Good morning from the Quiet Lakes, too bad fishing opener wasn’t yesterday!  Todays weather is showing off and on rain, and about a 20 degree cold front from yesterday.  Mild temps this week with chances of rain on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Water temps from what I am hearing are in the low 50s and with the rain last week, most lakes are at good water levels.  The Chip is still down a couple of feet, but it is fishable.  Here is this weeks rundown on fish….

Walleye–No report yet on walleye as today opens the season, but anglers should find walleye in shallower water and this time of year it’s tough to beat a jig and minnow.  Most anglers will use fathead minnows on the jighead and simply cast, let it hit bottom and jig it back to the boat.  Jigs with plastics can be a fantastic option early in the year as well.  Anglers can also use artificial baits such as rippin raps, husky jerks and other smaller crank/twitch baits that kind of hang in the zone on a pause.  We do have leeches in stock this year for opener so if none of the above is working, putting a leech under a bobber could be the ticket if fish are wanting a more subtle presentation.

Northern Pike–Pike anglers should find these predators in and around shallow weed beds feasting on anything and everything. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are a great option this time of year for pike.

LMB–Anglers who want to target largemouth this time of year will most likely find fish in a little bit deeper water, but still related to summer spots.  Spinner baits, crank baits and anything that works a little deeper in the water column is a great choice for springtime largemouth fishing.  

SMB–Smallmouth anglers may find their quarry in the same spots as walleye this time of year and will most likely catch them using the same techniques.  Shallow mid lake structure and rocky shorelines are good spots to look.  JIgs and minnows are a great way to catch smallies right now as well.

Crappie–Crappie are in shallow water and the bite has been good.  Crappie minnows under a bobber on a small hook/jig seems to be the best way to go.  Focus on weed beds in the 4-8 FOW range and go from there.  Anglers may also have luck on artificial baits such as mimic minnows in the 1/16th ounce size, and baits such as Rapala X-raps in the #4 size.  Cast these baits through these same weed beds and pause them once in a while to entice strikes!

Bluegill/Perch–Bluegill and Perch will most likely be in and around these same weed beds as the crappie.  To target bluegill I would switch to crawlers or leaf worms, and for perch stick with crappie minnows.  

Good luck to all of the anglers on this fishing season and for this weekends opener, although we all know the real fishing season in the northern part of the state doesn’t start until Memorial Day weekend……IYKYK!! Have a great weekend and we will talk soon!