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Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Ice Fishing Update

Ice Fishing is now in full swing on area lakes. Ice depths vary greatly, and some of the mainlake areas over deeper water still have thin ice, especially on the larger lakes. Always exercise caution. Anglers are reporting between 4-10 inches in the bays and protected areas.

Panfish are biting on a variety of plastics, live bait and jig combos. Look for green weeds between 4 and 12 feet of water. Bluegills will likely be nearby, and can be taken on jigging rods throughout the day, but expect action to go through cycles as the fish turn on and off.

Crappies are relating to current areas, or areas with scattered bottom cover adjacent to current. A teardrop jig with a tail hooked small fathead is always a solid bet for crappies, but don't over look a very small red hook tipped with a wiggler, waxworm or spike, and remember, crappies feed up, so keep your presentation just above them when possible.

Pike are biting in full swing. Tipups with live bait or smelt are the biggest producers, and most of the fish are coming at/ or near the mouths of bays and backwaters. Lots of smaller pike are being caught, but a few are starting to come in over 35 inches. Large live bait, either medium suckers, large shiners or smelt are producing the bigger fish. If you just want some action, smaller pike in the 20-25 inch range are actively biting on medium shiners, especially over the roadbed or gravel drop off areas.

Good Luck, and be safe. I'll see you in 2011.


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Things slow down around here for wintertime, but I'll be posting periodic fishing reports when ice conditions stabilize.

If you're looking for a date for next season, now is a great time to lock in.

See you in a bit,


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Fishing is in Full Swing (Fishing Report 11-8-10)

The warm days and cool nights are making for some great action. If you can get out of the treestand, and let the ducks alone for a bit that is.

Musky fishing on area lakes has been very good. Fish are being taken on bucktails, gliders and jerkbaits as well as large suckers on quickstrike rigs. Bigger fish have been a little slow, but lots of high 30's to mid 40 inch fish are being caught right now. Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, Fowler, Okauchee and North Lake have all been giving up some nice fish.

Fall walleye fishing has been hit or miss, but anglers are getting into some nicer fish. Drfiting with jigs and live fatheads has been producing along sections of the Rock River, especially in the afternoons. Lindy rigs or jig and minnow combos are also producing in the Dells. Local lakes are getting less action from anglers, but drifting weed flats with shiners or small suckers on split shot rigs has been producing some better fish. Kessus, Lac Labelle and Oconomowoc have been active.

Crappie fishing has leveled off, but if you are willing to put in the time, you can catch some nice bags of fish. They are starting to stage near current areas and coves (areas where they spend the winter) but are still in a little deeper water adjacent to winter holes. Anglers chasing them are reporting lots of bluegills mixed in, which is classic pre-winter staging for our area lakes. Focus on lakes with streams, or creeks for the best action.

Good Luck,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fishing Report 10-13-10

Well gang, its fall. And while many people are populating their treestands or chasing ducks, some of the better fishing of the year is starting to happen.

The late season warmer weather has kept water temperatures between the high 50's to low 60's on most lakes. On Saturday, mainlake areas on Okauchee were reading as high as 66 in the late afternoon.

Musky and pike are using the outside weed edges. Spinners, bucktails, jerkbaits, gliders and crankbaits are catching fish. The sucker bite has been on and off with the weather, but sucker fishing on Okauchee and Pewaukee has been more consistent than on Oconomowoc, Fowler or Lac Labelle. For now, focus your attention on the deepest weeds you can find, especially smaller points and humps adjacent to deep water. 12-18 feet seems to be magic right now, (ie the deep weed edges) but a few fish are coming out of 6-8 feet of water, especially around rock/weed transition areas. Remember to do your figure eights...and on every cast.

Bass fishing was on fire during this spell of warmer weather. Crankbaits and live bait produced the most consistently, but anglers targeting largemouth in shallow water found a very good bite in 4-10 feet of water around rocks and sand. A few larger fish were caught by anglers flipping heavy cover on the smaller lakes with standing reeds. (Watch out for duck hunters!)

Smallmouth are using rock bars and points in 4-8 feet of water, or are in weeds in 8-12 feet. Live bait, especially smaller suckers, dragged slowly on a slip sinker or split shot rig can be very very productive. Labelle, Pine, Nag, Oconomowoc and North Lake have all been hot for smallies.

Panfish have moved into a fall pattern. They are stacking up around main-lake points in 10-18 feet of water, or hanging tight to weed clumps in 8-12 feet of water. Vertical fishing is the best for the deeper fish, especially drifting through areas. Slip bobbers are a better option for the weed fish.

River fishing has been slow with the high water, but conditions are stabilizing. Expect the whitebass and walleye fishing to pick up later this week.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fishing Report 10-6-10

Sorry for the delay, there's just been alot going on, including my trip with the Wisconsin Badger Fishing Team to fish Lake St Clair in the Big Ten Championship. My partner and I had the fourth place weight overall, bringing in the only limit of the tournament, and the Wisconsin team finished fourth overall.

As for local conditions, things are really starting to pick up. Water temps are in the high fifties to low 60's on most lakes, and the fish are getting very active.

Start looking for musky in 12-18 feet of water. Points with weeds at the end of them at this depth can really concentrate fish. Casting bucktails, gliders, sliders or jerkbaits can be really effective, but don't forget to keep a the sucker on a quick strike rig.

Some advice: The weeds to grew deeper this year than is typical for our area. Likewise, a fair number of fish are being caught in deeper water than is typical for this time of year. Trolling has been producing, especially in areas with baitfish in 18-25 feet of water. Good use of your electronics is essential right now. Look for the bite to move shallower and into the available green weeds, but don't over look rock bars adjacent to mid depth weeds, especially on warmer sunny afternoons, as fish will move up to warm up and digest food.

As for bass fishing, Largemouth and Smallmouth can still be caught tight to shallow cover or weedlines, especially in areas with rocky, sand or gravel bottoms. Now is the time to chase down a trophy sized fish with live bait. Slip-sinker or split shot rigs with walleye suckers or large shiners drifted or trolled very slowly around the deep edges of structure can surprise you. If you find fish, you'll very likely be over a good school of them. fish that area hard, and pay attention to your electronics. Subtle bottom changes will concentrate fish.

Walleye fishing has been slow, but is starting to pick up in the Dells and along the Jefferson Dam to Blackhawk Island stretch of the Rock River. Water has been falling throughout the river systems from the highs we saw a few weeks ago, so make sure to watch your prop, and look for fish in the current, in the shallow water near deeper holes. On warmer days, the fish will likely be actively feeding, rather than holding in the deep water. Jig and Minnow, Lindy rigs or jig and twister are good producers.

No word on fall whitebass as of yet, but expect to hear something in my next report.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Off to fish....

with the University of Wisconsin Fishing Team in the Big Ten Shootout.

A report and pictures when I return.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Fishing Update 9-27-10

Well gang, I'm afraid I don't have much to report this week. Last week's high winds kept many anglers off the water and the rest were headed for tree stands.

Look for an update mid-week.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Fishing Update 9-17-10

Hey gang,

So far, so good. The fall is starting to set in, and as guys start hitting their treestands, remember some of the best fishing of the year is between now and the end of the season.

The cooler nights the last ten days or so have really changed the conditions on local lakes. Water temps have dropped significantly, and are in the low to mid 60's on most lakes. The algae blooms are clearing up, and the baitfish schools are starting to thin out as fish put on the feedbag.

