It’s been awhile since posting a blog. If you’re looking for the skinny for a hot bite happenin’ now, better check elsewhere. Not that i’m not fishin’ and breathing are basic life functions. It’s just that 2019 is showing ominous weather patterns reminiscent of topsy turvy 2018. Checking River level, and the website www.wundergound.com are two things done first thing every morning. Logging in the fishing diary I’ve kept for nearly 40 years is something that gets done after every trip. There haven’t been any entries in the diary since last Wednesday, as I was doing a seminar at the Rockford show on Walleye Patterns. Posted on FB about Wednesday’s outing and the impact of both water color and the barometer on the crappie bite.
Crappie activity is about what you would expect for this time in February. The diary says the crappie bite picks up in both length of activity and fish aggression about Feb. 14. Longer daylight hours are a big part of this. Barometric pressure has even more impact, with ambient air temp a byproduct of barometric pressure hovering around 30.00 rather than spiking at almost 31.00. Part of that wunderground website contains a calendar noting actual temps, forecast temps and traditional temps a couple weeks down the road. The point where this chart morphs from forecast to traditional is worthy of note: the forecast is a solid 10 degree COLDER than traditional (22 instead of 32 for daily high) 22 is the average traditional high for LATE JANUARY.
Will longer daylight trump colder temps? Water temp under the ice doesn’t change until there is a little snowmelt. Snowmelt adds color, flavor, increased 02 and change in pH. We got a little kick of that when temps crawled out of the arctic vortex for a few days last week. looks like we’re headed for stable temps in the mid 20s for highs for the next 10 days, with a little snow which should trigger fish activity ahead of it. BUT if the barometric pressure stays high, it may have a deleterious impact on fish activity. We won’t know until late Feb. get here in a couple of weeks.
Last year we were back on the main River in boats the last week of Feb, and on the running sloughs by March 12–this is about 10 days ahead of the 10 year average. March weather came in April last year. We had 7 SNOWS in April! The River came up shortly after April Fool’s day and didn’t get down to normal pool until August. The walleye run came in fits and spurts–mostly a MONTH EARLY in the ‘seasonal’ March weather. This is why we didn’t have much of a hot pre-spawn bite…and the fish were mostly done long before the typical April 20 spawn date.
I fear it may be late March before we can run where we want to go in boats. But it is what it is. Breathing. Fishing. Both happen when the time is right without even thinking about it. I promise another report within 48 hours when the Lund is back in the water and the E-Tech is purring like a kitten.
Might be something in the meantime on the ice fishing bite. But I don’t guide ice fishing anymore. Too much work. Just go fun fishin’ when the bite should be easy and not much work…or the Admiral hints she wants perch for supper.