Memorial weekend was a great weekend of fishing. The lead-up started bringing the water temps in the right zone and the walleye, crappie, and smallmouth started to turn on pretty good across the area. Walleye were and are continuing to prefer minnows over other bait. 12-16 feet of water seems to be the range most fish are coming out of on many lakes and shallower on some and in later hours. We've been having success bouncing jigs off breaks in that depth range around shallower feeding flats in the early evening and afternoons catching them as they move up.
Crappie are starting to pile into the shallow water. We're seeing good numbers on many small lakes stacked up in and along the reed beds. Later in the day has been best with the water temps at their peak, but as the water temps have risen it should get more consistent. Some of the deep lakes the fish are still staging off the edges, but it won't be long now. This time of year the best method is to use the trolling motor and cover ground with a jig and a crappie minnow or plastic to cover ground. If you have a smaller spot you can switch to a slip bobber, but it is more about searching and finding the shallow fish than anchoring up on a cabbage bed right now.
Smallmouth are still prespawn in most areas, but they are starting to hit the shallows hard and we're starting to see some beds as well. Mostly the big females are off the edges occasionally moving up to check things out, but we'll see a more regular presence from them as they start to spawn. Fishing should be fantastic for the next couple of weeks, just remember they're spawning and try not to stress them too much. We always recommend bringing a net with to try and end a fight quickly and get them back.
As the weeds develop we should get more normal action on the largemouth, but right now the best thing to do is run swim baits and slower subsurface lures through the growing weedbeds. The fish are cruising through the growing cover and are for the most part pretty aggressive. They should start amping up with the water temps as well.