Bass fishing will remain steady for a couple weeks, then it will be time to put away the plastics and start fishing live bait for a trophy. Smallmouth go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're just on the front side of this. Expect the fish to make a couple foraging runs a day, but if you're having trouble connecting with active fish, look for the in the deep water, adjacent to the shallow structure. Plastics, cranks and jigs will work, but as the days get shorter, live bait becomes a better option.

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up on the area rivers, although fishing the area lakes has been slower than average for this time of year. I'd expect that to change real soon, but for now the Fox, Rock, and Wolf Rivers, especially in the mouth's of the those rivers has been consistent. Anglers are reporting some amazing action in Green Bay if you're looking for the weekend trip. On the area lakes, the fish will be anywhere there's baitfish around weeds or rock/weed transition areas in 8-12 or 15-22 feet of water. If you tag one, fish through the area very methodically.

Pike fishing has been steady, but with less guys heading out, appears to be a bit slower. Pike will remain active in 10-22 feet of water along weed edges, points or sand/gravel transition areas. Spinners are always a solid option for pike, but as the water cools I usually switch back to crankbaits, especially lipless crankbaits in a gold or silver pattern or wide wobbling deep divers in natural or red/white patterns. Jerkbaits can really shine right now, especially suspenders worked around weed clumps where there are visible baitfish.

Musky fishing has been consistent, and is set to get really good. Now is the time to start working for this years trophy. Gliders, bucktails and jerkbaits are all solid options for casting, and remember to keep a sucker out on a quick strike rig for lazy followers. Right now, look for the them to be using weeds in 12-15 feet of water or rocks in 6-12 feet of water. As the water cools, they'll move to follow the ciscos in, and that's when things start getting really interesting.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fishing Report 9-10-10

Hey gang,

The water is in the upper 60's to low 70's on most lakes in our area. Weeds are still green and the algae blooms are starting to clear. The baitfish population appears to have grown substantially with the flooding this season, (just like in 2008) and there are large schools of baitfish moving around.

Largemouth bass are patrolling and ambushing along clumps of weeds on the shallow weed flats and along mid depth structure. A few are still hanging along the deeper weed edges along mainlake and secondary points. Smallmouth are relating to weed clumps near or adjacent to rocky and sandy areas with a drop off.  The deeper fish will bite best when they make a move into the nearby shallow water. Expect to start to see the fish get active a couple of times a day for short periods of time. When the water and air temperatures begin to cool down some more, the fish will start will use rocky areas especially in the early afternoons.

Your best lure options right now are wacky worms, large jigworms, skirted grubs, jig/chunk, texas rigged plastics or lipless crankbaits. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits can also produce. I know that's alot of options, but narrow it down. Wacky worms and skirted grubs are great around the rocks. Jigworms, texas rigs and ji/trailers are great around the scattered weeds. Lipless crankbaits are great in both areas. Browns, greens, orange or balcks are usally the best colors for plastics (pretty much as they are all year) but white or silver crankbaits can be very good this time of year.

Walleye: Live bait is the key unless fishing at night when minnow shaped crankbaits really can shine. Look for walleyes to be in the sandgrass or in breaks in the weeds in 10-15 feet. Some fish will be deeper or shallower on our local lakes, but the best all around approach is a slip-sinker or lindy rig with a big minnow or small sucker. Nightcrawlers will still produce as well, especially when trolled very slowly on spinner harnesses tight to the first weedline breaks. Lac Labelle and Pine usually get really going in the fall when the water gets down to around 60 degrees.

Northern: Most northern caught this time of year are caught while targeting other species, especially bass and musky. But they can still be caught and in good numbers. With the water still pretty warm (in relative terms) I'd consider slow trolling the best option, followed closely by slow rolling an inline spinnerbait. Deep diving crankbaits in bluegill, perch or white/shad color patterns can work wonders right now when trolled along the deep weedlines. I typically break out my trays of Hot N Tots and wiggle warts for trolling, while I'll use Norman D-22, Bagleys or a lipless crankbait when casting. Drifting with medium suckers on a slip sinker rig, like you might consider for walleye fishing right now, can also produce.

Musky: Now through the end of the season is the time, pure and simple. If you want to have your best shot at a musky or even a trophy musky get into your boat and plan on spending some time there. The next six to eight weeks will be prime-time. For now, focus your attention in 6-12 and 12-18 feet of water. Casting bucktails, gliders, swimbaits or especially jerkbaits can work, but consider starting to keep a sucker or two set out on a quick-strike rig. Many fish that follow in lazily on a casting approach will turn on for the sucker hanging nearby, especially as the water temperatures cool.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Fishing Preview

Well gang, it looks to be a nice, if a bit cooler, weekend to wrap up summer.

The cooler weather means its time to break out the live bait. Lindy, split shot and slip sinker rigs really shine under this type of conditions. Larger sized shiners, nightcrawlers and small suckers are your best options for gamefish.  Unless you're going for panfish, leave the fatheads at home this weekend.

On area lakes, bass fishing has been hot and cold depending on the conditions. Windy days are dramatically better than still days. Fish are using the weedlines in 10-15 feet of water, points and off shore structure in 6-10 feet of water, as well as the piers and the slop. Shallow fish can be taken on jigworms, skirted grubs, tubes or jig/chunk combos. Deeper fish are being taken on crankbaits, live bait rigs and by flipping the weededges with a heavy jig. The morning and evening is producing a topwater bite, especially over shallow flats with scattered weeds. Okauchee, School Section, Ashippun, Golden, Nagawicka, Pine, Silver, Moose and Kessus have been the most consistent, but the bite has been pretty much the same from all of the area lakes.

Walleye fishing has been fair overall, but much better in the low light hours. Small jigs with live bait, or lindy rigs have been the best producers. A few fish are still being caught on spinner harness/bottom bouncer combos while trolling. Evening hours is the time to be fishing minnow baits around weeds. Pine, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle and Lake Koshkonong have all been giving up walleyes.

Northern Pike continue to bite in the shallows. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, shallow diving square billed or lipless crankbaits are the best ways of catching these fish. Larger fish are still using the weedlines and are moving onto some deeper rocks and can be targeted with inline spinners, or using live bait like larger chubs, shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig. Vertically jigging structure in 22-28 feet with a jig/repear tail combo has caught a handful of nice fish, but the pattern has been inconsistent overall. Try Okauchee, Golden, Nagawicka Pine, Fowler,, Kessus, Pretty and Moose Lake for pike.

Musky fishing has been slow, but is sure to pick up with the cooler weather this weekend. Look for fish on or adjacent to mainlake structure that has easy access to deep water. Topwaters have still been catching a few fish, especiallyin the morning. Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, and Fowler are all producing to one degree or another right now.

Panfish are still using deeper water, suspending 12-16 feet down over deeper water, and drfiters have been picking up some nice keepers. Some anglers are reporting some decent gills in weedy areas as shallow as eight feet, but most people out have reported the most consistent action along the weedlines in 12-18 feet of water. Tightlining with panfish leeches, leaf worms, or plastic/wax worm combos all have been productive.

Good Luck and Cheers,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ryan's 8th Birthday

Here's a few pictures from Ryan's birthday trip with his Dad, Doug, to Silver Lake. In 6 hours we landed 50 largemouths, about 30-35 panfish and a couple rockbass.

That's my hand behind that bluegill, just for size comparisons.

Happy Birthday Ryan.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fishing Report 8-28-10

Well gang, the transition to a fall fishing pattern is just around the corner, and fishing is set to get really good. You've probably noticed the days getting shorter, and even on days with a bluebird sky, the fishing is picking up. My clients and I landed 50 Bass and more than 30 bluegills in a trip this morning.

