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Thursday, August 9, 2018

End Run: The Return of School is Imminent

Hey gang,

Schools right around the corner, and I'll have to hang the "gone working" sign up on this sight for a bit, but there's still time to get out.

I was out today with my two oldest kids ahead of the front, and we sliced them up fishing inside edges with grubs and flick shake rigs. I can't stress enough how much I have come to love the flick shake rig as a set-up for the kids. I can bass fish, and they can fish that around me with a simple lift, drop, count and catch their own fish. It works deep or shallow, and they can safely throw it around docks, swim platforms or pontoons. It has been awesome for teaching my kids how to line watch and keep contact with the bait.

I'm using a simple set up. A 1/16 wacky head and a 4 or 6" Zoom trick worm in either Green Pumpkin or Watermelon Red. I've got them rigged on 6' St Croix Medium Light spinning rods with Cadence CS5 and 6lb co-polymer line. My daughter (age 9) caught an 18" LM today on this setup. It works and its easy enough for somebody without real skills to use.

Full report tomorrow, but get on the water...things are happening now.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fishing Report 7-27-18

Hey gang, it was a mighty tough bite this week. Fish were still biting, but activity levels and strike zone size was limited. Water temps have come down a bit, but fish activity has not quite caught up yet.

As we move into August look for fish in the usual summer places, but watch for them to have periods of time where they feed actively. The changes in the photocycle and the length of day will be evident to the fish, and you can expect to see activity levels peak and ebb during each day. If the hot, muggy weather is behind us, things are set to get great.

Bluegills are still holding in deeper water, and will continue to do so for a couple of weeks. Look for them to suspend along weedlines in 12-22 feet of water, or to suspend over deeper sand-grass about 14-18 feet down over 40-50 feet of water.

Largemouth will continue to come in using two primary patterns in the short term. On sunny days, you can find them around shallow docks, wood laydowns, slop and scattered weed clumps.  As the sun gets up, look for them to move tighter to overhead cover, but here will be periods of time during the day where their activity level will increase for a short spell. Be ready to switch tactics as they switch on and off, especially around transition areas and over flats where the topwater bite can really be fantastic.

Deeper fish will continue to use weededges and points in 12-18 feet of water, or be suspended over deep water about 6-12 feet below the surface. Some fish are relating to rockbars in 5-12 feet of water. Tube baits and skirted grubs are a great way to target these fish.

Smallmouth are starting to move toward the early fall pattern of making 3-5 foraging moves each day. When you are contacting active fish in shallow water, the bite can be incredible. Topwaters, including size 9 or 11 rapalas, rattletraps/lipless cranks or poppers in natural patterns can get you started, but be ready to switch to tubes, wacky, skirted grubs or twister tails as the day progresses. When things are slower, look for them to be just off the first major break in deeper water. Crankbaits in white or chartreuse, spinners or live bait are better for the deeper fish.

Walleyes will continue to hold in their summer patterns for another couple of weeks, but they will quickly make a move to shallower weedy areas as the baitfish move in for their fall spawning run. For now jigging or backtrolling with live bait around weed edges or drop-offs in 8-12 or 15-19 feet of water is a good place to start, and be ready to adjust to deeper water on sunny days or shallower on cloudy or windy days.  A few fish are appearing on mid-lake structure but many are staging off main-lake points, especially where there is bottom transitions from rock to sand or from sand to muck. Drifting with live bait rigs or jigs are great ways to target these fish.

Northern pike activity has been slow and steady all summer, and I wouldn't expect that to change. Smaller pike can almost always be found in shallow water around weed clumps and inside weededges adjacent to rock bars/shorelines. Spinners, buzzbaits, spoons, jerkbaits or lipless crankbaist are solid choices for action. Larger pike can be taken trolling cranbkaits or slowly backtrolling live bait along deeper weed edges, especially in 12-20 feet of water.

Musky reports have slowed down over the past couple of weeks, but I suspect that has as much to do with the weather as anything. For the next run, start to look for them along visible weed breaks as well as over sumberged weedy flats in 8-12 feet of water. This is the early run, and you should look for some  topwater or large bucktail action, or in deeper water suspended around baitfish which is perfect for a trolling bite. Action will pick up considerably in the weeks ahead.


