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Crappies are spawning in the Northwoods and the bluegills are not far behind. The walleyes, bass and pike have been very aggressive, and the musky bite is turning on ... Can it get any better?

Oh yeah, the weather has been about as perfect as it can get.

The local crappie spawn is well under way and just about done, but with that you will now start seeing large masses of bluegills entering the same locations that the crappies were recently inhabiting. This means it's time to get the kids out and have some fun targeting what is probably going to be the easiest fishing of the year. Look for spawning bluegills to be in shallow water that is less than three feet deep. In most cases these areas will be surrounded by brush, timber, or weeds. A simple Aberdeen hook baited with a worm, suspended below a bobber, will catch fish all day long.

Bass anglers have been having a field day this past week. The bite has been very consistent by targeting rocky shorelines and downed timber in water that is less than five feet deep. The bass will eat about anything that enters their area, but the best baits by far have been a jig and tube or a small diving crankbait that imitates a crayfish.

Walleye anglers are seeing a good number of post spawn fish inhabiting several areas. Some walleyes are up in shallow water and a bunch of the walleyes are in the deeper pools. They can be targeted by a number of ways but day in and day out there are only two methods to use. One is by casting a simple jig and minnow and the other is by casting or trolling crankbaits. Either of these two methods will work and on most days both will be successful.

Northern pike and musky have been very active this past week, and with water temperatures warming up into the 70 degree range it is no wonder they are putting on their spring feed bag. Small bucktails are about the most versatile baits to run right now but glide baits, twitch baits and even some rubber baits will work at this time of the year. Right now I would target shallow areas with wood, weeds or even rocks if they are present. These areas will present the warmest water available, work them thoroughly and methodically to get a strike from an aggressive fish.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

One last reminder

This is a great time to start thinking about your fall food plots. For more information on when, where, and how, please contact Jim Reed at Reed and Hoppe Wildlife food plots. He has created some fantastic food plots out there.

Have a great week.

Phil Schweik writes about his seasonal hunting and fishing patterns in Central Wisconsin along with tips and tactics on how to be successful while you are in the field or on the water.

Phil Schweik is a lifelong resident of Central Wisconsin who lives in Mosinee. Phil is a fishing and hunting guide for Hooksetters Guide Service and a professional musky tournament fisherman. He can be reached by checking out the Hooksetters’ website at www.hooksetters.biz.

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