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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lunkers--Winter Raffle/Fisheree/Meat Raffle-2012

Things are happening (12-29-12)

I'm just getting back to town from a family visit in Michigan. I'm returning to news that some of the smaller protected areas have as much as 4-5 inches of ice.

Stay safe, and take this info with a grain of salt. I haven't verified it personally.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pretty Quiet

I'm not is just that I haven't had anything to say.

We're in what Musky Mike used to call the "dead zone" of the year....too early for ice, but very few people still fishing from boats.

I'm finishing up the semester, and if I can get out next week I'll bring you an up to date report. Typically there's some great late season perch and smallmouth fishing to be done if the water is open this late.

I haven't heard anything from any of my sources since deer hunting. I thought some people might try to get out today, but the weather has kept everyone in.

I know the walleye bite in the Dells was going earlier in the week, but I haven't heard of anything else....I'll check back in when I hear the meantime..stay tuned.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fishing Report 11-2-12


It is that time of the year. The last warm days of fall, the end of the October Full Moon Cycle, post-turnover and the water is below 50 degrees.

Get out your big hardware, buy the biggest suckers you can find and hit the lakes.

Musky fishing has been slower than in past years, but what it lacks in quality it has made up for in stability. There's a good, steady bite going on...and the big fish are primed to get into that full-late season action that keeps me out of my tree-stand this time of year.

Look for active feeders between 8-12 and 12-18 FOW. The fish will hold on the edges of major structural elements, moving in a couple times a day to forage. You can connect with them in both positions.

Around the area:

Pewaukee Lake: Giving up fish consistently, but average size has been on the lower side compared to the last couple years. Major WMT tournament on the water this weekend...and fishing pressure has been heavy.

Okauchee Lake: Slow and steady is the word. Less fish reported than Pewaukee, but better average size. Stumpy Bay has been very hot, especially along the inside turns of the steep breaks. Edges of the North Flat and Road Bed have been productive, as have areas with visible baitfish in Bay Five. Water is low and access to Garvin Lake, always a late season hotspot, is limited.

Oconomowoc Lake: River is down a bit, but still okay for most the turns. Fishing has been steady with several low to mid 40 inch class fish reported in the last ten days.

Fowler Lake: No reports.

Lac Labelle: Action at about average pace, maybe a little lower. Musky population in Labelle is lower than some of the other lakes, but as is typical for Labelle reports...the size is much bigger. Two fish in the high 40" class were reported this week.

Other action: Rock River fishing has been slow. Fish are being caught, but they are largely undersized. Legal walleyes have been hard to come by, and whitebass action has not picked up.

Local lakes: Still some pike biting, especially on live bait...but nothing important enough to note. Pretty and Moose have been active, but reports are getting thin. Bass fishing is okay on the warmer sunny days. Flipping jigs to open spots in deep weed edges is still productive, along with buzzbaits fished tight to shallow cover. Sunny afternoons are still pulling some fish up on to the shallow rockbars that are adjacent to deeper water. Regardless...not too many people out chasing bass or pike right now. Panfish are still hanging at the ends of major points...look for the biggest pannies at the bottom of the schools you can find in 12-18 FOW.

Good Luck....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fishing Report 10-26-12

Well, its fall and the weatherman says you'll know it by the end of the weekend.

River fishing is picking up after the rains. Flows are marginal, and water levels low, but action is getting better on the Rock between the Jefferson Dam and the mouth at Blackhawk, below the Dam on the Wisconsin River in the Dells, and in stretches of the Fox (Oshkosh) and Wolf rivers.

The bite in every case is a multi-species bite, but reports are picking up in the wake of the solid rains.

Closer to home, reports have most of the musky lakes in a post-turnover state. Water temps are in the High 40's to Low 50's. Musky fishing has been slow, but steady but many of the fish coming in have been sub 40 inches (now the legal limit on our lakes).

Pewaukee has been good for numbers, with suckers and gliders catching most of the fish there.

Okauchee has been slow, but a couple of mid-40 inch fish were reported in the last week.

Fowler has been giving up some shorter fish, but the weeds are still making sections of the lake hard to fish.

Lac Labelle has been slow, but I haven't talked to many people who have been on it fishing, and they were chasing late season walleyes.

Oconomowoc has been better than average, with some very nice mid to high 40 inch fish reported over the last 10 days. Suckers have been converting lots of fish, especially the lazy follows Oconomowoc is known for.

Good Luck,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A day on the water with Edwin Evers?!?

I'm not one who pushes the opportunity to fish with somebody else...but in this case I'll make an exception. Neighborhood House of Milwaukee will be auctioning off a day on the water with BASS Pro Evers at their auction on November 1st.

Organization Website is here.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Condition and Fishing Report 10-12-12

Greetings again.

We've moved to a late fall situation on the water. If we get the heavy rain that's forecast for this weekend, things could get interesting.

On the local lakes, water temps are in the High 40's to Low 50's. Weeds are still very thick, but starting to die back. I was amazed how thick they were in places when I was on the water today. Plus, there is still massive quantities of visible baitfish, schooled up and swimming around. Simply unprecedented for this point in the season.

Turnover: Because it is the question on everyone's mind, I didn't see signs of a turnover, (ie lots of floating organics) but the water was very clear today, so maybe its has come and gone. Greg at Musky Mikes pointed out that the wind could have settled things this week, which seems like a reasonable explanation.

In terms of the fishing, I have a couple of things to report.  The consensus opinion is that fishing has been slow, but it seems that it may have as much to do with the fact that, in relative terms, only a few people are fishing right now. Oconomowoc, Okauchee, Lac-Labelle and Fowler have been essentially empty for a couple of weeks. This is close to peak for Musky fishing season, but reports place very few people (again in relative terms) on the water.

Close to home, Bass, Pike and Musky are active, although fishing conditions vary day to day. It's live bait season for trophy fish. Typically the first deep break will hold fish, but I was seeing baitfish along shallow weed edges today, and I missed my hookset a good sized musky in an area with active baitfish running the weed-tops.

As thick as the weeds are, I'm sure you could flip, or jig and pork LM bass out of weed clumps, or use a buzzbait tight to shallow cover, especially on warm afternoons. If you want to chase smallmouth, large or jumbo shiners are a great late season live bait option.  Either way, I'd concentrate on rocky structure with some scattered weeds that gets some direct sunlight, and I'd try and fish during the warm part of sunny days.

Pike are active and using the weed edges. Spinnerbaits, spoons and crankbaits will catch fish, but a smaller sucker on a slip sinker rig can really get the job done on the weed edges in 12-18FOW.

Musky fishing is slow, but I can't imagine that staying the case. I'm wondering if it seems slower because of the low number of people on the water, but I can say that some of my go-to spots for this time of year are so thick with weeds as to be difficult to fish. If you go out, make sure to have at least one sucker out, as many fish that come in on a bait, will grab a nearby sucker this time of year.

River fishing has been slow to non-existent, but if we get a couple inches of rain, there should be some activity on the Rock and Wisconsin Rivers. I haven't gotten any positive reports from the Fox in Oshkosh, or from Jefferson in the last two weeks. A few whitebass were being caught below Ft Atkinson, but stress on the few.

Good Luck and Cheers,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fishing Report 9-28-12

Fall, it can frustrate you.

The nice weather this week definitely slowed the fishing down some. Plenty of fish biting though. Many lakes still have hug schools of baitfish swimming around. Weeds are browning, but still thick, and water is high 50's to low 60's on most lakes in the area.

Panfish are in a full fall position. Tight to cover, and feeding aggressively in a couple of time periods a day. Bluegills are staged along weedlines at the end of major points or other mainlake structure. Look for bigger gills along the bottom, as deep as 25'. Crappie are suspended over deeper wood or humps, and some bigger crappie are being reported from 18-22' depths.

Bass fishing is baitfish related. Find bait, and you'll find the fish. Most fish are making a couple foraging runs a day, holding just off of transition areas, before moving in to feed during the warmer parts of the day. The water is cooler than the book says, but topwater bass fishing with minnow imitators can by absolutely dynamite this time of year. A deep-diving crankbait (I like Wiggle Warts and Norman D22's in natural color patterns) fished along sharp breaks can also produce some bigger fish. The livebait bite will get good as temperatures cool off again.

