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!