I had to work up in the Northwoods for a few days, and naturally that meant I was going to squeeze in every opportunity to fish that I could. I bounced around to quite a few lakes and had the chance to have a couple friends from Colorado in to learn and see a few new techniques compared to their traditional fly fishing in the mountain streams.
Big clear water lakes still had some crappies up shallow in the timber finishing up their spawning. It was very easy to see how bad many of these fish had been pounded and well educated. Traditional offerings like minni-mites and other white grubs would immediately spook the fish. Changing over to weighted stone flies, Tom’s custom colored grubs (THANKS TOM FOR THE SAMPLES!!!), and select ice jigs and gulp did the trick to sort out some good eater males for the frying pan.
Stain colored lakes that I was one were about 99% done with the crappie spawn and gills were beginning to move in shallow.
Walleyes were more of a challenge to locate this year when compared to most. Normally i just locate the greenest weeds adjacent to spawning habitat and its game on. Most clear water lakes I hit already had walleyes out on deeper structure. The exception came on Tuesday as a few mayflies began to hatch. The walleyes were smart enough to go shallow for the easy meal and a few easy presentations for me.
Stained color lakes seem to still have plenty of walleyes up shallow in 6fow or less in heavy cabbage weeds. This was our best bite of the week. Purple or Electric Blue Ringworms on 1/8oz jigs. We just moved very slow across the weedbeds pitching to the pockets like bass fishing. The walleyes were not shy about telling us what they wanted. Cotton Candy and other similar colors got nipped, but the purples were absolutely inhaled.
Everywhere we went had bass (both large and smallmouth) bedding activity going on. You could see the drop in water temps had moved a few fish off their beds. But just one day of sun got them back in the4 mood to do their thing. The next couple weeks will have some outstanding bass reports coming in.
Musky – I didn’t spend any time musky fishing, but my brother n law combed the water with his traditional early season baits. Down sized bucktails and swim baits raised enough fish to keep him occupied for the couple days he got out. Last I checked with him they boated a few in the 36-40″ class. No pigs but still a blast to catch.