The past few weeks have been crazy with unstable weather patterns and temperature swings. These conditions have in turn made for very interesting hunting and fishing conditions.
The turkey hunters are the positive part of this scenario, they have been having a banner year with a lot of hunters getting their birds. The numbers of mature birds that we are seeing is outstanding. On most of our hunts we are locating multiple gobblers and with that kind of competition it has not been hard getting them into range. I can tell you this, that in all the years of turkey hunting this has been by far the best season that we have ever had.
Fishing on the other hand has been difficult so far this season. The weather patterns and especially the temperature spikes, and drops, have been unlike any I have ever witnessed in the spring. You all have lived it, so I am not going to go into details but I can tell you this, it has made for tough fishing.
Right now I don’t know if the fish even realize if they are coming or going. With water temperatures in the mid-30 degree range one week and 7 days later in the mid 60’s I can only think the fish are in shock. We have had some banner days so far this spring and then on other days it is almost impossible to find the fish. We are fishing the same general locations and the fish are either moving in and out or they are in feeding and non-feeding moods. It has made for a very tough season so far.
What we have been finding this past week is walleyes in several different water depths anywhere from as shallow as 2 to 3 FOW and we are finding them in as deep 25 to 30 FOW. Jig and minnows have been the best bait but when the fish are shallow crankbaits are working.
As far as crappies they have been scattered and inconsistent. They for the most part have not moved to traditional spawning grounds and we have not even really seen them in their transition areas either. We have been picking up a few stragglers on jigs while walleye fishing and a few on slip bobbers over deep water if that helps, but for the most part we are not seeing any shallow fish at all.
The one species that we have been having some good success with this past week has been smallmouth bass. Now we don’t normally target bass that much, but this past week has been a nice surprise. We are finding quite a few very nice fish in shallow rocks and rip-rap style areas with Rattle traps and Shad Raps working well to catch these feisty fish.
With the musky opener this past week in the southern and south central part of the state a few anglers got out and started picking up some nice fish. Kevin Munson from Madison was with me one day last week and he hooked into and landed a nice musky while we were out.
Hopefully these weather patterns level out and things turn around as we move forward, and with a little luck the fishing becomes more consistent.
Have a great week,
Hooksetters Guide Service