We have been in a holding pattern virtually since ice-out in most of our area lakes and water surface temperatures have remained below 50 degrees for nearly a month. Panfish and bass have been catchable but there has been very little movement shallow yet. That is going to change quickly as clear skies and highs pushing near 80 on Saturday should make the water temperatures rocket upwards in the shallows. We should see a big push of smallmouth bass on to shallow rocks, largemouth bass to inside weed lines, and panfish into shallow weedy bays.
Walleyes have finished spawning in most of the mid-sized lakes but there are a few large, deep lakes in which they are still spawning ias of mid-week. Look for those recent post-spawn fish to be staging just off of spawning areas on the first break into 6-12 FOW. Find these walleyes using a combination of side imaging and casting aggressive presentations such as Rippin Raps, 3/8 oz hair jigs or swimbaits. Once you find a school of fish, a jig and minnow worked slowly through it is typically easy money!
Pike can be a really fun alternative to the walleye/panfish/bass options and casting large paddletail swimbaits and stickbaits like Husky Jerks around shallow weed beds can offer some really fun action this time of year. A live sucker under a float can also take some really nice pike and you may even pick up a bonus walleye or two.
It’s finally time to go for broke on the Hayward, Wisconsin area inland lakes so go get hooked up and have a great time this weekend!