Pike fishing has been about average. You can still head out and fish shallow flats with clumps of weeds with a spinner, buzzbait or lipless crankbait and catch smaller pike. The bigger fish haven't made a move in from the deep wedlines yet and can be caught fishing larger plastics (like a reaper) or on slip-sinker live bait rigs. If you want to target pike, I'd hit the smaller lakes like Golden or Pretty and go after them with medium sized suckers or if you can get them, jumbo golden shiners.

Walleye fishing is still spotty. Water temperatures will need to drop some more before the fishing really picks up. The fish are in mid-depth weeds, but haven't turned on the way I would have expected them to just yet. A few walleyes are starting to turn up in the local rivers (Fox, Wisconsin and Rock), but the bite has been slow, and the water levels are lower than in recent memory. Stay tuned.

White bass reports are also starting to trickle in from Oshkosh, Freemont and Jefferson. I'd say its still early, but the water level is going to dictate how the fall river runs go this year.

Musky fishing is slow, but steady. Weed edges in 10-18 FOW have been productive. It is always a solid idea to keep a sucker out when casting, as many of the lazy follows you get will convert on the sucker you have hanging over the side. I personally raised fish on a bucktail, glider and Bulldawg this week, but Suicks are a traditional early fall favorite.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fishing Report 9-21-12

Things have been busy for me personally, but by all accounts I've gotten, I haven't been missing much on the water. I expect that assessment to change.

Panfish have moved to the fall patterns. Look for keepers at the ends of long weedy points, or suspended around shallow grass in current areas. Plastics tipped with small live bait are usually solid options this time of year, but don't overlook the use of larger live bait for keepers.

LM Bass fishing has settled into a traditional early fall pattern. Fish will bite periodically through out the day, but usually in short feeding spurts. They'll hang tight to cover early, but get more active around 10am. Be ready to move around to find active fish, but concentrate on areas with rock/weed transitions.

SM Bass is time to break out the live bait. Fish will relate to breaklines, moving up to shallow water to feed, but then out to deep water between feeding runs. Deeper breaks off of points or shallow rocky areas are the best place to start. Don't be shy about the live bait, but deep diving crankbaits in white or crawfish patterns can save a day this time of year.

Pike fishing has picked up, with anglers reporting lots of action from smaller pike. In-line spinners, small bucktails and large plastics (especially reapers) are catching most of the fish. Look for them around weed clumps on the flat areas between 4-12 FOW.

Walleye fishing has been dead for the last ten days. I expect the fishing to get better as the weather stabilizes over the next period of time. A few anglers have been heading to the rivers to get a jump on the fall runs. Water levels are reported as very low, especially along the Rock River. Watch those lower units.

Musky fishing has been a little slower than I would have expected. Usually the first cold snap really triggers some significant activity, but based on reports, I'd say its below average. As stated, the weather has been a bit unstable, so that might have something to do with it. It is sure to pick up soon. In the meantime, gliders, dawgs, bucktails and jerkbaits are solid options, but it is sucker season, make sure to keep one out while targeting muskies.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fishing Report 9-14-12


Sorry about last weeks report, I didn't realize it wasn't posted.

I love September. I wish I had more fishing time, but my professorial duties are more involved in fall than summer....add in the kids, a second job...and wow, its amazing how time flies. Some of the best fishing of the year is between now and the end of the season.

The cooler nights are changing the conditions on local lakes. Water temps have dropped significantly, and are in the mid to high 60's on most lakes. On warmer sunny days, lakes may be as warm as the low to mid 70's. Much depends on what the night proceeding your fishing trip was like. The weeds are still very thick, but the baitfish schools are starting to thin out as fish put on the feedbag. In other words, it is time.

Bass fishing  has been steady for a couple weeks. Fish are relating to the ends of points, and inside weed edges. A couple times a day, small schools of fish will make a foraging run into shallower water. Small crankbaits can be dynamite this time of year, especially for numbers, but skirted grubs and jig/chunks are my go to baits most days, Smallmouth usually go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're just on the front side of this happening this year. 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 will become a better option for big fish.

Walleye fishing is slowly starting to pick up on the area rivers, although the water is still way down on most of them. 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 catch one, fish through the area very methodically. I'm still catching a few pulling slow death rigs around the ends of points and along weed edges, but the bite is inconsistent at times.

Pike fishing has been steady and getting better. 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 are also a great option right now, especially suspenders worked around weed clumps where there are visible baitfish.

Musky fishing 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. The fish can be really shallow, even in the middle part of a sunny day, so be ready to be mobile.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Ten Fishing Tournament

From the Badger Fishing of this year's Big Ten. They are searching for volunteers to drive boats for the tournament:

Volunteer Boater Information
Every year for the past 10+ years, the Big Ten schools have held a one-day
tournament in the fall, appropriately labeled the Big Ten Bass Tournament. This
year, the UW was chosen to host it, which we will the weekend of September 29 and
30, 2012, on the Madison Chain.

A few years ago, the organizers of the event thought it would be a good idea to
secure “volunteer boaters” to enable those without a boat to participate in the event,
something that was not done in previous years. Volunteer boaters are community
members who graciously donate their boat and, most importantly, their weekend
time to take one two-man team from a school in need out fishing, allowing them to
compete in the tournament. Speaking from personal experience, the UW would not
have been able to compete in the last three Big Ten tournaments in Michigan if it
weren’t for volunteer boaters, something we greatly appreciated.
With that said, we are looking for as many volunteer boaters as possible to
make this year’s event a success! Please read through the information below, and if
you’re interested in helping us out, either as a definite yes or even a maybe, please
email Levi Warner at with the requested information no later
than September 15, so we can start formally organizing boats. If you have any
additional questions, feel free to email Levi at the address above, or call him at (920)
740-9085. Also, if you know of anyone who may be interested in helping us out, we
would greatly appreciate it if you passed this information along to them. Thank you!
Date and Location: September 29 and 30, 2012, on the Madison Chain.
Description of Days: September 29 is the official prefishing day, and September 30 is
the actual tournament day. We would need volunteer boaters for both days (one
volunteer boater would take the same anglers fishing both days), so we would need a
commitment for the entire weekend, barring unavoidable circumstances.
Procedure: If you’ve ever helped FLW out by being a volunteer boater for their
college events, the process is very similar. For the most part, the anglers are
responsible for contacting their volunteer boater and coordinating the weekend with
them. Anglers will be given your contact information so they’ll be calling you close to
the time of the event. On Saturday, there is no certain time anglers need to be off
the water at (unless they are attending the banquet; more on this later), and there is
no official landing anglers need to launch from. Again, anglers are responsible for
contacting their boater to agree on time and location. On Sunday, anglers are
required (and boaters are suggested) to be at the pretournament meeting at 6:00 am,
with tournament hours running 6:45 am – 3 pm. During both of these days,
volunteer boaters will operate the outboard motor, taking the anglers wherever they
desire to go, and the anglers will operate the trolling motor once at the spot.
Volunteer boaters are not allowed to suggest fishing lures, locations, etc., or operate
the trolling motor, electronics, etc., for the college anglers. Disqualification will
result if any of this takes place. This is to keep the playing field level for those who
bring their own boat to the event. Boat volunteers are allowed, and encouraged, to
fish with the college anglers on Saturday, but not on Sunday.
Reimbursement: Because volunteer boaters already donate their boat and time to
the event, we try to make the weekend as cheap as possible for them. A reasonable
reimbursement for boat gas will be decided upon between the anglers and their
volunteer boater. The landing fee for Saturday will be paid by the college anglers.
The landing fee for Sunday will be free, courtesy of the Dane County Conservation.
The UW will not be providing assistance to volunteer boaters for gas expenses to the
event location or lodging, because as much as we’d like to, our budget will not allow
it. However, to show our appreciation, every volunteer boater is invited to attend the
banquet dinner (more on this below) free of charge!
Banquet: As mentioned above, a banquet will be held the night of September 29, at 7
pm, at the Bishop O’Connor Center (702 South High Point Road, Madison, WI
53719). Boat volunteers, if they wish, can attend the banquet and enjoy dinner at no
cost to them. The banquet will be a catered buffet dinner, so no one should leave
hungry! In addition to the food, important rules for the event will be highlighted and
boat numbers will be drawn. A raffle will also be held for some great prizes from our
sponsors, such as St. Croix and Rapala, so bring a couple extra bucks for tickets!
Requested Information: If you’re still interested in helping us out after reading
through this (which we hope you are), please send Levi Warner the following
information via email at
1) Name:
2) Phone:
3) Email:
4) Address:
5) Your commitment for the event (100% certain you can help, pretty sure you
can help, or just interested at this time)

6) A little background information on your boat (make and model and size of
outboard would be adequate).
Thank you for your time, and we look forward to your assistance in helping make
this event a success!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fall Trips/Fall Deal

I dislike these shameless self promotion posts, but here's one anyway.

