Fishing Report May 2011
May 27-31, 2011 Memorial Day Weekend
The walleye fishing was excellent the past few days, and the weather and wind gave us some very fishable days. We had no problem finding catchable walleyes in many locations on Woman Lake, Little Boy, and Wabedo. I heard similar reports from many of the local lakes in the Longville / Hackensack area. Water temperatures are still quite cool for this time of year (under 60 degrees) so the walleyes have been found mostly on shoreline related structure and reasonably shallow (14-19 feet). The strong walleye bite should continue for a few weeks as the water gradually warms. I have heard reports we may experience a cooler than normal summer, in which case the walleye bite may remain strong well into July. When the walleyes are biting, most all other species (perch, bass, crappie, sunfish, northern, muskie) are typically quite catchable as well. I had a chance to watch a big muskie swimming around off the end of a dock in the southwest corner of Woman Lake over the weekend. She looked to be in the 46-47" range with big shoulders and a very healthy girth. She was just cruisin' around in 4 feet of clear water and certainly not at all concerned with the racket we made on the dock in our excitement.
May 21-23, 2011
The weather has continued to be quite wet and cool, but the water temps are gradually improving. We went out for another shot at the big slab crappies in the backwaters with great anticipation. We had a decent sunny day, tolerable winds, and 55-59 degree water in a favorite crappie bay. What we didn't have is any luck. We caught lots of big bass and northerns, but few crappies. I am tempted to come back to one of these backwater bays next weekend for the bass opener and throw surface baits. There are some real hogs in here. Plan B for this weekend was to track down the walleyes on the Wabedo / Little Boy chain, and that we did. Lots of nice walleyes in the 16-18 inch range along with a couple 22 inchers. We found the fish hanging around on small fingers off a main lake sandbar in 14-16 feet of water. The bites were very subtle, so most of the time we were rigging with leeches. With the main lake water temps warming nicely, I would expect Memorial Day weekend to be excellent walleye fishing. I think the early backwater bay crappie bite was mostly a bust this year as the weather patterns didn't create the typical kind of warming conditions needed. Next weekend I will try hitting the edges of some main lake reed beds for crappies. Check out the CATCH PHOTOS section if you want to see the size of fish we are catching on the lakes in the Longville / Hackensak area.
May 14-16, 2011 Walleye Opener 2011
Cold, wet, and windy can sum up my memory of many fishing openers, and this one was no exception. Water temps were in the 46-47 degree range and the wind gusts were up to 25 mph. My close friend know as "TurkeyNeck" who wimped out, skipping the harsh conditions on Saturday, looked wiser and wiser as the day wore on. I am glad we were not fishing Leech Lake. We started off chasing slab crappies over on the Wabedo / Little Boy chain, but only caught one before we gave in to the cold. Sunday, I took "TurkeyNeck" out to track down the walleyes on Woman Lake and we caught a 24 incher and five in the 15-17 inch range. The walleyes were in their typical early season locations, but scattered across depths from 14-23 feet of water. They seemed to prefer minnows over leeches, but we caught them on both. Lots of small throw back northerns were caught, also. Not too bad considering the conditions. Monday we decided to fish for crappies in a favorite backwater bay and caught half a dozen keepers, but only a couple were "slab" size. We have seen fish in the 16"+ range in past years, so we are hoping the good bite is still to come. The crappies were quite tasty Monday evening.