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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fish are biting

I keep getting good reports from guys that are out. It seems like a little bit of everything is biting.

Panfish: The Phantom and Genessee Lakes have been giving up some decent gills in 6-10 feet of water. You need some green weeds or sumberged wood to find the better fish.

Pike: Hitting shiners on tip-ups pretty much all over the area. Large shiners seem to be catching more fish right now.

Walleye: Pine, Labelle, Nagawicka and Oconomowoc have all given up some quality fish in the last two weeks. Labelle has been producing steady action over the shallow flats. The fish are running undersized with the 20" size limit out there. Nagawicka has been giving up some keepers though.

Be careful out there. The ice is a little suspect, and it was pretty warm on Christmas Day. I'd stay close to the shallow water until we get another solid cold snap.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Madison Ice Fishing

Heads up:

I stopped by my favorite greasy spoon (The Curve) for breakfast this morning on my way to my final exam, and there's a bunch of guys out on the ice just off of Park Street in Madison. They look to be chasing panfish and they also look like they're catching some.

Just FYI.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Reports are starting to filter in. The shallow bays and channels on the area lakes have between 3-6" of ice. I'd be very careful over any deep water as we've had more snow than cold.

Panfish have been a mixed bag on the early ice. Local lakes seem to be giving up plenty of fish, but they are running small. I'd stick with a teardrop, a ratfinkee or a very small red hook tipped with a waxie, spike or mousie for right now. Look for the fish to relate to any weeds that are still green and/or any submerged wood that you can get on.

Pike have also been active but running small. I'd venture shiners are producing more fish than smelt at this point, but it will vary day to day. The shop has some great pre-made leaders for running under tip ups, and that's how I'd hit them for now.

Hot Tip: Lac Labelle's ice report is sketchy, so be careful if you are heading out. make sure to take a buddy and spud your way out. I do know that a batch of fish (Walleyes and Pike) have been caught off the flat in front of the West Flagpole. Jigging with a small northland fireball, either green or orange and green tipped with big fatheads was getting the job done better than tip ups. I don't know if there were any keeper walleyes caught (20 inch size limit on Labelle) but I do know a large number of fish were caught, some even during the day.

Be careful out there, and good luck.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baitshop Blog

Eric's going to be taking over the baitshop blog. I'll still be posting there, but my ramblings are going to move to this neck of the woods.

Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gift certficates for the holidays

Looking for something for that person who is hard to shop for?

Consider a gift certifcate for a guided fishing trip for the 2008 open water season.

I'll sell you a cerificate good for a full or half day trip in 2008 at the 2007 rate.

You can contact me through Musky Mikes at 262-560-1189.


An Update!

Well the times of open water are behind us for a spell. Its time to stare down that hole.

Some anglers have been heading out already into the shallow bays, but I'd wait until this weekend to be sure. If you feel the need, head north until then. Gills and perch are being caught in front of Skipper Buds in Oshkosh.

Traditional local early ice hotspots are on Golden Lake (North End) The Kettle on Nagawicka, Bay Five and Icehouse Bay on Okauchee, Forest Lake in the Nashotah Park and the shallow areas of the Genesee Lakes.

For now, target areas with still green weeds or wood structure. Waxies, spikes and small fatheads will work for panfish, medium to large shiners are your best bet for tip-ups right now.

Be careful out there, and Good Luck.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

November Dates.

I have some free time in November where I'll be out alone.

If you've wanted to try a guided trip, but didn't want to invest the "whole day" or the "whole fee" we can work something out "for a couple hours in the boat."

I'll be chasing muskies, walleyes and perch, depending on the day.

Give me a call, or drop me an email if you are interested.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gone Fishin'

I wish. School is back in session. I do have some limited availablity for walleye and musky trips this fall. Ben also has some openings. Call the shop or contact me via email for more information.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Golden Lake Report

Was back on Golden for an early morning trip this past Sunday.

We ended up with a mixed bag of fish, northerns and bass. Some decent, but not huge fish. It was a nice day on the water.

Fish are moving shallow to feed, but the morning bite seems to shut-off about 9:30am.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scheduling-Last Minute Trips


I had orginally planned to be out of town this week, but my plans have changed. Therefore I have some last minute availablity for guide trips.

I'm available Monday, Thursday, Friday for either half or full days and Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Mornings.

If you want to get out this week. I'll drop my rate to $125 for a half day for bass or a mixed species trip for up to two people. If you are in town for Labor day, this is a great way to get the kids out and let them catch some fish.

Call it a Labor Day Special.

Call 262-893-2183 or email catchfishwithchris @


Golden Lake

Made it out for a few hours this afternoon after working at the shop.

Caught a mixed bag of largemouths, about 20 fish in all. Most were pretty small, but we got a 18" and a couple of 16"s. As is the case for Golden, the fish were in the areas where baitfish had collected. We didn't hit the slop, but I'm sure there were fish using it with the bright skies/cold front.

Best bait was a Gulp shaky worm rigged texas style behind a barrell swivel, weightless. Gulp plastics don't float (at least not the shakey worms), but the fish would grab the bait on the fall.