Fishing usually gets pretty good this time of year. The chief obstacle is often the weather. As Fall approaches, unstable weather can set in quick. As for right now, things have been fairly stable, and during stretches of stable weather, the fish will start to make predictable feeding movements a few times a day.

LM and SM Bass have begun moving into staging positions. Lots of fish are being taken off the edges of deep weeds and off the ends of longer points. Some fish have also been coming from the mid depth flats and shallow rocks. Start with topwater baits in the morning, then move to wacky worms, tubes and jigworms as the bite dies down. If you're fishing deeper, stick with live bait on a split shot and/or slip-sinker rigs or texas rigged plastics. If the bite is extra tough, try a shallow diving shad (white) colored crank around the rock/ weed transition areas.

Walleye have been active in 18-25 feet of water. Look for sandgrass with baitfish holding nearby and you'll be in them pretty quick on Lac Labelle, Pine or Oconomowoc. If you want to make the trip, the bite on the Koshkonong is just starting to really pick-up. Pulling bouncers with spinner harnesses, back trolling lindy rigs, working crankbaits over deep weeds or slip bobbering with live bait has been productive.

Northern Pike fishing continues to provide good action to anglers putting in the time. As fall sets in, the deeper fish will move to the weedlines. This is a great time to target them with spoons, small bucktails, or crankbaits. It may be a little early yet, but don't be afraid to start trying these techniques over the next 20 days or so. In the meantime you can still target smaller pike in the shallows with spinner or buzzbaits and larger fish with suckers, chubs or shiners along the deep edges of weedy points.

Panfish are still being caught deep, but look for them to move into mid-depth water over the next few weeks. For now, tightline vertically with splitshot or slip bobber them off deep weeds and sand with live baitin 15-22 feet of water. Transition areas from heavy to light weeds along a drop off is a key area.

Musky fishing is picking up after the late summer lull. Reports indicate that topwaters and bucktails are still catching a few fish early and late, but the majority of fish are being caught off the deepest weed edges on natural or perch pattern crankbaits, soft plastics and jerkbaits.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not my biggest,

..but the most acrobatic musky I have ever caught. When this fish hit, he cleared the surface of the water by more than 5 feet before coming down with my topwater in his mouth.

Saturday, August 21, 6am. Oconomowoc Lake, Topwater

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fishing Report 8-19-10

Hey gang, I'm happy to say the dog days of summer appear to be on the way out. Fishing will only get better for a run of six to eight weeks now.

In General Terms :The cooler mornings are a key time to target active fish in shallow to mid-depth water. Look for them in the usual places, 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 seem them get active.

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.  Silver, Ashippun, Golden, School Section, Okauchee, Garvin, Nagawicka, Forest and North Lake have been the best.

Largemouth will come on two major patterns in the short term. On sunny days, you can find them around shallow docks, wood laydowns 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. Early mornings are key, especially around transition areas and over flats where the topwater bite can really be fantastic. Deeper fish will continue to use weededges and point 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. 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 rocky areas. Some fish are still being taken off the weedlines and off the weed flats by anglers flipping around heavy cover on Okauchee, Kessus, Golden and Nagawicka especially.

Smallmouth will start to make several 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, 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. They will be actively hunting baitfish especially after the crawfish finish molting. Okauchee, Nagawicka, Pine, 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. Nagawicka, Oconomowoc,  Lake Koshkonong, Lac Labelle, and Pine lake have all been productive.

Northern pike activity has been hot 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.

Musky reports have slowed down over the past 15 days, but I suspect that has as much to do with the heat as anything. For the next run, look for them to over weedy flats in 8-12 feet of water making for some great topwater or large bucktail action, or in deeper water suspended around baitfish which is perfect for a trolling bite. Action will pick up considerably in the weeks ahead. The usual lakes have been been producing, Pewaukee and Okauchee have been slower, but are still productive for anglers putting in the time.

Last thing, anglers are starting to report active white bass on the Rock River, Koshkonong and Lake Winnebago. Trolling with spinners or small cranks seem to be the best right now. Stay tuned for more.

It'll just get better.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On the water.....

Hey gang, I've been focusing the bulk of my personal and guiding efforts this year on our smaller local lakes, but I got out yesterday on Okauchee.

The conditions were quite different than I had imagined them to be before we hit the water. The water was very high, which I knew, but the water is very dirty even before one considers the heavy algae bloom going on right now.

I just wanted to point out that when conditions like this come along, it becomes critical to fish slower than normal. Put the crankbaits away, and break out the jigs, grubs and texas rigged plastics. Even a split shot rig can be a great option right now. While we were out yesterday, the key to getting bit was to do what Charlie Brewer once described as "polishing the rocks." It can be hard, given most people's run and gun tendencies to do this, but in one case yesterday, it took more than 20 casts to the same general spot to trigger a bite, and even then I only got bit when I stopped my jig for a couple seconds.

Falling water is one of those things that will almost always shrink a fish's active strike zone. By slowing down, you're giving them a little longer to consider your presentation. It worked well enough for us yesterday that we boated 9 bass and 11 northerns in just a couple hours of fishing. Back at the dock, people thought we were lying, the same people who we were watching fish spinners and cranks.

Just some food for thought.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I get emails

 I'm not one who toots my own horn very often. I can usually tell that people who fish with me had a good time, but once in awhile you get an extra satisfied customer.

From a recent client:

"Chris, I wanted to write to thank you again for guiding me last Friday. I'm looking fwd to getting my boat wet again and practicing what you taught me. I have to say it was my best day fishing since Canada. I've passed along your name and email to several people, but I hope to book again this fall if your teaching schedule permits. I had a great time and learned a lot about our local lakes. You found the fish and made for a very entertaining and informative fishing partner. Best of luck to you and your family – I’ll definitely be seeing you again."
                Mike Dempsey

Thanks Mike,

A couple of hot bites happening right now...

It's my annual Early August hot bite post. A couple of things you might want to try when you hit the water.

1.) On the local lakes, the crawfish will molt over the next 7-10 days. Expect the majority of the fish to move to muddy bottoms or rockbars. And not just the bass, walleyes, pike and musky will all get it on the feeding frenzy. Small crankbaits, skirted grubs or jig and craws will be your best presentations for the next two weeks.

2.) The late summer whitebass fishing has started on Lake Koshkonong. Trolling with spinner harnesses is a great way to locate schools, before stopping to fish through them with small spinners, jig and plastic combos or small stickbaits.

The water's still high, remember to check at the launch for speed and wake restrictions.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guide Trip Special

Interested in a going on a guided fishing trip in August? I'll be running a special price on afternoon and evening trips.

Contact me for more details.

Fishing Report 7-31-2010


High water conditions continue on most lakes. Many retain a slow-no-wake restriction, others are closed. Make sure to check the posting board at the launches.

As of this posting the following lakes were closed:
Middle and Lower Geneessee

Slow No Wake:

Lower Nashotah, Upper Nemahbin, Lower Nemahbin, Crooked, North, Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Fowler, Pewaukee, Kessus, Moose, Koshkonong and Rock River, Big Muskego

Water is high on Nagawicka, Silver and Golden. With the rain, there's a good chance the lakes will remain at slow-no-wake for some time.


It's August, and the fishing has reflected that. Expect to find summer patterns on local lakes. Be aware of the high water, and consider that the shallow water you are used to fishing is a couple feet deeper right now.

