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Friday, April 6, 2012

Thanks To Lunkers Unlimited/Kids Fishing Clinic

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the board and members of Lunkers Unlimited. I attended the club's annual fishing garage sale in Hartland last night and cleaned out a bunch of extra gear while meeting some great people. A quality event that I will be in for every year.

The club's next event is part of the 28th annual Kids Fishing clinics which are going on around the state Saturday, April 14, 2012 From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunkers Unlimited is hosting the event at Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave, but there are many groups hosting events that day.

The event includes free fishing instruction for children 15 years and younger, taught by members of local fishing clubs; young children must be accompanied by an adult.

Clinics begin every hour from 9:00 am, with the last clinic starting at 2:00 pm.

Fishing equipment is available, but bring your own rod and reel if possible. There is a downloadable flyer for the event at the club website.


Useful Links

Water gremlin has a new mobile and online app called the sinkerizer. available.

The Wisconsin DNR has published the 2012 fishing report. You can download the whole report from this link. The Southeastern District, which includes Waukesha County had this to say: (emphasis is mine)
The northern pike forecast looks great for 2012 as a result of WDNR stocking efforts in recent years. Over 100,000 large fingerling northern pike averaging 9 inches were stocked in 18 different waters throughout Waukesha County. Stocked waters that received the large fingerlings included Ashippun, Big Muskego, Eagle Spring, Lac La-Belle, Keesus, Denoon, Little Muskego, Lower Nemahbin, Middle Genesee, Nagawicka, Oconomowoc, Ottowa, Phantoms, Pine, School Section, Scuppernong Creek Pond, Upper Nemahbin and the Oconomowoc River. Spring and fall netting and electrofishing surveys have shown an increase in catch rates indicating these stocked fish are doing very well. With four summers of growth behind the 2008 year class, these fish are just starting to become a quality size for anglers to enjoy.
Trophy-size smallmouth bass were observed on Oconomowoc Lake during a fall 2011 electrofishing survey, with a number of fish over the 20 inch mark. Fall electrofishing surveys indicate naturally reproducing walleye populations are present on Pine, Nagawicka, LaBelle and Oconomowoc lakes.
A Pewaukee Lake musky population estimate revealed an above average abundance with excellent trophy potential making it a premier musky fishing destination for the southeast metro area.
Naturally reproducing brown trout populations on Genesee Creek are doing very well as revealed by a 2011 stream survey. Twenty-six percent of the brown trout captured were over 9 inches and electrofishing survey catch rates were among the highest
recorded in recent history. Paradise Springs, Funk Creek, McKewn Springs and Lower Genesee Lake will be stocked this spring with legal sized yearling brook trout. Lower Genesee, Fowler, Lower Nashotah and Ottowa Lakes will once again provide
traditional rainbow trout angling opportunities.
                                                                    - Benjamin Heussner, fisheries biologist,

The Wisconsin DNR's 2012 Fishing Calender is available for download at this link.

Revised walleye limits from the lakes in the ceded territories is available at this link.

The 2011 Stocking information is included in an easy to use database: check it out here.

The DNR has also updated the boat launch and shore fishing access information links, which are now at  this page.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hook and Look TV Show

Kim and Danny Stricker's Hook and Look TV show (the most informative fishing show in my opinion) is skipping docks and pontoons this week.

Might be worth a watch. The preview alone shows how the fish relate to the shadow underneath the boat.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Okauchee Today 4-4-2012

Took my dissertation committee chair fishing today. It is spring break in Madison, and he was hoping to grab some fish for a fry.

Nice day. Out 9:30am-4pmish. Bite was very tough in the morning, but picked up dramatically around 1pm.

Targeted crappies for a bit, but after catching some scrappers, switched over to fishing for gills. Started catching some keepers right away, but again, the fish wouldn't swim more than about 12-18 inches to bite. If you put the bait on top of them, you'd get a bite, but if the fish had swim any distance...forget it.
Started out how I have been catching fish...DS panfish grub with waxies or gulp waxies. White has been the best grub color for me, but hot pink was also working some today. Tried about six colors during the day, but white and pink were clearly the best.

He was having a little trouble with the timing for a grub, so I hooked him up with a black ant and a gulp waxie, and he crushed fish all day on that setup. He did manage to catch a fish 23 casts in a row with that rig, so while most of the fish he was catching today were small, don't overlook downsizing even more if the bite is tough.

Garvin was the best over all, both the shelf on the north end and the weedflat/wood laydowns on the south end were productive. Caught most of our keepers there.

Fished the river mouth flat just south of the Crane's Nest. Lots of crappies, but they were all short. I'm sure there's some better fish in that area, but we didn't spend time to try and get them to bite. Caught the ones we caught while drifting north to south, and a drift sock would have worked great in that wind today as the best spot we found was less than 50 yards long.

Late this afternoon, we caught a handful off the sand in Icehouse and another batch in Tierney, but all but two were standard issue potato chip sized Okauchee gills.
Water temps are 48-50 in the main lake areas. Tierney was 56 at the mouth, but the water in front of the "pond" was over 60 degrees. Bay five and Icehouse were in the low 50's. North end of Garvin was mid 50's by late afternoon. Whitigers was 52-56, but we didn't fish there.

In all, well over a 150 mixed panfish today. Kept 12 for his dinner, but could have had at least another 12-15 keepers in the batch without crossing my minimum standards.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fishing Report 4-3-2012

Crappies and bluegills are actively biting on many area lakes, especially in the afternoon on the warmer sunny days. The key is the activity level of the fish. The cooler weather has reduced the distance the fish will swim to bite. Keep your presentation tight to cover/current breaks/green weeds, and you'll catch fish.

If you're heading out, look for panfish in shallow, dark-bottom areas, especially if there are reeds or weeds left over from last season. Water temperatures are lower than they had been in the mainlake areas, but the shallow bays and boat channels are still in the  mid to high 50's in many of the protected areas.

If the bite is tough, go small/downsize: waxworms and spikes on a very small hook or icefishing jig will catch as many fish as minnows most days. Mix it up, and be ready for anything. Plastics have been catching better fish than live bait for me this season.

Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Lower Nemahbin, and Middle Genessee have been the best, but Forest, Kessus, North and Oconomowoc are also producing. The crappie bite on Pine has gotten very tough, and some of the fish which had moved into the channels on Nagawicka, are back out off the first drop.

A couple of warm sunny afternoons will really get things going again.

Good Luck.