Walleyes on the Winnebago system are scattered everywhere right now due to the record water levels throughout the Wolf and Fox Rivers. The water in the marshes on the Wolf River is so high, fish have found temporary homes back in the trees where life is grand, gorging on frogs, bugs and minnows. More rain is in the forecast and until the water recedes, the bigger fish will not return back through the river into the lakes until they are forced out. Males have started coming down and fish that stayed in the lakes are already relating to summer patterns.
Waves of fish over the next few weeks will make their way through New London down through Fremont and into Lake Poygan and then through Winneconne, Lake Butte des Morts and finally out into Lake Winnebago. On the down run, dragging 1/16 oz. jigs or carolina rigs with crawlers on deep sections of the river is about as good as it gets. Pulling flys by the bridges and casting jigs onto structure just outside of the river mouths is also a great way to target the walleyes.
This year for whatever reason, walleyes out on the main lake have been very tight to all the reefs as they are feeding on small 3-4″ perch. Trolling crank baits like the flicker minnows or flicker shads in perch colors has been amazing. Days the wind blows onto the reefs really spark the bite and switching to a jig and plastic combination like the Northland thumper jig and an impulse plastic is way more effective. Casting flicker shads on specific spots can also be deadly. If you’re more into watching bobbers, try throwing a few slip bobbers out with a small jig or plain hook tipped with a leech or crawler. When the wind lays down, slide out along the edges of the reefs where the rocks transition into mud with slow death rigs. Try pulling the slow death rigs at a speed of 1.0 mph or so.
The whitebass should be coming soon! Hopefully we start to get a good mix this week with the warm up in temperatures!
Tight lines everyone!
Capt. Troy Peterson “Mr.Bluegill”
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