We’re back with our first open water fishing report of 2015! We usually spend this time of year preparing for the upcoming fishing season while taking care of necessary chores around the house before the chaos begins. Warm temps over the past two weeks have opened up all of our lakes, including Chequamegon Bay and the St. Louis River. It’s been more than 2 years since we’ve seen open water in April, and a five straight days of 60 – 70 degree weather with sun to go with it was too much for me to bear. Chores can wait! A short phone conversation with my partner Terry Peterson was all it took. “When are we going fishing?”, was the only thing he wanted to know. With my father Jim just back from snow bird duty, the answer was simple. “Friday”, was the correct response to Terry’s question. It was also the only one he’d accept.
Man it felt good to be back on the water! We had an absolutely stellar day for it with temperatures in the mid 70’s, sunny skies, and light winds. Crappies were our target, and it didn’t take long to find them staging in a shallow spawning bay. Terry caught the first fish (big surprise!) in 9 ft. of water. It was a fat 13.5″ fish and a great way to start the season. We continued to catch 10″ – 13″ fish scattered from 9′ – 5′ of water using slip bobbers and plastics. When the wind would lay flat, we were able to locate some feeding fish on the surface. It didn’t take long after our casts landed to get a reaction. Our first musky sighting of the year took place as well when Terry had one take a swipe at his bobber as he was reeling it in. Sorry Mr. Musky. You’re gonna have to wait. We didn’t have an agenda on this trip, and all of our crappies were released. They may not be so lucky next time however… After everyone had the opportunity to stretch the line a few times, we pulled out and headed down the road to explore another lake. Although we didn’t find active crappies, the move proved to be well worth it. We used the trolling motor to cruise through a shallow marshy area, and it was absolutely alive. Bass, muskies, bluegills, pike, minnows, and turtles were all visible soaking up the sun and recovering from the grips of winter. We just cruised around watching and pointing at every cool thing we saw. The first warm days of spring always breath life into our lakes, and I never get tired of watching them wake up. I absolutely love this time of year!
Just a few reminders for everyone… The 2015 Wisconsin inland game fish season in our area opens on Saturday, May 2nd. Don’t forget to renew your license that expired on March 31st. Remember to purchase an inland and/or great lakes trout stamp along with your license if you intend to fish for those species. Finally, don’t forget to take care of any routine maintenance that’s needed on your boat before you head out. A little preventative TLC can go a long way in keeping an enjoyable day on the water from turning into a day you’d rather forget. Damon Schroeder and the gang at Hayward Power Sports will take good care of you. They always do!!!