We are finally turning the corner. It took the better half of April, but things are changing. After a long, cold and snowy winter, it is nice to see all the signs that resemble the spring season.
Soon we will start to see the awesome beauty of budding flowers and green grass. In the here and now, we are seeing some annual fish spawning activity. We have been fishing out of town open-water tributaries of Lake Michigan and finding some impressive pre-spawn and post spawn walleyes. Let's all cross our fingers that we have a good return on Lake Superior spawning walleyes for our neck of the woods. Lakes in the area have rotting ice and areas of open water. We are not quite yet to total "ice out" stages on most lakes, but this coming week will certainly change that. The southern area waters of course are ahead of the curve.
As mentioned in previous reports, now is a great time for anglers to get boats ready and organize. Maybe you still need to get a new fishing license? Or update boat registration? I anticipate we will be wetting lines on select lakes in the next 7-10 days. I sure hope so, because the great Wisconsin Fishing Opener is right around the corner (May 4).
Hopefully everyone has there game plans set in place and ready to rock 'n roll.
Lake Superior has started to see some open water trolling this last week. Anglers are reporting some nice catches of steelhead, cohos and a few accidental lakers. Best tactic is to troll near shore in close proximity to dumping tributaries. Baits of choice are stick baits. No need to have deep diving cranks as lots of fish can be caught at the surface, especially this time of year. Shorelanders are also getting in on the action as fish tend to roam near shore this time of year. Long casting weighted bobbers with live bait can turn some nice fish.
The stream fishing this last week has been challenging with the high fast and dirty waters, but some anglers are reporting success. Time on the water will yield the best chance at tangling with a nice Steelhead, Brown Trout or Salmon. Drifting spawn sacks is still the popular choice for hooking up with spring migrating fish. Remember to spread out, and concentrate on slack waters, deeper holes or backside of any blockages.
St. Louis River is mostly open water now, except for a few back bay areas that are still ice covered. We have not seen any fishing boats on the water as of yet, but that will likely change this next week. We are hoping to get out and do some early season "rough fishing" sometime in the very near future. Hoping the docks get installed sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Inland lakes to the south are opening up nicely and should provide some early season pan-fishing in the near future. We will be doing some trash cleaning operations and scouting this next week, so make sure to check our social media pages for fresh updates on area lakes. Who's ready to cast for some open water fish?
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.