Fishing Report: Water Cold, Fish Biting.
This late developing spring has kept water much cooler than average this year, but the weatherman says the temps will start to come up this weekend.
Overall, fishing is our area is consistent, but you might have to change up what you're doing to catch fish. High water conditions and water temps in the mid 50's to low 60's, mean it is prime time for shallow water fishing.
Musky have been active, but many anglers are reporting lazy follows. Look for them in shallow protected areas with scattered weeds growth. The active fish are feeding and patrolling in the shallow weed flats, rock points and sandy areas. Natural colors, like perch or shiner, or straight black have been working, bot gold seems to be this spring's hot color. Lots of nice fish are being seen, although substantially less are being caught. Until the water gets a little warmer, be ready to work an area and make repeated casts to fishy looking spots. Figure eights are critical right now, so make sure to be doing them. Pewaukee, has a full-field musky tournament this weeekend, but is giving up fish. Okauchee has been active with lots of fish being seen on lazy follows. Oconomowoc, Folwer and Lac Labelle, have steady action reported, although the number of reports is down for this time of year.
Northern pike are doing many of the same things that the musky are doing, they are just out a little deeper. Look for weeds in 6-10 feet of water, then fish them hard with spinner or buzzbaits. A small sucker or large golden shiner on a slip sinker rig will also produce. Lipless crankbaits, in a silver and blue or gold and black combination are catching lots of fish. Try: Okauchee, Moose (on fire!), Fowler, Kessus, Nagawicka, Emily, Fox and Golden.
Bass fishing is setup to be great for this weekend. The perfect water temperatures for a pre-spawn bite means trophy fishing opportunities await you this weekend. Look for bass in shallow water near weeds or wood laydowns. The piers, especially with wood posts, will hold fish as well. Wacky worms, tube baits jig and chunks, floating worms, and large texas rigged plastics are all great options, but also consider shallow running crankbaits or buzzbaits. For live bait, nightcrawlers on a split shot rig or large shiners under a float/bobber are the best options. All area lakes will have active largemouth bass this weekend, but focus your attention on the really good ones: Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Silver, Pine, Nagawicka, Garvin and Lower Nehmabin.-Remember, the spawning period is critical, so please catch, photo and release bass.
Walleye: Lots of lakes are starting to see mayfly hatches this week, which usually turns walleye fishing off for a bit. If you want to try for them, look for walleyes on mid depth structure or in the shallow weeds.You can catch walleyes on crankbaits, but this is prime season for live bait presentations. Jig and minnow, jig and leech, or lindy rigs with nightcrawlers or leeches can produce, especially early and late in the day. Trolling with bottom bouncers or lindy's can help you to locate fish. Try Pine, Lac Labelle, Fox, and Oconomowoc lakes. A slow but reliable stream of information indicates that Nagawicka walleyes have been biting recently, in 8-12 feet of water.
Trout: Stocked trout are still available on some area lakes and many area ponds. You need an inland trout stamp to fish for or possess these trout, but they can be taken easily on live bait (minnows or redworms) or with small in-line spinners. Look for them in the deepest holes of the smaller lakes. Watch your electronics, if you see a school of fish suspended, chances are that these are the trout. Slip bobber or vertically tight line just above them. Fowler, Lower Nashotah, Ottawa and Lower Genessee offer your best opportunities for boat fishing.
Panfish: Crappie action continues to be good on many area lakes. Look for fish to start to move into the reeds or onto shallow wood this weekend if the weather stabilizes. Until then, look for schools of crappies in the shallow, dark bottomed bays or boat channels near green weeds. Tailhooked minnows below a bobber will always produce, but keep a second rod rigged with a plastic tipped with a waxworm or spike out. Some days the plastic/grub combo has been outproducing the minnows, especially for larger fish. Bluegills are starting to come in shallow, but a good number of fish are still in water as deep as 15 feet. If this weather stays consistent, the bluegills will start moving in to stage for the spawn, but this hasn't happened in any significant number as of yet. Try School Section, Nag, Okauchee, Fowler, Ashippun, Pretty or Silver.
In the wider area, whitebass fishing on the Rock River continues in both Jefferson and Ft Atkinson, as well as on the Wolf and Fox rivers. Walleye fishing in the Dells has been pretty good, despite the weather. Catfish are really turning on for shore fisherman targeting them along the Rock River.
Should be a good week ahead.