It is time to fish, even with the changing weather conditions.
|Radio Legend Mitch Morgan was in the boat.|
Looks like hot weather on tap for Friday and Saturday, then a batch of unstable weather the rest of the week. Otherwise conditions are pretty steady: Weeds are coming around, but still reasonably sparse for the second week in June. One exception: Lakes with the milfoil are seeing crazy growth right now. Things should be back to normal by the end of next week. Water temps were a bit variable this week, especially with the crazy cold front that went through early in the week but most lakes are still in the low to mid 70's.
Bluegills are done spawning for the most part, and although small gills can still be found in the shallows, better panfish are starting to appear on the deeper weedlines or suspended over deep water. There's a few stragglers up on the beds, but if you're looking for keepers..sand in 8-12 or 15-22 FOW is the ticket. Drifting with live bait on a light slip sinker or splitshot rig will put fish in the boat. Slip bobbers are also a great option for finding schools of fish around summer structure. (Try Silver, Fowler, Kessus, Golden, Ashipunn, Upper Genessee, Garvin and Lower Nashotah.)
Bass are moving into summer patterns. In the morning fish are schooling up into small wolfpacks and patrolling the shallows. I caught fish as shallow as 18" this week, but the early bite burns off as the sun comes up and the fish move out to the first shallow/deep transition area. Sand and gravel was holding more fish than rock this week, but I caught fish off both. Topwater Poppers and Wake Baits are catching fish until about 7:30-8am, then you'll need to switch it up a bit. After the morning bite dies down most area lakes should most have active fish on inside or outside weed edges in 6-12 feet of water. Try drifting while working jigworms to find fish, but if things are tough on the flats and points, there's also batch of fish by, but not necessarily under, the docks. I've been using a mixture of wacky, texas rigs, jig worms, flapper grubs and Ned rigs to catch fish each day. Smaller baits were the certainly the ticket this past week, even for bigger fish. Watermelon red and green pumpkin were good, but the hot color this week (for me) was a green pumpkin with a little purple flake in it. (Try: Okauchee bays, Oconomowoc, Garvin, Lower Nashotah, Pine, North, Kessus, Pewaukee, Moose, School Section, Pretty, Golden or Emily)
Walleye action has been slow, but with the mayfly hatch behind us, summer patterns should start to stabilize a bit. Spinner harnesses with leeches, back trolled on lindy rigs or bottom bouncers with slow death rigs with a nightcrawler are a good way to find fish to set up on, and then rig and jig. Slip bobbers with large leeches might pull some fish off the rocks if you can find fish in 6-12 FOW, otherwise weededges and sand grass are the areas to key in on, especially in 18-22 FOW. Night fishing traditionally picks up about now, and floating rapala minnow baits fished over weeds on the ends of long points can really produce. Lac Labelle for action, Fox, North or Oconomowoc for keepers.
Pike action has slow and steady. Fish the weed flats and outside edges with spinners or live bait. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits, buzzbaits and lipless crankbaits for action fish, or move out to 12-18 FOW with live bait or large crankbaits for larger fish. Try Moose, Ashippun, Golden, Okauchee, School Section, Kessus, Emily, Fox or Oconomowoc.
Muskies have been very inconsistent. Some anglers have begun trolling for them in deeper water, but other anglers have reported raising fish along the deepest weedlines where there was actually weeds. Personally I'd target them early and late with either topwaters or blades, and stay shallow, looking for baitfish schools on the flats or shallow rock bars. I've heard from anglers fishing Labelle, Okauchee, Oconomowoc and Pewaukee all with mixed success in the last week.
I'm heading to Madison on Sunday for the annual Take a Vet Fishing event, and I'll post a report when I get back.