Well...week 1 of the gamefish season is in the books. By most people's measure, it hasn't been the most productive week.
Water temps are creeping into the mid 50's. I was out today and saw temps as high as 57, but that was along a northern shore with a heavy south wind blowing in. Plenty of water still in the high 40's-low 50's. The water has also cleaned up a bit from before the season started. Green weeds are hard to come by with consistency.
Panfish are in shallow, and lots of anglers are still targeting them, but the better gills and crappies are still suspending over deep water. Drifting with tight-line vertical presentations with close attention to your electronics is the best way to connect with the better fish. Fish are about 15 feet down over deeper water, but are holding on weed edges out to 18 feet, especially those with deeper water nearby (ends of shallow points are holding lots of quality fish)
Bass fishing is just getting started. Fish are in small wolfpacks and have been moving into the shallows to sun and chase bait. Wood laydowns are holding a fair number of fish, but the size is very mixed. Dark-bottom flats, especially in protected bays are also starting to see some fish move up. On the sunny, warmer days...look for the fish shallow, especially in the early afternoons. The rest of the time, you're going to have to comb the edges and drop offs. Jerkbaits have been consistent producers, as has live bait, but I've caught fish this week on a mixed bag of grubs, jig and chunks, wacky worms and texas rigged plastics. Look for the warmest water, and fish that area methodically.
Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Smaller pike are still patrolling shallow flats that have standing weeds but it seems the bigger fish have moved out. Jumbo shiners on lindy rigs with floro leaders are an awesome bait for big pike under these conditions...but if you're casting...keep it simple...lipless crankbaits, small bucktails or size 13 floating rapalas in a natural pattern.
Musky fishing has been tough. Lots of fish are still paired up, and the rest are still fairly beat-up from the spawn. A few have been caught, and not surprisingly jerkbaits and bucktails have caught most of those. It's a great time to chase musky...most of the fish are still shallow.
I'll be out on Lac Labelle, Moose, Okauchee and Silver over the next ten days. More as it comes in.
Good Luck Out There,