FISHING REPORT SPRING 2018
Ice went out May 3rdbut 12,000 rainbow trout were stocked in the end of April. How is that done? At the access, the DNR used a maul to open up a channel through the ice into deep enough water to slide a tube from the truck under the ice. About a dozen of our local residents and our dog Lacey were on hand to watch the operation. Everything went smoothly with only 4-5 trout not surviving the experience. Suppose the ospreys and eagles weren’t too happy with the ice cover!
Trout fishing this spring has been good. Most boats are catching 2-3 trout per person of the newly stocked 11 inch trout. Trolling small rapalas way behind the boat seems to work the best. As the water warms, switch to down riggers and night crawlers or power bait under bobbers.
As I write this, smallmouth bass are just starting to spawn so catching them has been tough. Catching should improve as they come off their spawning beds and begin to feed. Early morning and late evening casting minnow shaped baits towards shallow water and later in the day use a jig tipped with a leech or night crawler in deeper water. The population of bass is still high so keep and eat some. Out of this lake, bass taste quite a bit like sunfish.
Walleye fishing is still slow. DNR lake survey in 2017 caught on average 6.3 fish per net but about half of those came from one net so the 6.3 is probably higher than what is actually in the lake. The net showed a good number of 8-9 inch walleye, which is promising looking ahead. Bad Medicine is scheduled for stocking this fall with about 580 pounds of fingerlings. The DNR stocked larger fingerlings in 2014 and 2016 so it seems like more of those got by the smallmouth bass.
From the DNR lake survey, perch numbers were extremely low, under one per net. Perch are the food base for young walleyes and probably to some extent larger bass.
Northerns are low in number but are nice sized when you catch one. They seem to have smaller heads and big bodies probably from eating a few trout.
Sunfish numbers are low due to very little vegetation for cover and people keeping the large ones. With water levels low, the lake may develop more plant beds, especially in the bays. Please do not remove aquatic plants from the shoreline. Sand blankets lose their sand to the shallow water and cover emerging vegetation so try to establish some kind of barrier at the shore line so waves don’t erode the sand into the lake and cover plants. Sunfish need plants to hide in and find aquatic insects to eat.
Last march Bad Medicine became the go to lake to catch eelpout (Burbot). Turns out eelpout spawn under the ice in large groups. A few fisherman figured out the location of some of these spawning areas and were catching 50-100 each night. Fortunately, most of those guys did not keep very many. Seems they do not freeze very well so the meat becomes soft and mushy after thawing. The DNR is looking at establishing some regulations and catch limits to prevent people from fishing them out when they are vulnerable during spawning.
Good Luck Fishing