I'm starting to get some inquiries about fall fishing, and more specifically, fall musky fishing. Generically my answer is yes, I'm available, but as many of you know, I am also a lecturer at UW-Milwaukee. Complicating things further, my wife is due to have our fourth child at the end of November. So there's a scheduling issue or two to consider. I like to put my cards on the table with people, but that said, don't hesitate to call. I'm sure something can be worked out.

Your best bet if you are interested in fishing with me this fall, is to pick some of your available days, and then email me to sort out the details. I'll craft your trip to meet your needs or skill level.

My schedule is a little varied, but I have openings most weeks on Tuesdays and then Thursday-Sunday, and yes, some dates are already booked. If you've got something in mind...well, contact me now to avoid disappointment later.

Given the success of my August special, I'm also going to run things a little different this year. Normally I raise my rate for fall to cover the cost of live bait, especially the cost of suckers. This year, I'm going charge special rates for September and October ($150 for 4 hours, $200 for a half day (6 Hours) and $350 for a full day (10-12 hours).) The special price will not include live bait, but if you want to have live bait along, (and we can decide that based on conditions) you'll pay the actual cost of the bait. (and have the option of keeping any that we buy that we don't use)

Fall fishing is a great time to chase bigger fish, regardless of what species you are after. Bass, Walleye, Pike and/or Musky options are available.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Preview/Fishing report

Fishing is going about average overall, but day to day there have been challenges. Labor Day weekend is typically a period of unstable weather, which makes patterning fish hard from day to day.

Note: There's some sort of second Okauchee "Tie up" happening this weekend. It sounds like it will be in front of Foolery's Bar, on Lower Okauchee. Just FYI.

Water levels vary from system to system, but weed growth is still very heavy, Water temps are in the low to mid 70's.

Panfish have slowed down over the last two weeks. Crappie and bluegill continue to bite along weedlines or suspended out over deep water, as well as in mid-depth weeds, but keepers have been hard to come by consitently. Plastics tipped with live bait, tail hooked minnows and leafworms fished vertically or with slip bobbers will produce. Evenings have been better, as is typical for this time of year. (School Section, Lower Geneessee, Lower Nashotah, Forest and Golden)

Largemouth continue to run late summer patterns. On the hot sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out deep in 12-15 FOW. On the cooler cloudy days, look for active fish in sand/rock or rock/weed transitions in 4-8 feet. Topwater bite will be good, especially early in the morning. (Silver, Moose, Ashippun, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Garvin)

Smallmouth fishing has been spotty. If you can find some active fish, you can do well, but making that connection can be a tough nut to crack. Look for them around the edges of the shallow structure like rock bars or sand/rock transition areas. The fish will be deeper than you think they should be in most cases. Jigworms, grubs, minnowbaits and small white crankbaits can be dynamite.(Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, Pine and North)

Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Lots of undersized fish are being caught in the shallow and mid-depth areas. I'd consider moving out deeper and using live bait on a slip sinker rig, trying to connect with active fish in 18-22 or 22-25 feet of water. (Okauchee, Nagawicka, Moose, Emily School Section, Pretty and Kessus)

Walleye fishing has been entirely inconsistent lately. People still fishing at night are reporting some success off the deeper sand flat areas, but a few decent fish are being caught out of the shallow weeds very early in the morning using rapalas or similar minnow baits.  (North, Nagawicka, Pine and Oconomowoc.)

Musky are getting more active, but anglers are still reporting lots of lazy follows. Gliders, bulldogs and cow-girls have all produced limited action in the past week, but most of the fish are mid-30's to low 40 inch fish. As the water begins to cool, the action will pick up considerably.

Good Luck,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fishing Report 8-19-12

Sorry for the late post.

Fishing started to make a fall transition the last week. The nights have been very cool, and there has been a distinct drop in water temperature. Area Lakes are in the Low to Mid 70's, and expect that to drop off a bit.

Panfish are still deep, but more of them are moving to the weededges. This is classic early fall behavior. While I was out this week, I marked huge schools in 12-18 FOW right on the edges of the weeds. Slip bobbers with live bait is usually the best way to get at these fish, but tightlining vertically will also produce. Either way, contact with your presentation will be key. Down-size your hook a bit to help keep the weeds off your line.

Bass are making the move. I've still not seen a consistent batch of fish kicking up softshells. It's pretty late in the month for the molt, so I'm starting to wonder if the winter/weather this year was hard on the crayfish, or in some way changed the seasonal pattern. I've been on the water a bunch, so I didn't miss it, but I'm also at a loss to when it is going to occur. Regardless, the bass are moving to mid-depth weeds in packs. Look for schooled up fish on shallow inside turns, or around clumps of weeds on mid-depth (6-10 FOW) flat areas. On a cloudy day, topwater fishing with a floating Rapala or Pop-R can really produce, but wacky, skirted grubs, shaky heads and texas rigs are all producing. Caught some nice fish this week on a jig/chunk and jig/craw combos, and on gold flake jigworms.

Walleye fishing, at least locally, is still very slow. My usual sources for information on the walleye bite have been pretty quiet lately, but I expect that to change as fall encroaches. Stay Tuned.

Northern Pike fishing is picking up. Deep weedlines are still holding lots of fish. A few guys are starting to pick up some nicer pike using large-jumbo shiners, slow trolling along the weedlines. Cranks, spinners are reapers have all been productive as well.

Musky Fishing is set to pick up some as the days get shorter. With the water back in the 70's expect to see more people chucking hardware. For now, bucktails, gliders and jerkbaits are solid bets, especially ones with gold flash or in a perch pattern.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fishing Report 8-11-12

Not much new to report, if you check into this blog regularly or follow my posts on lake-link.

Water is cooling off, days are getting shorter. It is time to start fishing.

Panfish are still running late summer patterns. You can find quality fish suspended over deeper water, or in middepth weeds. Live bait rigs are you best bet, but plastics tipped with waxies or spikes and fished on slip bobbers can be crazy good at times. Night fishing has been very good for bluegills, as it typically is this time of year.

Bass are starting to patrol the shallow areas for soft shells. As I said earlier this week, the fish are in the shallow water around the rock/sand/weed transition areas. I'm catching a bunch of fish on a rootbeer jig and craw combo right now, but skirted grubs, small cranks and wacky rigs are still catching lots of fish. Out deeper, I'm fishing a jigworm (6" Yum Rib Worm- watermelon red and watermelon with goldflake) with my clients. They have been knocking the smaller fish (12-15") out on the watermelon/gold flake color. (56 On Monday, 60 on Tuesday, and 57 Friday -yes-173 fish-in three half day trips.) Bass will be moving up to the rocks over the next couple of days as the crayfish start to molt, but I haven't seen any softshells get spit up yet.

Northern Pike fishing has picked up substantially with the cooler weather. Deep weedlines are holding lots of fish throughout the day. Cranks, slow rolled spinnerbaits, swimbaits or suspending jerkbaits can really produce right now.

Walleye fishing: I don't have any current reports from the area. Check back next week.

