Fishing Report April - May 2013
May 30 - June 2, 2013
The water has warmed a little and now reaches 53-54 degrees at mid-day, but the walleye bite has warmed up considerably. I am finding schools of nice walleyes now feeding on main lake reefs in 16-18 feet of water. The winds have been relentless, just like the rain, but the improving walleye bite makes it more than tolerable. The walleyes we are catching are perfect size eaters in the 15-18' range, with a few fish over 20" daily, but no real big ones this weekend. If you can tolerate the weather conditions for a few hours, you can definitely boat a limit of very nice walleyes, as well as a batch of fat 10-12 inch perch. Shiners have been the best bait, but we have started catching them on leeches as well. The fish were a little deeper, mostly in the 18-21 foot levels. I will post of few of our fish photos in the Catch Photos section of the website. As soon as we get any stretch of decent, warm weather, I expect the walleye bite to turn red hot.
May 24-27, 2013 Memorial Day Weekend
The walleyes have been scattered as the main lake water temps are just bumping 50 degrees and the winds and rain have been continuous. Fishing conditions have been difficult, but we are catching some bigger walleyes in the 19-22" range. Shoreline breaks in the 14-16 feet range seem best, but I am finding one fish here and another fish there. I did find one big school of huge walleyes while scouting a deep sand break and the picture on my depth sounder was a sight to behold. There were lots of huge arches in 24-26 feet of water off a steep break but the steady 25-30 mph winds made it almost impossible to hold the boat. I hooked a huge one on a shiner, played her for 18 minutes before the hook just came free, shiner and all. She was well over 30" as she swam away.
May 17-19, 2013
After the longest winter I have ever experienced, Woman Lake was finally ice free and fishable. The ice finally went out completely on the main basin on May 16th, the latest recorded ice out ever by 8 days. The water temperature on Woman Lake was 48 degrees on Sunday, May 19th with water a few degrees warmer in the smaller bays. It was still too cold to expect much of a walleye bite, however we did manage to catch a few. The big perch, on the other had, were quite willing to chase small minnows on a live bait rig, so we did manage quite a nice catch for shore lunch. I expect the walleye bite will start to pick up this week as the water warms, and the fishing should be pretty good by Memorial Day weekend.
May 11, 2013 - Walleye Opener
Pretty much a complete bust as Woman Lake was still covered in ice. Many of the smaller lakes opened up the week prior to the walleye opener, but steady 30 mph winds kept most everybody off the waters on Saturday.
April 2013 - DNR Walleye Trap (Egg Stripping Operation)
There is not much to report for spring fishing at this point, since on April 28th Woman Lake was still covered by 28" of ice. The walleyes started spawning (and completed spawning) before the ice ever came close to going out. The DNR set up their walleye trap to strip eggs for the state walleye rearing / stocking program on the Boy River inlet off of Bungey Bay and the first walleyes came in on April 26th. Every night a few more walleyes came into the trap nets, but it was slow going at first. At the end of the first week, they had collected only 58 quarts of eggs with the goal of eventually reaching a quota of 315 quarts. The pace picked up considerably the second week, as I watched them collect 21 quarts on the morning of May 5th. It is an impressive operation to observe as they sort the fish by gender, strip the eggs from the females, and then stir in the milt from the males using a turkey feather. Lots of measurements, data, tag numbers, and sometimes fin samples are collected and input into tablet computers right on the docks. The egg quarts are then trucked to a nearby DNR hatchery facility and after the eggs are hatched into millions of walleye fry, they are used to restock our fishing lakes and walleye rearing ponds. There were many, many big walleyes coming into the nets at Woman Lake. Of the fish I observed, the females ranged in size from 4 lbs up to over 11 lbs, while most were in the 5-7 lbs range. The males ranged mostly from 3 to 5 lbs. A few big northern pike were coming into the nets, as well, since they had not yet completed spawning. I took some photos of the whole operation and I have posted them in the Catch Photos section on this web site.