The calendar may be saying summer is only a two days away, but Mother Nature has a different timetable this year. Spring has lingered nearly a month longer, and that has had a major impact on fishing in area lakes. In normal years the spawn would have occurred for both species of bass, walleyes, and several more fish, and when water temperatures reached the 60 degree mark, fishermen would be getting ready for the bluegills to start their spawn movement. But the water temperature is still in the low 50s — barely warm enough for the bass to start their spawning activity. It may be after the Fourth of July this year before fishermen see the bluegills on spawning beds.

But the cooler water and the late spawn for bass that normally spawn in early May make for some great fishing opportunities for local fishermen. Bass fishing was really outstanding around the area lakes last week. All the lakes reported the same sort of location for the bass: shallow water (3-8 feet) with very tight cover or the edge of emerging weeds. Busse Lake has been one of the hottest locations this past week for those working 1/4-oz. to 3/8-oz. jigs with plastic trailers in white or yellow. One regular at the lake picked up 20 bass in an afternoon. The Skokie Lagoons are hot for bass right now, too. Bass were hitting spinnerbaits near shore, just outside the emerging weeds, and with the cooler water, this pattern should hold for at least a few weeks. Reports from the Fox Chain are that the walleye are hitting baits tipped with a worm at a pretty steady rate in areas where there is current, current, current. The northern lakes on the Fox Chain are loaded with crappies in pre-spawn. They are stacked under the docks and are chasing small jigs; guys are catching 50-60 in a few hours.

The time is right to get out there and put a few fish on the line. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at