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Friday, July 25, 2014

Special Rate

Greetings

I still have a few days next week open. Given the short turn-around, I'll extend my lower price offer.

$50 off my regular half day rate. We can fish for bass, pike and/or walleye on any of the usual local lakes.

Email me  or call for more information.

Fishing Report 7-25-14

Conditions have been relatively stable.

Water temps around the area are in the low to mid 70's.


This is the Okauchee Tie-Up Weekend...so you might be looking for another place to fish on Saturday.

Panfish are in the late summer pattern. A few quality fish are still with the little fish in the dense shallow weeds, but the large majority of keepers are suspended in deep water. Look for schools of fish 14-22 feet down over deeper water, or along the bottom in 18-22 feet. Slip bobbers or tightline vertical presentations are you best options, and if you can get a good drift going, that's your best bet. Panfish leeches, plastics tipped with waxies, leaf worms or chunks of nightcrawler will work.

Largemouth bass fishing has been surprisingly good the last week all things considered. Lots of fish are suspending just off of mainlake structure that has a steep drop into deeper water. If you're out early, you can connect with some of these fish on topwater until about 8:30am, then you'll have to go deeper. Shallow fish are using the docks and isolated clumps of weeds along rock/weed transition areas. Flipping jigs, or skipping plastics has been very effective, and has even pulled in some decent fish. The slop bite has been so-so, but docks have been hot.  Out deep: crankbaits, drop shots, big texas rigged worms (10-12") and slow rolled spinnerbaits are catching some fish around deep weed edges and off the secondary structure located on major points.

Smallmouth bass fishing was so/so the last week. Lots of fish are cruising the shallows, but getting a consistent bite has been very tough. Schools of smallmouth are  patrolling the rockbars and shallow rocky points a couple of times a day.  Skirted grubs, jig and chunks and tubes in natural patterns work great, as does the old standby, the Rebel Crawfish.

Walleye fishing continues to be a hit or miss proposition. On cooler days with some wind/cloudy conditions, some anglers are catching fish out of the weeds vertically jigging the holes with live bait. Evening fishing has been about average, with lindy rigs and nightcrawlers catching most of the fish. Look for fish on the weededge in 12-18 FOW and again between 22-27 FOW on deep gravel, rock or in the sandgrass.

Pike fishing has been slow and steady. Lots of smaller pike are chasing spinners, lipless cranks and buzzbaits around mid-depth weed clumps, but bigger pike have been hard to come by consistently this year. As the days start to get shorter, the photocycle will start to trigger some more fish to chase yellow perch or small suckers into the weeds.

Musky fishing...has been pretty slow. A few fish are using current areas with lots of baitfish, but they have been hard to catch. Topwaters are producing a few early and late, as is trolling the main basins with deep diving stickbaits.

Good luck out there. Be safe.

Cheers,
CT

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oconomowoc Lake Article

Journal Sentinel Outdoor Editor Paul Smith's column today was about our outing to Oconomowoc Lake this past week. I really enjoy fishing with Paul, and we had a really great outing last Wednesday despite some unique fishing and weather conditions.

It makes the point I have been making... even under the tough conditions that the weather has been making, the fish are still biting like crazy...you just have to work for them a bit.

Read all about the bass we caught....at the Outdoors page of JSOnline.

Cheers,
CT

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dates Available

Just some of that shameless self promotion.

I have a handful of open dates the week of July 28.

I would like to fill them. I'll offer a special rate to do so. Contact me for more information.

Cough Cough $50 off Cough Cough

Cheers,
CT

DNR Fisheries Plan-Lake Michigan

Paul Smith of the Journal-Sentinel has an article up on JSonline that's worth a read, especially if you like to fish Lake Michigan. The DNR has released a draft of its proposed fisheries plan.

The article is here at jsonline.com

The draft of the DNR plan is available here.


Notably: there will be four public sessions on the plan:

The DNR will host four public meetings to provide information, answer questions and take comments. All meetings are scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m.
The meetings are scheduled:
■ Aug. 4, Wisconsin DNR Green Bay Service Center, 2984 Shawano Ave., Green Bay.
■ Aug. 5, Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave., Cleveland.
■ Aug. 7, UW-Milwaukee GLRF-SFS, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee.
■ Aug. 7, Wisconsin DNR Peshtigo Service Center, 101 N. Ogden Road, Peshtigo.
 Alternatively, comments can be sent by email to dnrlakemichiganplan@wisconsin.gov or by mail to Bradley T. Eggold, Department of Natural Resources, UWM-GLRF-SFS, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fishing Report 7-17-14

The cooler weather has slowed the fishing, but it is still very, very good for this time of year. Being precise with presentations, and paying attention to the details is helping to pattern fish, which leads to better fishing.

Anglers are catching a mixed bag of largemouths. Deep weedlines in 12-18 FOW, piers-especially with rock or sand underneath, slop and shallow bars near deep water are all holding fish. Texas rigs, slow rolled, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are catching the deeper fish. Wacky, jigworms, pre-rigged worms and small crankbaits are catching fish out of the shallow water. A few nice fish have come out of the smaller lakes flipping (rather than topwater fishing) the slop. Personally, I continue to catch a nice batch of fish on flappers, jigworms, tubes and wacky worms fished around mid-depth weed clumps in 4-8 FOW.

