The mid summer holiday is right around the corner. If you're in town (or have those pesky relatives who are) I have some openings for 3 hour and half day trips. Just email me and I'll put you on some fish.
PS...I'm super kid friendly (as I have five of my own.)
Around the area, the main story is the unstable weather patterns. We've got a couple of hot days on deck leading into the weekend, and then the hot and humid conditions will lead to some days with Thunderstorms, which of course lead to the post frontal days. None of this means you can't catch fish on any given day, but you'll need to play the conditions to have solid outings.
On the hot days, fish in the early morning or in the evening. During the middays focus on the shade. Docks, shady banks, tied up pontoons. On days when a front is about to go through, look for the biggest fish in the hour or two before the front moves through (but be careful not to be too far from safety). On the days after the fronts, focus your attention on catching more (but smaller overall) gamefish when they turn back on first.
Around the area...water temps are in the mid 70's. Weed growth is a bit less than average for this time of year. There's plenty of baitfish after a couple of big hatches mid-month. Water is high on most of our area lakes.
Panfish Looking for action with the kids? Small panfish can be caught in shallow water using a small hook, bobber and live bait or plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, especially around docks or swim platforms. The keepers are being caught out of the deeper water by anglers drifting and fishing vertically. Look for gills to be suspending about 10-12 feet down over 18-25 FOW or 12-18 over 30-45 FOW. If you're on a deep school, but not catching keepers, get your bait down a little deeper. Hot tip: Skip the Nightcrawlers--get some panfish leeches. crcikets or helgramites....you can thank me later.
Crappie are suspending over structure in deep water, and along weed edges, and the activity has been steady by anglers who find the schools.
Largemouth bass are moving into what would be considered their traditional summer patterns. Look for them in inside weed edges in 4-6 FOW and the outside edges in 8-15 FOW. These fish can be caught on a variety of tackle, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged wacky worms, shakey heads, skirted grubs and tubes. Casting a grub or jigworm over the weed flats with a slow retrieve put some very nice fish in my boat this week. Natural colors have been great...green pumpkin and watermelon red have been the most productive for me this week.
Piers are holding more fish on hot sunny days, and the slop has been pretty good especially mid-day. Looking for some real fun? Topwaters (especially Pop R's or two hook floating rapalas) are still catching fish over the weedflats in 5-12 feet right now, but only consistently before and at first light, and the topwater bite drops off substantially by 8am.
Smallmouth bass fishing was red hot this past week. Fish are using rocky points and bars especially early and later in the day. Most fish are holding on the deep side of breaks or suspending off mainlake structure, coming in briefly to forage. Areas with steady current have also been holding some decent batches of fish. Skirted grubs, drop-shot, twister tail grubs, tubes, wacky worms, shakey heads, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits or floating rapalas are your best tackle options, but live bait like leeches and small suckers has been working for the people fishing the edges of structure in 18-25 feet.
Walleye fishing has been steady. Anglers putting in time are catching a fish, although keepers have been hard to come by consistently. Fish continue to be caught along outside weed edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Slip bobbers or split shot rigs with live bait or suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker rig has been producing the larger fish. Fishing over the tops of weed clumps near breaklines with floating rapala minnows is grabbing a few as well, especially during low light conditions. Wind has been a key factor on fish location....and drifting with live bait (leeches, leave the fatheads at home) is the best way to find the active fish on the flats and weed edges.
Pike fishing has been a little below average, but lots of people are catching undersize pike when targeting bass or panfish. Active fish are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small baitfish, including a massive bloom in juvenile panfish. Fish with willow leaf spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, small bucktails or buzzbaits tight to scattered weedclumps in 4-8 FOW. Larger pike were hard to come by according to most reports, but if you want to chase them, try the weedline in 12-18 feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig or troll with deep diving crankbaits as close to the weedline as you can without getting hung up.
Musky fishing remains slow overall, on the bright sunny days, target suspended fish out over deeper on smaller lipless crankbaits, gliders and bucktails. A few fish have been caught off the weedline on larger swimbaits. Anglers continue to report lots of lazy follows, so consider keeping a smaller sucker out.
Lake By Lake:
Okauchee: Bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-15 FOW. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Nothing substantial to report on panfish as the spawn is largely over, but look for them to be schooled up at the end of points over deeper water.
Garvin: Great spot for panfish lately with some nice keepers. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet. Bass are using the shallow flat areas. Pike are on the deep weedlines on the northwest and north east corners, and suspending over the deeper water.
Forest: Panfish and pike have been biting. Live bait over the deep holes on slip bobbers for panfish, inline spinners for the pike.
Oconomowoc: Fishing has slowed down. Mornings and evenings have been best. Bass are holding on the obvious structural breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Northern pike and walleye fishing has been best for anglers using small suckers catching the majority of the fish, pike was better than walleye during the day. Musky fishing was slow, but lots of fish are still doing lazy follows.
Fowler: Small panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines.
Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing is moving toward its typical summer pace. Weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks are still holding fish as are drop-offs in 18-25 FOW. Musky have moved out to suspend over deep water in the main basin. White bass have been stealing lots of bait from walleye and panfisherman. Bass has been average for both LM and SM.
Moose: Bass and pike continue to bite, and action has been steady. Target the breaks and weed clumps in shallow water with crankbaits or spinners. Backtrolling with small suckers on a slip sinker rigs around the first major drop to deep water has been a hot tactic, especially in low light conditions. Mornings have been better, but gamefish are biting all day. Plenty of easy to catch, albeit small, panfish in the shallows for the kids to have some fun. Note: the lake is still no-wake.
Ashipunn: Bass and pike have been biting, and the action is close to average for this time of year. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Flipping tubes, lizards or long straight tailed worms to visible weed pockets is producing numbers. Panfish are suspending along the deep weed edges and along the sand/muck transitions.
Golden: Bluegills are moving out to deeper water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, holding close to weed edges. Crappie are in huge schools suspending off the points and weed edges. Bass have been biting best in the morning, but a deeper weedline bite has been picking up, especially in the afternoon.. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits fished through the weedy areas.
Silver: Bass can be caught using plastics around the weed clumps in 4-15 feet or around piers and boat lifts. Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 12-18 FOW.
Nagawicka: Largemouths are average, and in summer patterns so look to catch them off boat docks, in the slop and along the shallow weed edges. Pike have been average, especially on crankbaits or buzzbaits fished over weed edges at either end of the lake.
Kessus: Bass have been good, and are on the gravel, under docks/pontoons and on the points. Pike are actively feeding on you of the year bluegills.
Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water with sandgrass, and largemouths are being caught around shallow to mid depth weeds. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially leeches or leafworms has been very good for both bass and panfish. Night fishing is really picking up on Middle.
Rock River: the Catfish bite has been slow, but steady at night. Water is flowing.
Good luck, be safe and enjoy the next little run.