There was a steady Northeastern wind, but it sure was nice to see the sun.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lake Kessus

Spent Monday looking at some new water for guide trips with Brandon Degan. Spent some time on Kessus in the morning and Moose after lunch.

Took this nice one on Kessus. I'll be spending more time out there, and it will be available as an option for multispecies guide trips starting next spring.

Even Kelly Catches Fish Sometimes

My wife Kelly catches a "big one" during an afternoon on the water.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Some Pics...

Been back at it since the injury, guiding is sporadic, which is a shame because the next couple weeks usually offer some great fishing.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures from a recent trip with my new pal Tucker. He caught the most fish he ever caught in his life during a day with me. You can tell by the smile on his face.

I can do the same for you and your kids. If I get to pick the lake we take the trip on, I guarantee we'll catch fish or your money back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gone fishing

I haven't had a chance to blog on my trips for awhile, but keep up with current fishing reports over at the baisthop blog.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

site updates

More content is on the way. I'm doing some off line technical stuff. Stay tuned. You can keep up with fishing reports at the baitshop blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Silver Lake

A beautiful Monday on the water. Took Gary and his son Hale out on Silver for a few hours midday.

Caught a couple legal bass plus a bunch of shorts out of shallow water. It seems that there is some bigger fish in the mix this year.

Caught a batch of nice gills out of about 15 feet of water along the west shore.

Wouldn't be a bad idea to hit them at night or first thing in the morning rather than the heat of the day.



Saturday was tough bite. Only two fish were caught.

Congrats to Dennis on a nice 48" fish to take the tournament.


Friday, June 8, 2007


Fishing the IMTT tommorrow. Out for practice today, caught a nice northern and saw one musky right where I was told he would be.

My new partner for the IMTT is Ben Keung, a local musky guide. I hope we score tommorrow. Taking the 50 inch fish pot would be pretty nice.

Wish us luck,

Monday, June 4, 2007

Golden Lake

I hit Golden for a couple of hours this morning in the rain. The wind was blowing down the length of the lake and it was tough to make a good presentation on the weedlines.

Ended up catching ten bass throwing a jigworm around. 6 shorts and the 4 legals were 15.5, 15, 16, and 17+.

I think Golden is near peak time for gills right now, and you should consider heading down there before next week.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Silver Lake

Managed to break free for a few hours today and took the boat over to Silver Lake. Bob from the Journal Sentinel ended up joining me about half way through.

It was a little slow for Silver Lake. I caught eleven before Bob showed up at 10am, most working a carolina rig with a french fry. After Bob showed up we switched to wacky worms, and I ended up with 27 more bass ranging from about 8-16 inches before we pulled out at 12:30. I lost one really nice fish (3lbs+) as well. Over the course of the day I managed 5 that were "legals." Bob caught a handful of "Silver Lake Shorts while he was there."

The bluegills are moving up to spawn. It should be primetime by the middle of next week.

Working at the shop Saturday and Sunday. I may try to get out Sunday night depending on the weather, but I'll be out a couple days next week. I'm planning on hitting Oconomowoc and Golden for sure.

Good Luck Out There,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The post spawn blues....

Two trips...and oh the short fish.

Fished the shop's big bass league tuesday night and guided wendesday morning, caught 2 shorts and I lost a nice fish Tuesday. Wednesday was windy and rainy, and caught a mixed bag of large and smallmouth with most fish being undersize as well.

They're still biting, but you have to work for bigger fish.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

The season is now open

I'm back from my research excursion and I'm ready to fish. Reports will be more frequent both here and on the baitshop blog.

Trips start this week.

I have a few openings in June I'd like to fill right away. Father's day is coming up....


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Here's a couple from Monday's trip. Biggest of the day was 22"

New article

Went out with Bob from the Journal Sentinel Monday for an article. It should run in Sunday's outdoor section.

Posting will be light this week as I'll be in Washington D.C working on my dissertation research.

Full scale guiding and reports begin next week.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Spring Special

I'm going to offer an early season special.

Book a trip now or buy a gift certificate for one at Musky Mikes and I'll guide a full day for the half day price on Okauchee, Oconomowoc or Silver lakes.

Makes a great Mother's or Father's Day Gift.

Offer expires May 28th.


Opening day

This says it all....

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Opening day tactics...

Looks like good weather for the opener. Ray and I are talking about hitting it early.

I'm going to rig up four rods. My baitcasters will have a jig/chunk trailer (Jaw Jerker with Zoom trailer) and a florida rigged plastic lizard.

I'll have my special wacky rig with a Chompers salty sinker on one spinning rod, and on shorter skipping setup I'll have a texas rigged french fry, weigtless as a throw back lure.

I can't wait to start probing the rocky and sandy staging areas for pre-spawners. I hope the weather stays stable the rest of the week.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday... me.

I used to have a tradition where I would drop everything and go fishing on my birthday. Last year I broke the string (there was alot of lightning, and I don't do lightning, I had a bad experience once.)