Musky: Lots of people are reporting seeing musky making runs into shallow water. I haven't heard many reports like that this summer, but the cooler weather and shorter photocycle has probably awoken a few fish. Not much to report in the way of catching, but a few anglers are reporting some limited success throwing bucktails or gilders around submergent weed clumps at the end of mainlake points with steep drops into deeper water.

Good Luck out there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On the water....8-8-12

The special pricing for my open days in August has had me on the water a bunch the last 10 days. There's still time to get in on open dates towards the end of the month...just email me for more details.

I've been on several area lakes, guiding in the mornings, scouting in the afternoons. Silver Lake is at its usual end of summer status, and I'm averaging more than 45 bass during half day trips right now.

Here's Katie with 1 of 60 Bass from Silver Lake on Tuesday.

Okauchee is primed for an early fall/late summer shallow water bite. Fowler is so weed choked as to make it hard to fish, while the water on Lac Labelle is pretty stirred up. The bite on Oconomowoc has been tough to very tough, while fish are biting very good on Moose, Middle Geneesse, Golden and Pretty.

Out for just a few (2.5) hours (9:30-Noon) this morning on Ashippun with my dissertation adviser from Madison. We were meeting for lunch, and decided to take a few hours and go bass fishing before grabbing a bite to eat.

Started out with spinnerbaits, got a real nice fish about 18" on the first drift, missing a second fish just a few yards down.  Second drift yielded nothing except some lazy follows, so we switched it up. He went to fishing a texas rig, I went with a jig and craw, and wow was that the ticket.

Just focused on visible submerged weed edges (both shallow and deep) and started catching fish right away. Ended with 16 LM and a Pike (24"), several shorties (10-13) but had five better than 15"
Bass were obviously looking for craws in the shallows. Saw the same thing this week on a couple of the other local lakes. The crayfish molt must be very close, but I still haven't caught a fish that coughed up a softshell.

Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hook -n- Look Clip

Here's a clip from the episode of Kim Stricker's Hook-N-Look Television program. In this episode, Kim is skipping baits under pontoon boats. There's some amazing footage here in this short clip.

Pay attention to where the fish are positioned in relationship to the shadows, how they come after the lure, and how Kim is positioning his boat.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fishing Report 8-3-12

Holy cow, it is both a Friday and we are into August. This summer is cruising by.

Water temps around the area are in the low to mid 80's. Typically temps are starting out around 81-83 and as the heat of the afternoon sets in, some of the shallow, darker bottom bays can get upwards of 87-88. That is very hot for our area.

This weekend looks to be a hot one as well. Be prepared, drink lots of water, and fish in the shade if you can.

Panfish are in the summer pattern. A few are still in the dense shallow weeds, but the large majority of fish are suspended in deep water. Look for schools of fish 14-22 feet down over deeper water, or along the bottom in 18-22 feet. Slip bobbers or tightline vertical presentations are you best options, and if you can get a good drift going, that's your best bet. Panfish leeches, plastics tipped with waxies, leaf worms or chunks of nightcrawler will work. For now, its probably best to skip the minnows.

Largemouth bass fishing has been surprisingly good the last week all things considered. Lots of fish are suspending just off of mainlake structure that has a steep drop into deeper water. If you're out early, you can connect with some of these fish on topwater until about 8:30am, then you'll have to go deeper. Shallow fish are using the docks and isolated clumps of weeds along rock/weed transition areas. Flipping jigs, or skipping plastics has been very effective, and has even pulled in some decent fish. The slop bite is on, but it has been better mid-morning to midday, and dropping off a bit in the heat of the afternoon. Out deep: crankbaits, drop shots, big texas rigged worms (10-12") and slow rolled spinnerbaits are catching some fish around deep weed edges and major points.

Smallmouth bass fishing was so/so the last week. Lots of fish are cruising the shallows, but getting a consistent bite has been very tough. This time of year, that's indicative of one thing: the crayfish molt is imminent. If the weather does cool off next week as predicted, and we start to have days with highs in the low 80's, watch out. Schools of smallmouth will be patrolling the rockbars and shallow rocky points looking for soft shells. It is traditionally one of the best runs of bass fishing in our area every year, and it is set to happen soon. Last year I got a 22" 5.8lb smallmouth during this run, and I can assure you I won't be missing much time on the water this year. Skirted grubs, jig and chunks and tubes in natural patterns work great, as does the old standby, the Rebel Crawfish.

Walleye fishing continues to be a hit or miss proposition. On cooler days with some wind/cloudy conditions, some anglers are catching fish out of the weeds vertically jigging the holes with live bait. Evening fishing has been about average, with lindy rigs and nightcrawlers catching most of the fish. A few anglers are trolling at night, but I haven't heard too many positive reports. Not sure if that's less people fishing, or the bite is so good that mum's the word. I'd lean towards the former, but you never know unless you hit the water.

Pike fishing has been slow and steady. Lots of smaller pike are chasing spinners, lipless cranks and buzzbaits around mid-depth weed clumps, but bigger pike have been hard to come by this year. If conditions change a little, and we start to see some cooler temps, expect to see the big girls move to the deep weededge and start to feed. The photocycle will start to trigger some more fish to chase yellow perch or small suckers into the weeds.

Musky is simply too hot. If you're going to give it a go, hit the weedlines early with bucktails or big rubber, then move out and troll over the deep basins. A few fish are using current areas with lots of baitfish, but they have been hard to catch.

Good luck out there. Be safe, and get ready for the early fall fishing bonanza.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Special-4 Hour Outings

Well it has been a busy summer, despite the heat, but I have some openings during the month of August that I would like to fill up.

To this end, I'm offering 4 hour Guided Fishing Trips or an on the water Fishing Lesson for the incredibly low price of $150.  That's $100 off my regular half day rate, and is the lowest price I have charged in years.

We'll fish for bass and /or pike as conditions dictate on a local lake in our area. Morning and Afternoons are available.

If you're interested in getting more information, or to request a me or give me a call at 262-893-2183.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shaky Head Video

From Tackle Warehouse:

Note: I'm not endorsing the products B.A.S.S. Pro Aaron Martens is presenting in this video, but I do think shaky head fishing is a good way to get a bite under tough conditions like we have right now. I like that he talks alot about his approach in the beginning of this clip, so I'm posting it here for your information.

On the Water-The Oconomowoc Catch Up Edition

I realized today that I have been fishing more than I have been posting. I apologize.

Fishing for bass has been good, but not necessarily great. I've been putting some serious time in on Oconomowoc over the past couple of weeks. Oconomowoc is traditionally a hit or miss kind of lake, but even by that standard it seems a bit slow out there. I'm catching fish, but there's some scratching going on to get those fish.

I think the lake is undergoing a bit of a change. There's weeds in places that didn't use to have weeds, and the weedy spots are choked in pretty good. I know part of this is due to the early spring and lack of rain this year, but I think its more than that.

The other notable change is the fishing. Largemouth bass have become very common on the lake. The lake is still fantastic for smallies, but the number, and importantly, the size of the largemouth has changed radically over the past couple of seasons, especially since the flooding in 2009.

On Oconomowoc, the baitfish population is huge right now. I'm not sure if its summer peak, a fresh spawn, or lack of feeding by the larger gamefish, but the larger fish sure have plenty to eat right now.

This morning, I went out with a friend and I caught a dozen bass 12-19inches (9LM, 3SM) casting along patches of weeds on the deep edges of structure. I mixed it up a bit, throwing some tubes, wacky, jigworms and trickworms. We caught fish on everything, but every fish I caught today was close to a patch of weeds that had visible baitfish in them. (I also broke off a monster pike right by the boat that inhaled my wacky worm). Since the action was a little slow, and I wanted my friend Bob to catch a bunch of fish, we headed over to Silver Lake to finish out our outing today (we caught almost 50 bass, including 6 fish 18 inches or better in around three hours there) , but in retrospect, I'd like to go back to Oconomowoc and pitch some jig/chunk combos into the holes of the weed patches. I think I would catch some quality fish doing this, especially out of the weeds where I was seeing baitfish.

If you ever want to chat about local fishing techniques or locations or if you're interested in a guide trip or fishing lesson on a local lake...feel free to drop me a line via email.  It is going to be silly hot again this week, but check in again for the regular fishing report this weekend.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Fishing Report 7-27-12

It is the dog days of summer....

