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Friday, March 18, 2011

Fishing Report 3-18-11


Spring is upon us, and river fishing is starting to pick up.

Fishing in the Dells appears to be hitting its stride. Walleye are coming out of both deep and shallow water, and anglers are reporting several periods of fish activity per day. If the bite is tough, try drifting with a split shot or lindy rig in place of a jig. Sometimes the subtle presentation is better.

Looking for a fish for the wall? The run has also started at Depere. It is still early by all accounts, so there's more fish rather than the big fish that will move in, but none the less, anglers are reporting consistent success. Jerkbaits, jig and minnow, and lindy rigs are all producing.

Closer to home, things are just getting started on the Rock River between Jefferson and the mouth. Anglers are starting to pick up a few fish at Blackhawk, as well as at the mouth of the Bark River. The Starpole hole has been producing some smaller fish, as well as the S turn. The water is below average levels for this time of year, but flows are steady. Watch your prop if moving through the Jefferson Rapids, or below the dam. I recommend anchoring with three way rigs, especially in areas with slack water adjacent to the holes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring 2011 Fishing Report

The DNR's 2011 Fishing Forecast is online.

I think the observation for Oconomowoc Lake is very interesting, and it certainly squares with what I have been seeing on the water there over the past few seasons.

Here's the text from Waukesha County:


Nagawicka Lake — Nagawicka Lake was surveyed in 2010 and revealed a diverse gamefish population consisting of northern pike up to 39 inches, smallmouth bass up to 20 inches and many good-sized walleye
that averaged 19 inches. Largemouth bass are abundant with an average size of 14 inches with the largest fish caught being over 21 inches. The dominant forage base in Nagawicka is white suckers, which show strong annual migrations up the Bark River. The 2010 survey also showed a panfish population of bluegill and black crappie with impressive size structure.

Lower Genessee Lake — Lower Genessee Lake is a quiet little lake nestled a few miles from the interstate. It is tailored for small boats or canoes. Hang on to your fishing pole though, there are some really nice-sized pike lurking in these waters. Lower Genessee also has big bluegill with a few fish measured near the 10-inch mark during a 2010 survey. Lower Genesee is annually stocked with trout prior to openingday. Many of the trout stocked survive another year in this high-quality groundwater seepage lake.

Lower Phantom Lake — Lower Phantom Lake is a shallow lake connected to the Mukwonago River that sports a rich diversity of fish species. Longear sunfish and lake chubsuckers are just a few of the many rare species found in the Phantom lakes and the Mukwonago River. They are among the most diverse waterbodies in the state and have 58 documented fish species. Phantom lakes also have excellent largemouth bass fishing with a few fish over 18 inches. Northern pike populations are on the rise asare many area lakes thanks to a premium large fingerling product from DNR’s hatchery system.

Big Muskego Lake — This is a great place to take a kid fishing. The restrictive length and bag limits on all panfish and gamefish species do not allow much for harvest, but surely provide fast angling action. This
year brings a northern pike 40-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of one that are sure to provide some memorable angling opportunities for future generations. This lake tailors to the nature enthusiast providing abundant wildlife viewing and excellent water quality. Three deep fishing holes are found near waterfowl nesting islands along the lake’s east side.

Oconmowoc Lake — This is one of Waukesha County’s highest quality fisheries hosting superior angling opportunities for musky, walleye and smallmouth bass. A 2009 fall walleye stocking evaluation revealed excellent natural reproduction of this fine table fare. Walleye on Oconomowoc Lake have a special 18-inch minimum length limit and daily bag limit of three. In the spring, large musky may be seen near the public boat launch on the Oconomowoc River.

Pine Lake — Pine Lake provides the county’s best chance to land a trophy walleye. A 2009 fall survey showed excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass potential for anglers. In addition to the many gamefish,
Pine Lake also provides some awesome black crappie fishing.

Lac LaBelle — Lac LaBelle has the highest walleye abundance of all Waukesha County lakes because of its restrictive size and bag limit. There are only a few musky lurking in LaBelle, but the ones that do, are
big — averaging 42 inches as revealed by a 2009 survey. This unique waterbody is host to some large flathead catfish, which is a closed fishery year round. Giant buffalo fish are found in the spring near the outlet
of the lake near the physical carp barrier. Bowfishing for buffalo and carp on Lac LaBelle is a very popular practice due to cloudy water, creating a less spooky fish.

Pewaukee Lake — Pewaukee Lake is still Waukesha County’s premier musky water thanks to a successful stocking program. Pewaukee is scheduled for a comprehensive fisheries survey starting in 2011. The DNR will examine length, age, growth and abundance of all fish species including musky. The Milwaukee chapter of Musky Inc. is raising spring yearling musky to supplement the existing stocking program.

The whole report is online here: at the DNR website.

WI DNR Spring Hearings:

Big changes brewing in the Spring DNR hearings. New rules for:
  • Quick Strike Rigs
  • Minimum Musky Size
  • Changes to size/local bag limits on Walleye/Sauger

You can read up on the spring hearings at the DNR website here.

By the way, I'll be voting yes on these three provisions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's hit the water....

...The rivers are opening up, and with this week's warm, sunny weather things will start happening quickly.

Early season trips are available at a discounted rate.

Email me for more information