Hammered the gills as usual! Even found a few jumbo perch. Fished the week after Fathers Day and will be eating fish till Christmas! Leeches and a 1/64 oz gold jig under a slip.
MOON PHASE (17%)
76° - 80° F
71° - 75° F
Year five is in the books, having fished the week from the 10th to the 17th. Five of us from Illinois fishing out of two boats. Can honestly say that this was the best fishing we encountered, in terms of both quantity and size. Some of that is getting more experience on the lake, but the fish were in more places than we have seen in the past. Consistent with our usual MO, the vast majority of our efforts were focused in Red Cedar, from the county park to the bridge, working both the east and west shores.
Caught more keeper jumbo perch than prior years, mostly on leeches and crawlers fished just off the bottom in 10 to 15 feet of water. Found some very meaty ones in the 12" range.
Large numbers of 9"+ gills, mostly on wax worms, but small pieces of crawler also worked. We must have hit the peak of the spawn, as the big ladies were bloated with eggs. We only kept the boys for the filet table, but it was tough to put some of those chunky girls back. One day, we caught mostly males, and the very next day in the very same spots, we caught almost exclusively females. It was strange.
Best crappie fishing we have seen at Red Cedar. Fished every fall down we came across, and we moved a lot, but we found bigger fish in bigger numbers than ever before. Almost exclusively on minnows fished under a float. Eliminated our need to run to the north end of Balsam to find slabs. Crappie were also well into their spawning cycle.
We came across smallmouth bass every time we stopped in 10' of water or more. Leeches and crawlers fished off the bottom. We don't keep any for the frying pan, but they are a blast to catch, especially on ultralight tackle. Very healthy population, as the smallies came in all sizes.
Also had success with largemouth bass, though we fished for them specifically less than prior years. Texas rigged plastic worms, along with a variety of live baits, all caught them. Nothing huge, but again, a variety of year classes. All still swimming.
Caught rock bass at many of our stops on almost all kinds of live bait, under floats and off the bottom. Did not keep any, but there were some stocky candidates available. Also caught several northern, but no rhyme or reason as to when they showed up. No real size to them.
Lastly, we were encouraged by the number of walleye we caught. Nice healthy fish in the 15" to 17" range, but nothing over the 18" minimum. Crawlers and leeches near the bottom worked, as did shad like crank baits. Goal for next year is to find some keepers.
All-in-all, a great week. Cedar Cove Resort worked well for us again, as did Quillens for our Friday night dinner. Looking forward to next year, the good Lord willing.
MOON PHASE (99%)
61° - 65° F
56° - 60° F
Pre-spawn bass are close in on the Red Cedar chain. I've been having great luck with those big females using flukes and swim baits in weedy staging areas about 4-8 fow. The smaller males can be seen shallower around the docks but have been more reluctant to bite.