Fishing has slowed down substantially from its mid-June peak. The last 10 days have been very tough, but you can catch fish if you're prepared to work for them.

 Key Tip: look for current. Creeks and River areas, or areas with flowing springs are holding lots of baitfish right now.

Panfish are using mid depth weeds in 8-15 FOW, or are suspended out over deeper water. Yesterday I saw schools of panfish about 18-20 feet down over 65 feet of water. Slip bobbers or tightline vertical presentations while drifting is a great way to target deeper panfish, as is fishing at night. Panfish leeches, plastics tipped with waxies or spikes, or leafworms are solid bets. (Try Okauchee, Pine, Nag, Middle Geneessee, Forest, Pretty or School Section for the best action.)

Bass are doing the mid summer thing: holding tight to cover, and feeding aggressively during short windows of time during the day. Mixed bags of largemouth and smallmouth have been common on many area lakes. Shallow fish are using docks/pontoons, inside weed edges in rock/weed transition areas, and the slop. Go big early, then downsize your presentations: Wacky, jig/chunk, skirtted grubs small shallow running cranks (Like the Norman Crappie N), soft jerkbaits or tubes are catching fish shallow.  There's been a topwater bite just before/at first light. Deeper fish are holding on weededges or in the sandgrass out to 30 FOW. Deep diving crankbaits, jig worms, big worms on texas rigs, drop shot and slow rolled spinner baits are your best bet for deep fish. (Nag has been on fire, as has Pewaukee and Fowler. Also consider Ashippun, School Section, Silver, Okauchee, Lower Nashotah and Golden.)

Northern Pike fishing has been hit or miss. The hot weather has been hard on the pike this year, but some fish are still being taken along deep weededges or of weedflats. Morning bites on buzzbaits continue to be good and consistent overall. Live bait, or a slip sinker rig along the weedlines has also been productive. (Golden, Moose, Nag, Forest and Okauchee have been the best)

Walleye are biting, but the fishing has been the best at night. Deep weeds are holding the majority of the fish right now. Leeches or nightcrawlers on lindy rigs, or suckers on slip sinker rigs are catching fish. Slip bobbers fished around mid-lake structural changes have been productive in the daytime.

Musky fishing has been almost non-existent the last couple of weeks, but during my time on the water this past week, I saw several fish actively chasing bait for the first time in awhile. Most of the fish are out deep, but you might find in shady areas with some current, or along weedlines adjacent to a very steep drop into deeper water.

Stuck on shore? The rain has managed to get some of the rivers flowing again. Catfishing along the banks and at the dams on the Rock River has started to pick up. Local fishing ponds are very hot, and some are even seeing small fish kills as the heat continues. Try to focus your efforts early and late, or look for shade. Shorefishing reports from Fowler, Forest and Ottawa lakes have all been positive.

Last thing: The Okauchee Lake Tie-up is this weekend, so you might want to try to find another lake to fish on Saturday.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fishing Report 7-21-12

Well gang,

There's not much new to report. The dominate news remains the low water level, high water temps and heavy weed growth.

Fish are biting, but the bite is better at low light/cooler sections of the days. With another batch of really hot temperatures set to hit this week, it important to remember that fish can be caught, but that you may have to put in some work to do it.

Bass are biting in the slop, around docks/pontoons and off deep weed edges. Up shallow, topwater frogs or flipping is catching some fish out of the heavy matts. Skipping docks with wacky, skirted grubs or fishing adjacent to shadows with small, shallow running crankbaits is working. On cooler mornings with a breeze, some decent topwater action can be had very early in the morning as fish that are holding in deeper water move up onto points to feed. Deep weedline fish can be caught in variety of ways, right now I'm using a texas rig with a 3/8oz weight and a long straight tailed worm in natural colors, but drop shotting, slow rolling spinnerbaits, large twistertail grubs, jig worms and deep diving crankbaits will all produce. If you're fishing from shore, target slop that you can reach, or fish in moving water like a river or creek with skirted grubs or wacky rigged worms

Panfish are deep, suspending as far as 20 feet down over much deeper water. Drifting over schools you can spot on your electronics with slip bobbers seems to be working for people putting in the time, especially in the late evenings or overnight.

The heat has been murder on the Pike. Shallow lakes are reporting heavy fish kills this year. As you might imagine the fishing for pike has slowed down. After the rain cooled things off for a couple of days, it seemed like the bite picked up some, but not enough to mention. For now I'd target other species. Ditto for walleye fishing.

Musky fishing has been virtually non-existent in the heat. Trolling for deep fish suspending around the thermocline has been the only way to catch fish with any regularity, and even that has been pretty sparse. The heat is hard on any musky you catch, so if you are targeting them over the main basins, make sure to quickly release any you catch, and be sure to take the proper time to revive them,

Shore fishing? You might actually have the advantage over the boats right now if you are targeting the smaller, spring fed creeks and rivers around the area. The overhead shade and cooler, moving water is holding some fish,including some quality smallmouth who are foraging for crayfish.

Good Luck,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fishing Report 7-14-12

Sorry about the delay, between the heat and some boat problems, I've been tied up a bit.

The big news of course is the conditions on the water. This year's unprecedented weather has changed the dynamics of mid-summer fishing.

Water temps range greatly, and can be anywhere from the low 80's to mid 90's. Regardless it is something you'll need to pay attention to.

The other key factor on the water is weed growth. The mild winter and low hot days have really been a boon to weed growth this year. Matts are very thick, and weeds are growing deeper than in mot years.

So the hot temps and deeper weeds are moving fish out further than in previous years.

The third factor is the low water conditions. While we got some rain yesterday, the majority of local lakes are way down.

Panfish have moved to mid-summer depths. Look for them suspended off weed lines and main lake points about 18-22 feet down. Structure at those depths will hold fish close to the bottom. Drifting with slip bobbers, tightlining vertically or long-lining split shot rigs tipped with live bait is the best way to target keepers.

Bass fishing has been surprisingly good given the heat. Some fish are on the weedlines 12-18 and 18-22 FOW. Crankbaits, slow-rolled spinner baits, flapper grubs or texas rigs are the best options on the deeper fish. Live bait in the form of larger shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig with produce. Shallow fish are using the docks and slop. Pay attention to the shadows, and don't be afraid to make multiple skips or pitches to fishy looking spots. Wacky, skirted grubs, jig and chunk, flipping baits like beavers or tubes have all been productive.

Northern Pike fishing has slowed down with the heat. Deeper pike are biting good, especially those patrolling deep sand flats. Crankbaits, live bait or spinner baits will produce.

Musky fishing has been very slow, but a few people are trolling for them. Look for them to be suspended around schools of cisco over the deepest water. Please be careful with caught muskies this time of year, the heat is very hard on them. Give them plenty of time when reviving them, and don't keep them out of the water any longer than necessary.

Good Luck,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gone Fishin'

I've gotten several emails from people asking when I'll be updating the report. Look for a new report later this week.

Till then,


Monday, July 2, 2012

Bank Fishing Tips

I've been getting a bunch of emails from people interested in shore fishing. I've been adding some information to the fishing reports about shore fishing recently to meet this demand, but I came across this video this morning.

The video is from  Which is a great site for tips and to follow the professional bass tournament scene.

Check out the video here.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Fishing Report 6-29-12

First off, a couple of things to note.

1.) I'll be speaking Tuesday, July 3rd at the Okauchee Lake Fishing Club meeting on night fishing Nagawicka and other area lakes.

2.) If you're in town for the holidays and looking to get some fishing or email me.

Onto business:

Panfish have moved into their summer patterns. Small panfish can be caught in shallow water, especially around docks or swim platforms, while 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 still relating to weed clumps in 6-12 feet of water, . Best Bets: The Gennessee Lakes, Silver, Ashippun (Including from Shore), Ottawa (Great for shore) Upper and Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Garvin, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Forest (Shore Option) and Pine.

Largemouth bass are relating to weed edges 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. 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. Slop bite is picking up, especially with the heat. 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 heat this past week. 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,  North, Druid, Oconomowoc and Pine.

