Opening weekend has come and gone and as reports trickle in it seems safe to say it was a very slow start to the season. Hot weather Friday was dashed overnight by a cold front that made fishing very difficult. Some isolated waters were good, more often some of the flowages in the area. But overall walleye fishing was slow on Saturday and only marginally better as the days went on.
That can happen. Say what you may of all the factors that impact successful fishing, weather is as big as anything and northerly winds over a cold front provide a combination that can shut down any fish. Which brings us to this weekend where the early forecast shows more of the same. So it may remain slow until early next week when the weather and winds shift more in the anglers’ favor.
Be that as it may early season walleye tactics remain the same as they have for ages; small jigs, small to medium minnows and a very slow presentation. Mid-size crank baits, again, moved slowly, can be very good as well. Walleye were scattered this weekend but usually like to find emerging weeds this time of the year. We expect an improvement overall as the weather warms.
Crappies showed some signs of life even as walleyes did not. They are also susceptible to weather but the cold did not seem to put them off as much as it did walleyes. What it did do is move them into deeper water. They’ll stay there for the most part but they want to move to shallows and warming water will allow that. Even a sunny afternoon will bring water temperatures up enough to draw crappies in. The successful anglers are always flexible to changing conditions and will move as need be to find fish.
The cool weather of the past week slowed the springtime somewhat. The week ahead should see it all break loose with trilliums and flowering trees coming on fast. So it should be a good week ahead. County ATV trails opened Friday afternoon and that’s a good indication of dry conditions that make off-road riding, ATVs or mountain bikes, possible.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.