Fishing Reports

FISHING WITH THE GUIDES  by George Langley.   Week of  5/7 to 5/15

We got lucky. We earned it. After a miserable spring with snow, rain and wind we had pretty decent weather for the opening weekend. Sure, it got chilly Sunday evening and there was wind, but it was still much better than the rest of the last month or so. And the fish were right there spawning for us. There might still be some vagabond ice on the biggest, deepest lakes, but most of it is just a bad memory. And it felt GREAT!

This was just the kind of opening that most anglers really enjoy, with the fish on the shorelines or just getting ready to go up, and hitting well. We talked to many anglers who were just “sport fishing” for them, after getting their limits. They had caught very good numbers of fish both on Saturday and on Sunday morning. Some of them were getting their third loads of bait and were having a ball just catching and releasing fish. All in all, the most effective baits were fatheads or large fatheads a little deeper. The Eagle River Chain contained thousands of males on those shores, with some females up also. There were even some big perch still to be had and some smallmouth bass just exploring and inspecting the shores also. More on those bass later.

Expect good action on many if not most lakes for the next week. After they conduct their spawn, they will move out to cover, like weeds or brush, so you will have to spend some time fishing this cover to find them. Right now, it's mostly smaller fish, but the larger females will more slowly recover and start hitting well after the water warms some. As we get good weed growth off the shorelines, we'll find some really good fishing in these weeds. Minnows will still be best, but we can also catch fish in this period on crawlers and leeches.

We mentioned bass – especially smallies earlier. These fish inspect these shorelines and feed as they are doing it before they actually spawn. You can catch some really nice female smallies feeding on these shores. Please release them and let them reproduce. Largemouth also will move up as the water warms to check out their spawning areas. On some of the colder deeper lakes you will still be able to get some nice large perch as they move up a little later in the colder water lakes.

What a smorgasboard of fishing we have in store for us for the rest of this month! Be good sportspersons and practice some release for the future. Any fish you release will be there again...and again. Enjoy them.

Good luck and good fishin'!

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