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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fishing Report 4-13-11

Well, we've been doing it piece by piece for a bit, but it is time to get back to full on fishing reports now. Remember, I won't be posting these at the Musky Mikes Blog anymore, you'll have to come here to get them, but when I post the report, I'll put a link up at the shop's blog.

River fishing continues. On the Rock River, the walleye bite has slowed down, but lots of people are still getting keepers. The water is warming up, and the better bite seems to be in the late afternoon in shallow water near rocks or shell beds. Controlled drifting wih jig and plastic combinations, or anchoring just up stream from the hard bottom structure and running three ways with live bait seem to be the most consistent approaches.

The walleye bite is slowing down, but the whitebass bite continues to be very good. Jig and twister, jig and minnow, small inline spinners, small reflective minnow baits or small lipless crankbaits are all solid options for chasing whitebass. Look for shelves or areas with incoming water off the main channel. Fish may be back in the creeks pretty far by now, just work an area until you start getting bit, and adjust in or out as necessary. The  mouths of the Bark and Crawfish River, the area just south of downtown Ft Atkinson, and the Jefferson Dam have all been producing fish. White, white and pink or gold have been the best colors this season, although a blue and white combo is a long time favorite of mine.

Closer to home, the area lakes are all open. Water temps are still in the low 40's, and many anglers are reporting that the water is cloudy. Crappie are being caught in 2-4 and 6-8 feet of water in dark bottom areas. Look for them in shallow bays with a northern bank, boat channels or marshy areas. Areas with green weeds, wood laydowns or reeds will concentrate fish. Early on I like to use waxworms or spikes on a small red hook, tailed hooked fathead minnows and as the water warms, I'll start to use plastics, all suspended under a bobber. The bit will be light, so make sure your weight makes your bobber stand straight and gets and keeps your bait down. One trick with crappies is to keep your bait just above them, they like to feed "up."  Lower Nehmabin, Pine, Nagawicka, Fowler, Lac Labelle, Golden, Garvin and Stumpy, Ice House and Bay Five on Okauchee are all traditional hotspots for early spring crappies.

I'm always happy to help and provide some tips, shoot me an email or a call if you have questions.

Be safe and have fun out there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Local lakes are open-Panfish Fishing to Begin

A quick check around the area says that all local lakes are open.

Crappie and bluegills will start to make their way to shallow, dark bottom areas on our local lakes. Most reports have water conditions as "dirty" on most lakes, especially Okauchee. But fish will still migrate towards shallow bays, boat channels, and marshy areas with dark or sandy bottoms. Sunny afternoons with a south or southwest wind will provide the best action until the water warms up.

Remember: North facing areas will be marginally warmer, and fish tend to congregate in these areas early on. Current, in the form of a creek channel, or river area will help as well.

For now, look for green weeds in shallow protected bays with a northern bank. Concentrate your efforts on the patches of weeds, using live bait suspended under a bobber. Keep you bait just above the weeds, and any visible fish that you see. I like to use waxworms or spikes on a small red hook, small/crappie sized fatheads-hooked in the tail, underneath a pencil bobber with just a split shot or two to keep the bait down. Once the water gets a little warmer, and crests 52-55 degrees, I'll start using plastics heavily, but for now, I'd stay with the live bait for a couple of weeks.