Water temperatures are starting to tickle 40 degrees on pool 9 after hovering at 37-38 for over a week. Today the air temp is supposed to tickle 60, which may kick the water temp up to 42, resulting in much more aggressive walleye, sauger and perch activity.
Ice is still clinging to Desoto Bay, although the far north end is open and there is 5-10′ of open water along the edges. Ice broke loose yesterday on Fish Lake–at the bottom end of the “S” turn in Minnesota slough–going from shore to shore and completely blocking upstream passage. Might be gone today. might not. yesterday I had to run clear upstream to Lost Cut on the main channel and sneak in the back door of Mn. slough, where the action is mostly short saugers and the occasional decent fish. About a week ago, I launched at New albin and got back to the ramp about dark–to find a garage sized chunk of 8″ thick ice blocking the north ramp(the south ramp was still locked up) With some River ingenuity I was able to use thrust from the E-Tech and natural current out of the Winnebago slough to push the ice away jut long enough to get the boat out before ANOTHER big slab blocked the ramp.
The point is, the Miss is a profoundly unforgiving place. Don’t go anywhere you can’t get yourself out of, especially with ice still a factor.
The walleyes have already started what I call ‘stair-step staging’ with the water at 38. Depth is a major key to fish location. It also drives presentation. When I find the marble-eyes happy place du jour, I start with a vertical jig downstream with hair and plastic, pull three-ways back upstream, then follow the contour and pitch/drag ringworms from shallow to deep..
Seems like one presentation usually has an edge. but the other day when fishing with my ol’ pal Ron Barefield we caught ’em with every presentation and Ronnie CPRed a hefty myopic melon we guessed at abut 9 lbs. This was a good day. So far, not every day is a good day–at least when it comes to catchin’. The bite has been definitely time sensitive, too. All that wants to bite after 3 p.m. has been perch, and the perch tend to come through in waves.
But this whole situation will be downstream from us by the time you launch the boat. The hot bite window is about to open. maybe today. Gonna go find out right now.