Jigs and Bigs Fishing Report: 4/2/23

It’s April, and you know what that means?! It’s time to hit the open water and bring back the weekly Jigs & Bigs Fishing Report! It’s FINALLY time to ramp up for the 2023 open water season and to hear all about what the JigHeads are doing on the water! 

I haven’t hit the open water yet this spring but I can tell you that I had a fun, albeit short, ice fishing season. I focused my time on teaching and educating newbies on the ice which was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I can’t wait to do more of that! If all the pieces come together I hope to host a free “how to fish” day for kids. 

I also did a few solo trips which if I am being honest, was almost just as rewarding. When you’re alone on the hard water, nothing else in the world matters. Got into some nice fish too!

I am looking forward to the 2023 open water season, and my goal is to get in the kayak more and off the bank. I also have some great saltwater trips planned for this spring and summer so it’s going to be one heck of a season!

Tim got out on Wednesday onto the open water and reported that water temperatures on the local lake sat at 46-47 degrees while air temps were right around 40 degrees. Tim landed 2 largies on a crank bait slow retrieve, one on a point and the other in 4 ft shallow flat. 

Andy reported that there was no open water at Benton Pond or Shaw pond up where he is on the mountain. He did spot some fisherman on the edges of the still lowered Otis Reservoir trying to get some bites on the exposed edges. Hopefully the warmer weather and the rain that’s in the forecast will open it up soon!

Ryan, The Butcher, is excited to report that his boat is finally back from the rebuild and she’s ready to rip! He has been out a few times so far, reporting having seen temps from 41 all the way up to 49 so far this spring. The Butcher said that all of his fish so far have been on very finesse style baits, besides some chatter bait bites and 3 bass on the jerk bait.

Drop shot has been key! Along with the ned rig. Fish have been hungry and very aggressive so far this spring! 

Ryan’s goals this year are to fish more with friends, especially the JigHead crew! He is also looking to finish in the top 10 for his ABA d36 club along with winning a few opens this year. 60+ boat tournament this weekend with a awesome cold front Saturday night! The bite is here and glad to be back with you all! 

Nelson was able to get out once this week with Shawn for his first open water trip of 2023.

It felt great to get out there after a dismal ice fishing season. Nelson reports that water temps ranging from  44 to 48 degrees and that he had action in 10-12 feet of water on a ned rig but these were small bites which he said he assumed were from small perch. He said that the better action came from shallower, warmer water where he caught my first bass of 2023. Nelson also saw other bass and larger perch in the shallow area and said the best action for bass came on a jerk bait. 

Nelson said that as the air and water temps start to rise in the coming weeks he recommends that anglers look for the warmer water of their fishing area. The North West corner and Southern facing areas are great places to start. I also have to send out a huge THANK YOU to the two gentlemen that saved me a lot of money at the boat ramp today. There are still great people in this world. 

When asked about his goals for the 2023 season Nelson said he has many goals this year but his main fishing goal is to beat Shawn the Fisherman in every tournament they fish together. That’s pretty much my life goal! Get out there and start catching! Spring is here and the fish are hungry.

Shawn the Fisherman said that he would report the same as Nelson from their outing, but adds that with the cold water, anglers should look for shallow areas on the Northern parts of waters they’re fishing; preferably areas that hold weeds year-round. The warm water gamefish bite should likely start at places similar to that.

Bobby Roast Beef reports that these varying temperatures have been making things very challenging! He had one day last week when he did manage to locate some fish, finding a good handful, mostly dink largemouth hanging out by a weed bed relatively shallow. Bobby said that they slammed a perch colored finesse swimbait as he brought it right over their heads. I managed one decent sized LMB, and a nice Rainbow too!

This week he also took a ride out to a spot he’s been waiting to hit up for a while! He will give the messy details on the Jigs and Bigs podcast, but they were definitely biting! I actually managed a good size laker that shook off right at the bank. Had to fish super slow along a pretty deep ledge. This bite came on a tiny swimbait rigged on a drop shot. The following trip was fruitless, as the temps took a significant dive. Come on spring, let’s get it together!!!

As spring approaches and the temperatures get warmer, don’t forget that the state is stocking trout! Catch their updated list here to see which of your local ponds have been stocked up! They started on March 6th and they will continue to stock throughout spring and into summer. The trout are a great fresh meal! 

Do NOT forget, that the new episode of the Jigs & Bigs podcast drops on Tuesday! Bobby Roast Beef and Shawn the Fisherman never fail to entertain and educate! If you’re new, and you’re wondering what the heck Jigs & Bigs is, check them out! The best fishing podcast from local gems who know what they’re doing! I cannot express how excited I am to be on board with the fishing report for the 2023 season, let’s go folks!

Tight lines!!

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