Sorry for missing a week...I was out of town being a professor and out of commission after melting my back two weeks ago which had me on bed rest (and off the water) for a couple of days.
I was back at it today...and conditions are a bit hard to lock down. I fully expected to start pounding some fish up on the rocks, but really didn't get on any with consistency, so switched gears and fished tight (and I mean tight to cover) and pulled out a decent day. I think the cold front and unstable weather has the fish in a bit of a funk right now. You can still catch them, but you're going to have to slow down, get precise with your presentations, and recognize that it is the middle of August.
Panfish are still schooled up in deeper water. Crappies are tight to the weedlines in 12-15 and 18-20 FOW, but are suspending off the edge. Bluegills are still in tight schools in the deep part of the basins. Look for them 18-22 feet down over 30-50 FOW. If you're out with the kids, and want action (and smaller fish) docks and swim platforms near current are holding tons of potato chip sized fish right now.
Bass fishing seems to have slowed down a bit. This is a fairly typical thing for this run in August, especially on the down size of the full moon. The fish will make a transition to shallow water rock-weed transition areas to forage for craws over the next 10-12 days. I expected this to be working today, but I saw no evidence that it was happening yet while on the water today (8-13). Fishing tight to cover, punching slop or skipping tight to docks/pontoons will produce if you're having trouble finding fish deep. Expect the fish to have small strike zones...and be ready to make multiple casts to targets. Drop-shotting the deeper edges in 12-18 FOW seems to be producing a few fish, and the morning top-water bite has been good, but only until about 8:30. I caught fish today on a jig and craw, a skirted grub, a jig worm and a wacky rig. Nothing on a tube or texas rig. I didn't try it today, but shallow running-wide wobbling and lipless crankbaits can save tough days this time of year.
I don't have any new news on walleyes this week. I haven't been fishing for them (see above) and my other regular information source has struck out his last three times out. I'd assume the fish have been biting at night with the full moon cycle, and that if you're out very early or late in the day, that weed edges and sand flats with sandgrass in 12-18 or 25-28 FOW will hold some fish. As we get on towards fall, look for walleyes on shallow areas along deep water/mainlake points. Jigging and rigging with live bait works the best on our local lakes, but if you're out at night....don't forget the number 11 floating rapalas in natural/ silver-black patterns. Fish that over weed patches, trying to make slight contact with the weeds. Keep the net handy.
Pike bite has been slow and steady all season. Spinners, cranks and buzzbaits will take fish, as will wide wobbling crankbaits. Small pike are still on the shallow weed flats...bigger pike are in 15-22FOW on the weed edge. Chase these fish with a small sucker or big shiner on a slip sinker rig.
Musky fishing was slow the last 15 days, but people are starting to see some quality fish on a regular basis. Some people are trolling the deeper basin areas looking for fish relating to ciscos, but it seems like the people catching fish are hitting shallow pockets (6-10 FOW) with topwaters or weed edges in 12-15 FOW with large spinners or gliders. Heard a report of a high 40's fish on Oconomowoc and a couple of low 40's from Okauchee...meanwhile the word from Pewaukee is slow and steady, but with most action coming from mid to high 30 inch class fish.
I'll be out a bunch over the next two weeks...so watch for some mini-updates with condition reports.
PS....Thanks for reading this blog.