Fishing Report May 2019
May 27, 2019 - Memorial Day Weekend
The weather warmed up for the holiday weekend, and as I expected, so did the walleye fishing on Woman Lake. The bigger females have become active on traditional springtime structures and the fishing was very good over the weekend. The wind has still been challenging some days, but when the water is fishable, we are finding nice schools of eager walleyes, with numerous fish in the 20-24 inch range along with the nice 14-18 inch eaters. Surface water temps have reached the 53-54 degree range on the main lake and we are finding active schools primarily on shore related sand structures in 17-21 feet of water. We have been fishing live bait rigs with shiner minnows, but we also hooked a number of larger walleyes on leeches over the last couple days. The northern pike are also quite active, especially when offering them a shiner. The bass are all very shallow now and you can sight fish them when the water is calm enough, although they are generally quite skittish. I will post a few photos in the "Catch Photos" section of this website. Get out on the water, the bite is on.
May 17, 2019
The weather has been mostly cold and windy, and the walleye fishing has been challenging. We are catching walleyes every day, but the walleyes are all small males and we are not catching large quantities. You can generally get your limit each day, but you may work all day for them. In past years, on a good weather day, we easily are catching limits of decent size walleyes this time of year. As soon as the water warms up and the weather turns more consistent, we will see the walleye bite get hot on Woman Lake. On a positive note, the shallow water crappie bite has begun, so we have options other than walleyes. And next Saturday is the bass opener, and the bass are already quite active in the shallows. I will be down in Illinois 5-6 days next week helping my Mom move back from Florida and get settled into her summer home. There will not be any updates to my fishing reports until Memorial Day weekend.
May 11, 2019 - Minnesota Walleye Opener
The Woman Lake walleye bite on Opening Day was better than we expected, considering the water temperatures and recent weather patterns. Two of us boated 9 walleyes today, as well as a number of perch, so we will get to have our traditional fish fry tonight. None of our walleyes were big ones today, but they were big enough to put in the frying pan. It was partly sunny and 60+ degrees with stong south winds (gusts 25-30 mph) which made fishing a challenge, but the walleyes were willing to chase emerald shiners. We found most of our walleyes on a large sand flat that ranged from 18-25 feet deep in a calmer section of Woman Lake. Main lake water temps are still 47-48 degrees with some of the bays a degree or two warmer. More warm weather and sunshine is forecast, so I expect fishing will continue to improve for the next 3-5 days. As usual, you can find photos of today's catch in the "Catch Photos" of this website.
May 8, 2019
The weather up here on Woman Lake has sucked all week with cold, wind, rain, and more cold. At the moment it is 36 degrees, raining, and we are currently under a “winter weather advisory”. Snow is coming after midnight. So far, we have not found any water temps over 50 degrees, even in the shallow crappie bays and harbors. Needless to say, the crappie bite has been poor to date.
The main lake water temps on both Woman Lake and Little Boy Lake are in the 43-44 degree range – darn cold for this time of year. We do have some warmer weather coming for the opening weekend, but not likely warm enough to make too much immediate difference in water temps. I do not have any great expectations for finding many walleyes here over the opening weekend, although I have been wrong before. The weather forecast for Monday looks great. I have learned that you never know for sure. We may also try to find some smaller bodies of water with warmer temps.
I do think we will at least have a decent chance find some crappies over the next week, but the better walleye fishing is probably at least a week away. Never-the-less, we will be fishing everyday that the weather allows. I do need to go down to Illinois for a few days sometime in the May 20-25 window, to help my Mom move back up north for the summer, but otherwise I will likely be on the water most days.
April 30, 2019
The ice went off the main basin of Woman Lake on Friday, April 26, but the last ice down in Hunters Bay finally disappeared Sunday night. The DNR ran their Woman Lake walleye egg stripping operation on the Boy River where it runs between Squaw Lake and Bungey Bay from Friday 4/19 to Friday 4/26 with great success. They quickly reached their 2019 quota of walleye eggs with literally hundreds upon hundreds of big female walleyes coming in to spawn, along with the large males. The day I visited the traps they had captured over 700 walleyes in the nets the night before, and harvested almost 100 quarts of fertilized walleye eggs, that day alone. Each quart contains approximately 130,000 eggs. They immediately release all the adult walleyes back into the lake daily, and the aerated eggs are then trucked off to the DNR hatchery where they will hatch into fry in about 3 weeks, for restocking many Minnesota lakes, including Woman Lake. If you get the chance, I would recommend you stop by to witness this operation some year, as it is quite impressive to see the size and quantity of walleyes thriving in the Woman Lake Chain.
I have posted some photos of this operation in the "Catch Photos" section of this website, as I do most every year. Take a look, and then get your rods and boats ready, because fishing season is upon us. The walleye opener is Saturday, May 11, 2019, and I expect a pretty good walleye bite. Between now and then, the annual shallow water crappie bite should kick into gear, and many of the area lakes around here (Woman Lake Chain, Little Boy Lake, Wabedo, Mule Lake, Blackwater Lake, Webb, Inguadona, and many others) harbor some monster crappies. Once the water temperature in a shallow black bottom bay hits 50+ degrees, and we get some sunshine, the magic food chain starts to happen. The algae blooms in the warmer water, the zooplankton arrives to eat the algae, the minnows show up to eat the zoo plankton, and crappies (and many other gamefish) come in to dine on the minnows. It is a magical time to be on the water fishing.
April 25, 2019
Welcome back after a long and tough winter !!! The open water fishing season is just beginning. As I write this note, the lake ice is quickly receding on Bungey Bay of Woman Lake in front of my cabin, and by evening I will be staring at open water. I expect the entire lake may be ice free by the end of April, and I can get my docks in the water. Most smaller lakes are already ice free and the crappie fishing has begun. Keep your eye on this Fishing Blog and I will keep you posted as to how the fishing season progresses on Woman Lake and the surrounding waters. The MN Walleye Opener is only 16 days away !!!