Once again we have been bedeviled by a pretty severe cold front, with cold days, wind and very cold nights. This has dropped the water temperatures significantly. 

When it was so warm back in early April and even March, we all felt that we would pay for that warmth later in the spring. We sure have. This cold is interfering with the prespawn feeding habits of crappies, both types of bass and even of the bluegills.

Walleye fishing has brought a mixed bag in the last week or so. The drop in the water temps has not helped at all. On the Chain of Lakes, we are finding fish in or near the holes on many of the lakes, which is a little odd for this time of year. We expect them to be shallower and feeding in the weeds as the water warms up and as the weeds grow. As always, the best baits are jigs and minnows. We also see many anglers fishing with slip-bobbers in those weeds. On the larger lakes, the same pattern has emerged with the fish deeper than expected. In addition to the weeds, look for walleyes in the rocks and other structure now.

Northerns, being the most aggressive game fish, have been active in the emerging weeds and feeding on panfish and minnows. Rapalas, Daredevils and Mepps spinners all will work well for these fish. 

Bass anglers can do well on prespawn smallies as they cruise the shorelines and mid-depth areas feeding actively. It has always seemed to me that they are scouting out the spawning areas for a suitable area to place their bed. Largemouths have been in and out of shallower water also, and have provided some good action on minnow imitation baits.

Panfish activity has gotten off to a slow start with these cold fronts. When it warms up and we get some sun, the crappies will start to move into shallow cover to spawn. Some crappies have moved into deeper weeds on a prespawn feeding binge, but the cold fronts cause them to move back out into holding areas in mid-depths. Bluegills will enter the spawning phase in early June. Perch are hitting in the weeds. Some are deeper with the walleyes. Minnows work well for them, but they’ll hit worms and leeches also.

Get out there, it should warm up this week and that should help the fishing.

Good luck and good fishin’.