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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fishing Report 1-22-15

Hey gang,

Conditions haven't changed radically over the past week to 10 days. On days with higher pressure, the fishing can be tough. The pike continue to bite, and while the numbers are down slightly, the size of the fish is still above average.

Keessus, Nehmabin, Okauchee, Golden, Moose, Fowler and School Section  have been reasonably consistent producers, (Nag too, but we don't talk about Nag around here) especially in the deeper protected bays. Any green weeds indicate a high percentage area. Most fish continue to be caught on a flourocarbon spinner leader with a red treble. The best bait has been shiners or suckers, but it often just depends on who you are asking. As we get further on, deadbait will get better and better. My rule of thumb has always been Superbowl bait before, dead bait after.

The panfish bite has slowed down, but I think that has more to do with angler location than a drop off in the bite. By this point in the winter, the best panfish have moved out to suspend over deeper water. Crappie will tend to suspend high in the water column, bluegills lower. You may catch some off the bottom, but the solid parts of schools will be just over half way down. Drill a series of holes when you first set up, then go back with your electronics/flashers and see if you mark any suspended fish. If you do, set up and fish just above them, you won't believe some of the fish you catch. Where to look for them? Think summer structure: points, rockpiles, humps and dropoffs in 15-25 feet of water. The closer to the mainlake, the better. Forest, Golden, Lower and Upper Genessee, Kessus, Emily and Fox have been the best, but just about every local lake has had some action.

Walleye fishing has been slow, but steady. Look for fish in water 8-12 or 15-22 feet deep. Its quite a range, but spread your tip-ups out until you find fish, then concentrate on that area/depth. Pine and Lac Labelle are both giving up fish, but the hot bite is still on that most magic of inaccessible lakes...North.

Good luck and be safe.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Look mom, I'm in the newspaper again.

Missed this initally, but Paul Smith of the Journal Sentinel reused a picture of me in an article which ran in the Journal-Sentinel from a fishing trip this past year.

The 1-14-15 Article and Picture are at this link.

The original article from this past summer is here.

Ice fishing is fun...catching smallies on topwaters in the summertime is better.


Fishing Report 1-15-15

It seems like the big fish bite is picking up. I don't know if that's actually true, the weather has meant more people on the ice, or some combination of both.

But either way, IT IS ON.

As always: My standard disclaimer about being careful on the ice: buddy system, pfd and spud bar. Be vary over deep water, especially places that get lots of wind or areas with strong current. That said, lots of people are driving on the ice at this point. The cold snap really helped.

As for the fishing...panfish are still being taken in shallow water, but the better sized fish are starting to come from out deeper. Anglers who have ventured out and searched for deeper water schools are catching nice bags of fish. Electronics will certainly help with catching the fish, as will the ability to be mobile. Wigglers seem to be the hot bait, but fish are being taken on waxies, mousies and plastics. Okauchee, Forest, Garvin, Kessus, Fowler, Middle and Lower Genessee, Golden, Silver and School Section have all been solid bets for Panfish.

Walleye fishing has picked up a bit, but as is common with our walleye lakes, there's some undersized fish mixed in. Jigging is taking a few fish, but tip-ups with a floro or mono leader, spinner and red treble baited with a golden shiner or small sucker is producing. Shallow rocks in 6-10 feet are producing during low light hours, deep water structure in 18-25 feet is producing during the day time. Labelle and Fox are providing some steady action but deep water on the Rock River, Pine, North and Oconomowoc are giving up keepers.

Northern pike fishing has been pretty solid and steady. Lots of guys are picking up fish, with more than a handful of snakes in the 15-25 inch category. Deadbait, shiners and suckers have all been good the last few days, since the worst of the cold moved out. With a nice weekend ahead, and some warmer weather behind for fish to start to make a move in the next 2 weeks, but for now, shallow weedy areas near where people are getting panfish is a great place to setup a spread of tip ups. Icehouse, Stumpy Bay and the Crane's Nest areas on Okauchee have been active, as has Emily, Fowler, Lac Labelle, Garvin, Kessus and Golden.

Good Luck. Be Safe...and hit a Fishoree this weekend.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

1-3-15 Fishing Report

Our ice conditions are still a bit varied. Our up and down weather this winter have made for a variety of ice thickness.

