Before bass season starts, why not cast a few and catch some crappies? The shores of Lake Menomin are great spawning areas for crappies and many other panfishes. As the weather gets warmer towards mid-spring, crappies start swimming away from the deep-end of the lake and head towards shore to breed. As seen in this image, crappies are great for recreational fishing as well as a delicious dish. Crappie season does not come often, and after a few weeks, this area will be cleared as the predators start coming towards shore to feed off other smaller fishes. It is great to see the fishing community come together every year to fish in this location and enjoy the warm weather. Whether anglers are fishing on shore, boats, or kayaks, there are plenty of fishing area for everyone as the crappies are breeding all around the bay.
Snows are all melted, water temperature is rising, and fishes are starting to actively feed. I have already seen many kayakers, as well as boats, out on the lakes and rivers catching panfishes as well as walleyes. Although bass aren’t moving towards shore feeding and breeding yet, other species have slowly crept towards the shore, both predatory and prey fish. Once bass season hits in a month, the kayak and I will be out there early in the morning catching the biggest hog in in midwestern Wisconsin. The weather has been pretty bipolar in the past few weeks with snow, rain, and heavy wind. Nonetheless, early Spring weather will be over soon and sunshine and warmth thereafter. To all the anglers already out there fishing, whether game fishing, CNE, or recreational fishing, good luck and fish safely!
Snows have been slowly melting throughout the week as the weather rises to 40 degrees and above. Small, icey creeks and rivers are starting to thaw into beautiful streams of water for creek chubs, minnows, trout, and bass to return. Just a couple more weeks and the snow on the ice will be all melted and then it’ll be time to get on the kayak and enjoy the water. Already, I’ve seen dozens of anglers onshore fishing for muskies, pikes, crappies, bluegills, walleyes, and many other species throughout Red Cedar River as well as Lake Menomin in Wisconsin. It’s an amazing sight to see others enjoying the weather and fishing. Soon, I’ll be out there too.
I began using topwater lures in 2014 when I was introduced to it by a friend. My first catch on a topwater lure, Heddon Torpedo, was a pike. After seeing the amazing action above water from these pikes and bass (as well as muskies), I wasted no time in getting into topwater fishing. During my fishing trips, I topwater almost 100% of the time. The excitement of getting a strike on a soft or hard topwater bait is phenomenal and the excitement never stops.
Anyone who’s used Ribbits have probably encountered instances where you get a topwater strike hoping it’s a huge bass, but find out later that it was a pike whom just bit off your soft bait’s leg. Living in central Wisconsin, pikes are common everywhere. It’s not uncommon to catch more pikes than bass in a day’s trip, and it can be annoying when you don’t have leaders on and you lose the hook as well. After awhile, I’ve learned that using one-legged ribbit works almost as well as when the ribbit wasn’t mutilated. So, next time you think about tossing your one-legged ribbit away, remember that the one-legged ribbit is still effective in creating a trail of bubble and sound to attract whatever lies underneath it.
One of my favorite topwater lure to use is the Spro Bronzeye Popper, which is extremely effective in covered-water as well as open-water. These frogs are reliable as well as built to survive even the strongest attacks from northern pikes. Heavy enough to cast far but sizeable enough for bass to strike, this frog will be a great topwater lure throughout the warm season. Besides the attractive splash this frog makes, its color is also a favorite for bass, whether it’s green, black, red, yellow, or many others. There’s nothing better than seeing a largemouth, regardless of size, smash your frog right before your eyes.
Last year was a great year for bass fishing smallmouths and largemouths. Because I moved for college, I’ll be fishing in the Eau Claire, WI and Menomonie, WI area. I’ve explored the city constantly and the lakes and rivers that they have looks like an excellent habitat for bass to live in. I don’t know what is out there, but I’ll find out when the season starts.