Here's what's happening around the area:
There's a WABTA Tournament on Okauchee this weekend. Okauchee fishing pressure has been very very heavy the past week. Fish are still biting, but you may need to downsize, or get away from the crowds. Additionally, we should have some news from the DNR on the status of the public launch very soon.
Water temperatures vary greatly between main lake areas (in the low 60's) and protected bays (in the mid to high 60's) on most area lakes.Weed growth is way behind normal, which means if you find some good weeds, fish them!
Musky have been fairly active on our local lakes since the opener, especially
on the windy days. A solid shallow pattern has been working for
anglers who put in the time. Look for fish on the shallow weed flats in
6-10 feet of water. Scattered weedclumps with visible baitfish or
panfish are high percentage areas right now. A few fish are also using
the first deep break in 12-18 feet of water where new green weeds have
started. Gliders, swimbaits, bucktails and jerkbaits have all been
consistent producers. I moved two decent fish yesterday throwing a bucktail.
Best bets: Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, and Fowler.
Northern Pike have been using the areas where there is new
weedgrowth. Anglers targeting bass have been catching a number of pike
ranging from smaller snakes to quality 30+" fish. Some of the larger
pike are using the deep weedlines in 12-18 feet. Spinnerbaits,small
bucktails, lipless crankbaits, floating rapalas and buzzbaits will all
catch fish in the shallow water when fished around submergent green
weeds. Large shiners or small to medium sized suckers suspended
underneath a float, longlined on a split shot rig, or fished deep on a
slip-sinker setup are your best options for live bait.
Best Bets: Nagawicka, Golden, Okauchee, Fowler, Moose.
Walleye have been active in cycles that match our current
weather patterns. On warmer, windy days they have been biting fairly
well. On cooler days, especially those with a North or east wind, they
have been fairly lethargic. Some fish are patrolling the shallows in
the morning and evening hours, but the bulk of the fish are holding
around rocky points and mid-depth weeds in 8-12 feet of water.
Crankbaits like rapala shad raps are catching fish, but controlled
drifting with live bait has been the best approach. Slow and steady have been the operative words.
A nightcrawler, leech or small sucker on a lindy rig or long lined
split shot setup have been the most consistent producers. A few fish
are being caught around weeds using jig and plastic or jig and minnow
Best Bets: Pine, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, the Nehmabins and Fox Lake.
Largemouth Bass First wave spawning areas have fish on nests, and post spawn females nearby. Other areas still have schooling fish. Fishing for bass has been spotty (mostly due to heavy, heavy pressure since the opener), and some days
are much better than others. With the sunny, still days we had, the bite
has dropped off a bit, but with some cooler weather and clouds, it's
sure to pick up. Look for bass around shallow weeds, wood laydowns or
docks. Rocky areas, especially points adjacent to deep water have been
holding the most fish. Wacky worms, texas
rigged lizards or stickbaits, lipless crankbaits, and jigs with a chunk
or craw trailer have all been producing. . Nightcralwers or large leeches on a
lindy or split shot rig or large shiners under floats fished around
piers or along rockbars have been catching a few nice fish.
Best Bets: Okauchee, Golden, Keesus, Pine, Nagawicka, Buelah, Moose Eagle Springs.
Smallmouth Bass Fish are patrolling the shallow bars in small schoola a few
times a day, especially on the warmer sunny days. Lots of fish are
suspending in deeper water just off of shallow structure. Rocky/sand
transition areas have been holding some fish who are foraging for
craws. Suspending jerkbaits, tubes, wacky worms, swimbaits and lipless
crankbaits in a crawfish pattern have all caught fish.
Best Bets: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pine, Nagawicka, Lower Nehmabin, Beaver.
Crappie Look for them around shallow cover in 2-8 feet of water.
Tight-lining over deeper wood or weeds in 8-12 feet has also been
effective on some lakes. Tail-hooked fatheads, plastics or hair jigs
tipped with a waxworm and rosie reds are your best live bait options
for crappies. Strike zones have been relatively small, so try to make accurate casts when setting up your presentations.
Best Bets: Pine, Okauchee, Kessus, Golden, Garvin, Ashippun, Lake Five.
Bluegills are beginning to move into the shallow water on many
area lakes, but the better sized fish have still been coming from
anglers targeting them in a little deeper water. Shallow fish will be
near sandy bottom areas with scattered weed growth, but if you just
want the kids to catch a few fish, try fishing around any piers that
are in the water adjacent to deeper water (6-10 feet). If you want to
target eating size gills, tightline vertically while drifting along
weedlines in deeper water (as deep as 22 feet) or look for them on the
end of sandy/gravel points in 12-15 feet of water. Panfish plumpers,
plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, panfish leeches or redworms
are your best live bait options.
Best Bets: Golden, Silver, Garvin, Lower Nashotah, Forest, Upper and Lower Phantom, Ashippun, Upper Geneessee and Lake Five.
Catfish are being caught on the Rock River. Cutbait, stinkbait
and nightcrawlers fished around the heads of the deeper holes has been
producing some keepers. The area between Watertown and the Jefferson
Dam has been red hot the last few weeks.
Trout stocking was a sucess this year on out local waters, with rainbows and brook trout still available. Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Lower Geneessee and Paradise Springs-Look for these fish in the deeper water basin or deeper pools
on the creeks. In the area lakes, they can be anywhere from just below
the surface to 25 feet down over deeper water. Tightlining with minnows or
redworms will catch fish when you find them.
Good Luck Out There.