Panfish are schooling over deeper water; look for them to suspend out/off weedlines the next couple weeks. The ends of points will hold fish just before/just after dark and you can make some incredible catches. Humps have been holding some nice schools, as has the sand grass in 18-22 feet of water. Panfish leeches, helgramites, leaf worms and waxworms on plastic below slip bobbers have been working consistently.

Bass fishing has been steady, but the bite seems to have slowed down a bit. While out this week, we brought in lots of fish, but they were smaller than average. The bite frequently was short and light, and the trick was to fish slower.


Walleye fishing has moved to deeper water. Look for them in 18-25 feet, or suspended over the thermocline. Deeper standing weeds (rather than just sandgrass) have been holding fish.


Northern continue what has been an epic season for them. Shallow fish can be taken around weedclumps on spuinners and buzzbaits, but the bigger fish continue to be caught on slip-sinker rigs tipped with larger live bait fished along the deeper breaks.


Musky fishing has been slow but steady the last few weeks. There's been an active topwater bite especially in the low-light morning hours. Walk the dog style baits have been generating some strikes as have propbaits. Lots of follows are being reported, so make sure to do your figure eights.

Good luck out there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fishing Report 8-22-10


First Off: The high water conditions on many lakes are sure to have been complicated by the heavy rains this week. Expect several local lakes to be declared slow-no-wake for the weekend. Make sure to check at the launch for postings.

Pike are chasing bait and are very active. Look for them in weed clusters in water between 8-15 feet and suspended off main lake structure in 18-26 feet of water. Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits or suspending jerkbaits will catch the shallow fish, spoons, crankbaits or suckers on a slip sinker rig will catch the deeper fish.

The quality of the bass bite has been tied to the weather. On days with stable weather and some clouds, the bass will bite. On days with changing conditions, the fish are exhibiting a traditional neutral method with a small strike zone. Live bait will trigger neutral fish, as will a slow falling vertical presentation like a wacky worm, jig and chunk or a light jigworm. Many fish are using the outside weededges in 8-15 feet of water.

Panfish are suspending over deeper water or hugging the bottom near deep structure. Look for them 8- 12 feet down over 20+ foot of water Deep sandgrass is holding some nice gills right now. Try fishing vertically with small jigs and leeches for bigger fish.

Walleye trolling is starting to generate some consistent action. Daytime, slow trolling with spinner harnesses in 15-22 feet of water has been productive, especially on the stable weather days with a little wind. Night time trolling with crankbaits is starting to turn on. Work rock and sand transition areas in 12-18 feet of water, and move deeper if you aren't catching fish. Deep weed edges have been the most consistent areas.

Musky fishing has been slower, but steady.A few fish are still being taken on suckers, but cowgirls, bucktails, sliders and bulldogs fished over submerged weeds have all taken fish the past week to 10 days. Remember to do your figure eights for reluctant biters.

Good Luck,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vote for Nicole Ochoa

If you are so inclined, go here to vote for Nicole Ochoa, for Granite State Girl. Nicole does alot of modeling for the fishing industry including Bassfury and Bass Edge.

Nicole's Facebook Profile and Portfolio are here.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Message from Mike Cox

Dear Friends,

After months of further inaction by President Obama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we're going to court for round two against Asian carp.

Today my office filed a new lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago water authorities to take emergency action to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.

The states of Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all joined Michigan in this new legal effort to fight Asian carp and accelerate efforts to develop a permanent solution to protect the Great Lakes.

While you know the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take our case, they did not dismiss the merits of our case.

So today, we are suing the Obama administration and the Army Corps of Engineers, who are charged with protecting public resources and overseeing the management of the Chicago Area Waterway System in partnership with local water authorities in the Illinois federal court.

Asian Carp Found: We Need Emergency Action NOW

Our worst fears came true after Illinois authorities announced on June 22nd that a Bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet, within striking distance of Lake Michigan. And when you find one carp, the experts say there are more nearby.

Stunningly, despite the mounting evidence, the Army Corps and Chicago authorities refused to temporarily close the O'Brien and Chicago locks. They've failed the apply fish poison in every location that tested positive for Asian carp eDNA. They've failed to comprehensively address all pathways linking Lake Michigan with carp-infested Illinois waterways. And they have failed to sufficiently accelerate the permanent separation of the Great Lakes Basin from the carp-infested Chicago Area Waterway System.

With every day that passes without serious action, the health of the Great Lakes and our $7 billion commercial and recreational fishing industries remain at risk. We cannot sacrifice thousands of jobs.

Inaction Won't Be Tolerated

For the past several months, the Army Corps has maintained its vocal commitment to combating Asian carp. The problem is, when you drill down past the rhetoric, all you'll find are half-hearted, insufficient attempts to confront the Asian carp invasion.

Because of their lack of urgency and inadequate measures - like poisoning canals in only a few spots - we have already faced Asian carp swimming their way toward Lake Michigan.

In today's lawsuit, we are calling on the Army Corps to step up and take all available efforts to block Asian carp passage in the waterways linked to Lake Michigan.

We're calling for commonsense emergency measures like block nets, fish poison where Asian carp eDNA has been detected, mesh screens on all sluice gates and temporary closures of the O'Brien and Chicago locks, except as needed for public health and safety.

Keep Up the Fight!

Thank you for all you have done to support our efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. The fight is not yet over, and the more supporters we have on our side to build a public outcry, the better.

Keep in mind that President Obama can order the Army Corps to act on these commonsense steps any time. He doesn't need a court to tell him to do it. But until he acts, I pledge to fight, along with several Great Lakes attorneys general and our allies in Congress, to force the Corps to act.

Please forward this email to your friends, family and neighbors and urge them to call the President to demand action right away. Be sure to forward this email to at least five friends today!

If you haven't joined the conversation on Facebook, please sign on to our page today. Every day citizens are driving the conversation about why they love the Great Lakes and what they've done to protect them.


Mike Cox
Attorney General

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fishing Report 7-12-2010

Hey gang. If you're heading out, traditional summer patterns are what's happening on the lakes right now.

Panfish have moved to deep water for the most part. They can be a little tricky to find, but if you can get on some, you won't believe the size and quantity of panfish you can pull out of deeper water. My best suggestion for you is to drive slowly just off the weedlines and the deep edges of points with your electronics on. Panfish typically school up over 18-28 feet of water about 6-12 feet down. They'll look like a cloud on your graph. Use slip bobbers or tightline vertically with leeches, panfish plumpers or pieces of nightcrawler to target these fish on a drift. Ashippun, Silver, Phantom, Middle and Lower Genessee, Garvin, Okauchee, Golden, Lower Nashotah and Moose have all been productive.

Largemouth Bass are running three of their usual summer patterns. On sunny, warmer days the piers and the slop are producing. Wacky worms, tubes and shakey heads are producing around the piers, while rats, scum frogs, strike king or zoom frogs are pulling them out of the slop. Deeper fish have schooled up on the weedlines, the end of points and especially over deeper rocks. Texas rigs, drop shot and swim baits are catching these fish. The fish on the weed flats are being taken on topwater, especially early in the evening as the sun sets. Buzzbaits, poppers and spooks are all catching fish. Okauchee, Nag, Kessus, Moose, Golden, Pewaukee, Lower Nemahbin and Lac Labelle have been consistent.

Smallmouth bass have been using weeds along dropoffs, or suspending over deeper water. They are hard to catch when in this neutral mode, you'll have to catch them when they come into shallow water to feed at first and last light. Top-waters, wacky, jig and chunks and tube-baits are all catching fish. Oconomowoc, Pine, Nag, Lac Labelle and Okauchee have given up fish.

