What unusual weather! We’ve had cold fronts, warm fronts and not much in between. All of this weather has had quite an effect on the fishing. This week is no different, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. 

The water temperatures have gone up and down like a roller coaster. With the Fourth of July coming, we sure would appreciate some consistent, nice weather. Water temps are in the 70s now and dropping, but they will go up again quickly as it warms. Weed growth is now good and providing cover for the fish.

Walleye fishing has been adversely affected by the mayfly hatch, which is actually a little late this year. The fish feed heavily on these wigglers. The best way to deal with this hatch is to imitate the wigglers with smaller leeches. Look for areas with the shells of the wigglers on the surface for an indication of the location of the walleyes. The best action is in the early morning or the evening. This is especially true for the Chain of Lakes, with its heavy boat traffic. The larger lakes will have the same hatch, but it may be a little late. Look for mud-bottom areas for these wigglers to emerge.

Northerns are still in the weeds feeding on panfish and minnows. These fish are daytime feeders and are very aggressive. Use the largest minnows you can get, and the noisiest, flashy artificial baits for them.

Bass fishing has stabilized a little and the fish are for the most part done with the spawn and have assumed their summer habitat. This means heavy weed cover for the largemouths, or downed trees or piers. Surface baits work very well for these fish in that cover, but basically they’ll hit anything that moves as long as it looks a little natural. The smallies go the opposite way and go deeper, over harder bottom than the largemouths. Rock bars or boulder areas are good, and they’ll be surprisingly deep as the summer goes on. Leeches are the best live bait for them, and red or brown crankbaits bumped off the rocks are deadly.

Muskie action remains slow because of the cold weather. The fish will be active on both spinner and surface baits pretty quickly now and we’ll start to see the bigger fish as they recover from the spawn.

Panfish action is OK, but not as good as it was several weeks ago. We’re catching a lot of crappies with spawn still in them, which means they didn’t spawn because of the cold fronts. We’re getting some in the weeds as usual. Bluegills are still in the shallows for now, but it has to warm up some for them to spawn. Perch are after the mayfly hatch just like the walleyes, which means they have moved somewhat deeper over those soft-bottom areas.

As it warms this week it will be good fishing. Get out there before or after the summer boat traffic.

Good luck and good fishin’.