The 2016 Spring Turkey season is upon us and the birds are gobbling up a storm. The walleye bite on the river has been pretty good but the next few weeks should be some of the best fishing of the season.
With the early spring that we are seeing this year turkey hunters will have a variety of locations to give their luck a shot. With little to no snow cover on the ground the birds have plenty of available food sources at their disposal. When there is still a lot of remaining snow cover on the ground birds are sometimes held to discrete locations that still have available food. Some of those locations are areas that hunters cannot get to, find, or in some cases have access to. With this spring though hunters that have done their homework should have no problem tagging that Tom Turkey. In addition to the obvious locations a few other not so apparent locations that I like to target are: Fields with freshly spread manure, the tops of an oak ridge that run through the middle of a hardwoods, cedar swamps, and one of my favorite’s “river edges”. Unless you have seen, it I cannot tell you how many times I have seen birds fly across a river. In many cases turkeys will use the same location day after day. Turkeys also like to roost over water. It may be a little extra work but if you can find a roosting location over water you are setting yourself up for a very good chance at bagging that Tom.
The walleye bite this past week has had its ups and downs just like the temperature but now the forecast looks like warm stable weather moving in and that should turn things around. Water temperature on the Wisconsin River in Wausau were at 41 degrees as of April 12th but that is going to change. With warmer temperatures forecasted the walleye bite should really pick up over the next week and anglers should see a much better consistency of catching verses fishing. Look for walleyes to start moving up to shallow spawning grounds in less than 4 feet of water as the week progresses. Look for areas with abundant gravel or small rock and I would suggest running 3 to 5 inch crankbaits and 1/16th to ¼ ounce jigs tipped with a twister tail, split tail minnow or live fatheads.
In addition to the walleyes, anglers looking at getting in on the spring crappie spawn can start watching for that to come up quickly. A little bit of sun goes a long way and shallow backwater bays will warm up quickly drawing crappies in for miles to begin their annual spring spawning. I generally start my search for crappies as water temperatures hit the low to mid 50’s and target shallow shoreline areas with brush, stumps or reeds. For presentation I generally run a small jig like a Pinkie jig. Sometimes I run the Pinkie jig plain and sometimes it gets tipped with a tiny white plastic tail. On other occasions I run a small hook below a slip bobber and bait it up with a small crappie minnow. Cast the presentation to likely looking locations near structure and with minnow I will let it sit for a while but with the pinkie jig I slowly twitch it back to the boat creating the action needed to entice a strike.
Have a great week, good luck in the woods and on the water.
Hooksetters Guide Service