off of the lakes yet and the ground is absorbing most of the melt as well so we aren’t getting a ton of runoff into the lakes. The panfish bite has been pretty good also from what I am hearing. Nothing new in the way of tactics, pretty much just jigs tipped with plastics or waxies. Seems like bright colors are producing better than darker/natural colors.

Crappie/Bluegill/Perch–I would start in bays and some backwater areas that still have safe ice and are relatively shallow. My guess is most crappie are starting to stage up in spawning areas as the days are getting longer and more light is getting through the ice. Weeds should be starting to grow and the influx of fresh water coming into the lakes will be stirring bugs and other stuff up from the silt. Using jigs tipped with plastics or waxies should still be catching crappie, minnows may be a little big yet. Focus on the deeper section of the bay or the deep weed edges, maybe 8-10 FOW of most lakes. Bluegill most likely will be found in these same bays, but slightly shallower, maybe 3-6 FOW and closer to moving water if there is any in the areas you fish. Bluegill will be eating bugs and any of the hatches that are coming up through the water column. Small jigs tipped with plastics and waxies are the norm for all panfish right now. You may even be able to sight fish most of the species through the ice now, they can be that shallow. Perch should also be found in these backwater areas or bays and feeding on all of the same stuff. For perch I would go with a small spoon vs. jig and really pound bottom and fish it aggressively.

Everyone have a great weekend and let’s hope the snow takes it easy on us!! By the end of the 15 day forecast it’s looking like temps in the 50s so I think this may be winter’s last hurrah!