Walleye fishing is slow but steady. Fish are using weeds in 18-22 feet on most lakes. Jigs tipped with live bait or lindy rigs are catching fish, but the better fish are coming at night by anglers trolling with stickbaits, shad raps or bottom bouncers. Try:North, Pine, Lac Labelle, Fowler, Oconomowoc and Pine.

Northern pike fishing has been great this entire year, and the bite continues. Look for them on the weedflats and target larger fish with live bait along the deep weedlines. Lots of smaller pike can be caught throwing spinner or buzzbaits around clumps of shallow weeds, while the bigger fish are coming on shiners or suckers on slip sinker rigged trolled very slowly on the outside edges. Moose, Okauchee, Nag, Ashippun, Golden, Pretty and Lower Genessee.

Musky fishing has been tied to the weather recently. The cloudy days are producing, the hot sunny days have been slower. Most fish are being caught off deep structure or while trolling. A few are being caught on topwaters near the deep weed edges on the larger flats. Crankbaits are producing the trolling fish, jerkbaits and soft plastics are catching the casting fish. Walk the dog and prop baits have been the better topwater options lately.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cold Front Moving In.

Well gang, after that blast of hot humid weather, it looks like a cold front is going to be moving through over the next few days.

Expect the fish to pull really tight to cover for a little bit. It's a great time to go big fish hunting.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Seeking information


I am looking for information on how to donate fishing gear to members of the armed forces serving overseas or who are returning from Afganistan or Iraq.

If you know of organizations that handle this please email me.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday Weekend Fishing Report

Big Holiday Weekend Ahead, with lots of boats on the water. Be careful out there. Your best bet is to get an early start. You can get some serious fishing in before most of the ski boats and pleasure craft hit the water.

Some area lakes are slow no wake due to high water. Make sure to check the signs at the launches for the latest restriction notices.

Panfish have moved to their summer patterns. Small panfish can be caught in shallow water, especially around docks or swim platforms. The better sized fish are being caught out of the deeper water, where they are suspending about 12 feet down over 18-25 feet of water. There's a third batch which is relating to weed clumps in 6-12 feet of water, and I saw a batch of nice crappies doing that when I was out today. Best Bets: The Gennessee Lakes, Silver, Ashippun Upper and Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Garvin, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Forest and Pine.

Largemouth bass are relating to the heavy weed growth in 8-15 feet of water. These fish can be taken on swimbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged worms, nightcrawlers or small suckers fished just along the outside edge of the weedbeds. Skipping piers is producing a few fish as well. Wacky Worms, Shakey heads and tubes are all producing. If you're an early riser, topwater poppers, spooks and buzzbaits are catching some nice fish off the weedflats in 5-12 feet right now, but only consistently at first light. Best Bets: Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Nagawicka, Pine, School Section and Kessus.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been spotty, but there are lots of fish using rocky points and bars both early and later in the day. It seems like most fish are patrolling the flats, and most anglers are reporting that they are not finding active smallies near weeds. Skirted grubs, tubes, wacky worms, shakey heads and small suckers are catching some consistent bags of fish. If you see lots of baitfish around rocky areas, try a jerkbait or floating rapala. Best Bets: Nagawicka, Pine, Lac Labelle and Oconomowoc.

Walleye fishing has been slow with the bright sunshine this past week, but anglers putting in the time are sill catching a few fish. Fish are being caught along shallow inside and outside weed edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Vertically jigging with live bait or plastics has been better during the day, while throwing cranks and minnow baits has been producing early and late. Suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker rig has been producing the larger fish. Lac Labelle, Druid, Oconomowoc, Pine, Nagawicka and Upper Nehmabin have been the best area lakes. Trollers are catching some on Lake Koshkonong pulling spinner harnesses behind planers.

Pike fishing has been red hot lately. Lots of smaller pike are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small gills and juvenile perch. Spinners baits, lipless crankbaits, small bucktails or buzzbaits will produce when fished tight to weedclumps. Looking for something bigger? Move out to the weedline in 12-18 feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig. Moose, Kessus, Golden,  Nagawicka, Garvin, Okauchee and School Section are your best pike lakes right now.

Musky fishing has been steady with lots of nice fish coming in. Some anglers have been catching suspended fish out over deeper water pulling crankbaits. Some fish are also being taken by targeting points along the deepedges of the weedline by fisherman casting with bucktails, gliders, jerkbaits and swimbaits. Suckers on a quick strike rig continue to convert fish, even this late into the summer. Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Okauchee, Garvin and Fowler have all had good Musky action this past week.

Good Luck, and stay safe.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fishing Report 6-30-10

Just a quickie for Midweek, I'll have a full report up for the weekend.

Bass continue to bite along traditional summer patterns. Fish are being caught off docks, out of the slop and along rockbars in shallow water. Weedlines and deepwater points are also holding fish right now. For the shallow water fish, use jig/chunk, skirted grubs, wacky rigs or live bait on a light lindy rig. For the deeper fish, try deep diving crankbaits, texas rigs or live bait on a slip sinker rig,

The Pike fishing has picked up in the last ten days. It had been fairly steady, but anglers are reporting some faster action recently. Look for quality pike along deeper weed edges, but action fish can be caught around shallow weeds of dark bottom flats. Live bait, either suckers or shiners on a slip sinker or lindy rig has been very productive.

Musky action continues to be fairly steady, with most fish coming out of water in the 12-22 foot range. A handful of fish are still foraging in the shallow rocky areas, especially in the mornings.

The panfish bite has moved out to deeper water. The majority of the fish are suspending over 18-30 feet of water, or hanging close to the bottom in sandgrass in 15-22 feet.

Check in Friday for a full report for the Holiday Weekend.

Good Luck

Monday, June 28, 2010

This week looks extra special.....

If the weather forecast is to be believed, this Thursday has the potential to be one of the best fishing days of the summer. Although not ideal condition wise, the run of stable weather leading up to Thursday will mean the best bite will occur on Thursday.

We haven't had solid batch of stable weather yet this season.


Friday, June 25, 2010

In town for Summerfest or the 4th of July?

I'd love to take you fishing on one of our area lakes. I can do half or full days.

Give me a call (262)-893-2183 or email me.

Fishing Report 6-25-2010

The weather has been unstable the last week, but fishing conditions are pretty typical for this time of year.

The 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. Silver, Golden, Ashipunn, both Lower and Middle Genessee, Lower Nashotah and the Madison lakes have been giving up some good batches of panfish.

Bass are moving in their summer patterns, anglers over the reported catching fish both shallow and deep. Docks, slop and the deep weedlines all have active fish. Largemouth have been active on Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Golden, Kessus, Nag, Forest and Pine, but I'm sure most area lakes have active fish on weed edges in 6-12 feet of water. Piers have been very good during the hot parts of the day, and the slop bite is picking up. Topwater fish are being caught before 8am over flat areas adjacent to deep water, especially areas with small patches of weeds.

Muskies have been very consistent. Many anglers have begun trolling for them in deeper water, but other anglers have reported raising fish along the deepest weedlines. Anglers still report catching a number of fish using live suckers. Quality fish (40+) have been reported from Labelle, Okauchee,  Fowler, North, Oconomowoc and Pewaukee lakes in the last week.

Walleye action has been above average. Spinner harnesses with leeches, back trolled on lindy rigs has been the hot bite this season. Suckers fished on a split shot rig have been taking some better fish, especially in the late evenings. Weededges and sand grass are the areas to key on, especially in 18-22 feet of water. Lac Labelle, Pine, Nagawicka and Oconomowoc have been giving up fish.

