Report from Mitch Mode of Mel’s Trading Post – Rhinelander
Good news ahead as weekend weather moves in the right direction, at least on Saturday. The past week, chilly and cloudy and damp, has done little to improve both fishing and attitudes. Inconsistent weather is always tough on fishing success and we’ve had that this week. The more stable weather forecast should give us a day or two of improved fishing this weekend.
Walleyes are coming off a very slow month of the open water season. This week we saw the first signs of what we would take as “normal” behavior for this time of the year as we had reports of walleyes in moderate depths, 10 to 15 feet or so, versus the much shallower behavior we’d seen only a week earlier. That 10 to 12 foot depth is where we would expect to find walleyes in early June and that’s where they have been on several local lakes.
Medium size minnows on jigs are still the best bet for walleyes; leeches and crawlers typically come in use later this month as warm weather drives temperatures up. We think it’s still too early for anything except minnows in the majority of cases.
Musky action has been slow. Blame the weather again; the fish are there, but they remain lethargic. Some fish are moving and most of them seem content to prowl the shallow waters near emerging weeds. Two reasons for this come to mind; first off is that weeds provide cover for baitfish and are always good areas to fish. The second reason is that we are still in panfish spawning cycles with bluegills in the shallows now. Muskies like an easy meal and with bluegills concentrated on spawning beds the big fish will find those areas.
With cooler waters a slow retrieve remains the best tactic for muskies.
Bass, catch-and-release only, have been good when the weather warms but slow down in cooler times. We have had some reports of good to very good bass fishing but as seems the caser this spring, a spot that might be good one day is slow the next.
Bluegills are in the shallows on many lakes and this is most likely the best time for them. Again, water temps have thrown things off but with a few warms days coming on we thing bluefill fishing should be good in the next days.