Good morning from the Quiet Lakes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  First and foremost to honor the fallen and never forget the sacrifices they have made for our freedoms.  A close second is musky opener!!  Looks like some chances of rain all weekend, but we will see.  Cooler temps to start the week and then evens out in the low 70s to end the week. Water temps on the quiet lakes are still in the low 60s and the bite has not been easy.  Anglers have had better luck down on the Big Chip where water temps have warmed up faster.

Musky–Anglers should start this years musky season in and around weedy bays where panfish are congregated for spawning.  Lots of bait in one area means more predators in that area looking to feed.  Any and all baits will work for opener so start with what you have confidence in.  I truly don’t believe you have to start small as many anglers fishing crappie and walleye have already had musky smack or eat fish as they were getting them to the boat.  If they will eat a 10″ crappie or 14-15″ walleye right now they will eat a 9″ crankbait or Bulldawg or Medussa in the regular sizes. That being said, I would present my baits at different speeds to trigger bites.  Pull blades a little faster or slower and let minnow/twitch/crankbaits pause a little longer in between pulls.

Northern pike–Pike should also be in weedy bays or big weed flats right now.  They will certainly eat any musky baits thrown their way, but also bass sized spinner baits, smaller crankbaits and of course any sized minnow under a bobber or on a jig.

Walleye–The walleye bite has been up and down for a lot of anglers.  Some are finding them in shallower water related to weeds and shallow structure while others have found them out in deeper water off of rocky points and deep structure.  Husky jerks, Rapala BX minnows, and other minnow baits have been good lately.  Live bait always works with walleye suckers doing well and leeches starting to pick up.

LMB–Bass have been active and hitting a lot of live bait such as crappie minnows and fathead minnows under a bobber.  I haven’t heard of much of a bite on anything else yet.  Look for largemouth in warmer bays on the Northside of lakes that get the most sun.

SMB–I don’t have a lot on smallies just yet, but a few walleye anglers have tied into them up shallow right at dusk.  Bottom transitions from sand to rock would be good places to start and skirted jigs with trailers, or deep running crank baits will trigger active fish.  At low light/dusk flip a slip bobber out with a minnow or leech and see what happens!

Crappie/Bluegill/Perch–The crappie bite has been sporadic at best and I don’t believe they have spawned on the quiet lakes just yet.  Anglers are still finding them in 6-9 FOW and nobody has seen them stacked up shallow yet.  By the end of this week that should change.  Crappie minnows are the best choice to catch them right now.  Bluegill and Perch should be in and around shallow weeds as well with the warming water temps.  Crawlers, minnows, and small artificial baits will all catch fish right now.

Have a great holiday weekend and we will talk soon.