Crappies are officially in full spawning mode. On Monday, Bob Stanley and John Fergeson were with me. We caught many nice fish up to 13″ in anywhere from five to seven feet of water. Water temps hovered from 56 to 57 degrees on a cloudy and cool day. It was a mixed bag of males and females with fish from several different year classes represented. Good to see! We moved constantly throughout the day to find feeding fish however, catching no more than three in a spot before needing to make a small move. Bob and John did an excellent job, and we were able to put one heck of a day together.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had the pleasure and honor to fish with my old friend Brent Jacobson and his grandfather Walt Bubolz. Walt is a WWII veteran who landed on Normandy Beach 10 days after D-Day. He was a member of General Patton’s elite infantry and received two Purple Hearts as well as the Bronze Star during his service. I ice fished with Walt thirty years ago, and it was quite a treat to have him in my boat all of these years later. We fished crappies on day one of our trip and clobbered them! The fish had moved in to spawn and we were catching them in anywhere from two to five feet of water. On several occasions, we could actually watch them follow our jigs and bite. There wasn’t a lot of wind, and it took some coaxing to trigger strikes. The guys did an awesome job and landed some jumbos up to 13″. Everything was caught on plastics below a slip bobber. We also landed a 32″ pike that made the mistake of grabbing one of our jigs as she was looking to fill her tummy after the spawn. It was another cloudy and cool day with east winds. Water temperatures struggled to get to 60 degrees by the end of the day.
The boys had walleyes on the brain for Wednesday, and we were met with a tough bite. Several fish were lost on short hits and drops throughout the day. The fish we caught were on jigs and minnows in 15′ to 18′ of water. Weather conditions changed throughout the day and ranged from overcast, windy, and cool to sunny, calm, and downright warm. Welcome to Wisconsin in the spring! We were also met with the Popple Fuzz phenomenon that plagues fisherman for a couple of days every spring. There’s nothing like picking cotton balls off of your line all day! Does anyone out there have a solution for this? I would love to know what it is!!! Despite the tough bite, we had another awesome time. Walt landed the largest smallmouth of his life in the afternoon and also got to tangle with a massive Pike that cut the line after we all got an up close view. She was a beauty in the low 40″ range, and Walt put up a valiant effort. Smallies appeared to be in the same mood as the walleyes and were less than cooperative as well. We saw several nests that looked like they had been tended to, and fish were cruising in the shallows. They were very finicky today however with a smoke colored tube being the bait of choice. In my experience, this is all very typical behavior of bass that are ready to spawn. With the warm sun we had this afternoon, water temps reached 60 degrees. Expect to see bass bedding up on all of our area lakes throughout the next week.
I will be fishing smallmouth for the next few days and will post a report at the end of the weekend. Good luck out there everyone!