I have been lucky enough to spend a couple days on the water so far this spring and the action has been really hot. To be honest, many anglers I have spoke with so far have reported excellent catches of lake trout, small mouth bass and a few salmon here and there. The smelt are transitioning from spawning areas to locations in close proximity to these brooks and streams and there are predator fish gorging themselves on the tasty morsels.
I started the day out last trip in about 40 feet of water and found the small mouth bass to be quite a nuisance. The big pre-spawn females seem to be using the smelt to their advantage feeding on them heavily to fatten up for the upcoming spawn. Mixed in with these bass are lake trout and a salmon, although I have not been lucky enough to connect with any “silvers” yet a few anglers I have spoke with said they have. These fish are all relatively shallow and depending on conditions the surface bite seems to be hot or non-existent.
It’s interesting how you get different stories talking to different people this time of year as the fish can seem to be all over the place. I have been plagued with dead calm conditions and sunshine, and personally have had very little action on the surface when other guys have said they have been pounding them on top. Overall the most consistent action for me has been in subsurface depth range and the bite seems to fire up on dark days with a good chop.
Experiment with spoons and sticks to find out what they want. I have had pretty good luck lately on smelt and juvenile perch patterns in a variety of styles. Anglers are experiencing success fishing with live bait, jigging with various plastics and trolling with spoons using downriggers as well. With populations of hungry lake trout hanging in the shallows this time of year you should have some luck using your favorite technique no matter what that may be.
The weather in the spring can be warm or bone chilling depending on the day and remember the sun may feel warm but the water temps are still in the forties so be mindful of that. Dress properly as you may be comfortable in shorts back on shore but you will usually feel much colder on the water this time of year. Have fun out there anglers, we will keep you posted right here on all seasons wild!