Our ice went out a little late this year, it was clear off our bay on May 7th, which is not too far off normal but several weeks later than 2021. In combination with the later ice and a cool spring with little warm temperatures, our fish patterns are about two weeks later than normal. The weed growth is slow as well, you can see the weeds peeking up from the bottom but seem to have been that way for a couple of weeks. Water temps have stayed in the lower 60’s and the lily pads just popped up in the last couple of days, so that is a sign that the shoreline weeds are starting to fill in which will trigger more bigger fish to haunt the shallows.
Crappies are just finishing their spawn with a few small males still left up on shallows, but not as many as a week ago. You can still catch what is there with small jigs or deeper weeds with a bobber. The larger fish are staging in the transition area where you can locate them in 10 to 15 feet of water and starting to school up.
Muskies are active and you can find them moving all over the lake, many have been up chasing the shallow crappies or in those staging areas. They have been chasing lately but you will need to switch things up as there has been a decent amount of pressure on them since the opener.
The northern pike bite has really picked up in the last two days and will take off for the next couple of weeks. The small ones will hit anything that moves in the shallows, but the larger ones still seem to be off a bit in at least 8 feet of water. The key is to find the deeper weed beds and fishing them slower to trigger that bite, we had one caught and released last week of 10+ pounds!
The bass are scattered, both largemouth and smallmouth, I have not seen the smallmouth on the beds yet. Soft plastics or a spinnerbait can trigger a good bite right now. They should start to move up into the lily pads any day now that they are starting to fill in.
Warmer weather is right in front of us and should start to trigger a good bite all over the lake.