Big Holiday Weekend Ahead, with lots of boats on the water. Be careful out there. Your best bet is to get an early start. You can get some serious fishing in before most of the ski boats and pleasure craft hit the water.
Some area lakes are slow no wake due to high water. Make sure to check the signs at the launches for the latest restriction notices.
Panfish have moved to their summer patterns. Small panfish can be caught in shallow water, especially around docks or swim platforms. The better sized fish are being caught out of the deeper water, where they are suspending about 12 feet down over 18-25 feet of water. There's a third batch which is relating to weed clumps in 6-12 feet of water, and I saw a batch of nice crappies doing that when I was out today. Best Bets: The Gennessee Lakes, Silver, Ashippun Upper and Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Garvin, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Forest and Pine.
Largemouth bass are relating to the heavy weed growth in 8-15 feet of water. These fish can be taken on swimbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged worms, nightcrawlers or small suckers fished just along the outside edge of the weedbeds. Skipping piers is producing a few fish as well. Wacky Worms, Shakey heads and tubes are all producing. 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. Best Bets: Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Nagawicka, Pine, School Section and Kessus.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been spotty, but there are lots of fish using rocky points and bars both early and later in the day. It seems like most fish are patrolling the flats, and most anglers are reporting that they are not finding active smallies near weeds. Skirted grubs, tubes, wacky worms, shakey heads and small suckers are catching some consistent bags of fish. If you see lots of baitfish around rocky areas, try a jerkbait or floating rapala. Best Bets: Nagawicka, Pine, Lac Labelle and Oconomowoc.
Walleye fishing has been slow with the bright sunshine this past week, but anglers putting in the time are sill catching a few fish. 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. Lac Labelle, Druid, Oconomowoc, Pine, Nagawicka and Upper Nehmabin have been the best area lakes. Trollers are catching some on Lake Koshkonong pulling spinner harnesses behind planers.
Pike fishing has been red hot lately. Lots of smaller pike are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small gills and juvenile perch. Spinners baits, lipless crankbaits, 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. Moose, Kessus, Golden, Nagawicka, Garvin, Okauchee and School Section are your best pike lakes right now.
Musky fishing has been steady with lots of nice fish coming in. Some anglers have been catching suspended fish out over deeper water pulling crankbaits. Some fish are also being taken by targeting points along the deepedges of the weedline by fisherman casting with bucktails, gliders, jerkbaits and swimbaits. Suckers on a quick strike rig continue to convert fish, even this late into the summer. Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Okauchee, Garvin and Fowler have all had good Musky action this past week.
Good Luck, and stay safe.