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Fishing Report April 2010

April 27, 2010

The shallow water crappie bite is in full swing right now.  Shallow bays are reporting surface temps in the mid to upper 50s and the bays are loaded with baitfish.  Even the bigger, colder water lakes are now starting to heat up in the shallows like Leech, Woman, and Ten Mile.  My party did well over the weekend with slabs averaging just over 12 inches, and I witnessed a few parties doing even better.  The return to more normal temperatures, including typical wind and rain, has not seemed to effect the bite.  Most of our succes was found using traditional tactics of fishing a fathead on a bare hook / bobber rig set 6-7 feet deep over 13-15 feet of water.  Some of the fish were found right up against the cattails in shallower water, as well.  We caught a released lots of very nice bass that were is the shallows, sharing the feast with the crappies.  Wow, not much tastes better than freshly caught crappies deep fried in your secret batter mix.  I used to mix up my own concoctions for batter, but lately I find it easier to just use Gary Roach's Walleye Batter Mix which is outstanding.  It's often hard to find in retail stores, but it is worth the effort.

April 20, 2010

Leaves are beginning to pop out on birch trees, ducks are building nexts, walleyes are finishing their spawning, and main lake water temperatures are sneeking up on 50 degrees.  It's hard to believe it is only mid-April as you quietly slide your boat into that secret crappie hole.  Yes, the shallow water crappie bite has officially begun.  The warm water black water bays are teeming with minnows and the big crappies have followed right behind.  I wouldn't quite call the crappie bite  "hot" just yet, but it is pretty darn good.  It will only get better over the coming week if this warm weather pattern continues to hold.  The Woman Lake chain and the Wabedo / Little Boy chain are both putting out some nice fish, as well as many of the lakes connected to the Boy River system.  Two of us caught 16 slabs on Saturday in a small bay where the surface temperature reached 56 degrees by early afternoon.  These crappies averaged just over 12 inches, and we had a few over 14 inches.  Nothing tastes better than freshly caught crappie deep fried in my special batter mix.  Another party joined us on Sunday, but we only caught 8 big ones.  The crappies tended to be "light biters" as my partners missed about as many bites as fish caught.  I might have missed a few myself.  Interestingly, we found this to be an early morning bite, rather than the traditional late afternoon action.   If you get a chance, go visit the DNR walleye egg stripping operation on the west side of Woman Lake where the Boy River flows in from Squaw Lake and Child Lake.  The big walleyes are still coming into the nets each night, but the spawn is now tapering.  You will see large numbers of big walleyes and gain a fresh appreciation about the good health of the walleye populations in the lakes connected to the Boy River system.

April 11, 2010:

The ice went out on Woman Lake and other local lakes during the first weekend in April.  By my estimates, this is approximately 3 weeks earlier than normal, which means the good fishing will come sooner, rather than later.  The surface water temperatures on Little Boy Lake was 46 degrees on Saturday, April 11.  It won't be long before the shallow, black bottom bays begins to hit temperatures over 50 degrees, which starts the algae blooms.  When the algae blooms start, the good fishing starts.  The algae attracts the zoo plankton, the zoo plankston attracts the minnows, the minnows attract the panfish, and the panfish attracts everything else to the beginning of a slowly developing spring feeding frenzy.