Fishing Report Provided by Mitch Mode of Mel’s Trading Post in Rhinelander.
This weekend brings the opening of largemouth and smallmouth seasons for catch-and-keep. Until now it has been catch-and-release only in the north. Bass are not prime table fare but can have become more popular in this area over the past years.
Bass on their spawning beds present easy fishing and not much in terms of challenge. From what we’re hearing that may well be the case this week. The late warm-up had delayed bass spawning (the reason for the late season in the first place) and many fish are just moving in. A heavy harvest on any game fish can deplete that resource quickly so we do urge some restraint. They will pretty much take any lure that is tossed and retrieved in the vicinity of their beds.
Walleye fishing improved this week and most importantly we have heard of very good catches by anglers using crawlers versus minnows. Walleyes make the switch to crawlers in warmer weather and crawlers (and leeches) will be the ticket until fall weather comes and walleyes go back to minnows. Most walleyes have been off the first break between shallows and deeper water. Look for the emerging weeds and fish along the edges with jig/crawler combos.
Musky action remains slow. The first tournament of the season (in this area) takes place this weekend on Boom Lake and that should give us an indication of how the big fish are acting. There will be some good anglers working some good water. We’re expecting fish to be just off the shallows in newly emerging weeds as that has been the pattern so far. Mid-size lures still seem most productive and we should see top water lures start to produce as well.
Buegills are active on some lakes and just coming in on others. Smaller waters are the best bet for now as they warm up faster but we think, if the warmer weather holds, that all bluegill water should be very good this week. Bluegill anglers use a mix of lures, from small jigs to worms to fly and ant imitations fished on fly rods. The truth seems to be that when the bluegills are on most anything will work.
And while it does not fit the “Outdoor” part of this report we would be remiss not to mention the upcoming “The Art of Hunting & Fishing” art exhibit at the ArtStart facility downtown. The collection of artwork on display is exceptional. The exhibit opens this Wednesday, the 19th and runs all summer.