We had an almost perfect opening day, except for a little wind. It is a delight to see the sun after a mostly cloudy and uncomfortable spring. Surprisingly, almost all lakes were open for the weekend. 

And as usual, the take was mixed. No weeds are up yet, but with more warm weather we expect they will appear soon. Water temperatures were in the 40s throughout the area, except for a few of the deeper lakes. All in all, it was a great opening weekend.

Walleye fishing was good, with a real mix of fish caught over the weekend. The fish are spawning or nearly done on the Eagle River Chain, and fish were caught everywhere from the shorelines to the holes. With the dams open, current was a factor and many fish were taken from areas with current. It’s not too late to check out shoreline areas in the evenings on the Chain. Soon the weeds will be holding post-spawn fish when those new weeds get a little higher. Also look for brush piles now. On the bigger lakes, the walleye spawn has started and there will be shoreline action especially in the evenings. Jigs and minnows as always are the best baits. Rapalas have been working also, and this year swim baits have been very productive as we have learned better how to use them. River fishing for walleye has been good as these fish have dropped down the river back toward the Rainbow Flowage. This is where the swim baits and Rapalas have really shined.

Northerns were few and far between over the weekend, but not too many were in the shallows. Northerns spawn pretty early and will be in the weeds soon.

Perch fishing has been pretty good, but somewhat spotty in the area. They were the first spawners, and some still are in that process. You will find them in cover, so look for downed trees, piers and brush piles along the shore. Crappie minnows and small fatheads are working well for these fish, but there also has been action on worms or crawlers.

Crappies are still deep, but the sunny days and warmer water will attract them into the shallows. Look for the warmest water in the lakes for a chance at these fish, and the best is still to come with warming water. They will go very shallow as the weeds develop.

Bluegills also are deeper. Give them a week or more to adapt to warming water and they will be in shallower water.

We sure have a lot to look forward to this week.

Good luck and good fishin’.