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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.