About 30 years ago i did a TV segment–catching bass on Rat-l-Traps just after ice out with water temps of just 45 degrees. Today’s outing beat that mark–multiple LMB on the ‘Trap with surface temp of just 39 degrees!
In just the past 24 hrs. surface temp in the Miss mainstem has warmed to 40 degrees, with a solid 42 in a couple of the major tribs. In several dark-bottom sloughs away from current the temp today was a solid 43. By tomorrow afternoon 45 degree temps are possible. This means go-time for both bass & pike!
Meanwhile, most folks are focused on walleyes & perch. Both are on the move. Walleyes today have already ‘stairstepped’ shallower, holding about the 18′ contour. perch have pushed against barriers like the dam and into particular backwaters which hold solid populations of ‘bugs’ –the primary perch food.
Today pitching/dragging both plastics and hair had a definite edge over vertical jigging with meat for the ‘eyes.
Most years the major walleye spawn on pool 9 is real close to 4/15. I think they may go several weeks earlier this year, looking at moon phase, relatively low water level for this time of year, 40 degree surface temp in the mainstem and a forecast DROP in levels by this time next week.
Of course, this is conjecture—but LMB with an aggressive ‘Trap bite in , 5 fow this time of year certainly indicates a different paradigm out there!
i don’t pretend to have the answers. I just get out fishin’ pretty much every day. The Miss is always dynamic. But this spring its dynamic on STEROIDS. Conventional wisdom is out the window. Fish the fish. Multiple LMB on Rat-L-Trap in 39 degree water?? this is nuts! But it is what it is.
My only regret is not being able to fish again until TOMORROW.