The March March Begins!
Water temperatures on the pool 9 river mainstem have risen two solid degrees, up to 34, over the past 48 hours waking walleyes, saugers, perch & pike up and pushing them out of wintering holes.
Walleyes tend to ‘stair step’ in spring and fall, moving shallower in the Spring in preparation for spawning when water temps rise to 45-48 degrees. A week ago walleyes were in 29-32 fow with saugers slightly deeper. By march 5 these fish have already moved into 21-24 fow. A few more degrees they will be in 16-20 fow and crazy hungry. When they go up one more step and start cruising the <12 foot contour the spawning show is about to get underway.
Walleyes usually spawn at night, during the full moon period–especially if this lines up with the 45-48 degree magic temp. USUALLY the spawn occurs April 15-22 on pool 9. Two years ago they spawned around April 1, with many dropping their eggs back in grassy areas in the running sloughs instead of quiet waters off the River mainstem over rocky-rubble bottom.
This year the B-Fish-N Tackle B3 blade bait has been smokin’ hot for multiple species. This piece of metal was first introduced down on Pool 12, known as the Zonar–or maybe by Heddon lures called the Sonar, back about 1960.
Whatever you wanna call it, I’ve been using this chunk of metal since I used to chase ‘eyes below the Bellevue dam on pool 13 since 1965. Never ceases to amaze me. Why would a walleye slurp in a chunk of metal laying on the bottom when there is so much natural food in their enviroment?
Experience teaches you don’t wanna be pondering the possibilities when the B3 is in the fish zone. Sometimes fish have been slurping in the metal when the bait is just laying on the bottom. Sometimes they stop its progress after a quick rip as it flutters back down. This is a tough bite to detect unless you’re paying attention!
The nature of the bite will certainly change as waters continue to warm. A hair jig with a minnow is very popular on pool 9–purple for walleye, kelly green for sauger. Since Valentine’s Day I haven’t put “meat” on the hook yet…and boated–conservatively–200+ walleyes. Some on #Northland jigging spoons, some on plastic paddletails and a pile on blades.
Gonna kick off the guide service on March 15. This year i will be able to accommodate up to 6 anglers as I’ll be working closely with Mike Yauk of Fishin’ Mission guide service. Mike is on pro staff with #stcroixrod ,#B-Fish-N tackle and a couple other manufacturers.
My latest book “flames & fins ” (an old river guide looks back upstream) is now available on amazon &kindle. Lotsa stuff in there about the River and how to fish it.
As of today–March 6–access is still an issue on pool 9. Ice tends to block many access points. A couple days ago I needed help sliding my ‘stealth boat’ , a 14′ jon, across about 100′ of ice so i could put it on the trailer. Navigation is also an issue on the River mainstem. Keep your eyes open! Many tons of ice are leaving thousands of acres over quiet backwaters and running sloughs moving slowly downstream. Smacking into a six-inch thick chunk the size of a card table can put the pin in the party hog of an otherwise happy day. Don’t ask me how I know. Stay safe out there