Hey gang. If you're heading out, traditional summer patterns are what's happening on the lakes right now.
Panfish have moved to deep water for the most part. They can be a little tricky to find, but if you can get on some, you won't believe the size and quantity of panfish you can pull out of deeper water. My best suggestion for you is to drive slowly just off the weedlines and the deep edges of points with your electronics on. Panfish typically school up over 18-28 feet of water about 6-12 feet down. They'll look like a cloud on your graph. Use slip bobbers or tightline vertically with leeches, panfish plumpers or pieces of nightcrawler to target these fish on a drift. Ashippun, Silver, Phantom, Middle and Lower Genessee, Garvin, Okauchee, Golden, Lower Nashotah and Moose have all been productive.
Largemouth Bass are running three of their usual summer patterns. On sunny, warmer days the piers and the slop are producing. Wacky worms, tubes and shakey heads are producing around the piers, while rats, scum frogs, strike king or zoom frogs are pulling them out of the slop. Deeper fish have schooled up on the weedlines, the end of points and especially over deeper rocks. Texas rigs, drop shot and swim baits are catching these fish. The fish on the weed flats are being taken on topwater, especially early in the evening as the sun sets. Buzzbaits, poppers and spooks are all catching fish. Okauchee, Nag, Kessus, Moose, Golden, Pewaukee, Lower Nemahbin and Lac Labelle have been consistent.
Smallmouth bass have been using weeds along dropoffs, or suspending over deeper water. They are hard to catch when in this neutral mode, you'll have to catch them when they come into shallow water to feed at first and last light. Top-waters, wacky, jig and chunks and tube-baits are all catching fish. Oconomowoc, Pine, Nag, Lac Labelle and Okauchee have given up fish.
Walleye fishing is slow but steady. Fish are using weeds in 18-22 feet on most lakes. Jigs tipped with live bait or lindy rigs are catching fish, but the better fish are coming at night by anglers trolling with stickbaits, shad raps or bottom bouncers. Try:North, Pine, Lac Labelle, Fowler, Oconomowoc and Pine.
Northern pike fishing has been great this entire year, and the bite continues. Look for them on the weedflats and target larger fish with live bait along the deep weedlines. Lots of smaller pike can be caught throwing spinner or buzzbaits around clumps of shallow weeds, while the bigger fish are coming on shiners or suckers on slip sinker rigged trolled very slowly on the outside edges. Moose, Okauchee, Nag, Ashippun, Golden, Pretty and Lower Genessee.
Musky fishing has been tied to the weather recently. The cloudy days are producing, the hot sunny days have been slower. Most fish are being caught off deep structure or while trolling. A few are being caught on topwaters near the deep weed edges on the larger flats. Crankbaits are producing the trolling fish, jerkbaits and soft plastics are catching the casting fish. Walk the dog and prop baits have been the better topwater options lately.