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Jarrid Houston's fishing report

Prep Continues as Weather Holds in Cold Front

Most of our open water temps are still high 30s and low 40's and fish activity has been more the same. Many waters are still trying to shed there winter ice.

By: Jarrid Houston | April 22, 2020

This week really is no different than last week. Weather wise, we are still in cold front stages and having a hard time pushing into the 50's. Some areas of the Northland still are having many nights well below freezing. Further meaning, most of our open water temps are still high 30s and low 40's and fish activity has been more the same. Many waters are still trying to shed there winter ice. With that said, I do think all of MN and WI will be ready just in time for the general fishing seasons to kick off. Hard to believe it is already here (next weekend for WI and May 9 for MN). This last week we again stayed closer to home and fished local inland waters on the new boat. Fishing was so and so, but it was good to see the DNR out working the waters as we got checked and had a chance to catch-up with the boys in uniform. Unfortunately we were informed that they don't really know when the public docks will be installed around the area. I guess we will just have to wait and see on that. They also wanted to know where we were from and if I was guiding. Both questions reflecting the "stay at home rules". Currently there is a ban on guiding and we are sidelined through Memorial Day weekend for WI and (at this point) through May 3rd for MN. Again, we will just have to wait and see.

Lake Superior continues to be the most popular destination for anglers. The boat launches through the Northshore and WI areas are seeing a good amount of traffic. Last weekend we were told the city of Bayfield had about as much fishing pressure as a busy summer day. Same goes for the Northshore, as many people both local and from out of town toured the popular scenic spots on the shores of the Gitch. Mix in the smelt-run that is just starting to be full go and who knows what revised "stay at home" rules may pop up in the next week or two. As for bite, fish are certainly targeting the near shore smelt schools. Best to utilize baits that mimic a smelt. This pattern holds true from Chequamegon Bay to Two Harbors. Word on the smelt is they are just starting to show up in the rivers after dark. By this time next week, I am willing to bet it will had already peaked. 
Stream fishing was also very busy this last week. Both the Northshore streams and the Brule saw many angling hours. Most reported a slow bite, but some found some success drifting egg patterns under strike indicators. At least the flow charts are getting back to normal levels. 
St. Louis River is seeing a tiny amount of boat traffic. Mostly in the bay area where anglers are launching from Loons Foot or Rices and heading to and fro Lake Superior. No fishing report to speak of at this point, but we are getting closer. 
Inland waters in and around Duluth/Superior are mostly still fresh from "ice-out", or still have a ways to go. We have been targeting the warmest waters we can find. So far the highest water temp we have seen is 43 degrees. For the most part lakes are still liquid ice. Best to target the same areas you left off with late ice angling. At least until we see anything of a warm up, temperature wise. We found some success with crappie minnows and slow "drift-jigging" over deep mid-lake basins this last week. Some crappies were as deep as 25 feet. We are just started to see walleyes take to the rivers, creeks and streams. Our good friends in the Hayward area sent us some pics for proof. Just a couple more weeks and game-on.
Photo Credit: Haze Barnaby, Hayward WI

Tight Lines & GoOd FiShN,

Capt. Jarrid


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