Thursday, May 23, 2019
Overall, water temps are in the high 50's to low 60's in mainlake areas and to low to mid 60's in the shallower protected areas. Current areas are still flowing very fast and strong, weedgrowth is far behind normal for this time of the season. A few Mayfly hatches have started, but with the weather the way it has been, information and conditions have been a bit on the slow side. I haven't been out as much as I would like, but conditions seem to be fairly average for Memorial Day Weekend: Its going to rain alot.
Bluegills Look for fish around woods or docks in 2-8 feet of water, and be ready to move shallower as the temperatures warm up this weekend. Current areas and spawning areas (like sandy or gravel areas) will have lots of fish, as will isolated patches of weeds in 8-12 FOW. Waxworms, redworms and plastics are taking fish, but bigger gills have been hard to come by in any significant number.
(Try: Okauchee, Garvin, Golden, Nag, Middle Gen, Ashipunn, Pretty, Phantom and Lower Nashotah)
Crappie fishing has been slow, but steady since the opener. Some fish have spawned, but a few are still hanging around shallow wood and reeds in the usual areas. (You'll know which batch of fish you're on by how dark the ones you catch are.) Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics have all been taking fish. Although you may have to do some searching, you'll find schools of fish are in small areas, so move until you find fish, and then set-up on them. (Try: Okauchee (especially the North Flat, Bay Five and the Crane's Nest), Garvin, Kessus, Nag, Golden and Silver.
Largemouth The recent weather kept lots of people off the water. Depending on who you talk with, people are catching fish targeting them in shallow water, but a few fish are still being caught off the open areas on flats with scattered weeds. It might be hard to consistently find bigger fish, especially just ahead of the fronts that are set to come through this weekend, the action could be good in short spurts. If the sun is up, rocks will hold fish throughout the day, but you might need to move around and let fish reset on them. If you target fish on the rocks, a jig and chunk, skirted grub or smaller size crawfish imitating crankbait are the ticket.
What to throw: Shallow water presentations like jig and chunk or craw, wacky, texas rigged lizards, spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits will all catch fish right now, but don't overlook smaller topwater presentations. Live bait, nightcrawlers, leeches, large shiners or small suckers are your best bet. (Try: Okauchee, Pewaukee, Lake Five, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Kessus Nagawicka, Silver, Golden, Fox or Emily)
Smallmouth bass have been active, but are in the process of finishing the spawn. Rock structure, scattered weeds on sand and major points are all holding fish, as are areas of our local lakes that have active current. Skirted grubs, jigworms, jig and craws, tubes, and soft jerkbaits are all catching fish. Go natural with your color choices this weekend, but don't overlook a chartruese. (Try: Oconomwoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Nags, Pewaukee, North, Lower Nashotah and the Nemahbin Lakes.)
Walleye have been active, with some keepers being caught in 8-12 feet of water. Slip bobbers, Jig and minnow, jig and leech, and split shot rigs with nightcrawlers or small suckers have been the best way to target eyes. In the evening, a few anglers were catching fish by working minnow baits (floating rapalas or rouges) over isolated weed clumps. This weekend should be red hot for walleyes, especially in the evenings, assuming the weather cooperates. (Try: Oconomowoc, Nag, North, Pine, (For Keepers), Lac Labelle, Pewaukee and Fox (for action))
Northern Pike fishing has picked up some and pike might be your best option for some steady action this holiday weekend with the unstable weather. Spinnerbaits, spoons, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, or suspending jerkbaits (like size 11 Husky Jerks or Rouges) are catching fish around shallow weed clumps, or at the edges of coves and marshy areas. If chasing pike with live bait, look for them in 6-12 feet, using small suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig or the largest shiner's you can find on a balloon rig around the deeper reeds in a marshy area. (Try: Okauchee, Kessus, Garvin, Nagawicka, Pine, Fowler, Emily, Hot tip: Golden!)
Musky Fishing has been slow, but steady. There are lots of fish in the shallow water chasing, and a few are even being caught on topwaters, but the most consistent action has been coming in 8-15 FOW around the transition areas of mainlake structure. Gliders, jerkbaits, swimbaits and bucktails have been productive, but many anglers continue to describe lots of lazy follows, so figure eights are required on every cast. Gold blade or orange blades with black skirt seems to be the color of the season, but chartruese/copper combos have also been catching some. (Try: Okauchee, Pewaukee, Fowler and Lac Labelle)
If you're in town for the holiday and want to talk some more specific tips, email or call me. I have time available for trips or lessons next week. (Email me here)
Have a great (and safe) holiday weekend.
Posted by Chris at 5:52 AM