If you check about 4 blogs back–a month ago–we were on track for a normal spring. Falling water temps are never a good thing in the Spring. Two weeks ago water temps fell from 39 down to 36, and they have dropped to near-freezing since then.
Snow sounds crunchy underfoot when it’s really cold out. This truth was reinforced this morning when walking the dog. The thought that there is something wrong with hearing crunchy snow underfoot on April 7 crossed my mind. Then I realized the Creator made it so, therefore it must be right. My arms are far too short to box with the Almighty. Much better to work within His grand plan–which brings us back to that blog a month ago: we’re back on track for Spring. The end of “Second Winter” should come this week.
Walleyes which had begun stair-step staging from 28 to 21 to 18 feet of water are back at the bottom of the steps again, sulking in their wintering holes. This sulk will end shortly and with purpose. I haven’t fished in more than a week, simply because it isn’t worth fighting near-zero windchills to be out there during the unpredicatable–but certainly brief–window when fish decide to eat. it will still be a couple of days before I get out again. The first place i’m gonna look is in quiet deep water. By next weekend, i’m thinking the fish should be running up the steps, partly because April 15 is real close to the time fish in the Upper Miss usually decide to spawn.
Because of this spawning urge, the walleyes are about to get antsy. They just don’t know it yet, because limited mental capacity in their pea-sized, cold blooded brains is still in hibernation mode.
The river is running just a little high now, but actually on the low side compared to most years at this time. With just a little more color in the water, a little more color is called for in lure selection.
Spring 2.0 will be happening any day now. Vertical jigging in the deep trenches with Echotails and hair jigs will quickly give way to dragging and pitching plastics.
There is a small soft tackle bag always close at hand which contains a half-dozen or so plastics,, with the selection driven by what kind of fish I’m chasing. In the warmer months this is mostly Chompers, Chompers senkos, flukes and Kalin swimbaits.
This time of year it used to be ringworms and K-Grubs. It just dawned on me that advancements in the world of plastics have changed the cold water plastic selection in that handy go-bag. There are still a couple bags of Kalin grubs in there in different colors, but ringworms were replaced by the beefier Moxie tails a year or two ago…and the Moxie tail has given way to the B-Fish-N Tackle Pulse R, essentially the ringworm on steroids mated with a paddletail on steroids. Regardless of plastic color, the Pulse R is fished behind a Pyrokeet pattern Precision jighead.
Between now and when the ‘eyes go post-spawn about the 25th, the Pulse R will be one of three primary eye-chasing presentations in my Lund.
Little things are really great big things when the water is cold and/or the barometer is stratospheric.