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Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 Opener Preview

Here's what to expect when you hit the water this weekend.

1.) Water temps in the low to mid fifties. Some isolated bays may be approaching 60 degrees, but only if the wind stays down, and the afternoons are sunny.

2.) Limited new growth of weeds. New green growth is just beginning, and any that you are able to find will likley hold fish.

3.)Higher than average water.  Pay attention to the conditions, and don't overlook areas with current. Active fish will use current areas in the spring.

4.) I'd skip the morning run on Saturday, and focus my efforts in the warmer parts of the day. You may need to make some adjustments throughout the weekend as conditions change.


Panfish: Starting to stage on weed flats and in marshy areas. Look for the warmest shallow water in the afternoons. Plastics tipped with waxworms, or small tail hooked minnows are catching fish, but they are running small. Strike zone is small, make sure to make accurate casts if fishing for shallow, visible fish. (Best Local Options: Okauchee, Pine, Kessus, Nag, Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Middle Geneessee, Moose, Garvin and Golden)

Bass: Pre-Pre spawn. Look for small groups of fish to be cruising in the shallow water in the afternoons. Some of the early warming bays and channels may have some early bucks up in the shallow water, but I'd expect to see more schooling activity. Grubs, tubes and wacky are your best bets, but a jigworm might be the key approach. (Okauchee, Silver, Golden, Nag, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Kessus, Pewaukee, Beaver)

Action will come in spurts, but look for warmer water and green weeds. If the sun is out, rocks can pull in fish later in the day as they absorb heat. Large fish can be caught on a jerbait or slow rolled spinnerbait on the deep edges of points near spawning coves. If you're seeing bigger fish in the shallows, jig and pig in a black/blue, black/red or rootbeer pattern will produce. If you find fish out deep, a texas rigged lizard can land you the biggest bass of the season over the next ten days.

Northern: Lots of fish on the flats, live bait, buzzbaits or lipless crankbaits will produce the most fish. Probably your best option for early fishing this weekend if you're looking for steady action. Big fish will be one breakline deeper than where the active, smaller fish are. (Moose, Kessus, Nag, Emily, Okauchee, Pretty, Golden)

Walleye: Lots of fish on the 6-12 foot deep flat areas. Especially around, but out of the current, and in any shallow standing weeds. Lindy rigging and drifting or slow death trolling are good options. (Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pine, Nag and North)

Musky: Live baiting with suckers, small bucktails and jerkbaits are your best options for the opener. Reports of spawning pairs have been circulating on Okauchee, Garvin and Pewaukee for a few days. (Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, Okauchee, Oconomowoc and North)

Good Luck.
CT

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