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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Thankful for Outdoor Opportunities

Even though we can get outside and enjoy some fresh air, the fishing opportunities are not plentiful.

By: Jarrid Houston | April 8, 2020

Entering another week of quarantine and social distancing has been quite awkward for us anglers. We can't stop and have breakfast on the way to the lake and can't stop for beer and a burger in the afternoon. According to both state governments, "We can't really do anything." However, we can order take-out (to-go, curbside pickup) and all of us should support our friends in the dining business by doing so. Also, let's take a second and be thankful for where we live in the world. Without the outdoor opportunities we have in these parts, things could be much worse. Thank goodness and according to our WI/MN state orders, we CAN still go fishing
Unfortunately, timing wise, we are stuck in a holding pattern between seasons. And even though we can get outside and enjoy some fresh air, the fishing opportunities are not plentiful. Ice fishing is dangerous, traveling to popular spring walleye destinations is out, local streams are heavy with spring run-off and smelting season is not here yet. We do have Lake Superior and the St. Louis River, so that is a positive. Now, if we could only get some more suitable/comfortable weather.. Good news is things are transitioning in a hurry. More and more waters are becoming ice free. Besides working on our boat and tackle/gear organization, The Wife and I, as well as our Dog, have been doing daily truck rides and checking out area waters. 
Lake Superior continues to be the most popular fishing in the area. The North Shore and select areas around Wisconsin are seeing the most traffic, but the fishing has not been lights out. At this moment, if you get out and get a fish or two, you should be happy. Weather obviously has not been on our side either. We are still in some cold patterns, so comfortable fishing level has been a challenge. Best tactic continues to be trolling. However, dialing in the right speed, line length and of course bait(s) has also been frustrating to most. Best areas to key in on are near river mouths for the obvious reasons. Speaking of river mouths, stream fishing has been on the slower side on account of spring run-off and recent rains/snow. We are still waiting on more suitable fishing conditions here as well. According to the experts, the Brule and some North Shore streams still has a couple weeks, until things are back into the "normal" parameters. This of course does not stop the die-hards, and your not going to catch anything if you don't go. If you decide to test your luck, the best advice that can be given is "time on the water."
St. Louis River is seeing a very minimal amount of human presence. Which is typical for this time of year. Although, a few people are taking to the shores and shorecasting for some rough fish. This is a fun way to pass some time. Best tactic would be soaking some cut-bait, worms, or dough under a sinker with a heavy hook, and positioning the rods vertical. Make sure you have a medium to medium heavy rod strung up with fresh line thick enough to handle river conditions and a big fish. The key here is time, but that time can turn into fun time when the rod tip starts bending. 
Inland waters are becoming more and more ice free. Mostly to the south, select lakes in and around Spooner, Minong, Moose Lake, are open. The lakes closer to Duluth, Superior, Ashland still have some ice, but are darkening up, and day by day, more and more will become open water. As mentioned last week, Ice Fishing is done for our team. We are now preparing for early season pan-fishing. The shallow panfish bite will be here before you know it. 
Hope everyone has a Happy Easter and enjoys themselves and their families. We are all looking forward to things being back to normal, until then, let's all do our part.

Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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