Outdoor Report for the week ahead
Opening weekend, a week ago now, is best described in two words: Cold and windy. The latter dominated, a stiff northerly breeze that made positioning the boat problematic and numbed fingers and faces. No surprise then, that angler numbers were down and numbers of fish caught (fish hate a cold front) were low. As such there is not a lot to take away from the opener in terms of fish patterns.
As is typical in early season, shallow waters over dark bottom lakes were productive. Bass seemed fairly active and we had reports of good fishing for them in water as shallow as two feet deep. The shallow waters warm up faster and bass especially are drawn to them. And is also typical this early individual lake temperatures were all over the board making any generalizations difficult.
This week started to even out the temperature fluctuations and the upcoming weekend looks far more stable in terms of weather. That, for anglers, is good news. Forecasts show warmer temps and southerly breezes on Sunday and into the week, both good news for anglers.
Walleye fishing was slow. Some good fish were taken but it was not a banner opener. That should change this week as warming temperatures should have fish moving back into shallower waters. While minnows on jigs remains the most popular choice we did see some fish taking small lures (Rapalas are always good) and a few reports, improbably enough, of walleyes hitting on leeches.
Crappies continued their up-and-down pattern as colder weather pushed them in to deeper water. That should also change this week and we expect, finally, some solid crappie fishing as they move into shallower water as well as the water just off the shallows.
Bass fishing was surprisingly strong with fish in the shallow bays over dark water. That trend should continue.
High water levels remain the norm across the region and faster, more powerful water flow on rivers and streams reminds one to be cautious. Water levels on flowages remain an issue as they are high and thus conditions are vastly different than what has been the norm.
Overall conditions for all outdoor recreation are improving. Fire danger remains high and ticks are out in force; a good tick repellent is a necessity these days. And for dog owners, porcupines are out in good numbers and more than one dog has been on the sharp end of their quills.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.