Took my dissertation committee chair fishing today. It is spring break in Madison, and he was hoping to grab some fish for a fry.
Nice day. Out 9:30am-4pmish. Bite was very tough in the morning, but picked up dramatically around 1pm.
Targeted crappies for a bit, but after catching some scrappers, switched over to fishing for gills. Started catching some keepers right away, but again, the fish wouldn't swim more than about 12-18 inches to bite. If you put the bait on top of them, you'd get a bite, but if the fish had swim any distance...forget it.
Started out how I have been catching fish...DS panfish grub with waxies or gulp waxies. White has been the best grub color for me, but hot pink was also working some today. Tried about six colors during the day, but white and pink were clearly the best.
He was having a little trouble with the timing for a grub, so I hooked him up with a black ant and a gulp waxie, and he crushed fish all day on that setup. He did manage to catch a fish 23 casts in a row with that rig, so while most of the fish he was catching today were small, don't overlook downsizing even more if the bite is tough.
Garvin was the best over all, both the shelf on the north end and the weedflat/wood laydowns on the south end were productive. Caught most of our keepers there.
Fished the river mouth flat just south of the Crane's Nest. Lots of crappies, but they were all short. I'm sure there's some better fish in that area, but we didn't spend time to try and get them to bite. Caught the ones we caught while drifting north to south, and a drift sock would have worked great in that wind today as the best spot we found was less than 50 yards long.
Late this afternoon, we caught a handful off the sand in Icehouse and another batch in Tierney, but all but two were standard issue potato chip sized Okauchee gills.
Water temps are 48-50 in the main lake areas. Tierney was 56 at the mouth, but the water in front of the "pond" was over 60 degrees. Bay five and Icehouse were in the low 50's. North end of Garvin was mid 50's by late afternoon. Whitigers was 52-56, but we didn't fish there.
In all, well over a 150 mixed panfish today. Kept 12 for his dinner, but could have had at least another 12-15 keepers in the batch without crossing my minimum standards.