Well the weather hasn't gotten much warmer the last couple of days, but the water temperatures are creeping up into the high-fifties and low 60's.
With the full moon imminent, expect to see spawning activity increase from the bass this week. Concentrate on shallow bays and bars. Some fish will build nests in as little as 12" of water, but the bigger fish tend to spawn on gravel or sandy areas in 4-8 feet of water. The best approach is to cast up into the shallow water and slowly work your way across the various depths. If you can find some wood laydowns or green weedy patches in 3-8 feet of water, there's likely some fish nearby. Darkbottom bays and boat channels will have the most fish, especially those with a protected northern bank. Wacky worms, shakey heads, texas rigged stickbaits or lizards, lipless crankbaits, or jigs w/ a chunk or craw trailer are solid bets, or use night crawlers on a split shot rig or suspend large shiners under a float.
Musky fishing has remained consistent. Anglers are doing very well by targeting fish roaming shallow to mid depth flats, especially around new emergent weed growth. Gliders, small jerkbaits and bucktails are all producing, as are swimbaits and large spinners. A few fish were caught over the weekend by anglers using large tube baits.
Walleye fishing is sure to get hot this week. the full moon will push part of their feeding cycle to the low light hours, but expect schools of walleye to be on the hunt this week. During the day, look for them to be on the bottom adjacent to shallow rocky structure. 8-12 feet is a good depth, but don't be surprised if you find fish between 15-18 feet or even out to 22 foot depths. Lindy rigging or jigging are solid approaches for daytime fishing. Tip lindy's with nightcrawlers,small suckers or big fatheads, and use leeches and/or plastics behind the jigs. If you stay out past dark, look for walleyes to be running shallow rocky areas, and near weedbeds in shallow water. Minnow style floating and suspending rapalas and husky jerks were made for this type of fishing, as were shad raps.
The panfish have been a mixed lot the last week. Some fish are still up shallow, but there's a solid batch of fish using deeper weeds as well. I caught some nice gills off a break in 18 feet of water on friday. They were suspended above some weed growth atnthe edge of a drop off. As the water warms, expect to see some gills begin to build nests and crappies to turn dark black. Right now I'd fish vertical for gills along the outside of any weeds you can find in 12-15feet of water, but if the water temps continue to rise, start to look for them off the end of sandy points in 10-15 feet. Vertical fishing while drifting is often the key to finding fish, keep an extra eye on those electronics. Keep your hook small and use smaller sized splitshots. Panfish plumpers, plastics tipped with waxworms or redworms are your best options for bluegills.
I'll be in Montreal the second half of this week, so there may not be much posting here for a few days. If you need some up to date information, call, or better yet, stop by the shop.
Good Luck This Week, remember to catch and release those spawning bass.