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. Try, Fowler, Fox Emily, Moose (including from shore), Kessus, Golden,  Nagawicka, Garvin, Okauchee and School Section.

Musky fishing slowed down with the heat wave, although some of the drop off in action is certainly due to people staying off the water this past week. 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.

Shore fishing was extremely limited this past week due to the heat....but watch for more information after the holiday.

Good Luck,

Public Service Announcement: 2012 Big Ten Tournament

UW-Madison is hosting the Big Ten Bass Fishing Tournament this fall, the weekend of September 29-30th.

The Badger Team will be looking for people to drive boats for the competitors and sponsors for the event. If you're interested in helping or donating contact me and I can get you in contact with the team for more information.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Golden Lake Video

I'm looking at Bass Cat Boats right now. While I was in Texas, I received a call from a dealer in Illinois named Frank Hyla.

Frank filmed an episode of his fishing show,  Time on the Water, on Golden Lake. There's also episodes from Okauchee and Whitewater.

A link to his YouTube Page is here.

Here's the preview from the Golden Lake episode:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fishing Report 6-22-12

Short version: The fishing conditions are pretty typical for this time of year.

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, Upper Genessee, Garvin and Lower Nashotah. Shore fishing: Try the Piers at Fowler, Lac Labelle or Moose.

Bass are into summer patterns, anglers over the reported catching fish both shallow and deep. The fishing has been slower on the hot days, better on the cooler ones. Docks, slop and the deep weedlines all have fish. LM have been active on Oconomowoc, Golden, Kessus, Nag, Forest and Pine, but most area lakes should most have active fish on weed edges in 6-12 feet of water. Piers have been very good during the brightest of the day, and the slop bite is starting to really pick up. Topwater fish are being caught before 8am over flat areas adjacent to deep water, especially areas with small patches of milfoil. Fishing from shore: Forest, Moose and Elm Brook park are solid options.

Muskies have been very inconsistent. Some anglers have begun trolling for them in deeper water, but other anglers have reported raising fish along the deepest weedlines. Quality fish have been in short supply, but some high 30's were caught this past week. I've heard from anglers fishing Labelle, Okauchee, Oconomowoc and Pewaukee all with success in the last week.

Walleye action has been about average. Spinner harnesses with leeches, back trolled on lindy rigs or bottom bouncers with slow death rigs with a nightcrawler. Weededges and sand grass are the areas to key in on, especially in 18-22 FOW. Night fishing traditionally picks up about now, and floating rapala minnow baits fished over weeds on the ends of long points can really produce. Lac Labelle for action, Fox or Oconomowoc for keepers.

Pike action has steady. 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, Emily Fox or Nag for Pike.

Good Luck,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On the water....

I have been out a bunch lately. Summer patterns are in full effect, although getting sporadic reports that people are having trouble patterning fish this season. Given the crazy weather we have had, I'm not surprised to hear this.

The best advice I can give is to stick to your guns, but understand that a little adjustment, a tweak here or there might be necessary. It has been hot  (as in temperature), and the fish are biting, but slowing down and being a little more methodical about your approach might be necessary.

For example, I'm catching lots of fish off the traditional mid-depth break lines (classic early to mid summer pattern), but I'm making a little adjustment to fish on the deeper side of the break, and to slow way down. The fish are where they are supposed to be, but a slower approach is triggering bites....which if you put two and two together...warm weather/sluggish fish...makes perfect sense.

Here's some pictures. Averaging better than 50 fish a trip on Silver right now.

Jay with a nice one from this morning.

 Mike with a nice one from Golden Lake early this morning.

Patrice with one of more than 50 from Mid-Day on Friday.

My academic mentor, Bob Drechsel with a Silver Lake bass..caught on the first cast with his shiny new St Croix.

Operation: Dry Water

Looks like the DNR is going to be out in force this weekend. Even if you're not drinking, you might want to double check that your carrying all your safety gear, that it is in working order and easy to access, and that your battery terminals are covered.

From the DNR:

Conservation wardens to enforce safety by stopping impaired boat operators

If you are on Wisconsin waters this weekend, you will see Wisconsin’s conservation wardens and local boat patrols looking for impaired boat operators whose blood alcohol level is over the state limit of 0.08 percent. This weekend event is part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign slated for June 22 - 24.

“We want to enhance everyone's safety by removing intoxicated boat operators from the water. We hope to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of operating while intoxicated," Roy Zellmer, Department of Natural Resources boating law administrator, said.

A boat operator or passenger with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit runs a significantly increased risk of being involved in a boating accident. When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more likely and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.

Operating while intoxicated is a primary contributing factor in nearly one in five boating fatalities nationwide, and Wisconsin’s conservation wardens and boat patrols are committed to enforcing laws against this high-risk behavior to protect everyone on the water.

Boaters found operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher will find their voyage terminated and they will be removed from the water for everyone's safety.

Last year, Wisconsin’s conservation warden service and local water patrols dedicated 1,684 hours and contacted 1,870 boaters during Operation Dry Water. There were 14 arrests of boating under the influence and 162 other boating citations issued along with 599 boating-related warnings.

Operation Dry Water, a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide the last weekend in June to give operating while intoxicated enforcement high visibility during the peak
boating season.

"Boaters who choose to operate while intoxicate will face the consequences of that decision," Zellmer said. "We want recreational boaters to enjoy themselves, but there will be zero tolerance for boating under the influence.”

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit For more information on boating in Wisconsin, search for "boat" on the DNR website.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Help me out.

Last year, I entered a contest put on by for Father's Day. I told the story of how my Dad and I were together in Canada when he caught his largest Northern Pike ever.

This year, I've entered a similar contest from FLW along the same lines. I'm in the final five, and I need your help to get me to the top.

Can you take a minute...and go vote for my photo? Vote for "A fisherman and his dad"


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Outing...with my kids.

Look at that you think he'll be fishing like his dad?

Gathered up my older son and daughter for some quality time with dad. My kids love to fish, but like most kids their age, have a built in time window for attention.

Hit Moose to stay away from the pleasure boats. Didn't make a big deal out of it. One rod each, set up for catching panfish in the shallow water. (Small bobber, split shot and panfish hooks with live bait)

With kids, faster action always trumps size.

Shannon (Age 5) with the first fish of the day.

Shannon with a nice bluegill.

Quinn (Age 3) with "the fish that kept splashing her."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fishing Report 6-14-2012

Middle of June already....

Conditions have stabilized into early summer patterns. The only two items of note are that the water is a little cooler than normal and weed growth is far ahead of normal.

Panfish are close to done spawning on most of the lakes. You may find some stragglers here and there, but the bulk of the nesting activity is over. Time to start looking for panfish suspending off the ends of points or off weedlines. 12 feet down over 15-22 FOW is a good starting point. I like to fish vertically for these fish, although slip bobbers can really produce. If you're on fish, but they're running small, try getting you bait a foot-18inches deeper...the bigger fish are traditionally at the bottom of the school.

Largemouth Bass fishing has been above average. The shallow fish are moving into traditional spots: slop, docks and shallow rockbars and the larger fish are recovered from the spawn. On bright sunny days, fish tight to cover...flipping into weed pockets, or texas rigs on deep weed edges can really produce. On the windy days, try crankbaits or spinner baits on edges or transition areas in 8-12 or 12-15 FOW. I'm catching a bunch of fish on black w/red flake plastics as well as smoke colored flapper grubs. Natural colors (browns, pumpkins and greens) have been better for the jig/chunk-jig/craw combos.

Smallmouth are biting, but the bite seems a little inconsistent by most reports. Some days you can knock them dead, some days they have been a little scarce. Stick to the plan...look for them on top of mainlake structure and points early and late, and look for them in deeper water during the main part of the day. White deep diving crankbaits have been hot, as have smaller (3") tubes in watermelon red, and I wouldn't overlook a traditional approach: size 9 or 11 floating rapalas in a silver/black pattern.

