Several factors combine to convince a marble-eyed egg cannon to commence firing. Probably the most critical is water temp–45-48 degrees in some waters, but 42-43 in other waters like the Wisconsin River.
When the desirable water temp is in harmony with the full moon period the majority of fish will spawn over just a couple of days. On April 4 the water temp on the Miss River mainstem on pool 9 was 39.7 degrees. On April 8 the temp had fallen to 37.2. On Palm Sunday the temp climbed back up to 41-42 degrees. HOWLING winds have made lure presentation difficult for the past 10 days.
The full moon will rule the sky on April 16. Some walleyes will drop their eggs by the 18th. BUT the extended weather forecast calls for high temps of 40 by next weekend. This factor and fact that every female walleye boated in the past week still had a firm belly makes me believe the major spawning push will likely happen next weekend, April 22-24. This is pretty much in the typical window of April 15-25. Last year walleyes were spawning on April Fool’s day–way earlier than the ‘norm’
Client Nolan Franzen caught his PB on Palm Sunday: 30.2 x 17.5″. Estimated weight 12.25 lbs. Fish ate a B-Fish-N Tackle purple firecracker Moxie on a 1/2 oz. jig—normally far too heavy when fish have ‘stair stepped’ up to the 16′ contour.
usually 1/4-5/16 works well at this point in pre-spawn migration into shallower water. But maintaining occasional bottom contact in the HOWLING wind has required that much weight to stay in the game.
In all of 2021 four honest 30″ fish came aboard my Lund Alaskan. So far this year there have already been 2 fish within 1/4″ of this mark. I credit the slot limit for better fishing! Over the past 5 yrs. I have been lucky to see just ONE 30″ eye in a season.
With the slot on pool 9, walleyes from 20-27″ are protected. Congrats to Nolan for releasing his trophy fish! After 50 years of seriously chasing the dual-dorsaled myopic manitou I’ve caught a number of honest 10s, many of these on ‘trophy’ water like Bay De Noc, Erie, N. Door County & Canada. MY PB is only 13.3–caught on a BLUEGILL behind an egg sinker in the Red River above Greer’s Ferry Lake, Ark. over 40 years ago.
But I digress : the toughest fish you’ll ever release is your 1st honest 10.
Today I’m gonna go rip some pike lips. Pike spawn @ abut 45 degrees. We’re there in the spawning sloughs RIGHT NOW. Weapons of choice for pike are an orange/brown Northland double bladed magnum spinnerbait, A #5 double blade Mepps in obnoxious flourescent with a mylar tail and the RT 97 #RatLTrap –the Red Head Uncle Ted.
The River is at ‘action stage” on Pool 9. Forecast is continued rise of about a foot over the next 10 days. The Army road boat launch on the River’s west side is about 4″ shy of closing as of noon on 4/11.
Hope i can squeeze in one more trip before having to try less desirable launch options. tight lines, y’all