What another outstanding week of catching fish. This has been one of the better starts to a fishing season. As I have mentioned before, I think it has a lot to do with the late spring we had. This has pushed back timetables on fish routines and tendencies. Currently we are still catching a lot of fish targeting shallower waters. We are finally seeing a good amount of fresh vegetation coming up on most waters. Water temperatures are now exceeding mid-60s and low 70s. Fishing should stay consistent for some time. However, it may be a good idea to start digging into early summer patterns. Crank baits over expansive flats will be heating up in the coming weeks, along with a fun leech bite. So much to still look forward to as arrive at the summer solstice later this week.
Lake Superior continues to put up some great quality fish as well as some good numbers. Fishing the mud lines and into the chocolate milk colored water is taking some great lake trout. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota sides are faring well. Best bite has been early morning, as the sun is rising. Some Captains believe that trolling toward the rising sun is the way to go. Spoons, flasher-fly combos and stick baits are all taking fish. Each week anglers will be moving a little further off-shore and deeper, utilizing downriggers.
St. Louis River anglers continue to find success trolling the shallow flats in search of pods of walleyes. Shallow running cranks long lined or behind boards is turning some fish. Bite windows are starting to be important as things can slow down in the afternoons. Early morning and later afternoons/evenings have been best. Fan casting shorelines with fresh vegetation is taking a good mix of pike and walleyes. Crappies are still being caught in back bays and river edges with live minnows. Last week we saw a surge in catfish activity as well.
Inland lakes are producing productive days on the water as well. It can be head-scratching when heading out wondering what to target. Walleyes are still coming boat-side with live bait under slip bobbers or trolling smaller spinner harnesses. Bass and pike continue to roam the shallows on weed line transitions. We are now noticing Muskie anglers sharing the water as well. Most can be seen chucking giant baits at shorelines. Most anglers are finding great panfish bites on obvious spawning grounds. This bite will continue to pick up. Remember the importance of these fish when deciding to keep a few for the dinner table.
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.