Northern Pike continue to bite. Shallow fish are actively chasing buzzbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits, especially on the shallow-flat areas with scattered weeds. Out deep, slip-sinker rigs with small suckers or the biggest shiners have been red hot for larger fish. Okauchee and Fowler have put out some nice pike the last week, but some of the smaller lakes (School Section/Pretty/Moose/Emily) are also producing.

Walleye fishing has slowed down as the fish have moved out deeper. If you've been catching eyes at one depth, look for them in the same areas but at the next major depth contour. Deep weeds seem to be key, but a few people have been catching them off of deeper sand. Nighttime trolling bite should pick up this next week if the weather stays stable. Pine and Oconomowoc had the best reports. Koshkonong has a very low water level right now, and it is impeding the fishing out there some.

Musky fishing has been pretty good. Bucktails are catching/raising some decent fish along mid-depth weed breaks while crankbaits/jerkbaits are raising some fish off the first deep break. Pewaukee has been solid, although all reports have heavy mats of weeds floating in many areas. Oconomowoc has been better than Okauchee, and Lac Labelle has been better than direct word on Fowler or North lakes from this past week. 

On the shore fishing front...some gamefish and smaller panfish were caught at the Moose Lake and Ottawa launches...and some decent panfish have been caught from Forest Lake in Nashotah Park. White bass run in Jefferson/Ft Akinson is winding down, but catfish have been caught out of the deeper shoreline holes from the Crawfish and Rock Rivers. I'll have more next week on the shore fishing around the stay tuned.

Good Luck, and take Dad fishing this weekend.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Father's Day is right around the corner. If you're looking for a special gift for dad, why not get him a fishing lesson or guided trip. He doesn't need another tie anyway.

I have a special rate going $50 off a half trip...and I'll extend that to any certificates purchased as Father's Day gifts.

Email me  or call me 262-893-2183 For Details.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fishing Report 6-8-12

Early June fishing is in full effect.

Right now most lakes are in the low to mid 70s. Weed growth varies from lake to lake, but is advanced for this point in the year.

Bass Fishing has been steady, 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 solid and steady, 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, buzzbaits 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, but much better on cloudy or windy days. 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, June 4, 2012

Sunday-Monday: On The Water

Sunday: Silver Lake.

Ended up with 52 fish...including a crappie, a couple of Rockbass and 49 LM 9-18."

Fish were in the usual spots...drops/edges of the flats and the deeper weeds. Water was 67 when I pulled the boat.

Then out this morning on Golden for an early run, fished 5:30-9:30.

Fairly typical morning. Caught 16 LM all 12-16inches, plus a couple of small pike (around 22inches).

Lost a really big bass right by the boat...ran straight at me and I just never got a good hookset. One of the bigger fish I have seen on Golden this season.

Tired and true approach: Flipping holes in the grass beds, texas rigs on the weed edge and wacky worms in the shallow flat areas. Nothing stuck out as far as the pattern. Caught some fish tight to cover, caught some others chasing bait away from the bank. A couple of the larger bass spit up some juvenile panfish on the way in.

Water was in the high 60's.

Moved over to Silver just before 10am as the bite had dropped off a little on Golden. Just like yesterday, started picking up the Silver Lake special LM size class right away.

Despite the east wind, fish were very active, and a bit deeper today. 6-8 FOW was the best action. We caught some deeper and some shallower, but the fast action was in that range.

Caught 37 (4 were 14+) between 10a and about 1pm. Hit one school and caught fish on 7 consecutive casts. Action was fast and furious at times. Had six double headers.

Empty panfish nests all over the shallow water.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fishing Report 5-31-12

First off: It's the annual free fishing weekend this weekend. You don't need a license to fish this weekend.

Second: Okauchee has at least one tournament this weekend. A WABTA bass tournament on Sunday, but posts on Lake-Link suggest there's also a tournament on Saturday.

Onto business:

As you might imagine, the drastically cooler weather has reduced fishing activity greatly. I assemble my weekly report from my own on the water experience, but also from a network of people who I maintain contact with about local conditions. Since the major cool-off this week, I've had less than half of my usual talks with people. So take what I have with a little grain of salt.

Panfish, especially bluegills were getting ready to spawn on many local lakes. Some fish were starting to make nests in the shallow sand, but I'd expect that activity to slow down substantially. Look for active fish along the inside edges of weedlines at the end of points, a key staging area for panfish before the spawn. Crappies have been hit or miss locally all season, but with the low overnight temps and dropping water temperature....I'd expect the bite to drop off even more. Some crappies can be caught off deeper fish attractors/brushpiles...but fishing vertically, tightlining tail hooked crappies minnows is probably your best approach. I heard some decent crappies were coming from Ashippun and Pine...but reports about panfish have been limited this last week.

Largemouth bass are more or less done with their spawning activity. Lots of fish are still schooled up and chasing bait on the shallow to mid depth weed flats with scattered cover. Baitfish remains the key factor on fish location by every report I have gotten. The cooler weather will slow bass activity, but if you can find some fish...presentations made slow and very tight to cover (like flipping or texas rigs for example) will still catch fish. If the wind is laying down, one of my better tricks for these conditions is to twitch a size 11 floating rapala minnow, pop-r or pop-x around shallow structure/cover. This is also prime time for live bait presentations, especially larger shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig.

Smallmouth were finishing up the spawning ritual. Could be a tough bite until conditions stabilize a little, but when the bite is tough sometimes your best approach for brown bass is to get unconventional. I'd throw spinnerbaits and crankbaits for smallmouth, especially around the deep edges of transition areas. Crawfish pattern crankbaits bounced through the sand and rocks in 8-15 FOW might just be the ticket to stick a big fish this weekend.

Northern Pike are less effected by the weather than most other gamefish species. If the bite is tough, throw spinnerbaits, buzzbaits or lipless crankbaits around shallow patches of weeds for some action. Bigger fish can be taken on slip sinker rigs tipped with larger bait.

Musky/Walleye: I wish I had more to report. I haven't heard anything this week from my usual sources, and I've been chasing largemouth when out.

Around the area: Whitebass are still biting below the Jefferson Dam, but the bite is starting to slow down. Trout are still coming, although in limited numbers, from the stocked lakes and ponds.

Good Luck...stay warm and dry...better weather will mean better fishing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fishin' Spots....Lake Country Reporter

Not sure I buy everything in this article, but at least it is a decent reference point for the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend.

Check it out here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

June Dates

Due to some cancellations and rescheduling of a couple of repeat customers to later in the summer, I have some dates available between the 6th and 15th of June. This stretch is traditionally a fantastic time of year to fish on our local lakes.

Typically, I'm not available during this time, as I have annual, repeat clients that book my available days.

I'd like to fill these dates if possible, and I can do half or full days. I'll sweeten the pot with a special rate: $200 for a half day (4-6 hours)  $300 for a full day (7-9 hours). That's $50 off my usual rates.

If you're interested Please send me an email.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Golden Lake 5-25-12

Out this morning for a bit before the holiday weekend. Hit Golden.

Boats out already when I got to the ramp just after 5am. Lots of people chasing panfish. Didn't see too many keepers in shallow, but talked to some folks that were getting some nice ones out a little deeper.

For me, bass fishing. Caught a few on a wacky, a few more flipping/pitching, and a decent batch on a jig worm.The jig worm fished over and through patches of scattered weeds on flat areas continues to produce numbers. I caught fish on five consecutive casts this morning.

Ended the day around 11am with 20 bass in total. 13-15" was pretty consistent for size (Typical for Golden) but did have a couple around 17" and a nice 19.5" as well. Fish were away from shore, chasing baitfish in the scattered weeds. I would have caught more, but took me a bit to hammer in the pattern with a couple of depth adjustments. Water was 67-70 degrees, which was much cooler than I thought it would be.

Have a great holiday...and thank a vet for their service.
Cheers, CT

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report 2012, Okauchee, WI Area

Make sure to thank a vet this weekend.

Overall, water temps are back in the Mid to high 6o's in Main Lake areas, while some bays are in the Low 70's. Weedgrowth is far ahead of normal for this time of the season, and Mayflies are in the middle of the hatch on a couple of area lakes.

