Fishing Report May 2014
May 23 – 25, 2014
It was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend from a weather standpoint with warm sunny days and fishable winds, but the walleyes were a little finicky. We marked lots of walleyes on the depth sounder, and caught plenty to eat, but the bite was not as aggressive as we have come to expect for late May. We caught fish on both shiners and leeches, but the walleyes did not seem to have a preference. Main lake water temperatures are in the mid 50 degree range and warming quickly, so the hot action should begin soon. Our walleyes were mostly in the 15-19 inch range and caught either on sand breaks or shallow rocks. We saw lots of large bass roaming the shallow rock piles and shoreline sand flats. One of the smallmouth we saw was well over 6 lbs. If you have a day with no wind, sight fishing for the bass can be an especially effective technique.
May 17 – 18, 2014
The weather remained relatively cool this week, so water temperatures did not warm much, but the weekend weather was perfect for fishing. We had warm sunny days in the 60 degree range and light winds, so we decided to go find some big crappies. The main lake water temps were in the 47-48 degree range, but we fished a few black bottom bays where we found surface temps as high as 57 degrees. The minnows were in these bays feasting on the new algae / zoo plankton bloom, and the crappies were right behind them feeding on the minnows. So were the bass. We worked fathead minnows on bobber rigs about 4 feet deep around the edges of the bays and boated a nice batch of 11-12 inch crappies, along with some fat largemouth bass. Bass season doesn’t open until next Saturday, but they will still be in there for all you bass fisherman. The bigger crappies will begin to arrive this week as well. The forecast for a warm sunny week also bodes well for a hot walleye bite over Memorial Day weekend. See you on the water.
May 9 - 11, 2014
The weather was absolutely delightful in comparison to past walleye openers on Woman Lake, and while the walleyes were not exactly jumping in the boat, we found plenty of nice fish in the 18-22 inch range along with some smaller walleyes. The jumbo perch were also biting so we found more than enough fish to either fry up for dinner, or take home for a future meal. The main lake water surface temperature was only 44 degrees on Saturday morning, but warmed up to the 48-49 degree range over the weekend. We did not fish for crappies, but some of the shallow bays held water in the 52 degree range, so there may have been a few crappies available to catch as well. Most of the walleyes were caught on mid-size shiners and the perch definitely wanted smaller minnows. The fish we caught were holding on the deep edge of sand flats and shoreline sand breaks in 16-20 feet of water. I put photos of a few of our fish in the Catch Photos section on this website. The walleye bite should remain steady or improve over the next couple weeks as the water warms. By Memorial Day weekend I would expect the bite to be pretty solid.
May 2 - 5, 2014
The ice finally left Woman Lake on Saturday afternoon May 3rd, and for the second year in a row we have had the lake covered in ice the entire month of April. The DNR finished up their walleye egg stripping operation on the Boy River on Friday, May 2nd, so the spawn should be complete before the walleye season opens next Saturday. I expect water temperatures will be in the low to mid 40 degree range next weekend, but you should be able to find some walleyes. If the walleyes don't cooperate, the perch and crappies often will, so be prepared to be versatile. Early in the year, when the water is still quite cold, I find minnows will outperform most other baits for walleyes. Either a live bait rig (Lindy Rig) or a jig / minnow combination will catch you fish, but bobber fishing is always an option if you know where walleyes are located. I prefer to use small to mid-size shiners, but most all minnows will entice a walleye to bite if you get the bait presented slowly within their strike range. The key to it all is finding where the walleyes want to be. Generally speaking, the walleyes are typically found on sand flats and shoreline breaks near their natural spawning areas. About 25% of the walleyes in Woman Lake spawn in the Boy River, so structure near there might be a good place to start. If the weather cooperates, long lining crankbaits over the shallow shoreline sand at night can be productive as well.