As we wrapped up our ice season a few days ago, we began making preparations on the boat to get back on the soft water. A few minor upgrades and some battery connection issues, we were ready to make out maiden voyage of the season. The plan was to head to the Connecticut River in search of pre-spawn walleye with a back up plan of perch, bluegill and crappie. The weather was calling for a decent day to begin but heavy wind in the afternoon.
We arrived to the river a little after 7 am and were greeted with ice out of the setback we spend a lot of time on. We changed plans and decided to go with B to see if the panfish were hungry in the setback. Water temperatures were high thirty’s in the main river and low forty’s in the setback. Our experiences in years past told us that the setbacks would turn on in the mid to upper forty’s, it was worth a shot. Our presentation of choice was to work a small jig rigged with a “Live” Baby Shad by Lake Fork Live Baby Shad a few feet under a bobber. The bite was decent on perch first thing, we only manged one bluegill and zero crappie. The perch were definitely in spawn mode as the males were releasing milt when lifted from the water. The perch were holding in the warmest water close to any kind of structure whether it was wood or weeds. The wind soon began to pick up creating a subtle chop on the water which seemed to shut the fish off. We decided to go back to plan A and do a little searching for a few walleye.
We made a few mile run south to fish an opening of another setback that has a nice deep hole just outside of it thinking that would be a good place for a pre-spawn walleye to wait for the right temp. It just so happened that the hole located outside of the setback was directly in the path of the 20-30 mph south wind. Rigged with heavy jigs and plactics/crawlers, we made our best effort at presenting the bait in an attractive way. The wind made this difficult and we had a hard time staying in touch with our bait. No fish.
It was a blue suit kind of day but it was great to get back on the water in the Lund. It’s only the beginning and we’ll have much more open water fishing reports to come!