The general Wisconsin fishing season starts this weekend and thousands of anglers will head to the water. Whether it is lakes, rivers or steams, you can bet a ton of fish are going to be caught.
Water temperatures on many central Wisconsin lakes and rivers remains in the low 40s and fishing will be very good. A lot of fish are still in their spawning mode and can be targeted in easily accessible shallower areas. Further north there is still ice on many of the lakes which will make it hard for anglers to get to their normal destinations, but there are many opportunities at remaining locations to target.
The walleye bite has been very good on the river system in central Wisconsin which has been open all year long. Most of the walleyes around here are done spawning so look for them to be transitioning from spawning grounds to more summer like areas. Jigs tipped with minnows typically work the best but crankbait will do the trick in shallower areas.
Crappies are still staged in deeper water outside their typical spawning areas. The water temperatures have not warmed up enough yet to provide that instinctive move towards shallower locations. Look for crappies to be holding in 10- to 16-feet of water outside of shallower bays and on deep weed edges. Mini Mites on slip bobbers will work well at this time of the year, so does a small minnow on a tiny jig or gold Aberdeen hook suspended below a bobber.
Turkey hunters are finding plenty of birds remaining after the long winter. The one thing we have been seeing is a lot of birds remaining in thick brushy areas like 1- to 2-year-old clear-cuts instead of the normal feeding patterns where they are out in open fields. My thought is this is where they spent a majority of their winter because of the available new growth, and they remain there because of the food supplies that sustained them during the long winter. We aren't seeing birds in open fields, but some of the best hunting is in areas that most people don't even target.
Have a great week.
Phil Schweik writes about his seasonal hunting and fishing patterns in Central Wisconsin along with tips and tactics on how to be successful while you are in the field or on the water.
Phil Schweik is a lifelong resident of Central Wisconsin who lives in Mosinee. Phil is a fishing and hunting guide for Hooksetters Guide Service and a professional musky tournament fisherman. He can be reached by checking out the Hooksetters’ website at www.hooksetters.biz.