May is winding down; less than a week remains of the month that is a gateway to summer. It has been a wet month (rainfall totals already exceed the month average) and spring has been slow moving. It is only in the last week that we’ve seen leaf out and an abundance of flowering trees, well past what we’d expect.
All outdoor enthusiasts have dealt with cool, wet weather and it’s put a damper on things for most people. This weekend, Memorial Day weekend, looks finally to be turning in the right direction. Temperatures will be mild, rainfall light if at all and overnight lows will be near average. That is all a nice change.
For anglers the focus for many will be on muskies; that season opens this weekend. With water temperatures cooler than normal we’d look for them to be near shallower water, seeking out that extra warmth they can find there. Mid-size lures, slow retrieves and lighter tackle often works well in the early season.
Walleyes are off the shallows and on some lakes are taking leeches ahead of minnows now. Fishing for them has been good but not great. Same is true for panfish, most of which have been thrown off normal patterns by some cool nights.
Bass fishing seems steady with shallow water holding the most fish. Largemouth are legal to catch and keep but smallmouth remain catch and release for a few more weeks.
On a warm spring Memorial Day is usually the first time people are likely to water ski or swim. Both those activities are running behind after a cool spring. Still the weekend looks good for being out of doors. Concerns still linger about a bumper crop of mosquitoes given all the standing water but while we’ve heard of a few areas that are heavy with them overall we’re still okay on that front.
Water levels do remain higher than we’ve seen in some time and caution is still advised, especially on rivers in the area that are still running high and fast
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.