It is time to get your game face on. There's lots of fishing going on.
Regardless of where you're headed know this: water levels are very low for this time of year, so low that some places are less accessible than is typical for spring.
Panfish are biting on our local lakes. Look for warmer water and then find the green weeds,
especially in the afternoon on the warmer sunny days. The key is the
activity level of the fish. The cooler days reduce the distance
the fish will swim to bite. Keep your presentation tight to
cover/current breaks/green weeds, and you'll catch fish.
If you're heading out, look for panfish in shallow, dark-bottom areas,
especially if there are reeds or weeds left over from last season.
Water temperatures are lower than they had been in the mainlake areas,
but the shallow bays and boat channels are still in the mid to high 40's in many of the protected areas.
If the bite is tough, go small/downsize: waxworms and spikes on a very
small hook or icefishing jig will catch as many fish as minnows most
days. Mix it up, and be ready for anything. Plastics have been catching
better fish than live bait.
Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Ashippun, Lower Nemahbin, and Middle Genessee have been
the best, but Forest, Kessus, North and Oconomowoc are also producing.
The big news of course is the spring runs on the rivers. The Wisconsin
River in the Dells has been active for a couple of weeks, and the
fishing is steady there. Walleyes are biting in the deeper holes, and in
current breaks, but like most places, the water is very low.
The Rock River between Jefferson and the lake has been active. Water
levels and current flow are lower than they have been in about 10 years, but with the full
moon phase, the bite is on. Most of the fish are being
caught from Ft Atkinson to the mouth, but shorefisherman at the dam are
already reporting catching keeper walleyes. Streamer flies on three way
rigs are always a classic presentation for shore fisherman along the
Rock River, but vertical jigging seems to be the ticket for boaters.
Keepers are mixed with the usual assortment
of short fish. No word on whitebass yet, but a solid rain will bring
them in for sure.
Pinks, oranges and purples are solid spring colors for walleyes, as are greens and chartrueses.
Good luck out there.