Good Luck and Cheers.
CT

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fishing Report 7-20-18

Hey Gang,

I was out a bunch this week, but apparently I was about the only one. I didn't get my usual batch of reports in from my other "people" this week, so just a quickie update.

Water temps are solidly in the low to 80's around the area now. If the weather cools, expect it to drop back into the low 70's, but as long as it stays sunny and hot, you'll need to play the conditions. As always this time of year, you'll do better early and late in the day, but if you adapt your tactics during the day, you can catch fish essentially any time of day. Algae blooms are occurring on many area lakes, so expect dirtier than normal water as you head out.

Baitfish have been fairly plentiful, but concentrated to smaller areas than is common...find the food and you'll quickly find fish.

Bass fishing was a bit off in the early part of this week with the bright skies and high pressure, but fishing was slow and steady. I caught most of my fish this week out of areas I would expect to catch them, but I had to dig into the bag of tricks a couple of times to put fish in the boat consistently.

Primary pattern: weeds along transition areas or at the ends of points. This is where the active fish are/were. Working these areas with a topwater produced early, and I could go back to productive areas later on and catch fish by finessing them out of the weeds. Docks and slop were better mid-day, especially shady docks adjacent to deeper water. Between these things you'll need to cover water, and I caught some quality fish on both grubs (watermelon or green pumpkin) as well as smaller squarebill Norman crankbaits. Up shallow, nothing fancy...wacky, ned rigs, tubes or skirted grubs/jig and craw trailers. I will say this...I threw some different options this week to limited success. I ended up going back to the staples...jigworms and a light carolina-style rig each day to catch fish.

Panfish: About what you should expect for summer. There's "fun" fish around docks and swim platforms if you're heading out with the kids...a simple small bobber and ice fishing jig or #10 or #12 sized hook tipped with a waxworm or spike will produce. If you're looking for keepers...I have two suggestions: fish off the deep weed edges for suspended fish, or look for them in areas with the most current you can find. We caught a nice batch of keepers with the kids one afternoon this week in a very small spot by getting the bait through the smaller gills at the top of the school. I used a small, but reaasonably heavy tungsten jig to get the presentation to sink fast enough it passed the fish at the top of the school.

Pike: Nothing consistent to report. Caught some throwing lip less cranks as well as when I was throwing topwaters for bass. Had a couple nice ones in the boat on Monday morning on a buzzbait thrown over submergent vegetation where we saw some small bluegills in the tops of the weeds.

Musky: Been tough with the heat but if you play your solar lunar table and hit your windows, you can have some solid topwater or glider action, in some surprisingly shallow water. That's all I am going to say on this.

I didn't hear anything new on walleyes or crappie this week, so you can look back at my report from Monday (here) for the last bit of information I had.

Cheers,
CT




Monday, July 16, 2018

Fishing Report 7-16-18

Hey gang,

The hot weather has really slowed things down. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 80's, and fishing has hit that mid-summer period.

You'll do best fishing early and late. Morning bit has been good, but not great between about 4:30-8:30. Things start to really slow down by 10. They start picking back up around 4, and you can get some solid evening action going 6pm-dusk.

Weed edges along drop offs were the best overall pattern this week. With the heat, some docks and slop are holding fish, but the lack of rain has cut into the current through our local lakes in a pretty substantial way.

Overall, Bass fishing slowed way down this run, both in terms of people our fishing and catches. I've put fish in the boat every day I have been out, but there's been some days I was deep into my bag of tricks. Deep weedlines out to 18 FOW, piers or slop have been workable areas. Early, the smallmouth are making a forging run along shallow bars near deep water but getting them to bite consistently has been challenging day to day. Ned rigs, "Chris rigs" jigworms, grubs, tubes, wacky, small Kitech swimbaits and drop shot has put fish in the boat. Fishing very slow has produced a bunch of bites for me the last couple of days, but downsizing a bit has really been the ticket.

Texas rigs, Carolina Rigs and  live bait rigs with leeches, large shiners, chubs or suckers for the deep fish. Open water top water fishing has been good on mainlake and secondary points, but only until mid morning, but a smaller square bill or lipless crank has been a good follow up especially in areas where you see schools of pin minnows or juvenile yellow perch.