Lake Koshkonong has had a hot bite going on in the main basin in 4-6 feet, but the weather kept many anglers off the water the last few days. Pulling harnesses or cranks has been giving up a mixed bag of walleyes, pike and whitebass. Most walleye action is coming at less than 2mph when trolling.

Pike action has been very consistent. Fish the weed flats and outside edges with spinners or live bait. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits, buzzbaits and lipless crankbaits. Try Moose, Golden, Okauchee,  School Section, Kessus or Nag for Pike.

Good Luck,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fishing Report 5-3-10

June Already? You'd wouldn't know it by the water and the fish behavior.
Right now most lakes are in the low 70s with a few of the bays in the mid 70's.  Weed growth varies from lake to lake.

Bass Fishing has been steady, with the warmer days producing some quality bags of fish. Fish are starting to move into an early summer pattern, with lots of areas and techniques producing. On cloudy days, topwater and crankbaits are catching lots of fish over open water areas, especially weed patches on the mid-depth flats in 6-12 feet of water. On sunny days, especially those with lots of wind, fish are tighter to cover or using shallow rock bars in 3-8 feet of water. Plastics, flipped, skipped, pitched, wacky or texas rigged are great ways to target these fish. Live bait on slip sinker rigs are catching some nice fish for anglers making solid drifts over productive areas.

Pike fishing has been great, with lots of quality fish coming in. The number one way to catch pike right now is a small sucker or medium to large shiner on a slip sinker rig with a flourocarbon leader. Drift along the deeper edges of weeds and you'll find some fish. Lipless crankbaits and spinner baits are also producing, especially in the shallow water.

Musky fishing continued to be steady last week. The larger fish have started to move out to the breaks, but there's still a solid number of fish patrolling the shallow water, feeding on schooled up panfish.

Walleye fishing has been pretty good. Fish on Lac Labelle, Oconomowoc, Pine and Fox Lake are still using shallow weeds and weed edges. Jigging with live bait or drifting with lindy rigs/ spinner harnesses has been productive Trolling with Shad Raps is picking up on both Winnebago and on Koshkonong. Slower speeds over the deeper part of the basins appears to be the trick. Pulling boards is working, but more than one angler has reported doing much better with hand held rods.

Bluegills are spawning on most area lakes. If you're looking for action, areas of beds can be found in the shallows, but if you want some bigger fish, move out to 9-15 feet of water and look for beds in gravel and sandy areas. Vertical fishing with a split shot and live bait rig works great, as does pulling a 1/8 ounce lindy rig with a short leader through likely areas. (Try panfish leaches or leafworms) It's not the bobber approach which works great in the shallows, but it can really produce some quality keepers.

Good Luck,


Monday, May 31, 2010

Charity Musky Tournament

Saw this at Lake-Link:

Lighthouse Youth Center will conduct its 3rd Annual Muskie Tournament on Pewaukee Lake on June 5th.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the outreach work of Lighthouse. The tournament will run from 7:30 to 12:30.

Breakfast, lunch and launch fees are included in the registration fee.

For more information check out or contact Pastor Buske via email or phone at 414.477.8379 or

Thursday, May 27, 2010



Here's what's happening around the area:

Thewater temperatures are in the mid to high 60's on most area lakes. Most of the Gamefish have spawned, and the panfish are starting to move up.

Musky have been fairly active on our local lakes the past few weeks, and quite a number of quality fish have been caught, especially on the windy days. A solid shallow pattern has been working for anglers who put in the time. Look for fish on the shallow weed flats in 6-10 feet of water. Scattered weedclumps with visible baitfish or panfish are high percentage areas right now. A few fish are also using the first deep break in 12-18 feet of water where green weeds have started. Gliders, swimbaits, bucktails and jerkbaits have all been consistent producers.

Best bets: Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, and Fowler.

Northern Pike have been using the areas where there is new weedgrowth. Anglers targeting bass have been catching a number of pike ranging from smaller snakes to quality 30+" fish. Some of the larger pike are using the deep weedlines in 12-18 feet. Spinnerbaits,small bucktails, lipless crankbaits, floating rapalas and buzzbaits will all catch fish in the shallow water when fished around submergent green weeds. Large shiners or small to medium sized suckers suspended underneath a float, longlined on a split shot rig, or fished deep on a slip-sinker setup are your best options for live bait.

Best Bets: Nagawicka, Golden, Okauchee, Fowler, Moose.

Walleye have been active in cycles that match our current weather patterns. On warmer, windy days they have been biting fairly well. On cooler days, especially those with a North or east wind, they have been fairly lethargic. Some fish are patrolling the shallows in the morning and evening hours, but the bulk of the fish are holding around rocky points and mid-depth weeds in 8-12 feet of water. Crankbaits like rapala shad raps are catching fish as is controlled drifting with live bait. Slow and steady have been the operative words. A nightcrawler, leech or small sucker on a lindy rig or long lined split shot setup have been the most consistent producers. A few fish are being caught around weeds using jig and plastic or jig and minnow combinations.

Best Bets: Pine, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, the Nehmabins and Fox Lake.

Largemouth Bass  Fishing for bass has been spotty, and some days are much better than others. With the sunny, still days we had, the bite has dropped off a bit, but with some cooler weather and clouds, it's sure to pick up. Look for bass around shallow weeds, wood laydowns or docks. Rocky areas, especially points adjacent to deep water have been holding the most fish. Wacky worms, shakey heads, swimbaits, texas rigged lizards or stickbaits, lipless crankbaits, and jigs with a chunk or craw trailer have all been producing. Natural colors have been better than flash this season. Nightcralwers or large leeches on a lindy or split shot rig or large shiners under floats fished around piers or along rockbars have been catching a few nice fish.

Best Bets: Okauchee, Golden, Keesus, Pine, Nagawicka, Buelah, Moose.

Smallmouth Bass Fish are patrolling the shallow bars a few times a day, especially on the warmer sunny days. Lots of fish are suspending in deeper water just off of shallow structure. Rocky/sand transition areas have been holding some fish who are foraging for craws. Suspending jerkbaits, tubes, wacky worms, swimbaits and lipless crankbaits in a crawfish pattern have all caught fish within the last ten days.

Best Bets: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pine, Nagawicka, Lower Nehmabin, Beaver.

Crappie Look for them around shallow cover in 2-8 feet of water. Tight-lining over deeper wood or weeds in 8-12 feet has also been effective on some lakes. Tail-hooked fatheads, plastics or hair jigs tipped with a waxworm and rosie reds are your best live bait options for crappies.

Best Bets: Pine, Okauchee, Kessus, Golden, Garvin, Ashippun, Lake Five.

Bluegills are beginning to move into the shallow water on many area lakes, but the better sized fish have still been coming from anglers targeting them in a little deeper water. Shallow fish will be near sandy bottom areas with scattered weed growth, but if you just want the kids to catch a few fish, try fishing around any piers that are in the water adjacent to deeper water (6-10 feet). If you want to target eating size gills, tightline vertically while drifting along weedlines in deeper water (as deep as 22 feet) or look for them on the end of sandy/gravel points in 12-15 feet of water. Panfish plumpers, plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, panfish leeches or redworms are your best live bait options.

Best Bets: Golden, Silver, Garvin, Lower Nashotah, Forest, Upper and Lower Phantom, Ashippun, Upper Geneessee and Lake Five.

Catfish are being caught on the Rock River. Cutbait, stinkbait and nightcrawlers fished around the heads of the deeper holes has been producing some keepers. The area between Watertown and the Jefferson Dam has been red hot the last few weeks.