Shallow lakes and protected areas/bays are your best bet for safety. Ice in these areas ranges from 4-8" while areas with current, springs or over windy deep water areas can be treacherous. Stay away from deep water, and especially from moving water/current areas that look a little sketchy

Several lakes have people out, but I would still exercise some extra caution if you're ice fishing locally. The PFD, a buddy system and a spud bar are all excellent tools you should be using. .

Panfish are biting good a couple times a day, but there doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern from day to day. Part of this is the full moon cycle where fish are extra active, but sometimes it is just takes trigering a bite to get a school going. Smaller jigs but with a bigger bait presentation is always good for early ice, and it seems to be working right now. Watch for light bites, especially when trying to trigger a first bite, and vary your jigging stroke till you find the right move to trigger the bite.  Pay attention to depth and your rod action, and then repeat. I've heard positive reports on some decent sized gills and keeper sized crappie, but not too much on perch, which given the fall fishing for them locally, I expected to see more action on from them.

As is typical for the first of the year, Pike are biting, but expect to see smaller, more aggressive fish. This is typical of this time of year, as smaller buck male pike go on an early pre-spawn feeding binge locally. If you're using a tip up and consistently catching smaller pike, move out just a little bit deeper and set back up. Shallow water and green weeds will get you some action, but the larger pike are probably still using the first deep break where the perch are in the sandgrass. The closer we get to spring, the closer you should move to shallow marshy areas. (Tip...your bait doesn't always have to be right on or just above the bottom.)

Walleye have been biting, but in a feeding window in the evening. I'm not sure about a morning bite, but, but everyone I have spoken with has been talking about the evening bite. According to information I'm hearing, 8-12 and 12-15 feet (where there is safe ice) has been on fire. Go big with your bait though, it seems like the larger shiners have been better than suckers or smaller shiners.

More as it comes in. I suggest checking with the local shops for ice conditions on a daily basis until our weather decides to catch up with the season or we get a solid, multi-day cold snap.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Condition Update 12-5-14

Not much to report, but here's what I have for you.

Open water: A few people are still heading out for musky and walleye fishing. Be prepared to break ice and please be careful. Obviously live bait is, especially suckers, are the key. Stay warm, and consider a PFD...the water is very cold.

Ice fishing: A few people are still venturing out in some of the early ice areas, but I would suggest some significant caution, and I'd stay away from the deep water areas. Standard rules apply...spud your way out, carry only what you need, and consider that PFD.

Green weeds are key for early ice panfish or perch. Sandy areas with clumps of still green weeds will hold fish, especially in protected bays or areas adjacent to current flows. I find that setting a still rod down in a nearby hole, while slowly jigging with a handheld rod will often let you know what you need to know fairly quickly. Go small, and metallic or with natural hues on your jigs for the next bit, sticking with waxies, spikes or mousies. I like to hold off on the minnows until the ice is really going.

I'll be back next Friday with more info, but if you need something in the meantime...(email me)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Back December 1st.

Sorry I have been sparse in these parts as of late. Look for information to start flowing again around the first of December.

If this current weather holds, there will be people ice fishing area lakes by then.


PS...If you need something before then, feel free to email me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fishing Report 10-17-14

Fall is fallen, and as guys put down their fishing rods to head out to the woods, the fishing is getting good.

The rain and cooler night time temps this past week have brought the lakes very close to turnover which will complicate things for a bit, but if it holds off for a couple of days, this next stretch could be some excellent fishing. Water temp is in the mid to high 50's right now.

Muskie fishing is close to early peak. Pewaukee has been absolutely on fire, and Okauchee, Oconomowoc and even Lac Labelle are all giving up fish. I even heard of a 40+ caught on Fowler this past week. Look for the fish to be chasing bait on the shallow flats adjacent to deeper water. The ciscos are moving in, and there's some big fish right behind them. Obviously it is time to have a sucker out on a quick strike rig, but it is certainly time to dig out some of your bigger tackle and start chucking.

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up, both on the local lakes and on the Rock, Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. A mixed batch of fish are being caught between the Jefferson Dam and Blackhawk Island in Fort. The Dells are giving up some slot fish and a few keepers...and the white bass are red hot on the Fox in the Oshkosh area.

See you out there.