All eyes now turn to the opening of open water fishing season just a week away. And all bets are off on what we’ll find that day.
Lake ice on most lakes in the area is turning dark, a sure sign that it’s nearing breakup. Yet we continue to get reports of thick ice that does remain. A hot day or two, a hard rain, some high winds, those can all work to quickly break up remaining ice but the week-long forecast does not offer up that combination.
If the forecast runs true we can expect ice cover on many lakes for the opening. We can also expect smaller lakes to start to open up this week but unless the weather comes in warmer than the forecast shows, it will be hit and miss on open water.
All that will put pressure on open water rivers (expect a lot of traffic in those areas) and on those lakes with open water (again, how many are open is very much in question). Any water will be cold and cold water means a very slow presentation with light tackle for walleyes.
We have seen northerns in shallow water this week and that may still be the case next weekend. Walleyes will be staging for the move to spawning beds as well (assuming they do now move in under ice). But the key will be to find open water and when you do, work slowly and patiently with small jigs or lures.
Turkey season continues but weather and low bird numbers has put a damper on that as well. Reports are sketchy and the woods in many areas are quiet where a year ago the sound of gobbling toms filled the early morning.
All in all the slow moving spring and lingering cold has, as with last year, made this spring somewhat forgettable for all outdoor enthusiasts. The best we can hope for is better days ahead.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.