What an interesting mix of activity we will have for the next several weeks, as the bass, crappies and bluegills are all in spawning on the shorelines. To many, this is the most fun time of the year. 

We had our usual shot of cold weather last week, but have rebounded into mostly the 70s, and it has inexorably moved toward summer and its warmer weather.

Lake levels are still high — very high in most cases. The water temperatures are basically all now in the 60s, with a few of the smaller dark-water lakes in the low 70s on sunny days. We might even see a swimmer or two in the near future. There are a lot of bugs out there, so take some repellent along with you, right along with that sunscreen.

Walleye fishing is settled down somewhat, but pretty predictable on the Chain. Anglers are getting nice numbers of fish, but in most cases not a lot of size right now. Jigs and minnows remain the best overall bait for these walleyes. We still get some action in the evenings, shallower as they move toward the weeds to feed. Expect mostly the smaller males, but an occasional large fish is taken. On the larger deeper lakes, the same basic pattern is in effect. You can find some fish in the weeds on a daily basis if you can find some weeds up high enough to provide cover. You can try some crawlers or leeches on these lakes.

Bass action will be absolutely spectacular for the next several weeks, as they are moving or have moved in to spawn along shorelines lately. These fish will provide the best action of the year for them, but remember to release them to let them spawn for the future. Smallies can’t be kept until June 15. For the smallies, leeches work the best. For largemouths, frog imitation surface baits are great.

Northern action is good, especially in the emerging weeds on all lakes. They are hitting any bait that moves, so Mepps spinners and Daredevils are working well everywhere. For live bait, chubs or sucker minnows work very well.

Muskie action has been pretty slow and limited to the smaller males, as the females are recovering from that spawn. On some of the bigger colder lakes, there is still some spawning going on. If you see them on the shorelines, leave them be to complete their spawn. Some of the smaller males are providing activity in the weeds now, but the females take several weeks to recover. Smaller baits like small Suicks or No. 5 Mepps work well at this time of year.

Panfish action is good right now, as the crappies are spawning on many lakes, and the bluegills are just starting up to the shorelines for their spawn. For the crappies, look for downed trees, shallow brush piles and weeds to attract these fish. Small minnows or plastics such as Mini Mites are working well. For the bluegills, worms will work best but it is a great time to try poppers in the evenings when they are this shallow. The ’gills will be on the shorelines for several weeks.

Take advantage of the panfish action the next several weeks, as it is the best of the year!

Good luck and good fishin’.