Hey gang, not much new on the radar for this weekend....but things are happening around the area. The weather is providing substantial challenges to consistent fishing with windy and unstable conditions, but the springtime bite is on none the less.
Trout is still the hottest bite going for anglers fishing the stocked lakes, but Rock River fishing continues, as does early season bass, walleye and musky fishing. Locally, most fish have moved shallow, following the baitfish into the protected coves and backwater areas, but alot of action is happening in shallow flat areas away from the banks in 5-8 feet of water.
Panfish are appearing in greater numbers in shallow areas, especially in the afternoon. Look for shallow, dark bottom bays and boat channels with scattered weeds, woods or reeds. 2-8 Feet has been the key depths. Bluegills will hit on a variety of live bait, including redworms, dillys, waxworms, spikes, or butterworms. For crappies, tail hooked minnows, skirted grubs, road runners, or waxworms on an ice-fishing jig can really produce. (Try: Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Ashippun, Silver, Golden, School Section or Nagawicka)
Largemouth are in active, although more male fish are being caught right now. Look for them in shallow bays with wood laydowns or weeds. You can use a variety of presentations to chase these fish. Jig and chunks will catch less fish, but are a great way to catch a bigger fish. Slower presentations like wacky worms, texas rigged lizards or tubes are traditional presentations, but don't overlook spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, and crawfish imitating shallow diving crankbaits. Using live bait? Leeches, nightcrawlers or large shiners are your best options. (Try Okauchee, Moose, Kessus, Golden, Silver, Fowler, Pine, and Nagawicka)
Smallmouth bass are running rocky areas, foraging. Spinnerbaits are catching a bunch of the ealry agressive fish this year. If you're goin more finesse, tubes are always a great option to use on the shallow rockbars. Backtrolling while Lindy rigging with large shiners is working in deeper water. (Try Lac Labelle, Pine, Nagawicka, and Oconomowoc)
Walleye are still being caught in smaller numbers by anglers fishing the Rock River in Jefferson and Watertwon, as well as the Wolf, Wisconsin and Fox Rivers around the state. Locally, look for walleyes in shallow water, around rocks or sand, especially early in the morning, and later in the evening. In the daylight hours, schools of fish will be cruising the sand flats in 8-15 feet of water. Live bait rigging, (Lindy rigs with small suckers are the local's best approach!) jig and minnow or jig and leech combos, or trolling with shad or minnow imitators are your best approaches. (Try Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Fowler, Nagawicka, Fox or Pine)
Northern Pike are still using shallow water in weedy or marshy areas, and will aggressively bite spinners, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits or live bait suspended around shallow weeds.(Try: Moose, Kessus, Okauchee, Fowler, School Section, Lake Emily, Fox and Nagawicka)
Musky fishing was slow, but with lots of follows reported. Many anglers are reporting finding fish in 5-12 feet of water, and chasing swimbaits, gliders, jerkbaits and bucktails. Remember to do your figure eights on every cast right now.(Try Okauchee, Garvin, (Give Garvin a try this time of year, you might be surprised how many fish are in there) Fowler and Pewaukee)
Catfish were starting to bite more aggressively on the Rock River. Look for them around wood on the bottom, or in the channel turns. Stink bait, cutbait or nightcrawlers were all producing, but cutbait seems to be hot right now. Up the Crawfish, Jefferson from the S turn to the Rapids, and South of Fort Atkinson but above the VFW were the spots reporting active cats.
Trout fishing continues to provide fast on the stocked lakes and ponds around area. Lower Geneesse is on fire right now, as is typical for this point in the season. Look for schools of fish to be moving around in the deep part of the basin there. Minnows, redworms or chunks of corn suspended beneath a slip bobber will catch fish.