Smallmouth fishing has been slow and steady this season with many smallmouth suspending just off the structure in the deeper water. By mid-morning, expect to start seeing wolfpack groups foraging in the shallow rocks, or rock/sand transition areas. Right now, fish just a bit deeper than normal, using tubes, wacky and jigworms. If the bite is tough, downsize a bit. A wacky rig with a french fry in place of a senko style bait can be just the magic you need at this point in the season. Floating rapalas, zara spooks and pop-r's are catching some topwater fish.

Musky fishing has been on fire since the weather cooled off.  Trolling deep with big cranks and jerkbaits has been the primary pattern, but a few fish are being taken on topwaters, again early and late in the day. Gliders fished fast along turns in the deep weedlines has also been productive.

Walleye fishing has remained slow. Slip bobbers, with leeches, fished over weeds is usually a pretty good daytime presentation this time of year,. At night, back troll with suckers on lindy/slip sinker rigs in 18-22 fow, targeting areas with healthy sandgrass.

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.

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Okauchee: If you're going out, bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-12 feet. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Pike have been very active, especially in deep areas with quick access to shallow weeds.

Garvin: Great spot for panfish. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet.  Bass are using the shallow flat on the south end and the weedline turns. Pike have come off 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:  Bass are holding on the obvious structural breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Largemouths are still more active than smallmouth. Northern pike has been better than average for anglers with small suckers catching the majority of the fish.  Musky fishing was picking up, but lots of fish are still doing lazy follows, and lots of people are reporting that they are seeing fish over the tops of weeds chasing juvenile gills.

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 was steady, but a little slow on weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks and drop-offs in 10-18 FOW.

Moose:  Bass and pike continue to bite, and action has been good. 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.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike have been good. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Panfish are suspending in the deep part of the basin, about 18-22 foot down.

Golden: Bluegills are in deep water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, but holding close to weed edges and the major structure. Typically, bass have been biting best on deeper weedlines but docks and the slop are both 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 fished through the weedy areas.

Silver:  Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 18-25 FOW.

Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially dillys or leafworms or slip bobbering with plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes  has been very good for panfish. Night fishing is in full steam on Middle.

If you've got specific questions: Feel free to email me.




Good Luck Out There,
CT

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fishing Report 7-10-14

Well gang,

Fish are biting all day long, but the bite is better at low light/cooler sections of the days. The full moon cycle this weekend along with some stable conditions and moderate temperatures should make for some excellent fishing this weekend.

I'm catching bass on two major patterns. First off...docks. The docks have really turned on, and I'm catching some very nice fish with the bright sunshine days we've had recently. I haven't been working the slop much, but I'm sure it will be good, especially mid-morning to early afternoon during the hot part of the day. Skipping docks with wacky, skirted grubs or fishing adjacent to shadows with small, shallow running crankbaits is working...and working great. Remember, the shadows are the key to effectivce dock fishing. If you're fishing from shore, target slop that you can reach, or fish in moving water like a river or creek with skirted grubs or wacky rigged worms.


Otherwise, the edges of weeds, especially where that weed edge is close to a graded drop in 9-12 FOW (sloping drop rather than a steep break) has been holding a huge quantity of fish. Typically that means there is a baitfish hatch that has their attention, and not surprisingly I'm catching lots of fish on jigworms, flapper grubs and twister tails....working them through suspended water. Deep weedline fish can be caught in variety of ways, but drop shotting, slow rolling spinnerbaits, and deep diving crankbaits will also produce.

Panfish are pretty much done spawning. You may find a few stragglers, but the best keepers (both crappie and bluegills are out deep, suspending as far as 20 feet down over much deeper water (found a nice batch yesterday over 52 FOW). Drifting over schools you can spot on your electronics with slip bobbers seems to be working for people putting in the time, but as always, I'm a fan of tightlining vertically for suspended fish.


Walleye have been active during the ends of the days. 12-18 FOW seems to be clutch, but I'm still grabbing a few out to 25 FOW, especially out of the deep sandgrass. This weekend, floating rapalas (size 11 or 13) fished over weed clumps adjacent to dropoffs should get interesting.

Pike fishing has been slow but very steady. The photocycle tends to slow them down except for early and later in the day. Right now, target isolated weed clumps in 8-15 FOW or weed edges in 15-22 FOW for pike. Live bait (small sucker or large shiner on a slip sinker rig) is outproducing cranks, but never give up on a buzzbait, spinnerbait, spoon or lipless crankbait when chasing pike.

Musky fishing has been slow, but the full moon this weekend will certainly put people on the water. Look for fish on the weed edges (especially weed edges on long points) in 12-18 FOW. Double-bladed spinners seem to be hot right now, but such things happen when that's what everyone is throwing at a given time. A smaller jerkbait or glider is my personal recommendation.


