If you’re in the mood for a wide variety of species, then look no further than the Metro Area right now!
We will kick things off by talking about the bass bite. These fish just got done spawning and have had a little over a week to rest and move out to their early summer areas. They are looking to fill their guts with sunfish and any small minnows that can be found swimming. Deeper weed lines and rocks in 12-16 feet of water have been where I’ve targeted most of these fish. I do this by positioning my boat 10 yards off the weed line and put the trolling motor on 30, in other words, slow down!
The best way to get these fish to consistently bite is to toss a jig worm with a 4″ Senko into the weeds and letting it sink down to the bottom and ripping it out on to the edge, while letting it pause every 5 -10 seconds after a rip! Usually you’ll pick the rod up after it sinks to the bottom and suddenly feel tugging with weight. I have also been pitching a drop shot with either a 4″ Senko or a Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry (in the sour grape color) to the edge of the weeds, giving it about 30 seconds every flip, then tossing it about 5 yards in front of where I had just flipped. I will do this for a while along a weed line and work it thoroughly. My go-to set up for my drop shot and jig worm rod is the Dobyns Rods Champion 703SF, 20 lb Power Pro, and a 10 lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader.
Now that we have gotten some consistent weather in the 70’s and 80’s, the flipping bite has been outstanding in the greener areas. The All-Terrain Tackle Grassmaster jig, which Will Stolski recently wrote an article about, is definitely my go-to heavy cover jig. I’ve been targeting the thickest milfoil/grass that I can find. A 1/2 oz or 3/4 oz is about all you need, but I also have a 1 oz tied up if the jigs are not falling through the weeds. My jig fishing set up includes Pit Boss trailer, Dobyns Rods Fury 765FLIP, 65 pound Power Pro, and a Lews reel. I have started to throw a crank-bait around and it’s produced some decent fish but nothing to call a pattern yet.
The walleye bite has been great at times and dead the next day. In other words, it’s been inconsistent. I’ve been trolling crank-baits on sunken islands with rocks and channels in 5-15 feet of water. The best time zone for me has been 2 hours before sun up to 1 hour after, and just at sunset until 3 hours after dark. I’ve also done very well throwing a drop shot; it catches walleyes too, around the red and green buoys in front of channels on Lake Minnetonka at sunrise and sunset with a jumbo leech. But, you also can’t go wrong with a good ol’ slip bobber and a leech. I’ve been catching a great class of 6 – 12″ fish and 15 – 21″ fish with just a few bigger. All of these fish have been released!
Andrew Osowski 8If bass and walleye are just not your thing, or maybe you’re looking for a spot to take the kids and catch a couple sunfish; bluegills are now on their annual spawning grounds and are very easy to catch. This is a great way to get one of your friends hooked on fishing. Look for sandy shallow areas around boat docks, lily pads, and creek inlets. These fish will usually be in 2 – 3 feet of water and will be very easy to see. A good set of polarized sunglasses are a “must have” this time of year. Bluegill beds look like a little hole on a sandy beach with pebbles in the middle and there will usually be about 10 – 50 beds in a group. A light action rod, a small bobber, and a jig tipped with a panfish leach or a Clam Maki plastic is all you’ll need. I like to park the boat 15 feet away from the bed and cast to it. These fish are extremely aggressive at this time year and will eat anything that crosses their bed. Please remember these fish are vulnerable this time of year. Practice selective harvest and only keep what you can eat. I always release fish that are over 9” to help improve the genetics in our fisheries.
The crappie bite has been steady with good quality fish in the deeper pencil reeds and cabbage beds in 10-15 feet or floating swimming docks around sand and milfoil patches near them. The best time of day to catch these fish has been 1 hour before sunset until right after dark. I prefer to pitch a small slip bobber with a crappie minnow on a plain red hook or a small jig head (1/32 – 1/16 oz).
Good Luck and Tight Lines!
Team Yukon Outdoors
Hayward Wisconsin: 3-24-2023
Wisconsin guide Jeff Evans gives his latest Buzz Bite Report for the Hayward Wisconsin area on March 24th, 2023....