Fishing Report: Lulls in action should end with return of warm weather

By George Langley

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Once again, we have been toyed with by the weather, as a couple of big cold fronts and some cold rain came through earlier this month. When the cold fronts hit, the fish that are near the shorelines take a pause and go deeper to wait for it to warm up again.

It looks like things will be warming up again, so whatever lull in action that anglers might have experienced should turn around again.

We were seeing water temperatures hanging in the mid-60s as of last week. Weed growth has been getting good, and we now have some pretty good weed beds on most lakes. You’ll want to center a lot of your fishing around that new weed growth now.

Walleye fishing has been good, despite the cold. To find fish on the Chain – and just about everywhere else – find weeds; the thicker the better. If you can locate the musky cabbage, this is by far your best choice. The walleye are in these weeds all day, and we’re seeing a lot of fish being caught on those deep weed edges, especially with this cold. Jigs and minnows are still the way to go, with many anglers using weedless jigs, such as Jacks Jigs, to deal with the weeds. We soon will have to deal with the dreaded mayfly hatch, which had started but seemed to have slowed with the cold. Weed walleye fishing will last in part through the whole summer.

Northern action has been great, per usual. These fish are also in weeds, both in the shallower weeds, but also in that deep grass that you’ll find on many lakes. If you are targeting them, use larger sucker minnows for the best results. They will hit almost any artificial also, with spoons or spinnerbaits working great.

Bass fishing is creeping up on spectacular now, as the smallies are surveying the shorelines getting ready to spawn, and the largemouth are doing the same in bullrushes and softer bottom areas. Look for the smallies on rocky shorelines (and in sand on the lakes with few shoreline rocks). Now is a great time to bust out a good old Whopper Plopper in the color of your choice – they’re working great right now. Remember when throwing these that it helps to keep your rod pointed upward – or put a swivel between the lure and the line – to keep your line from twisting. It’s always good practice to treat these fish with extra care during this time of the year and get them back in the water quickly to finish their spawn.

Musky action has been pretty darn good, too. We saw a lot of fish caught during the Spring Classic on the Eagle River Chain last weekend, with some nice-sized fish, too. It is still a good idea to use smaller baits for them, like Mepps #5, small Suicks and twitch baits. You can find these fish feeding in the weeds on a daily basis, and some fish in deeper water resting. People have started to use Bulldawgs and Medussa’s in that deeper water for them.

Panfish action was good between the cold fronts, with both crappies and bluegills in the shallows for the most part; minnows for the crappies and worms for the ‘gills. Perch are in the weeds acting like small walleyes and will hit both leeches and minnows well, along with worms.

Get out there and have some fun – the warm weather is coming back!

Good luck and good fishin’!

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