Department of Natural Resources wardens said the fishing prospects for Memorial Day weekend are excellent.
Last week’s chilly temperatures may have confused some of the regular spawning for a number of species including walleyes, so anglers will just have to think a bit different this weekend.
Warden supervisor Russell Fell said if you’re looking to pull some crappies, bluegills or perch out of the lakes up north, you should start your hunt a little deeper than in the summer. “Most of the panfish are going to be found around weed edges in that 8 to 10 feet of water mark before they start moving up in the shallows as the water warms up in early June. So panfishing has been excellent and it’s a little bit deeper now, it’s not in the shallows yet.” The daily bag limit on panfish remains at 25.
If you’re heading up north to fish for walleyes this Memorial Day, remember that all of the lakes in the Ceded Territories now have a three per day bag limit. Fell said one exception will be on the Minocqua chain of lakes where no walleyes may be kept. “I believe there’s going to be a five year sunset clause on that. The size structure has declined and fisheries biologists thought this was the best way to get that lake bounced back. Protect spawning fish, get the numbers back up where they should be, and in the future this will sustain our valuable walleye fishery.” When you’re heading out to fish for walleyes, remember that the allowable size may vary from lake to lake, so check the local rules at the boat landing.
Fell said bass fishing has been especially good this spring. They’ve been hanging around in the same structures and weed beds that the walleyes which has lead to some exciting fishing for people expecting walleyes. “I know a lot of walleye anglers are catching a large number of bass. They can’t get through the bass to get to a lot of the walleyes that are on the bottom. So right now, bass are in that 14 foot of water area and they’re doing really well, they’re fighting really heavy.”
And if you’re looking for that trophy muskellunge as that season opens up, you should be aiming deep. Officials said they’ve just completed their spawning cycle and are now hanging out in the deep weeds.
Raymond Neupert, WSAU