Last note...a personal one. I believe I had the largest bass I have ever seen in Waukesha County on my line this week(and that's saying something). The fish got away from me while I was playing it, and once it was in deep water, I couldn't recover to get it in. I know it is the middle of summer, and although this is traditionally "the dog days"...the fish are biting, and biting very well. You just have to work a bit to get at them. 

Forget golf...go fishing.

Good luck and be safe,
CT

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Holiday Weekend Fishing Report (7-3-14)

Half way through summer...and things are happening on our area lakes. Most water temps are in the mid 70's. Weed growth and baitfish populations are at about average for this time of year.

Fishing has been very good, despite the unstable weather. Obviously the lakes will be busy with a three day holiday weekend, so plan on fishing early and late, but if you can stand the boat traffic, fishing has been steady all day all the last three weeks.

If you're a newbie or casual fisherman....keep it simple this weekend. Get some leeches or small suckers and fish them on a slip sinker or lindy rig. Just keep the line tight and put your boat around the deep edges of some visible weeds. You will catch fish.

If you're looking to cast some lures...try a lipless crankbait.  Just cast it at any weeds you see, and reel it in as fast as you can.

Panfish Looking for action? Small panfish can be caught in shallow water using a small hook, bobber and live bait, especially around docks or swim platforms. The better sized fish are being caught out of the deeper water (12-18 FOW) by anglers drifting and fishing vertically. If you're on a deep school, but not catching keepers, get your bait down a little deeper. Crappie are suspending over deep water, and along weed edges, and the activity has been steady by anglers who find the schools.

Largemouth bass continue to run 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, jigworms, jig and chunks, skirted grubs and tubes. Piers are holding fish and the slop has been pretty good. If you just want to catch fish, keep it simple...leeches on lindy or slip sinker rigs on the deep weed edge is an easy way to put some fish in the boat on just about any area lake.

Smallmouth bass fishing was fairly inconsistent 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. Skirted grubs, twister tails, tubes, wacky worms, 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 backtrolling deep sand in 18-25 feet.

Walleye fishing has been very slow with the unstable weather. Anglers putting in time are catching a few fish. 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 early and late in the day. Most fish are being caught along weededges in 12-18 FOW, but I've been catching them as deep as 25'

Pike fishing has been a little below average with lots of smaller pike being reported. Active fish are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small baitfish, including a massive bloom in juvenile panfish. Fish with inline spinners, 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.

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 and lots of lazy follows, so keep a sucker out. 12-15 FOW seems to be the magic depth over the past couple of weeks.

Lake By Lake:

Okauchee:  Bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-12 feet. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Nothing substantial to report on panfish, but look for keepers suspended over deeper water and on the deep ends of the mainlake points.

Garvin: Great spot for panfish lately with some nice keepers. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet. Musky are still using the treeline break and suspending off the south drop. Bass are using the shallow flat on the south end. 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:  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, and lots of people are reporting that they are seeing fish in shallow water chasing juvenile gills.

Fowler: Small panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines. No word on musky.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing is moving toward its typical summer pace. Weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks are holding fish as are drop-offs in 10-18 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.

Moose:  Bass and pike continue to bite. 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.

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. Slip sinker rigs with leeches fished tight to the weed edge worked for me with one of my kids today.

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

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.

Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water with sandgrass, and largemouths are being caught around shallow to mid depth weeds. No word on trout on Lower, but news of the trout fishing has been fairly limited. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially leafworms or big reds has been very good for both bass and panfish. Night fishing is really picking up on Middle, especially along the deep points and drop offs.

Pine: Walleye, Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth are being caught off the rocks early in the day, and off the weedlines in the mid-day and evenings. Slip sinkers with live bait will produce, but don't overlook crankbaits or slow rolled spinnerbaits for suspending fish.


School Section: Bass and pike are biting, but most of the fish have been small. Look for the deep spots, and work them hard with plastics or live bait.

If you've got specific questions: Feel free to email me.

Good Luck, and stay safe this weekend.

Cheers,
CT

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fishing Report 6-28-14 (Quickie update edition)

I was out a bunch this week.

A couple of things of note...

1.) Baitfish are back. This spring presented a difficult situation with baitfish, but that problem seems to have worked itself out with some fairly large hatches recently. I've seen everything from pin minnows, to wild shiners, to juvenile panfish and perch this past week. Bait had been harder to come by this season, but not anymore.

2.) Weeds are up. The weeds had a slow start after the tough winter, but growth is rolling now. Big patches of everything...especially milfoil are up and growing.

3.) Panfish are still spawning...but they are almost done. Crappie are out on the weed edges and suspending over deeper structure. Shallow bluegill beds have been pilfered, but there's still plenty of fish out deep...and some bigger schools are starting to suspend.

4.) Smallmouth fishing was tough this week, but the largemouth bite was on fire. Fish are still roaming the flats, but they are also starting to setup in deeper water.

5.) The best bite has been from about 7am-10am.

Talk to you next week.

Cheers,
CT