Here is my annual pre-opening weekend post. Look for an final update
Friday, May 2nd with weather and water conditions from around the area.
For now, here's what to expect when you hit the water for the opener.
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 stay warm. Nighttime temperatures this week will dictate most of what happens next weekend.
Limited new growth of weeds and very few old ones. The winter was verytough on the weeds. You may need to focus on wood and rocks. Not too many docks have been put in.
3.) 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.
4.) Live bait, fished slowly is going to be a great way to kick off the season. I'd fish for pike or walleye and wait until the weather stabilizes a bit for bass.
5.) Local lakes are open, but the rivers are still active. Conditions vary greatly up north.
Fish Stocking- Trout: Full List is Here.
Local Lakes with put and take trout this season include:
FOWLER LAKE: RAINBOW TROUT 1,979
LOWER GENESEE LAKE: RAINBOW TROUT 2474 (No Brook Trout this year)
LOWER NASHOTAH LAKE: RAINBOW TROUT 1979
OTTAWA LAKE: RAINBOW TROUT 1485
Staging 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, so 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
Pre-Pre spawn. Look for small groups of fish to be cruising in the
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 any green weeds you can find.
If the sun is out, rocks can pull in fish later in the day as they
absorb heat. Large fish can be caught on suspending jerkbaits or slow rolled
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 can find some fish out deep, a texas rigged
lizard can land you the biggest bass of the season.
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. Chrome or reflective lipless crankbaits will get your line stretched for sure as will a slip sinker rig with a jumbo shiner or small sucker.(Moose, Kessus, Nag, Emily, Okauchee, Pretty, Golden)
Lots of fish on the 6-12 foot deep flat areas. Especially around, but
out of the current, and in any shallow standing weeds you can find. Jigging the channel edges or points, lindy rigging and
drifting or slow death trolling are good options. #11 or #13 floating rapalas will pull up any bigger fish you come across. (Oconomowoc, Lac
Labelle, Pine, Fox, Nag and North)
Live baiting with suckers, small bucktails and jerkbaits are your best
options for the opener. Most fish have spawned, but there are still some fish paired up in some of the spawning areas. A blue-back/chrome combo is speaking to me right now. (Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Garvin, Fowler and North)
Getting ready: Need bait, equipment, or a fishing license? Do yourself a favor and buy from one of the locals.
Musky Mikes (Okauchee)
Dick Smith's (Delafield)
Taking a Kid Fishing this weekend? The DNR Suggests these spots:
Ashippun Lake Park
In Oconomowoc, WI. Take Capitol Drive west to State Highway 16, go
west on 16 to County Highway P, then take P north to County Highway K,
go west on K to McMahon Road. Watch for "public access" sign.
Notes: Run by Waukesha County Parks. Park has picnic area, restrooms and shorefishing.
Location: Located on Crowbar Drive, south of Kelsey Drive. Go west from Highway Y.
Public park with ballfields, restrooms, picnic area and boat launch.
Not much shorefishing, due to marshy area near shore.
Lac La Belle
Location: At the Fowler Lake Dam, on Highway
67, one-quarter mile north of State Highway 16 in the Oconomowoc, WI.
Located just northeast of the beach and park on Lac La Belle. The beach
and park are on Highway 16, just west of Highway 67.
Notes: Disabled accessible public fishing pier.
Little Muskego Lake
Access from Idle Isle Park in Muskego, WI on the northeast side of
Little Muskego Lake. Take Martin Drive to Hardtke Drive to the park.
Note: Idle Isle Park has a beach, picnic area, restrooms, accessible public fishing pier and boat launch.
Lower Phantom Lake
Location: In Phantom Glen Park in
Mukwonago, WI. Take County Highway ES (Main Street) to Andrews Street,
then go west into the park.
Notes: Public park with picnic area, restrooms, disabled accessible public fishing pier and boat ramp.
Location: Trout pond located on the west side of Highway 67, between Piper Road and Road X. About 3 miles north of Eagle, WI.
