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.
Friday, September 28, 2012
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