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Monday, February 21, 2011

Fishing Report 2-21-11

Hey gang,

Our stretch of nice weather is over, but fret not... just 28 days until the start of spring.

First off, just some advice. Be careful on the ice. The warm weather, rain and high winds have made some of the open water areas a little sketchy, especially for vehicle traffic. While our area lakes are not Winnebago where three cars went through, it never hurts to be on the safe side.

As for the fishing, the first point to mention is that stretches of the river are opening up, and anglers are already hitting them, most notably in the Dells. Obviously its very early, but a few walleyes are already being caught.

Closer to home, we're moving to late winter conditions.

Pike have started moving into the marshy areas to get ready for the spawn. This is the time to chase your winter trophy. Focus on shallow flats, especially marshy areas (like the Crane's Nest on Okauchee, the North end of Golden Lake, the West side of Lower Nehmabin or the area just outside of the Kettle on Nag). While large shiners will still catch fish, now is the time to set up with dead bait. Running three tip-ups per guy, I like to do two with a live shiner and one with deadbait until I find out what's working. Typically bigger fish will come during a 2 hour stretch during the day, while the more aggressive, smaller "action" fish will bite throughout the day.

Panfish action has been slower, but steady. There's still a handful of guys getting some keepers out of shallow weeds,  but the guys looking for and finding suspended fish in deep water are having better success. 12-16 feet over 20+ seems to be the magic combination this year, but deep water adjacent to structure is always your best option.

Good Luck, and be safe.