Walleye fishing has remained slow but productive. Fishing either end of the day certainly helps. Slip bobbers, with live bait, jigs with plastics or lindy rigs, fished near the weeds are producing, but expect the bite to slow down in the heavy heat this weekekend. At night, back troll with suckers on lindy/slip sinker rigs in 18-22 fow, targeting areas with healthy sandgrass or fish floating rapalas/minnowbaits around weedclumps after dark.

Bluegills are doing their summer thing. Look for them to suspend along the weedlines or out over deeper water. 12-18 feet deep over much deeper water is a great starting point. Drifting along the deep edges with bait suspended vertically is a solid presentation option.

Crappies have been suspending over sunken boats, fish cribs or other structure in 18-25 FOW. Heard several solid reports about bags of keepers coming in by guys fishing vertically with plastics or hair jigs tipped with waxies or spikes.

-----

Okauchee: Bass are on the piers, in pads and slop and on the weed edges in deeper water/along mainlake structure.  Pike have been active, especially in deep areas with quick access to shallow weeds. Panfish are suspending deep, but adjacent to the points.

Garvin: Bluegills suspending over deep cover on east shoreline points.

Oconomowoc:  Bass are suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points, coming in for limited periods of high activity. Tight to visible weed clumps will produce some bass, panfish are on the deep weedlines (use a split shot or light lindy rig and a panfish leech). Walleye and musky have both been slow.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing was slow, but steady. Target weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks and drop-offs in 10-18 FOW, but be ready to move around. Jigs and rigs with live bait, best action has been 6-8am and again just before dark.  Bass fishing has been very good, with lots of hungry smallmouths coming over the gravel and deep rock.

Moose:  Bass and pike both slow. Crappie and Bluegills are suspending deep and around swim platforms. Bass feeding early, then moving out deep. Look for baitfish, and work small areas hard. It has been a tough bite out there.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike were more active than most other lakes, but also deeper. Concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Piers holding some smaller fish. Panfish are suspending in the deep part of the basin, about 18-22 foot down.

Golden: Bluegills in deep water, holding close to weed edges. Bass have been biting along inside weedlines but docks and the slop are still holding some fish. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits or buzzbaits fished through the weedy areas.

Silver:  Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 12-18 FOW. Bass fishing was slower than normal, but still pretty consistent,


Finally today: Apparently this blog is one of the 60 best in Wisconsin. I made this list at #48 From Feedspot. I don't know exactly what to think...and it doesn't look like there's much of a prize or anything...but thanks to those of you who have followed these reports over the years.

Cheers,
CT






Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fishing Report 6-28-18 (Holiday Week Preview)

Hey gang,

The mid summer holiday is right around the corner. If you're in town (or have those pesky relatives who are) I have some openings for 3 hour and half day trips. Just email me and I'll put you on some fish.

PS...I'm super kid friendly (as I have five of my own.)

Around the area, the main story is the unstable weather patterns. We've got a couple of hot days on deck leading into the weekend, and then the hot and humid conditions will lead to some days with Thunderstorms, which of course lead to the post frontal days. None of this means you can't catch fish on any given day, but you'll need to play the conditions to have solid outings.

On the hot days, fish in the early morning or in the evening. During the middays focus on the shade. Docks, shady banks, tied up pontoons.  On days when a front is about to go through, look for the biggest fish in the hour or two before the front moves through (but be careful not to be too far from safety). On the days after the fronts, focus your attention on catching more (but smaller overall) gamefish when they turn back on first.

Around the area...water temps are in the mid 70's. Weed growth is a bit less than average for this time of year. There's plenty of baitfish after a couple of big hatches mid-month. Water is high on most of our area lakes.

Panfish Looking for action with the kids? Small panfish can be caught in shallow water using a small hook, bobber and live bait or plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, especially around docks or swim platforms. The keepers are being caught out of the deeper water by anglers drifting and fishing vertically. Look for gills to be suspending about 10-12 feet down over 18-25 FOW or 12-18 over 30-45 FOW. If you're on a deep school, but not catching keepers, get your bait down a little deeper. Hot tip: Skip the Nightcrawlers--get some panfish leeches. crcikets or helgramites....you can thank me later.

Crappie are suspending over structure in deep water, and along weed edges, and the activity has been steady by anglers who find the schools.

