Dave Brown and I spent the last four days fishing with Bobby, Steve, Chuck, and Chase from Bentonville, Arkansas. What a great group of guys! They sure dialed up some interesting conditions and weather for their trip. They arrived with warming water temperatures and smallies on the verge of spawning. On the day they left, the morning air temperature was 38 degrees with falling water temps and lots of confused smallmouth bass. Gotta love Wisconsin in the spring! This is spring, right??? Regardless, we had some great days on the water. We caught bass in pre-spawn mode as well as fish that were beginning to nest. Water temps warmed up to as high as 63 degrees on Saturday and fell to 59 degrees on Sunday morning. Bass in pre spawn mode are still climbing on jerk baits. Make sure to experiment with size and color as their taste can change from day to day or even hour to hour. One of the neat things about fishing jerk baits is that you tend to stumble into a few bonus fish. Bobby and Steve connected on an unexpected walleye double and donated the fillets to our shore lunch on Saturday. Many fish in the 18″ to 21″ range were caught with Bobby landing a 22″ whopper to take bragging rights back to the Razorback state. All in all, despite ever changing conditions with no set pattern yet in place, it was a very productive few days.
Regardless of what side of the fence you are on concerning fishing spawning bass, please respect this incredible resource that we have in northern Wisconsin. Many of the fish being caught at this time of year are very old and very valuable assets to our fishery. Handle them with extreme care using rubber nets and keeping them in the water if possible to remove hooks. If you are taking pictures, have the camera ready for a quick shot, and get them back in the lake so they will be around for future generations to enjoy.
We’re chasing a mixed bag this week, and I’ll keep you posted on our progress. We should be entering into some incredible fishing for all species over the next few weeks. Get out there and enjoy it!