Looks like I'll be missing another year today. I have to give a presentation in my seminar at Madison this afternoon and the weather looks like rain.

Oh well, the opener is just days away....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We have muskies...

The Wolf River has Sturgeon.

Check out this excellent video from


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The week ahead

Scouting tommorrow, for another trip with Bob Reipenhoff on Friday.

Thinking about heading up to Lazy Lake on Saturday Morning for a few hours.

I'll be in the shop Saturday afternoon if you want to come by and chat.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Crappies are hot!

The crappie bite is on, and the bluegills won't be far behind.

Call me or stop by the shop.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

White Bass!

The dogwoods are a little behind, but the recent run of stable weather has brought that annual spring bounty that is the white bass run.

Fish are being caught between the Jefferson Dam and the river mouth, although it seems like they might be running a bit small yet from the reports I've been getting. They'll move through an area in schools so action can be fast and furious when you are on them.

Look for little shelves along the river channel that white bass can push bait up onto, they like to school up and pin baitfish in for the feeding frenzy. Spinners, twister tails and jig and minnow combos are usually the best bet.

If you're going to run a river rig setup, here's a sneaky tip. Run your leader out a ways as if it were a worm harness, but use a smaller gold willowleaf blade put it just above the hook, with maybe four beads between the hook and the blade. Willowleafs have more flash, and it drives the whitebass crazy.

Drop me a line if you need some tips. I'll be out this weekend and a couple days next week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's back on!

The weather has passed through and the bite appears to be coming around. It is still a bit cool outside, but the later afternoons will give up some fish.

I worked at the shop earlier today and there were several groups headed out. Favorable reports were in from Okauchee (shallow bays), Nagawicka (Channels) and Labelle (Channels).

Waxies, fatheads or rosies on a small red or gold hook seem to be outperforming plastics right now.

If you need some tips, call the shop or drop me a line.


Thursday, April 12, 2007


It wasn't quite as bad as the weathermen made it out to be, but the ground is covered and the water temperatures have dropped substantially.

The good news is that when the water temperatures start to rise again, another batch of walleyes will likely head up river. The white bass will be right behind them. Hopefully the water level and current flow will both drop a little in the meantime.

I added a link to the rock river monitoring gauge. It has up to date information on river levels, current and water temperature.

Hang in there, fishing is right around the corner.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


We're slated to get up to 12 inches of snow in the next 24-36 hours. That might turn off the fishing for a few days.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the crappie trip is posted on their website. I added a link as well. I'm glad we got out when we did as the weather dropped back a few months in time this week.

Here's the picture from the paper.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Its cold outside.

The weather did take a turn back towards winter this week. It is 24 degrees outside as I write this post.

Since Fishing will slow down a bit, I thought I'd mention a couple of things.

1.) Musky Mikes Tackle Donation. I'm organizing a collection of used equipment through the shop to donate to the Wisconsin DNR's equipment loaner project. More information is available on the baitshop blog.

2.) New St Croix Musky Rod. Like most fishing fanatics, I have a plethora of rod/reel combos. I usually buy between five and ten setups each spring. I'm not sure how many I'll take in this year, but I guarantee one of the ones I'll be adding is a St Croix Legend Tournament Musky 8'3" XHF rod.

This rod is designed for throwing big plastics for musky, like the Bulldog. I love the Bulldog, but I've found it quite tiring to use in the larger sizes becuase I lacked a good rod that was designed for throwing these baits. I'll post a report on the rod as soon as the demos come into the shop. If they end up as great as advertised, Ray is talking about packaging the rod, a casting reel and a bulldog as a deal in the shop.

3.)My Fishing Resolutions for 2007.
---I will fish deeper this year.
---I will use the dropshot rig.
---I will do some night fishing this season.

4.) I've started taking bookings for this year. Call or email me for more information.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Weather Heading South

It looks like the weather is heading south for a few days. Depending on how things shake out, I may or may not get out again this week.

I'll be at the baitshop Saturday afternoon if you want to drop by or give me a call.

Springtime Crappies

I went out with Bob from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel yesterday afternoon.

We caught a couple dozen crappies from Okauchee. The article will run Easter Sunday.

Pine, Okauchee, North and Lac labelle all appear to have crappies on the move right now.

Yesterday's Data:
Water Temperature: Main lake, 40-42, Shallow Bays 44-46 degrees.
The fish are relating to weed growth in sandy areas in 4 to 10 feet of water.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Services Available

While I get this up and running, if you are interested in more information about the guide services or Musky Mike's Baitshop. Call 262-560-1189.

Added Links

Still moving in. I added links to some of the articles I did with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Outdoor Writer and some of the other fishing websites for south east Wisconsin.

Testing, Testing

Just to get things going, here's some pictures from last season of a Musky.

Yesterday's Report

First time out for the year yesterday. I fished with Pat Kolehouse near the Jefferson Dam. Still a little early for Walleyes. Here was the fish of the day:



I'm starting up a new blog to track fishing reports in South East Wisconsin. Excuse the mess while we move in.