Largemouth bass are moving into what would be considered their traditional summer patterns.  Look for them in inside weed edges in 4-6 FOW  and the outside edges in 8-15 FOW. These fish can be caught on a variety of tackle, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged wacky worms, shakey heads, skirted grubs and tubes. Casting a grub or jigworm over the weed flats with a slow retrieve put some very nice fish in my boat this week.  Natural colors have been great...green pumpkin and watermelon red have been the most productive for me this week.

Piers are holding more fish on hot sunny days, and the slop has been pretty good especially mid-day. Looking for some real fun? Topwaters (especially Pop R's or two hook floating rapalas) are still catching fish over the weedflats in 5-12 feet right now, but only consistently before and at first light, and the topwater bite drops off substantially by 8am. 

Smallmouth bass fishing was red hot this past week. Fish are using rocky points and bars especially early and later in the day. Most fish are holding on the deep side of breaks or suspending off mainlake structure, coming in briefly to forage. Areas with steady current have also been holding some decent batches of fish. Skirted grubs, drop-shot, twister tail grubs, tubes, wacky worms, shakey heads, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits or floating rapalas are your best tackle options, but live bait like leeches and small suckers has been working for the people fishing the edges of structure in 18-25 feet.

Walleye fishing has been steady. Anglers putting in time are catching a fish, although keepers have been hard to come by consistently. Fish continue to be caught along outside weed edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Slip bobbers or split shot rigs with live bait or suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker rig has been producing the larger fish. Fishing over the tops of weed clumps near breaklines with floating rapala minnows is grabbing a few as well, especially during low light conditions. Wind has been a key factor on fish location....and drifting with live bait  (leeches, leave the fatheads at home) is the best way to find the active fish on the flats and weed edges.

Pike fishing has been a little below average, but lots of people are catching undersize pike when targeting bass or panfish. Active fish are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small baitfish, including a massive bloom in juvenile panfish. Fish with willow leaf spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, small bucktails or buzzbaits tight to scattered weedclumps in 4-8 FOW. Larger pike were hard to come by according to most reports, but if you want to chase them, try the weedline in 12-18 feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig or troll with deep diving crankbaits as close to the weedline as you can without getting hung up.

Musky fishing remains slow overall, on the bright sunny days, target suspended fish out over deeper on smaller lipless crankbaits, gliders and bucktails. A few fish have been caught off the weedline on larger swimbaits. Anglers continue to report lots of lazy follows, so consider keeping a smaller sucker out.

Lake By Lake:

Okauchee:  Bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-15 FOW. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Nothing substantial to report on panfish as the spawn is largely over, but look for them to be schooled up at the end of points over deeper water.

Garvin: Great spot for panfish lately with some nice keepers. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet. Bass are using the shallow flat areas. Pike are on the deep weedlines on the northwest and north east corners, and suspending over the deeper water.

Forest: Panfish and pike have been biting. Live bait over the deep holes on slip bobbers for panfish, inline spinners for the pike.

Oconomowoc: Fishing has slowed down. Mornings and evenings have been best. Bass are holding on the obvious structural breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Northern pike and walleye fishing has been best for anglers using small suckers catching the majority of the fish, pike was better than walleye during the day.  Musky fishing was slow, but lots of fish are still doing lazy follows.

Fowler: Small panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing is moving toward its typical summer pace. Weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks are still holding fish as are drop-offs in 18-25 FOW. Musky have moved out to suspend over deep water in the main basin. White bass have been stealing lots of bait from walleye and panfisherman. Bass has been average for both LM and SM.

Moose:  Bass and pike continue to bite, and action has been steady. Target the breaks and weed clumps in shallow water with crankbaits or spinners. Backtrolling with small suckers on a slip sinker rigs around the first major drop to deep water has been a hot tactic, especially in low light conditions. Mornings have been better, but gamefish are biting all day. Plenty of easy to catch, albeit small, panfish in the shallows for the kids to have some fun. Note: the lake is still no-wake.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike have been biting, and the action is close to average for this time of year. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Flipping tubes, lizards or long straight tailed worms to visible weed pockets is producing numbers. Panfish are suspending along the deep weed edges and along the sand/muck transitions.

Golden: Bluegills are moving out to deeper water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, holding close to weed edges. Crappie are in huge schools suspending off the points and weed edges. Bass have been biting best in the morning, but a deeper weedline bite has been picking up, especially in the afternoon.. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits fished through the weedy areas.

