Hey gang, sorry I'm been short with reports, but when I haven't been on the water, I've been making my transition to my new teaching digs at the University of Minnesota. Learn more about my transition from UWM to UMN here
The end run of summer begins this week. Time to get on the water. As we move into mid August look for fish in the usual
but watch for them to have periods of time where they feed actively. The
changes in the photocycle and the length of day will be evident to the
fish, and you can expect to see activity levels peak and ebb during each
day. The photocycle starts dominating fish activity this time of year.
Panfish are still holding in deeper water, and will continue to do so
for a couple of weeks. Look for them to suspend along weedlines in 12-22
feet of water, or to suspend over deeper sandgrass about 14-18 feet
down over 40-50 feet of water. Pine, Ashippun, Golden, School
Section, Okauchee, Garvin, and Lower Nashotah (RED HOT!) .
Largemouth will continue to come in using two primary patterns in the short term. On the (hot) sunny
days, you can find them around shallow docks, wood laydowns, slop and
scattered weed clumps. As the sun gets up, look for them to move
tighter to overhead cover, but here will be periods of time during the
day where their activity level will increase for a short spell. Be ready
to switch tactics as they switch on and off,
especially around transition areas and over flats where the topwater
bite can really be fantastic. Deeper fish will continue to use weededges
and points in 12-18 feet of water, or be suspended over deep water about
6-12 feet below the surface. Some fish are relating to rockbars in
5-12 feet of water as the crayfish move up for the late summer molt. Tube baits and skirted grubs are a great way to
target these fish. Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle and Moose
have all had active bites around rock/gravel areas. Some fish are still being
taken off the weedlines and off the weed flats by anglers flipping
around heavy cover on Okauchee, Kessus, and Golden.
Smallmouth are starting the early fall pattern of making 3 maybe 5 shallow foraging moves each day. When you
are contacting active fish in shallow water, the bite can be incredible.
Topwaters, including size 9 or 11 rapalas or poppers in natural
patterns can get you started, but be ready to switch to tubes, wacky, skirted
grubs or twister tails as the day progresses. When things are slower,
look for them to be just off the first major break in deeper water.
Crankbaits in white or chartreuse, spinners or live bait are better for
the deeper fish. Okauchee, North, Oconomowoc, and
Lac Labelle have been producing.
Walleyes will continue to hold in their summer patterns for another
couple of weeks, but they will quickly make a move to shallower weedy
areas as the baitfish move in for their fall spawning run. For now
jigging or backtrolling with live bait around weededges or drop-offs in
12-18 feet of water is a good place to start, and be ready to adjust to
deeper water on sunny days or shallower on cloudy or windy days. A few
fish are appearing on mid-lake structure but many are staging off
main-lake points, especially where there is bottom transitions from rock
to sand or from sand to muck. Trolling with bottom bouncers and
spinner harnesses or drifting with live bait rigs are great ways to
target these fish. North, Oconomowoc, Pike, Fox, Lake Koshkonong and Lac
Labelle lake have all been productive.
Northern pike activity has been slow and steady all summer, and I wouldn't expect
that to change. Smaller pike can almost always be found in shallow water
around weed clumps and inside weededges adjacent to rock
bars/shorelines. Larger pike can be taken trolling cranbkaits or
backtrolling live bait along deeper weed edges, especially in 12-20 feet
of water. Try Moose, Fox, Pretty, Kessus, Okauchee, Golden, Fowler
Garvin, School Section and Ashippun Lakes for pike.
Good Luck and Cheers.