Trout stocking was a sucess this year on out local waters, with rainbows and brook trout still available. Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Lower Geneessee and Paradise Springs all recieved fish, as did several of the county park ponds. A complete list of stocked waters is available from the Wisconsin DNR website. Look for these fish in the deeper water basin or deeper pools on the creeks. In the area lakes, they can be anywhere from just below the surface to 25 feet down over deeper water. Tightlining with minnows, redworms or panfish plumpers will catch fish when you find them.

Good Luck Out There.
Chris Terry

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Local Tip....

Spider Grubs and You.

I have been out fishing several times the last two weeks, and I'm noticing a couple of things.

1.) Many (but not all) lakes have very limited weed growth

2.) There's lots of baitfish roaming around, but I'm not catching many bass near areas where they are.

Combined, that means just one thing.....the bass are foraging for crawfish.

It makes sense, given the weather we've had, and on lakes with weedgrowth that's behind schedule, the bass will relate to rock, gravel or sand/gravel areas. Crawfish are an excellent source of protein, something larger fish need after the spawn.

Consider using a  skirted or spider grub on a leadhead jig. I like the Chompers brand, but there are many versions, including Kalins, Powerbait and Yum. I fish these baits on a 3/8oz leadlead, football or standup jig head.

Watermelon, green pumpkin or watermelon red are my three favorite colors, but rootbeer green and pumpkin are also great on our local lakes.

Fishing them is easy. Throw it out, let it sink to the bottom, and drag it very slowly back to the boat. After you cast it out, position yourself so that your rod and line are straight out from each other, in line essentially. Hold the rod out from yourself at about ten oclock high, and with line tight, lift the rod slowly to about a twelve oclock position. As you pull the bait along, it will catch on rocks, weeds and other obstructions. When you feel this happen, stop pulling and start shaking the rod ever so slighty. The bait will either bounce over the obstruction or chances are you will get a bite. If you loose contact with the weight of your jig, (the key is to always be in contact with it) make a hook setting motion.

Last point, and its key: Don't move the bait or the rod quickly, do as the Famous Charlie Brewer used to say, polish the rocks. I always tell people, you are fishing it slow enough, if you are fishing it half as fast as you think is slow enough.

Remember, when you land that big one, C-P-R for the future.

Good Luck,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fishing Report 5-21-2010

Well, I was out and about, and its time for another fishing report.

A couple of things about conditions. First, the water is still cool, with temps in the high fifties to low 60's. Weed growth is limited, and water clarity is above average. All in all, this can make for some tough fishing.

Bass are in a post spawn mode, and many fish are patrolling the shallow areas, foraging. They seem fairly active, but very spooky in the clear water. Slow fishing is key. Jig/chunk, wacky worms, texas rigs, and floating stickbaits are all great choices. Try Okauchee, Garvin, Fowler, Moose, Ashippun, School Section, Middle Genessee, Nehmabin and Nagawicka.

Northern Pike are using the shallow weeds that have popped up, and are feeding on small baitfish, especially juvenile bluegills. Cranks, lipless crankbaits, buzzbaits or spinnerbaits are all catching fish. Live bait options include suckers or large shiners. Moose, Kessus, Golden and Nag.

Musky have been active, and lots of fish are coming in. Pewaukee, Oconomowoc and Okauchee have all been consistent producers. Jerks, sliders, slammers and bucktails are all producing. A few fish have come on sucker rigs. Look for fish near shallow green weeds or along the breaks in 12-18 feet of water.

Walleye are schooled up, and patrolling the shallows on many lakes. Look for baitfish near obvious breaklines and fish hard. Walleyes are fairly spooky in the clear water, so keep your distance, and fish with split shot or light lindy rigs. Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle and Pine.

Panfish action has been hit or miss. The cooler water has not pulled the schools into the shallows in significant numbers. The best bites have been on the smaller lakes, especially the dark bottom ones. Bays on Okauchee, Forest, School Section, Golden, Ashippun and Nag.

Whitebass are still coming in to anglers who put in the time along the Rock River. The best action is between Fort Atkinson and the Jefferson Dam.

Good Luck

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quickie Fishing Report 5-16-2010

Finally, some sunshine and stable weather.

Here's a quick update on local conditions.

Water temps are in the mid 50's to mid 60's on most area lakes. Weed growth is behind schedule for this time of year, especially on the clear water lakes.

Bass have spawned on many lakes, but a few fish are still protecting fry or nests. Lots of fish are patrolling the shallows, but they are on the smaller side. Plastics, crankbaits, and live bait have all been catching fish.

Pike are using shallow weeds and reedy areas and are chasing juvenile baitfish and panfish. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are all taking fish.

Musky are moving into transition areas. Fish are making foraging runs a couple times a day into the shallow water, but are holding and feeding on baitfish in 8-22 feet of water.

Tune in Wednesday for a full report.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fishing Report 5/5/2010

Well gamefish season is off and running. Here's a quick rundown.

Bass are in a spawn to post spawn mode. A few fish are still nesting, but many have completed the process. Expect to see males cruising the shallows or defending fry, but the bigger fish will be moving out to the first or second break. Bass fishing is likely to be a hit or miss proposition for a week to 10 days on most area lakes.

Pike action was steady, with lots of smaller fish being reported. Not surprising. Look for pike in shallow weedy areas. Ratttletraps and spinner baits are great options right now, as is a smaller sucker underneath a float.

Musky action was steady, with several large fish reported. Lots of follows, especially from larger fish. look for them in 5-10 feet of water near weeds or adjacent to spawning areas. The action is sure to pick up after the next batch of weather moves through.

Walleyes were almost absent for the opener by most reports. A few fish are still being caught in Jefferson/Ft Atkinson, but the bite on the local lakes was reported as pretty slow. I'd dive it a week, but if you're out look for them on shallow weedy points, and expect them to feed in little spurts a couple times during the day.

Good Luck,

Opening Weekend-Followup

Sounds like fishing was a little slow for the opener.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fishing Report 4-25-10

Well gang, the weekend weather kept most people off the water, but if you are heading out this week before the opener, here's what you can expect.

Water temps on most area lakes are in the mid to high 50's. There's not much higher than that, but some of the deeper, clear-water lakes are on the cooler end of the scale. Panfish continue to bite, especially on the warmer sunny afternoons. Bluegills are moving in the shallow bays, and crappies are using weed and wood in shallow water.

There's a significant number of largemouth bass in the shallows in a late-prespawn movement. I've seen several fish paired up on nests the last two times I was out. Typically this behavior is more common with water temperatures over 60 degrees, but there's no question the fish are moving in.

Remember: Inland Lakes are still closed for game-fish until Friday at Midnight.

Whitebass fishing on the Rock River has been spotty, but the rain should really get things going. Walleyes are moving back to the main lake, and guys putting in the time to troll for them are doing pretty good. Catfish action has been slow but steady, and with some warmer weather should really pick up.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Musky Video

Kathy and Greg posted another clip from the Oconomowoc River Dam.

Check it out here.

Musky Mike's Grand Opening Event

....Is this Saturday, April 24th.

I'll be giving a brief talk on tackle selections for local lakes around 1:30pm.

Stop by and say hello.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fishing Report 4/18/2010

Well its definitely transition time out there. The panfish are starting to stage and the bite has been variable along with the weather. Warmer, sunny days have been the best, but it's been windy, and most anglers have been fishing in protected areas, so the off shore and deeper structure bite has been largely untested.

Shallow bays, boat channels and pockets will all hold good panfish right now. Look for dark bottom areas along a north bank for the warmest water or sand and gravel areas adjacent to current. Some weeds or wood laydowns can  really concentrate the fish in either location.

