On the way to catch some perch in one of my favorite little backwaters a few days ago I saw about 15 tundra swans working stubble in a half-flooded field. Their arrival is a sure harbinger that spring is as hand.
didn’t catch any perch, but did manage some nice crappies. Fish had nothing to do with a Cecil Tried several colors. They were interested in a horizontal presentation, however, with activity going from frosting licking about 18″ off the bottom to borderline wild once the sun dipped below the bluff–right under the ice which is still 2′ thick there.
The Genoa boat ramp is now pretty much open, but bringing a spud along is a good idea. A lot of time shove ice comes in there and needs to be pushed out of the way to launch. ditto the Blackhawk Trading Post ramp downstream. initially was going to launch here yesterday, but it would have taken a good 20 mins. of spud work to get the boat wet.
Walleyes and sauger are right where you would expect to find ’em now; in the wintering holes. Walleyes holding at about 32′, sauger deeper at 40+. I would rather catch nothing than have a deep water sauger bend the rod. Cranking ’em up from this depth causes their air bladder to expand–sometimes to the point where it’s sticking out of their mouth. You might release the fish to swim away–but it is a dead fish swimming. This is why I won’t go after them now. The walleyes have been slurping in purple and Kelly green Killer jigs…and one other color which works even better. Because they are in deep water a 1/2 oz. is necessary.
A lot of fish get hung up on the stinger hook, whether using meat or not. I don’t think minnows are much of an advantage–most of the time.
Blade baits will also work. I usually fish the Echotail teddy cat–just because–but the royal shad might work even better in this cold, deep water.
navigation can be truly treacherous for the next couple of weeks. Floe ice can come down the river at any time. It will be AT LEAST a couple of weeks before the ice goes on running sloughs and backwaters like Desoto Bay.
I’m doing a seminar March 8 at 7 p.m. at the Driftless Center on the south side of Lansing. Seminar is ‘Walleye fishing in the upper Miss’. Doing it for free, cuz the Driftless Center is a real treasure which is worth exploring. But, they may request a donation, with proceeds going to Allamakee Conservation..
Getting light now. Gotta go fishin’