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Friday, April 19, 2013

Fishing Report 4-19-13

Well, it was spring yesterday. Not sure what season this morning is supposed to be.

Here's some tidbits on what's happening.

1.) There's muskies below the Oconomowoc Dam. Bring some polarized lenses and dream a little dream about the fish you could catch this season.

2.) River fishing is essentially out of the equation. The Rock, Fox, Wisconsin, Root and Milwaukee rivers are all above flood stage. The Rock River boat launches and shore fishing areas are closed between Jefferson and Ft Atkinson.

3.) The ice is off the lakes, but water temperatures are still low. Panfish fishing should get going with a couple days of sunny, stable weather. Look for them along the northern banks of shallow, dark bottom bays of our local lakes.

Presentations should be kept small. My favorite is a wax worm or spike on a size 10 or 12 red hook under a balsa ice fishing bobber with a tiny split shot. Cast it around any green weeds or reeds that you can see. You may see small schools of fish in the shallow water, hang back as these fish can be very fussy. Try to keep the bait just above the fish you can see.

More as conditions allow.


Dock Fishing Article

I enjoyed this article on fishing docks. Unlike much of what is written about bass fishing, the author is from Minnesota, so he's fishing water more like ours, than say the swamps of Florida or the gigantic lakes down south.

I'd like to add something to his basic point. While I agree with his notion that many people (including myself) fish docks too fast, in my experience, other than during the spawn, it is very unusual to catch more than one fish off a dock or pontoon. In our area there are some special docks that tend to hold a bunch of fish, but they are special.

I find that docks are best fished on days when fish are in a neutral mood. Days where fish are aggressive, there's much better pattens to fish, and one of the easiest is to fish/drift flat areas adjacent to deeper water. There are few better options than a jig worm or grub for doing this in our area. (Crankbaits work, but pike will empty your wallet pretty quick on some lakes.)

The other thing about the article is the idea that you need to flip. While that's not an issue for an experienced fisherman with the necessary skill set, most people I see around our area aren't in that category. And as such, I don't think you can beat skipping. Tubes, grubs and wacky style baits are easy to skip up and under docks and floating pontoons with just a little practice. Flukes are also great options that can be texas rigged for less hangups underneath docks.

It may be hard to believe, but we'll be gamefishing in 15 days.