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.