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Bronzebacks and Slabs

Spring can be a magical time to be on the water and today was no exception. Tom Batiuk and I had planned to take advantage of a pre-spawn smallmouth bite on Rainy Lake and the anticipation was high.

Mother Nature decided to reign thunder and lightning in the morning, so a few more cups of coffee were enjoyed while waiting for her fury to subside.

I was fortunate enough to have fished the day previous and when we finally got on the water, we found that water temps dipped from a balmy 75F to the mid 50’s.

It didn’t take long to contact fish on windblown rocky points adjacent to spawning flats where maribou jigs, jerkbaits and the Ned rig brought countless fish to the boat. I used an 1/8 is mushroom head jig with about 2 inches of a Northland Fishing Tackle Dipstick for the Ned rig and it worked like a charm.

As the morning wore on, the air temperature rose to the mid 80’s and the water temperature followed suit, raising to the upper 60’s in short order. The mood of the fish also improved, and the Northland fishing Core Swim Bait came into play, putting some active fish in the boat.

After only a few short hours, countless fish were put in the boat with several tipping the scales north of 3.5 pounds.

This afternoon, dad and I planned on targeting crappies on a small backwater lake.

Airs temps were in the upper 80’s and water temp were in the mid 70’s.

To our excitement, many crappies were still shallow. Several were caught on my go-to presentation: A Northland Firefly jig tipped with a Northland Mini Smelt hung beneath a slip float.

The fish were relating to the pencil weeds and were caught in 2 feet of water or less.

In reflection, it was an amazing day spent with family and friends in sunset country and is one I won’t soon forget!

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