No facilities, but there is a picnic area with restrooms just a short
distance to the south. DNR manages as a children's trout fishing pond.
Although it is officially category 3 (3 bag and 9 inch length), there
is a voluntary regulation for adults to catch and release, and kids are
allowed to keep one trout of any size. Designed to encourage adults to
take kids out and teach them to trout fish.
Location: In Nagawaukee County Park. Take County Highway C, three-quarters of a mile north of Interstate 94 in Delafield, WI.
Notes: Public beach, picnic area, restrooms and concessions, camping, shorefishing and boat launch.
Nemahbin Lakes, Upper and Lower
Location: Southeast of Oconomowoc, WI, off of County Highway DR.
County owned access on frontage road between the two lakes, Highway
DR. shorefishing on Upper Nemahbin from the road right-of-way. DNR
owned carry-in site on Lower Nemahbin off Sugar Island Road.
Location: Village park in downtown Pewaukee, WI.
Public park with beach and public fishing pier. Can also access
Pewaukee River just below the dam. On Wisconsin Avenue in downtown
Pewaukee. Boat launch and shorefishing from county park and boat ramp at
the west end, on Highway E.
Local Shore Fishing Locations
Shore fishing is available at the public boat landing. Take HWY 16 to
the Sawyer Road exit. Turn left at the T-intersection, and drive
through the town of Okauchee. At the clock tower, veer left and then go
about a ¼ mile to Road T, which is a right hand turn. Free parking for
cars is available.
Moose Lake: Shore and
pier fishing is available at the Moose Lake Public Launch area. This
launch has a nice park like
area available to shore fisherman. The Launch area is just off
Highway C, across from Cedar Bay road.
Lac La Belle: Public Fishing Pier Located in Memorial Park in downtown Oconomowoc.
Just off of the corner of HWY C and HWY R in Nashotah there is a park
and ride. Across HWY R, there is a low fence that marks access to the
Forest Lake area of Nashotah Park. Anglers have to hike down the hill,
but the entire shoreline of the small lake is available for
Fowler Lake: There is space for
shore fishing by the Labelle/Fowler Dam, at the boat landing and in
the Riverside Park. The lake is just off HWY 16 in Downtown Oconomowoc.
The boat landing is behind city hall.
Two areas allow public shore fishing access. There is some space at
the public launch in the County Park off of HWY 83 near Delafield. A
second option allows you to access St John's Bay and a section of the
Bark River. Take HWY C to where the Military Academy is. There is a
small park just south of downtown Delafield on the east side of the
Pewaukee Lake: Located in Nagawaukee
County Park on the west side of the lake. From I-94, north on State
Highway 83 for 1/8 mile, east on County Highway DR 1 1/2 miles, north
on County Highway E to park entrance. Park fee is charged. There is
also a public fishing pier along the city strip near the beach on the
Ottawa Lake: Located in the Southern
Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. From State Highway 67, west
on County Highway ZZ for 1/3 mile to park entrance. State Park sticker
required for entry.
Upper Genessee: Carry in boats and shore fishing are available.
Parking is in a small gravel lot, just south of I-94, on the east side
of HWY 67.
Paradise Springs: Located
in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. From downtown
Eagle, west 1 mile on State Highway 59 to County Highway N, north on N
for about 1/2 mile to site. State Park sticker required for entry.
Artificial lures only.
Lower Phantom Lake: Located in Phantom Glen Park. From County Highway ES, west on Andrews Street to park entrance.
Other Useful Links
Local Fishing Reports from Lake-Link.com
Becky Smith's handy list of shorefishing locations, boat ramps and boat rentals is online at at www.Dicksmithslivebait.com
The DNR maintains a database of printable lake maps online.
There's also a easy to use reference to find boat launches at the DNR Website.
The local highlights of the DNR's 2014 Spring Fishing Forecast are here and the full statewide report is available here.
The DNR's online license purchases avoid the wait opening morning.