Finally the North Woods seems to be getting into a period of sustained warm temperatures, especially at night. It has been a roller-coaster spring for those water temperatures climb into the mid-50s on the Chain of Lakes. In general, the fishing season has been pretty good, with a nice perch and walleye spawn. A lot of anglers have been out fishing and it is shaping up to be a very busy season.

Walleye fishing has been pretty good, even if they are a little spread out on the Chain. They have been everywhere from the holes on each lake to the shallow weeds. As always, the best baits have been the good old jig and minnow combination. Some anglers also have reported action on leeches and crawlers. We’ll get some good fishing in the weeds in the coming weeks. On the bigger lakes, things are just a little behind the Chain, so anglers might see some of the females still recovering in deeper water. But the emergent weeds will also hold some fish.

Northerns are moving with their usual aggression, especially in the weeds. They will hit just about anything as they feed actively. For artificial baits, try some No. 3 Mepps, Johnson Silver Minnows or Daredevils. Larger minnows like sucker minnows are the best bet for live bait.

Bass are getting more active and are just beginning to spawn. It’s catch and release only for smallmouth bass at this time. The best live bait for these shallow, spawning fish is leeches. In general, you will find the smallies in hard-bottom areas and the largemouths in softer-bottom areas.

Panfish action has been good, especially for the crappies moving into the shallows to feed pre-spawn. The best live bait is minnows and the best artificial baits are the Cubbies. Try using very light tackle for these fish to make it even more fun. Perch are now distributed throughout the lakes, especially in the weeds. Bluegills have yet to move into the shallows, but will soon with this warmer weather this week. Worms work best for these fish. The weather is great this week. Get out and enjoy some of the best fishing of the year!

Good luck and good fishin’.