Northern Wisconsin

Northern Wisconsin Buzz Bite Report 5-4-2022

by | May 4, 2022 | 0 comments

Avid angler Caleb Wistad gives his latest Buzz Bite Report for Northern Wisconsin on May 5th, 2022.

Northern Wisconsin Buzz Bite Report 5-4-2022

At long last, the winter of 21/22 appears to be coming to a close here in Northern Wisconsin. Luckily for us, it’s just in time for the Wisconsin fishing opener!  We are finally staring at open water on about 80% of our lakes in the area now with just a few of the largest and deepest lakes in the northern part of our region holding on to some ice cover.

With temps rising into the 60s and some sunshine in the forecast this week, I am optimistic that even those large lakes will be fishable by Saturday. There is virtually 100% open water from Barron county south at this time.  With that being said, water temps are still COLD!

Reports from around the area are typically still in the high 30s with a few low 40s being reported but these temps should be moving up steadily.  As the shallows begin to warm up this week proceeding the opener, here is what you can expect.

Walleyes: Of course walleyes will be on many angler’s minds on saturday and the fishing should be good to excellent.  Reports from the DNR nets indicate that walleyes are spawning right now in many area lakes, which means they will likely be in either post-spawn mode in smaller, warmer systems or still spawning in the larger, colder lakes.  Either way, walleyes will likely be shallow and near spawning areas like rocky shoals, gravel bars and current areas.  Rivers and creek mouths will likely hold numbers of fish as well.

A jig-and-minnow combo fished slowly around these areas just off the first drop during the day should produce some fish.  If the spawn is still happening, the night bite can be your best bet, as these fish turn very spooky during the day in shallow water.

Casting stickbaits like Rapala Husky Jerks or original Rapalas up into just a couple feet of water and SLOWLY retrieving them can be a great way to target these fish after dark.

Pike:  Northern pike are just wrapping up the spawn and should be moving into the warming water in mid-depth and shallow weedy bays.  Slow rolling paddletail swimbaits or spinnerbaits around these weeds can be a great way to get bit during the mid-day walleye lull.  If you really want to get into some fish, especially with the kids, put a medium-sized sucker out on a slip float in 6-10 feet weeds and you shouldn’t have to wait long!

Northern Wisconsin

Bass: Smallmouth bass will likely be moving up the edges of rock bars and onto reefs during the midday warmth.  Casting stickbaits like Rapala X-raps and retrieving them with a slow “jerk, long pause, jerk” method is deadly for these fish.  Don’t waste your time going out too early though, these fish will only move up shallow during the warmest part of the day, typically in the mid-afternoon.

Largemouth bass will be behaving similarly and moving shallow as weedy bays warm up during the day.  Some of the highest concentrations of largemouth bass seen all year happen during warm sunny afternoons in shallow bays as schools of small bluegills push into that warm water.

The bass will swarm up into these shallows and herd schools of bluegills around like packs of wolves. Casting 3″ or 4″ paddletail swimbaits on weedless weighted hooks is an absolutely deadly technique for these fish and a lot of fun!!

Panfish:  Even though it’s all about game fish for many anglers this weekend, lots of folks will be targeting panfish as well.  Water temperature will definitely be the key to finding schools of both crappies and bluegills for the next few weeks.  As the water warms, panfish will seek it out. Shallow, weedy areas are the obvious choice but don’t overlook suspended fish!

On calm days crappies and bluegills will move up and hover in the warm surface layer, even over deep weeds. Both shallow bay fish and suspended fish are often easy to spot but they will typically be very skittish and easily spooked. Long casts are critical and a small float can help to keep the bait in the strike zone long enough for the fish to come back and hit it.

Northern Wisconsin Trout: Rivers have been high from all the recent rain and anglers fishing the catch and release season have reported mixed results.  As the water temps rise and the levels drop it should trigger an absolutely awesome trout bite in our area streams.

I am predicting some great trout fishing for opening day and almost any technique should work from live bait to spinners to soft plastics.  The key will be to keep moving until you find fish as many trout will still be stacked up near their wintering areas and some upper portions of the streams may not have many fish yet.

I hope that covers it! Good luck and stay safe out there this weekend in Northern Wisconsin and get hooked up!


Caleb Wistad – Hookedupwi


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