Silver:  Bass can be caught using plastics around the weed clumps in 4-15 feet or around piers and boat lifts. Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 12-18 FOW.

Nagawicka: Largemouths are average, and in summer patterns so look to catch them off boat docks, in the slop and along the shallow weed edges. Pike have been average, especially on crankbaits or buzzbaits fished over weed edges at either end of the lake.

Kessus: Bass have been good, and are on the gravel, under docks/pontoons and on the points. Pike are actively feeding on you of the year bluegills.

Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water with sandgrass, and largemouths are being caught around shallow to mid depth weeds. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially leeches or leafworms  has been very good for both bass and panfish. Night fishing is really picking up on Middle.

Rock River: the Catfish bite has been slow, but steady at night. Water is flowing.

Good luck, be safe and enjoy the next little run.

Cheers,
CT


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fishing Report 6-22-18

Hey gang, 

The unstable weather this week made for some challenging fishing. But as things stabilize this week, expect there to be a solid run of quality fishing ahead.


Panfish are largely done with the ritual, but there are a few fish still spawning on some area 
lakes. Out with the kids? - Action with bluegills can be found in shallow water areas where there is sand
or gravel, but bigger gills can be caught out of spawning areas in as deep 
as 18 feet of water down 12-18' over much deeper water. Meanwhile, crappies are relating to weed edges 
between 8-12 feet or suspending over structure and cribs in deeper water. For gills: hellgramites, panfish leeches, waxies or redworms are all good options, while crappie will be taken more frequently on small or large fatheads, plastics tipped with waxies or spikes or on small hair jigs.


Largemouth bass were tough(er) to come by (in relative terms). You can catch fish, but getting on a solid pattern for extended success might take some work if e don't get a couple of days of consistent weather.  Many fish have been shallow, but there's a steady deep bite as well. Be ready to adapt to changes on the water. As for a strategy: Skipping  piers is producing a few fish, but less than would be typical for the middle of summer. Slop has been decent, but only on the sunny days, and only around pads or slop where visible baitfish are present. Fish are feeding, but their strike zone has been tighter than I would normally expect...so I recommend a finesse approach: Wacky, Ned or Neko rigs, Shakey heads, flapper grubs and  tubes in shallow water, with dropshot, jigworms, skirted grubs on a football head and Slider rigs catching the deeper fish (12-18 FOW). Don't be afraid to downsize if the bite is tough, or during the middle part of the day. If you're an early riser, topwater poppers,  spooks and buzzbaits are catching some nice fish off the weedflats in  5-12 feet right now, but only consistently at first light, the topwater bite has been wrapping up around 8am. 

Smallmouth bass fishing has also been slow, but most anglers are catching mixed bags of smallies and largies in the same areas. Do the same things for both species, but look for smallies suspending around the ends of rocky points and bars both early and  later in the day. Grubs, tubes, wacky worms, shakey heads are catching some consistent bags of fish. Lindy rigging areas of deep sand with small suckers, large shiners or leeches can be the ticket for a tough bite, but my tip for this week: if you see lots of baitfish that are pin or shiner minnows around rock or rock weed transitions, use a suspending  jerkbait (like a Rouge) or floating Rapala. 


Walleye fishing was great in the rain, the high water generated some current and that really turned the fish on. Fish are coming shallow (5-9  FOW) but have also been in the sandgrass in 22-30+ FOW. Fish are being caught  along shallow inside and outside weed edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Vertically jigging with live bait or plastics has been better during the day, while throwing cranks and minnow baits has been producing early  and late. Suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker rig has been producing the larger fish. Leeches over nightcrawlers the last week.


Pike fishing has been red hot. Lots of smaller pike are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small gills and juvenile perch. Spinners  baits, small bucktails or buzzbaits will produce when fished tight to  weedclumps. Looking for something bigger? Move out to the weedline in 12-18 feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig with a heavy flourocarbon leader. Heard from a couple people that were pulling/trolling spoons that had some decent success in 15-18FOW early this past week.

Musky fishing: I just didn't hear much this week frankly. A couple of my usual information sources took the week off with the weather. I'd look for them to be suspended around schools of cisco or bluegills over the deep water, along the deepest weed edges or adjacent to deep water structure, especially the deep end of long points. I'd start with topwater around mid-depth rocks (8-12 FOW) concentrating on scattered clumps of weeds, then I'd throw a jointed bait (shallow raider or creekie chub) deep to shallow along the transition lines.



