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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fishing Report 9-21-13 certainly is fall now.

Fall things are happening which means if you don't need to be in your tree stand, you might consider hitting the water.

Water was still in the high 60's to low 70's and the end of the week, but the cooler temps, especially at night will start to drive that down quickly.

The hot bite has been bass. Typically early fall the pike action picks up substantially, but the bass have been the ones on the bite. Later in the day has been better, but there's really only one key to finding active fish: bait. Look for schools of baitfish along weededges, near isolated clumps of weeds on the flat areas, or moving around in the shallow off shore areas. If there's visible baitfish, or you can see pods of bait on your that area hard. I have been out a bunch, and all of the traditional approaches will work. I'm catching a solid batch of fish on flapper grubs, jigworms, wacky and texas rigs.

The fish are schooled up and feeding, but don't fret if you're just catching smaller fish...just keep working the pattern you are working and the bigger ones will start to show up.

Best bite has been from about 8-11 and again from about 3-6....typical for this time of year.

In terms of other things happening around the area....there's the musky. The cooler temps, and the rain have started to get some fish moving. A steady, if slow, stream of positive reports is starting to come in.

Pewaukee has had the most action (but is also getting fished the hardest)...with a fair number of mid 30 to low 40 inch class fish being caught. Bucktails, smaller bulldogs, cowgirls, jerks and gliders have all been producing. If you're going to put a sucker out (never a bad idea) try to stay with one in the 6-8 inch range for now. The cooler weather this weekend and the early part of the week is supposed to give way to another batch of weather in the mid 70's. In other's not quite time to break out sucker-zilla just yet.

As for where to fish...weed edges seem to be producing the most follows right now.  Weed wedges on a point with schools of panfish suspending off of them are key...but don't overlook shallow rock or gravel areas on the sunny afternoons. The juvenile perch will move up onto the rocks on sunny days, and the musky will follow them in. Once the water is about 60 degrees and dropping, things will get interesting.

See you soon.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fishing report 9-15-13

Well, the weather today kept most of you on the couch for the Packer game. There's no shame in it, it was a nasty day.

When I was a kid, the old guy down the road used to call September rains like we had last night and today..."the trigger." He always believed that the first cold rain was the start of the fall season. I can't say I have empirically tested it, but it seems to hold true.

That means much of what people have been doing to catch fish is about to change. Good news...the biggest fish will start to become very active over the next couple of weeks. I love this time of year, and I'm always amazed how many people have called it a season by now.

Panfish will suspend off of mainlake points. They'll move in a couple times a day to feed, then move back out to suspend. Points that have 6-10 FOW on top, but 20-40 FOW around them are dynamite this time of year. Vertical tight-lines, fished just above the bottom is the best way to get keepers, but slip bobbers and drifting with split shot rigs can also produce.

Bass will be coming into the shallow water to feed. You can catch them in the places you have been, but the key factor will not be cover now, but bait. As the fish start to get aggressive for fall, I try to only fish areas where I can either visually spot or mark with my electronics schools of baitfish. These can be minnows or juvenile panfish....but no bait=no fish.

Pike fishing has been picking up the last ten days, but it will get super good over the next couple of weeks. I really like to use lipless cranks in a metalic or silver pattern around weeds on the edges of flat areas. It can be amazing how many you can catch using this approach.

Musky fishing will also pick up some as the temps cool. I'd still downsize your casting presentations a bit as I've seen some massive hardware getting thrown. Having a sucker out, and doing a figure eight on every cast is critical for success. Weed edges will hold fish, but I'll be spending some quality time around points that have schools of panfish on/near them.

Good Luck,