Wow, it is the middle of June already....
Panfish are close to done spawning on most of the lakes. You may find
some stragglers here and there, but the bulk of the nesting activity is
over. Time to start looking for panfish suspending off the ends of
points or off weedlines. 12 feet down over 15-22 FOW is a good starting
point. I like to fish vertically for these fish, although slip bobbers
can really produce. If you're on fish, but they're running small, try
getting you bait a foot to 18inches deeper...the bigger fish are
traditionally at the bottom of the school.
Largemouth Bass fishing has been average, with some days providing for some tough conditions. The shallow fish are
moving into traditional spots: slop, docks and shallow rock bars. On bright sunny days, fish
tight to cover...flipping into weed patches, dropshotting or texas rigs on deep weed
edges can really produce. On the windy days, try baitfish pattern crankbaits or spinner
baits on edges or transition areas in 8-12 or 12-15 FOW. I'm catching a
bunch of fish on smoke colored
flapper grubs fished on the flats where there's some scattered weeds, but many of those fish are in the 10-15 inch size. Natural colors (browns, pumpkins and greens) have been
better for the jig/chunk-jig/craw combos.
Smallmouth are biting, but the bite seems a little inconsistent by most
reports. Some days you can knock them dead, some days they have been a
little scarce. Stick to the plan...look for them on top of mainlake
structure and points early and late, and look for them in deeper water
during the main part of the day. White deep diving crankbaits have been
hot, as have smaller (3") tubes in watermelon red, and I wouldn't
overlook a traditional approach: size 9 or 11 floating rapalas (or the shadow rap!) in a natural pattern. (Note: I'm catching more smallies "up" in the water column than on the bottom.
Northern Pike continue to bite, and it has been one of the more consistent bites the last week. Shallow fish are actively chasing
buzzbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits, especially
on the shallow-flat areas with scattered weeds. Out deep, slip-sinker
rigs with small suckers or the biggest shiners have been red hot for
larger fish. Okauchee and Fowler have put out some nice pike the last
week, but some of the smaller lakes (School Section/Pretty/Emily) have also been productive.
Walleye fishing has slowed down as the fish have moved out deeper. If
you've been catching eyes at one depth, look for them in the same areas
but at the next major depth contour. Deep weeds (especially along weed/sandgrass and sand transitions) seem to be key, but a
few people have been catching them suspended (using slip bobbers) in the deep water near structure Nighttime
trolling bite should pick up this next week if the weather stays stable. Oconomowoc had the best reports, and continues to give up solid bags of 18"+ keepers, North and Lac Labelle have been active.
Musky fishing has been pretty good. Bucktails are catching/raising some
decent fish along mid-depth weed breaks while crankbaits/jerkbaits are
raising some fish off the first deep break. Pewaukee has been solid,
although lots of lazy follows have been on the docket.
Oconomowoc has been busier than Okauchee (although fishing pressure on Oconomowoc is very high). Reports for Lac Labelle, Fowler and North Lake were scarce this past week.
I'm heading to Madison this weekend for Take a Vet Fishing, but I'll be back on our local lakes on Monday.
Good luck and be safe.