Happy Independence Day Weekend.
The holiday weekend looks to have
temperatures cool off to September levels, so you can expect the activity from both anglers and
fish to pick up. Remember, the photo cycle is shrinking, but that the
sun is at its most direct over the next couple of weeks. You can really
increase your success by fishing early mornings, evenings and if you can
stand the bugs, at night.
Around the area...water temps are in the mid to high 70's. Weed growth is about average for this time of year. Lots of baitfish are swimming around, with hatches on pin minnows and panfish over the last two weeks.
Panfish Looking for
action? Small panfish can be caught in shallow water using a small
hook, bobber and live bait, especially around docks or swim platforms. A few fish are still spawning, but I saw hatched bluegill fry swimming around (and being fed on) on Golden Lake.
The better sized fish are being caught out of the deeper water by
anglers drifting and fishing vertically. Look for gills to be suspending
about 10-12 feet down over 18-25 FOW or 12-18 over 30-45 FOW. If
you're on a deep school, but not catching keepers, get your bait down a
little deeper. Crappie are suspending over deep water, and along weed
edges, and the activity has been steady by anglers who find the schools.
Largemouth bass are moving traditional summer patterns. Look for them in inside
weed edges in 4-6 FOW and the outside edges in 8-15 FOW. These fish can
be caught on a variety of tackle, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas
rigged wacky Worms, Shakey heads, skirted grubs and tubes. Piers are
holding more fish with the hot sunny days, and the slop has been pretty
good. Looking for some real fun? Topwaters are still catching fish over
the weedflats in 5-12 feet right now, but only consistently before
and at first light, and the topwater bite drops off substantially by
Smallmouth bass fishing was below average this past week, but with the clouds and cooler temps, the fish will come back into the shallows to feed. Fish are using rocky points and bars especially
early and later in the day. Most fish are holding on the deep side of
breaks or suspending off mainlake structure, coming in briefly to
forage. Skirted grubs, twister tails, tubes, wacky worms, shakey
heads, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits or floating rapalas are your best
tackle options, but live bait like leeches and small suckers has been
working for the people backtrolling deep sand in 18-25 feet.
fishing has been steady. Anglers putting in time are
catching a fish, although keepers have been hard to come by. Fish continue to be caught along outside weed
edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Slip bobbers or split shot
rigs with live bait or suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker
rig has been producing the larger fish. Fishing over the tops of weed
clumps near breaklines with floating rapala minnows is grabbing a few
as well, especially during low light conditions.
Pike fishing has been a little below
average with tons of smaller pike being reported. Active fish are using
the shallow weedflats to feed on small baitfish, including a massive
bloom in juvenile panfish. Fish with willow leaf spinnerbaits, lipless
crankbaits, small bucktails or buzzbaits tight to scattered
weedclumps in 4-8 FOW. Larger pike were hard to come by according to
most reports, but if you want to chase them, try the weedline in 12-18
feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker
rig or troll with deep diving crankbaits as close to the weedline as
you can without getting hung up. I caught a couple of nice fish yesterday working an outside edge with a large plastic bait on a texas rig.
remains slow overall, on the bright sunny days, target suspended fish
out over deeper on smaller lipless crankbaits, gliders and bucktails. A
few fish have been caught off the weedline on larger swimbaits.
Anglers continue to report lots of lazy follows, so consider keeping a smaller sucker out.
Lake By Lake:
Okauchee: Bass are
on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-15 FOW. Musky are
feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22
feet. Nothing substantial to report on panfish as the spawn is largely over, but look for them to be schooled up at the end of points over
Garvin: Great spot for panfish
lately with some nice keepers. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet.
Musky are still using the treeline break and suspending off the south
drop. Bass are
using the shallow flat areas. Pike are on the deep weedlines
on the northwest and north east corners, and suspending over the
Forest: Panfish and pike have been
biting. Live bait over the deep holes on slip bobbers for panfish,
inline spinners for the pike.
Fishing has slowed down, but pressure has been very slim this season. Mornings and
evenings have been best. Bass are holding on the obvious structural
breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Northern
pike and walleye fishing has been best for anglers using small suckers
catching the majority of the fish, pike was better than walleye
during the day. Musky fishing was slow, but lots of fish are still
doing lazy follows, and lots of people are reporting that they are
seeing fish in shallow water chasing juvenile gills.
panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the
deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines.
Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing is moving
toward its typical summer pace. Weed edges along the 8-12 foot
breaks are still holding fish as are drop-offs in 18-25 FOW. Musky have
moved out to suspend over deep water in the main basin. White bass
have been stealing lots of bait from walleye and panfisherman.
Moose: Bass and
pike continue to bite, and action has been steady. Target the breaks and weed clumps in shallow water with
crankbaits or spinners. Backtrolling with small suckers on a slip
sinker rigs around the first major drop to deep water has been a hot
tactic, especially in low light conditions. Mornings have been better, but gamefish are biting all day. Plenty of easy to catch, albeit small, panfish in the shallows for the kids to have some fun.
Ashipunn: Bass and pike
have been biting, and the action is close to average for this time of
year. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed
patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or
plastics. Flipping tubes, lizards or long straight tailed worms to visible weed pockets is producing numbers, bigger fish are coming on jigs or skirted grubs that hit isolated patches of weeds in deeper water.
Golden: Bluegills are moving out to
deeper water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, but holding
close to weed edges adjacent to deeper water. Crappie are in huge schools suspending off the points and weed edges. Bass have been biting
best in the morning, but a deeper weedline bite has been picking up, especially in the afternoon..
Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been
biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines
and on spinnerbaits fished through the weedy areas.
Bass can be caught using plastics around the weed clumps in 4-15
feet or around piers and boat lifts. Crappies have been suspending over
the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep
sandgrass in 12-18 FOW.
are average, and in summer patterns so look to catch them off boat
docks, in the slop and along the shallow weed edges. One report has
the gills still spawning, but only in the deeper sand. Pike have been
average, especially on crankbaits or buzzbaits fished over weed
edges at either end of the lake.
Kessus: Bass have been good, and are on the gravel, under docks/pontoons and on the points. Pike are actively feeding on you of the year bluegills.
Pewaukee:Bass have been good, Musky anglers are seeing, but not catching, many fish.
Lower and Middle Genessee:
Panfish have moved to the deeper water with sandgrass, and largemouths
are being caught around shallow to mid depth weeds. Lindy rigging
with live bait, especially leeches or leafworms has been very good for
both bass and panfish. Night fishing is really picking up on Middle.
Rock River: the Catfish bite has been slow at night.
If you've got specific questions: Feel free to email me.
Good Luck, and stay safe this holiday weekend.