With the weather finally getting warmer, we have both the bass and the bluegills on the spawning beds and activity on the lakes is picking up.

The water temperature is mostly in the 60s locally, so people can go swimming though it’s still a little chilly. A few brave souls were waterskiing and tubing over the weekend, and we’ll be seeing a big increase in that as we get toward the end of the month. Summer is on the way.

There is some pollen floating on the lakes. You can notice it when the water is calm. There are lots of hatches going on, so you’ll see surface activity as the fish chase those insects and feed on the surface.

Walleye fishing is OK, with a lot of fish being caught but not much in the way of large fish. Good numbers of males in the holes on the Chain are being caught on a daily basis. Jigs and minnows remain the favorite bait, but anglers are reporting some action now on both crawlers and leeches. On those colder big lakes, we’re looking at early summer patterns. The fish are in the weeds on those bigger lakes if you can find weeds. It has been a slow year for weed development, but they’re coming up now. Look for the 8- to 12-foot weeds on those larger lakes to produce daily. Larger minnows are working on these lakes. 

Bass fishing is nothing short of spectacular right now, as the smallies are on the shorelines spawning and the largemouths are doing the same in bullrushes and softer-bottom areas. Look for the smallies on rocky shorelines and in sand if rock is not available. These fish will hit just about anything at this time, but for live bait we would choose jumbo leeches. Remember that the smallies are not legal to keep until June 15, so handle them carefully and get them back into the water quickly. Largemouths are hitting plastics and surface baits in those bullrush areas in good numbers. They too are spawning, so let them go if you can to complete this process for future fishing.

Northern action is good, with these fish concentrating mostly in the weeds and feeding on minnows and panfish daily. Artificial baits such as Mepps spinners and Johnson Silver Minnows work very well in these weeds. For live bait, use sucker minnows or creek chubs under slip bobbers right in the weeds.

Muskie action is getting better slowly, as the females on many lakes are now recovering from the rigors of their spawn and starting to feed more each day. It is still a good idea to use smaller baits for them such as Rizzo Wizes, Mepps No. 5, small Suicks and twitch baits. You can find these fish feeding in the weeds on a daily basis, and some fish in deeper water resting. Anglers have started to use Bulldawgs and Medussas in that deeper water for them.

Panfish action has been great, with the crappies spawning on many lakes and the bluegills now in on the shorelines for their spawn. It will be a great time for both of these fish. Try worms for the ’gills and minnows or small plastics for the crappies.

This is a wonderful time to be on the water.

Good luck and good fishin’.