I am well overdue for an update. It’s been a great start to the season so far in terms of numbers but I haven’t come across too many large walleyes. Here’s a quick taste of some early season action on Lake St. Francis.
At this time last year the water had already warmed to the mid-sixties, weed growth had begun and fish were in their summer patterns. It’s an entirely different scnenario this time around. We’re getting into some warmer days now but for the most part it’s been quite cool with a lot of precipitation this spring. I tried to look for fish where I did so well in May one year ago but they simply were not there yet. I moved in shallower and looked for areas where water would warm faster and hopefully concentrate fish in a given area. It was a good move.
Although I didn’t find any big walleyes, once I started focusing efforts on first basins of river mouths limiting out became a one or two hour affair. The fun thing about fishing these concentrated areas in the spring is that they not only draw in walleye but pretty much every predatory fish that swims in the area. Although most of the fish I caught were walleye there were a few satisfying suprises along the way.
One word of advice if you decide to go out on lake St. Francis at this time of year, bring a bug net. The shad flies will turn the best of us’ minds to jello in a hurry if you’re not prepared. Tuck in your jeans and wear long pants because they get everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I always warn people before I take them out this time of year but they never really understand until they’ve been out there for a few hours. These little buggers will make you lose your marbles. It’s like chinese torture.
At this time the water is warming and the fish are slowly making their way back to summer locations. If you’re brave enough to battle the Shad Flies I’ll see you out on the water.
Stay outside, Jigger.