Fishing with the Guides by George Langley. Week of 5/12 to 5/19.
As we move into the fishing season, we realize that things are late by past standards, and the spawning activity of all fish is a little slower than past years. We are still seeing walleye engaged in spawning long after we thought they would be done and gone from the shorelines. Water temps were really reduced significantly by last week’s cold front and cold rain, and it will take a while to recover from that. Water levels are very high – as high as we have seen them in recent years. Most all of the boat landings are in good shape despite the high water. Let's hope for warm weather to get these temps up by the Memorial Day weekend. Current in the Wisconsin River is very high, with the high water, making that difficult to fish.
Walleye fishing has been pretty good, with spawning activity continuing as we said, later than usual. Most of the activity in the early season seems to be with males, but some nice post spawn females have been reported lately also. As usual the best activity has been on jigs and minnows, but a number of anglers report action on jigs with swim baits also. Look for shoreline cover such as logs or cribs to hold some fish. On the larger, deeper lakes things are even a bit slower and there are some fish still on the shorelines spawning in the evenings and night. As always jigs and minnows are the best baits on these lakes also. Water temps are quite cold and will take longer to warm up on the bigger water.
On the Wisconsin River it seems the fish have spawned and dropped back towards the flowage already, This makes for a tough season along with that big current.
Bass season is still in the future, but we are seeing some large females smallies scouting and feeding along shorelines. They are great fun to catch, but remember they are not legal to keep until later, and makes sure to handle them with care! At this time it is a little early for any largemouth action.
Northern pike action has increased lately. Most pike seem to be caught by anglers targeting walleye with minnows along shorelines or in emerging weeds. Look for these weeds to hold most of these fish, and they will be very active as the water warms and the weeds grow.
The musky season is not open yet, but we are looking forward to it.
Panfish action has been good, but a little unpredictable and the perch spawn was interrupted by cold fronts. That spawn is over now, however, and some crappies are being caught ,by a number of anglers. These fish will provide great action for several weeks now. Look for warm water and shallow weeds for these fish. Crappie minnows with very light tackle work best.
It'll be a great week to fish – get out there!
Good luck and good fishin’!
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