Muskies: Should be finishing up the spawn cycle depending on the lake. They’re going to need some recoup time, especially the females. They get pretty roughed up in this process. I like to fish smaller buck tails like the Mepps Muskie Killer or a 500 series Bucher Tail, or small twitch bait like a Husky Jerk or Shallow Raider.
Northern Pike: These fish have already spawned and are cruising the new weed beds in search of prey. A 1/16th or 1/8th ounce jig tipped with a fat head minnow will catch pike. Bass style spinner baits will do the job also. I like to use white or chartreuse with willow leaf blades and spoons like Daredevils or Johnson Silver Minnows that are weedless are also a good choice.
Walleye: They are coming out of post spawn and should be in the new weeds that are coming in nicely. A good weedless 1/16th or 1/8th ounce jig helps a lot. I will use a Jacks Jig or a Northland Weed Weasel and I prefer the plastic weed guards better than the steel.
Bass: Both Smallmouth and Largemouth will be getting ready for spawning. These fish will be easy to spot while preparing their spawning beds. Slip bobbers, split shot, and an Aberdeen hook baited with a minnow or crawler will work fine to get these fish. Small crankbaits with a small square bill fished in the shallows catch a lot of fish at this time also. Just a quick reminder: Largemouth Bass are opened and Smallmouth Bass are only catch and release until June 18th in the northern zone.
Panfish: Perch should be hanging out in the weeds and foraging on some young of the year bait fish. Slip bobber set-up should be what you are using. The bait of choice will be theirs, so bring along a selection of small leeches, red worms and crappie minnows. Crappies are in the shallows using a slip bobber and crappie minnows will be your best bet. Bluegills are starting to bite on small minnows and red worms.
Also, if you’re in the area, the Tuesday evening summer sessions of the Phelps Outdoors and Colin Crawford’s Guide Service Fishing Tips & Techniques will be starting on June 14th and go through August 9th. They begin at 6pm and are held in the Phelps School, lower commons (4451 Old School Rd.) The seminars are free and open to the public and are a great way to find out what’s biting that week and the best ways to catch them.
Happy fishing! Selective harvest is the way to go. Colin Crawford’s Guide Service, firstname.lastname@example.org (715) 891-2715. Website is www.crawfordfishing.com or you can also find PhelpsOutdoors on Facebook.