Bluegills are starting to congregate in shallower water. A few nests are starting to appear in the traditional sandy and gravel areas.Look for them in 4-10 feet of water, and be ready to move shallower as the temperatures warm up. Current areas and spawning areas (like sandy or gravel areas) will have fish nearby. Waxworms, butterworms, redworms and plastics are taking fish, but bigger gills have been hard to come by in any significant number. (Try Okauchee, Garvin ( red hot!), Golden Nagawicka, Upper and Middle Genessee, School Section, Ashipunn, Pretty, Phantom and Lower Nashotah)

Crappie fishing has been slow, but can be great on any given day. Most crappies are in shallow bays near weeds, wood laydowns or reeds. Some fish are still spawning (you can tell by how black the fish turn this time of year). Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics have all been taking fish. With the temperature set to warm back up for the holiday weekend, expect crappies to be very active on area lakes. (Try: Okauchee (especially the North Flat, Bay Five and the Crane's Nest), Garvin (North End and Wood Laydowns), Kessus, Nagawicka (Channels), Golden, Silver, and Pine.

Largemouth bass are post spawn for the most part. Anglers are catching fish targeting them in shallow water, but a few fish are still being caught off the open areas on flats with scattered weeds. It might be hard to consistently find bigger fish, but on warm afternoons, the action could be good. Shallow water presentations like jig and chunk or craw, wacky, texas rigged lizards, spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits will all catch fish right now, but don't overlook smaller topwater presentations. Live bait, nightcrawlers, leeches or small suckers are your best bet. (Try: Okauchee, Lake Five, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Kessus Nagawicka, Silver, School Section, Golden, Fox or Emily)

Smallmouth bass have been active, and a few anglers are reporting nests on many area lakes. Rock structure, scattered weeds on sand and major points are all holding fish. Expect them to be a little spooky, especially in the shallow water on sunny days. Skirted grubs, jigworms, jig and craws, tubes, and soft jerkbaits are all catching fish. Go natural with your color choices this weekend. (Try: Oconomwoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, Pewaukee, Lower Nashotah and the Nemahbin Lakes.)

Walleye have been active, but keepers have been inconsistent. I've heard som scattered chatter about some keepers being caught in 8-12 feet of water. Slip bobbers, Jig and minnow, jig and leech, and split shot rigs with nightcrawlers or small suckers have been the best way to target eyes. In the evening, a few anglers are catching fish by working rapala minnow baits over weed clumps. This weekend should be red hot for walleyes, especially in the evenings. (Try: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, North, Pine and Fox)

Northern Pike fishing has picked up with the warmer weather. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, or suspending jerkbaits (like Husky Jerks or Rouges) are catching fish around shallow weed clumps, or at the edges of coves and marshy areas. If chasing pike with live bait, look for them in 6-12 feet, using small suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig. (Try: Okauchee, Kessus, Garvin, Nagawicka, Pine, Fowler, Golden, School Section, Emily)

Musky Fishing has been slow and steady. There are lots of fish in the shallow water chasing, and a few are even being caught on topwaters, but the most consistent action has been coming in 12-18 feet around mainlake structure. Gliders, jerkbaits, swimbaits and bucktails have been productive, but many anglers continue to describe lots of lazy follows, so having a sucker out on a quickstrike rig is a great idea, and figure eights are required on every cast. Gold blade/balck skirt seems to be the color of the season, but white/copper combos have also been catching a few. (Try: Okauchee, Pewaukee, Fowler and Lac Labelle) 

Around the area: Fishing on the Rock River has picked up again, and anglers are still catching a few whitebass south of Ft Atkinson, and catfish between the Jefferson Dam and the mouth. The action has been good when its on, awful when its not.

Trout fishing in the stocked lakes and ponds continues to be good.  Lower Genessee, Ottawa and Lower Nashotah continue to give up fish. Water levels are way down in Lower and Middle Genessee.

If you're in town for the holiday and want to talk some more specific tips, email or call me.

Have a great holiday weekend. Again, thank a vet.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday 5-19-12

Well gang,

Things didn't quite go as planned today. I had arranged to take out a new client on Oconomowoc this afternoon, but it didn't happen.

As I was approaching the launch/dam area, I saw the Flight for Life Helicopter landing on Hwy 16 just past the dam. As I got closer, I saw tons of emergency vehicles.

Here's why: (Photos from

Story from Channel 12 is here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fishing Report 5-17-12

The fishing has been very consistent the past week.

The relatively stable weather (and yes I remember the thunderstorm) has pushed the fish into a full spring pattern.

Condition wise: Weed growth is way ahead of itself this year, and water temps are ranging from the low to high 60's. You may find water as warm as the mid 70's in some darker bottom/shallow areas, espeically along windblown areas on the smaller lakes.

Panfish are moving into shallow cover in significant numbers. Wood laydowns, reeds and shallow clumps are starting to attract schools of fish. Crappie can still be seen congregating in the shallows around wood, while schools of bluegills and some yellow perch are starting to pop up around other types of shallow cover. If you're catching smaller panfish, move out just a little deeper and you'll probably find what you are looking for. Garvin has been on fire, but Ashippun, Golden, Silver, Middle Genessee, Forest and Moose have all been very good.

Largemouth bass fishing was fantastic the past week. Lots of male fish are up on the nests in shallow water, and many females spawned in the last few days, but there are lots of quality pre-spawn fish patrolling the shallows and foraging right now. Two pieces of advice: 1.)...beating the banks may find you a quality fish or two, but out over the flats with scattered cover will be more consistent. 2.) ...look for visible baitfish where you are fishing. If you're not seeing schools of shiners or juvenile panfish in the weeds or wood you are fishing're not going to catch as many fish. I'm still working two patterns...a jigworm (alhtough a pre-rigged worm would work well, as would a smaller topwater bait) away from the bank, and a jig and craw in tight closer to cover. Wacky rigs and texas rigged lizards are also catching fish consistently...but natural colors seem to be outproducing the typical black/blue spring approach. Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Ashippun, Nag, Lower Nehmabin, Upper Genessee, Golden, Silver, Kessus and Moose have all been good.

Smallmouth fishing has varied lake to lake...primarily on the water temperature differences between our local bodies of water. Warmer lakes have fish on their nests, while the cooler clear water lakes still have lots of fish schooled up and on the pre-spawn feed. Keep it simple, play the water temperature game. Look for active fish in shallow rocks or sand. Patrolling fish will feed, fish holding tight to cover or the bottom are less likely to do so. This is a great time to use skirted grubs on a football head jig for shallow smallmouth. Pewaukee, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Beaver and North have been the best.

Walleye fishing: Not much to report. Anglers who are chasing walleyes right now report finding them in shallow weeds in 6-8 FOW, or off the first break in 12-18 FOW. Finesse live bait rigs or small jigs tipped with leeches seem to be doing the job. Lac Labelle is always a solid bet for action, Oconomwoc, North and Pine are better options for keepers.

Northern pike have been active on most area lakes. Lots of smaller fish are being caught in the shallow weeds using spinners, buzzbaits lipless crankbaits, and minnowbaits. Bigger pike have been a little harder to come by, but dragging live bait-small suckers, chubs or large/jumbo shiners with a slip sinker rig off the first deep break is still finding a few quality fish. Watch for baitfish, and be ready to cover some water. Kessus, School Section, Nagawicka, Okauchee and Fowler have been fantastic, but don't overlook sleepers like Ashippun, Golden, School Section and Pretty.

Musky fishing has been a bit on the slow side, but some decent fish are still being caught in shallow areas close to where bass and panfish spawn. With Tournaments on both Pewaukee (Saturday) and Okauchee (on Sunday) lots of people have been out this week pre-fishing, so the fish have been a little pressured. I'd downsize your presentation a little bit, and unless your tournament fishing...I'd stick to the other bodies of water...Lac Labelle, Fowler or Oconomowoc.

Stocked trout are still being caught out of the area lakes and ponds...but if you want in on the action, best to get to it soon.

Whitebass are still being caught in FT Atkinson and near the Jefferson Dam on the Rock River. The Catfish bite has also been picking up a little bit as the water temperatures move up.