Water temp dropped a solid 10 degrees over the weekend, with the river jumping up almost 2′ by Monday’s excursion. Best part was winds gusting to 40+ out of the South…a truly DANGEROUS situation.
Fishing was predictably tough. But both walleye & perch are at the ‘top of the stairs”, holding in <10 fow. both species are about half spawned out/half full of eggs. The 23″ female which ate a Pulse-R in 4 fow Monday–back in the marsh-still had a rock hard belly.
I cancelled today’s trip cuz winds are still howling, the River is now starting to recede and the high ambient temp is only gonna reach 35.
A positive fishing trend is brewing. River forecast for the next week shows a steady, slow decline. with temps beginning a warming trend into the low 70’s by early next week.
Walleyes & perch should be done taking care of business by the 7th. By the weekend they be back on the chew, both in the backwaters and in sand-based running sloughs–essentially sliding into patterns we typically see in May.
looking ahead, this is shaping up to be a year like we’ve never seen. With little snowmelt coming down from up north, we may seen another exceptionally low water year. 2020 had the lowest River levels since the dams went in back in ’36, allowing for siltation.
This followed the longest period of sustained exceptionally high water in 2019. Persistent flood conditions killed over 60% of mature trees (mostly silver maple) in the flood plain. This will be an ominous factor a few years down the road. Increased phosphorus levels from fertilizer entering the system out of flooded fields in 2019 got a kick start from low water levels in 2020. The result is filamentous algae–pond scum–all over the place. Especially in backwaters and running sloughs.
For the short term, at least concerning perch, getting bait up off the bottom with a soft floating jighead like B-Fish-N tackle’s Flu Flu floater has helped bait presentation. Whether good weeds like elodea & American water lotus will continue to thrive with the bottom covered in filamentous algae remains to be seen.
With the Immortal River, finding success means deciphering all the clues she gives you in real time–not yesterday, this morning…or what might happen in a week or a month down the road.
THIS is a primary reason why I spend soooo much time here. the upper Miss is arguably the most challenging and potentially productive body of fresh water in North America. when all the puzzle pieces come together and you can help folks you’re fishin’ with connect the dots as well, the satisfaction is sweeter than sweet!