On windy days, make long drifts through likely areas, on calmer days anchor away from the weeds or wood, and make long casts towards it. The fish can be spooky.

As for bait, bluegills will go for waxies, spikes or plastics tipped with live bait. Crappies have been great on plastics and on tail-hooked small fathead minnows.

Key Lakes right now: Stumpy and Icehouse Bays on Okauchee, Kessus, Nagawicka, Golden and Silver.

Stay tuned open water is just a few weeks away.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A plug for my friends at Viking Outposts

If you've ever considered a Fly-In fishing trip in Canada, I recommend Viking Outposts. I don't get paid to say that by the way, it is just a honest recommendation from a great bunch of folks up in Red Lake, Ontario.

The ice is going out early this year, and they have some openings for early season trips.


Consider a last minute trip to
Night Hawk Lake: May 14-21
Orono Lake: May 14- 21
Viking Island Lodge: May 21-29
Dolphin Lake: May 22- 29
Telescope Lake: May 28-June 4

Of the ones on this list, I've fished Nighthawk and Orono on previous trips. Orono was my favorite of the lakes we have visited with them, but is also the longest plane ride from Red Lake. Nighthawk was a great lake, and my Dad caught his biggest Pike ever on the trip we took there.
More Information can be had at their website (Viking Outpost) or from their blog (Viking's Blog).



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sturgeon Spawning Information

From the DNR. Looks like they think the bulk of the activity will occur in the next couple days. Maps, history and some video are here.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Fishing Report 4-12-10

Well gang, spring is upon us, and with it comes the usual run of changing weather patterns.

River fishing has slowed down dramatically. Walleyes are still biting, but most of the action has been contained to small feeding windows or anglers who are putting the time in at night. For the Rock River, this is textbook post-spawn behavior. Some anglers are reporting catching a few whitebass, but it looks like the cooler weather has held off the bulk of the spring run for now. Stay Tuned.

Local lakes are in the mid 40's to low 50's. Warmer water in shallow, dark bottom bays or boat channels along the northern shorelines is where the action is right now. Look for green weeds, wood or sand/gravel transition areas, especially on the warmer, sunny afternoons for crappies and bluegills. Areas which have these conditions adjacent to areas with good current are excellent.

For Bluegills, wax worms, spikes, leaf worms or plastics tipped with live bait are great options. For crappies, try tailhooking a small fathead under a bobber, plastics tipped with waxies or spikes, crappie tubes or small hair jigs. Fish will be anywhere from 18 inches of water to 20 feet deep depending on water clarity and weather conditions.

Stay tuned, its only going to get better.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Musky Video

Found this on Taken a few days ago, from the bridge.

You might also check out the website for The Outdoor Scout, here.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Musky Video is up.

Kathy and Greg grabbed some video of the Muskies below the Oconomowoc River Dam. Check it out on the baitshop blog here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fishing Report 4-3-2010

Just an update on local conditions and fishing.

River runs are still in progress, but the walleyes are into the spawning phase. A few stragglers are still showing pre-spawn activity but by and large they are in the process of finishing the spawn. Expect to see some males hanging around for a bit, but its definitely time to start targeting white bass as they stage for their spawning runs. A little rain would really get things going, but the weather came up a little short today. Stay tuned.

Crappies and bluegills are actively biting on many area lakes, especially in the afternoon on the warmer sunny days. The high winds have been problematic, but if you're heading out, look for panfish in shallow, dark-bottom areas, especially if there are reeds or weeds left over from last season. Water temperatures are still low in the mainlake areas, but the shallow bays and boat channels are into the 50's in many protected areas. Go small when possible, waxworms and spikes on a very small hook or icefishing jig will catch as many fish as minnows most days. Mix it up, and be ready for anything.

We're less than a month away from the opener. Things will only get better.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fishing Report 3-31-10

Fishing is picking up. Let's give you a quick rundown.

River fishing continues to be very productive. Walleyes are biting on the Fox River in Oshkosh and Depere, The Wolf River, the Wisconsin River and closer to home, on the Rock River.

Fish on the Rock River are moving in from the lake in large groups, and  you can expect good action and keeper fish. Advice: use larger/jumbo fatheads or tuffy minnows when targeting fish. Nightcrawlers can help you target some bonus catfish as well. Look for the fish in the areas adjacent to the main current flow, or in the deeper holes near turns in the river. The S turn has been especially productive for keeper fish. Keep in mind the walleyes are about to spawn, but that the white bass will follow them into the river.

Local lakes are free of ice, and panfishing is happening. Crappie are staging in the shallow dark bottom bays, especially those with a north facing shoreline. Small fatheads, waxworms on ice fishing jigs, or plastics tipped with live bait will catch crappies now, especially on the warmer afternoons. On still days, anchor and cast, on windy days used controlled drifting to increase the number of fish you're bringing in.

Good Luck,


Monday, March 22, 2010

3-22-10 Fishing Report

The run is on in the Rock River. The water has crested the critical 42 degree temperature, and fish are moving in groups. The mouth has been the most consistent, but anglers in Jefferson and Fort are starting to see schools of fish.

Live bait, especially larger sized fatheads on a jig with stinger hook are catching the most fish. The typical rock-river patterns working especially well, orange or gold head with a chartruese body and/or live bait. Anchoring and fishing with three way-rigs or kytock setups works pretty well.

Look for slack water areas adjacent to the main current, that's where the lion's share of the fish are being caught.

It's only going to get better.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Open Water Opportunities

There's a ton of open water fishing just around the corner, but right now the Dells and Depere are both open and fish are being caught.

The Laker bite in the harbor is going strong as well.

This batch of rain is sure to get a few things started. If you're looking for some early season fishing, give me a call.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 DNR Fishing Report

The DNR has released the 2010 report. I'd point your attention to the Waukesha County Lakes Section and the short article about the fish cribs added to Silver Lake.

Get the report here


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Early Spring Trips

The first open water opportunities are here.

Walleye fishing is getting started in the Dells, with open water off of the River's Edge Resort. Check out their live river cams here.

Ben Kueng is running open water harbor trips for Lake Trout. Ben's Website.

Stay Tuned.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Invasive Species

A New Poll out from UW-Madison. Here

Little Lunkers Ice Fishing Day Classes for the Kids

Ever wanted to show the kids what Ice Fishing was all about? Becky over at Dick Smith's just told me about the little lunkers day over on Nagawicka.
Information page from Dick Smith's Live Bait is Here

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1-6-10 Fishing Report

Just some quick information.

Ice conditions continue to vary, sometimes within a few feet of each other. Shallow bays are solid with a minimum between 4-8 inches in most areas. Deeper water has ice, but it can be as thin as 2 inches or as thick as 12. As always, be careful when heading out.

Panfish have been the most consistent. Some nicer panfish are being taken near deeper structure or close to the bottom in deeper areas adjacent to shallow water. You'll need a camera or electronics to effectively locate and target these fish.

Shallow water panfish continue to bite. Look for them in protected bays near any green weeds you can find.

Pike fishing has been slow and steady. Larger shiners on a rigged leader have been producing. Fishing the bays that are shallow and weedy in the summer has been a good starting point, but don't be afraid to spread your gear out a little to cover several depths. Mid depth areas with any weeds have been producing the better fish.

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up, especially just after dawn. There's a window of opportunity early in the morning in sand/rock transition areas where the larger walleyes are targeting juvenile perch. You probably won't catch many, but some larger fish have been reported.

Good Luck,