Following some cool mornings in the 40’s to keep lake surface temperatures down, a heat wave has moved up to the Northwoods pushing lake temps, and the activities that go with warmer water, up! Temps cresting into the nineties early in the week followed by highs in mid to upper 80’s will bring most surface temps into the 70’s. This will advance bug hatches and spawning activity from fish that haven’t yet.
Bluegill: Very Good – Lots of “colonies” of beds showing up. Anglers using poppers, as well as dry flys, having fun in the shallows. Tiny 1” tubes, Mini Mites and small leeches and worms hard for the little fighters to resist. It is up to us to resist taking too many of these fish. Concentrate on the “fun” and let these fish nest, reproduce and supply years of activity at this time. There are plenty of other times for harvest.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good – The warming water is right up their alley. Activity best early and late in the day with weather like this. Twitchbaits, Sluggos, pre-rigs and 3” swimbaits in the shallows as well as top-water lures. Mid-morning through the afternoons go with Wacky Worms, Ned rigs and Tokyo rigs to get into the weed cover.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Surprisingly there were still some nesters on the larger lakes over the weekend. This could change quick with heat. Ned rigs, Wackys and tubes are tops. Jerkbaits and shallow cranks in the early AM, then outside weed edges after that.
Yellow Perch: Good – Action in weeds on beaver tails and medium leeches. Schooling up a bit, but never tight in shallower cover. Signs of molting craws means Perch taking advantage of small crayfish and dragonfly larvae.
Musky: Good – Actually, very good if you’re 15 yr old Kaiden Schrieber of Naperville who boated a 50” beauty on the Flambeau Chain over the weekend. Not saying which lake or what on, and usually don’t mention angler’s name – but C’MON, THAT’S A BEAST! Other reports from anglers moving fish in the evenings on top-water. Action good, tough to see follows with all the recent wind. Bucktails tops!
Walleye: Good-Fair – Bite was good when you found schools but starting to see it fade as waters move into low 70’s. Oddly, some of the best action coming late morning to early afternoon. Wind blown weed edges best using leeches, crawlers coming into play.
Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Pike action is slower than expected. 4” swimbaits, ¼ oz spinnerbaits over cabbage in 7-12’. Jigging chubs for Walleye in weeds is picking up an occasional Pike.
Crappie: Fair – Could have been the wind, but fewer reports of late. Just tough to pick up these light biters on windy days.
While some March Brown mayfly hatches have been noted, the big “Evil” Hexagenia hatches are still on their way. A few skins have shown so far. Rising water temps could speed up this hatch and make for a few miserable days on your favorite lake. Dragonflies are hatching, that and the wind is helping to make what was a bad mosquito season more bearable.