Good luck, and stay safe.

CT

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fishing Report 6-15-18

Hey gang, there's some crazy and unstable weather ahead, and you'll need to be ready to adapt to conditions.

Over the last week, fishing has been very inconsistent in our area. It hasn't been bad per se, lots of people are catching some fish, but they are scratching them together, consistent patterning has been tough. Some days have been gangbusters good, other days no so much. I suspect most of this has to do with the transition to a traditional mid summer bite.

Day to day, you should play the conditions. Large fish will feed on days when fronts are about to move through, but plan on action fishing for smaller fish on the back sides of fronts (Not true for musky, but bass and walleye certainly).

Conditions are around average for this time of the year...weed growth is catching up, and surface water temps are in the low to mid 70's. There's been some huge hatches of baitfish and the bluegills finishing their spawn and pike and musky starting to move out to deeper areas, things will probably get going.

Panfishing: most spawners have moved off the shallow nests and out to deeper water. You may still find some batches finishing the spawn, especially in the sand or small gravel along Southern or Eastern banks of a lake, but the bulk of the fish are starting to congregate around deeper docks, swim platforms (always an overlooked option) or along the first deep break in the weedline.

Largemouth fishing has been steady, but reflective of conditions. Some fish are still working shallow areas, but we're starting to see some fish stack up in the usual deep water spots. Lots of approaches are working, but you'll need to be ready to adapt on the water. In shallow, docks, rocks and slop are holding fish, but it seems like you can only really catch fish out of either where there are visible baitfish nearby. Docks are usually a solid, consistent pattern at this point in the year, but there certainly seems to be less fish on the docks than "normal." Mid depth 5-8 weed flats seem to be holding the most fish, but again, those fish seem to be post-spawn schoolers chasing bait. Bigger fish were coming from areas near spawning bluegills, but they seem to be making a move out to the weedlines and deepwater points. Topwater (poppers, floating minnowbaits and walk the dog style) is working in the mornings, but only until abut 7:30-8am. After the sun is up, fish are schooling along weed/ sand and weed/rock transition lines or on flats with sctatterd weeds. These fish are chasing bait, and can be caught with a variety of soft plastics including, wacky, jigworms, grubs, and small swim baits. Flipping any dense weed edges will tubes or jigs/chunk combos can turn some bigger fish, but in any case be ready to cover water...small crankbaits, rattle traps or squarebills are good search baits. If it gets hot this week, expect to see some fish move quickly to the docks and slop, and that bite will be great.

Smallmouth fishing is very similar to largemouth fishing right now...day to day. Look for them along the shallow breaks in 4-8FOW, especially along sand/gravel transitions or rock/weed transitions. Some fish are spending part of each day feeding along the deep, downwind side of mainlake points, but secondary points are where the better action has been. Areas with steeper drops seem to have been the best the last 10 days. Soft jerkbaits, ned rigs and grubs are catching fish out the scattered weeds along the breaks, tubes and skirted grubs off the rocks. Topwater has been pretty good morning and evenings, but you had to fish crazy slow and with a downsized bait to get bit this week.

Walleye fishing has been better than average, but fish are running undersized. Note that I have not personally been out for walleyes since last week.  I'd go conventional...tight to weeds with light jigs and leeches or plastics or lindy rigging with live bait out deeper. Cranks, especially floating/suspending minnows are catching some out of the weeds early and  later in the day.

Pike fishing has started to move towards summer. Smaller, action fish can be caught on the shallow weedflats fishing spinners, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits or oversized squarebills. Better fish are coming on the weedlines with slip sinker rigs tipped with larger livebait (small suckers or big shiners). Use a heavy florocarbon leader and a circle hook for better success. Look for the deeper fish in the sandgrass or any standing weeds you can find in 15-22 FOW.

Musky fishing has been below average. Fish are making a transition from shallow spring to their deeper summer areas, and anglers haven't really gotten back onto the new pattern. For now, I'd recommend topwaters around shallow rocks, especially early and late in the day, and spinners bucktails cowgirls along the deepest visible weed-edges you can find. Gliders on the flats can produce, but really only in areas where there are schools of visible baitfish swimming.

Good Luck Out There.
CT