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Friday, April 12, 2013

Fishing Report 4-12-13

Well, it is spring. Fishing time.

The major issue right now, is where to go. The Rock River is approaching peak run for walleyes, but the flooding there has implemented a shore fishing and boat launching ban in Ft Atkinson. Jefferson has closed the new launch by the Wastewater plant to you the lot to distribute sand for sandbags. With Blackhawk Island also flooded out, the only launch available below the Jefferson dam is the old one on Riverside Drive. As you know, that's launch is fairly primitive, and there's no dock there, so plan on using a two man team to get out.

Personally, I'd stay closer to home. The ice is off the lakes after this relentless rain the past week, so its time to start fishing for panfish on the local lakes.

Focus your attention on two areas....the warmest water you can find (typically in dark bottom shallow areas with North banks) or areas with green weeds and current. The fish will not yet have moved into the reeds or onto the wood, unless those things are in one of the two areas I describe.

Best to keep your presentations on the finesse side of things for now. Waxworms or spikes on a #10 or #12 hook  can be a fantastic approach for the early part of this season.

I'd stick to the traditional early spots. School Section, the Geneessee,  Forest, the small bays on Okauchee (Garvin, Tierney, Whitigers and Stumpy),  West end of Silver, North End of Golden, the channels on Nag.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shoreline Fishing Ban in Ft Atkinson

The city is trying to keep people off the banks of the river as it crests this weekend.

Information on the ban is here

Meanwhile: Jefferson has closed the new boat ramp:

Due to street flooding the Tensfeldt Park Boat Launch will be closed effective immediately.   Boaters wishing to launch below the Jefferson Dam may utilize the West Riverview Drive Boat Launch which will be temporarily reopened and those wishing to launch above the dam may continue to utilize the Candise Street Boat Launch. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stocked Trout Information

The DNR has released this year's stocking numbers.

Close to home:

Fowler Lake                              RAINBOW TROUT 1607
Lower Genesee Lake                RAINBOW TROUT 1607
Lower Nashotah Lake               RAINBOW TROUT 1607
Ottawa Lake                              RAINBOW TROUT 1071

Full report is here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fishing Report 4-7-13 (Annual Rock-River Reporting Time)

At last...a nice day. Time to start putting out the Rock River Information Posts for Spring 2013.

Fishing is picking up on the Rock River from Jefferson to the mouth. Although still early in the run, solid catches of walleyes and saugers are being reported. Most are pre-spawn males, but some of the early females are mixed in. A few white bass and catfish are starting to show up as well. If we get some warm rain this week as the weatherman is suggesting will happen, things will get busy and quick.

Water level is above average, as is flow, but not outrageous as it has been at points over the last couple of years. Plenty of post-winter debris around by most reports, so always good to be extra careful. Water is high enough for slow-no-wake from the Jefferson dam to Blackhawk Island.

Dark colors seem to be working for people this year...but as with all things, if more people are fishing darker colors...darker colors will catch more fish.

The system gets heavy pressure without a doubt, but it is the people who can control their presentations they have the most success year after year.  Directly controlled drifting, or slow slipping is typically key to success. Unlike the Dells or Depere, the slack water on the Rock is not always your best option. I find that current breaks hold more fish that a traditional slack water area (I get there's not much distinction there) but slower moving water adjacent to fast water is where I always do the best, especially if I can find that type of movement/displacement on a turn in the channel. Those small spots, some of which maybe no larger than the size of a kitchen table, can be dynamite.

I tend to focus on three areas that I know better than most. The area just below the dam to the S turn. The rapids to the wingdam below the Kmart Launch and the hole from the 106 bridge to Fort. I like to fish the Blackhawk Island run, but it can be crazy busy with boats, so I try to stay up river if I can.

In those three areas,  I actually like to anchor over turns in the channel or shelves along the dropoff into the main channel, and then fish with a three way rig. I use a short dropper to the weight (typically 4-6 inches) and a short leader (no more than 18 inches, but usually closer to six to eight inches). It's a very unconventional three way rig, but with a heavy weight can be fished like a jig straight up and down. When paired with a sensitive rod, you can quickly detect light strikes.

If fish are biting short, I'll replace my octopus hook with a tiny red treble, when I'm hitting a school, sometimes I'll switch from live bait to a small rapala or ghost minnow on a little bit longer treble.  I only like run the hardbaits when I know I've got a school moving through as the large quantity of carp and buffalo on the Rock tend to snag themselves pretty frequently. (And yes, that's fun too.)

Looking forward to getting out this week. If you want to chat or are interested in checking out what the Rock has to offer...shoot me an email

Good Luck,