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Friday, December 5, 2014

Condition Update 12-5-14

Not much to report, but here's what I have for you.

Open water: A few people are still heading out for musky and walleye fishing. Be prepared to break ice and please be careful. Obviously live bait is, especially suckers, are the key. Stay warm, and consider a PFD...the water is very cold.

Ice fishing: A few people are still venturing out in some of the early ice areas, but I would suggest some significant caution, and I'd stay away from the deep water areas. Standard rules apply...spud your way out, carry only what you need, and consider that PFD.

Green weeds are key for early ice panfish or perch. Sandy areas with clumps of still green weeds will hold fish, especially in protected bays or areas adjacent to current flows. I find that setting a still rod down in a nearby hole, while slowly jigging with a handheld rod will often let you know what you need to know fairly quickly. Go small, and metallic or with natural hues on your jigs for the next bit, sticking with waxies, spikes or mousies. I like to hold off on the minnows until the ice is really going.

I'll be back next Friday with more info, but if you need something in the meantime...(email me)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Back December 1st.

Sorry I have been sparse in these parts as of late. Look for information to start flowing again around the first of December.

If this current weather holds, there will be people ice fishing area lakes by then.


PS...If you need something before then, feel free to email me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fishing Report 10-17-14

Fall is fallen, and as guys put down their fishing rods to head out to the woods, the fishing is getting good.

The rain and cooler night time temps this past week have brought the lakes very close to turnover which will complicate things for a bit, but if it holds off for a couple of days, this next stretch could be some excellent fishing. Water temp is in the mid to high 50's right now.

Muskie fishing is close to early peak. Pewaukee has been absolutely on fire, and Okauchee, Oconomowoc and even Lac Labelle are all giving up fish. I even heard of a 40+ caught on Fowler this past week. Look for the fish to be chasing bait on the shallow flats adjacent to deeper water. The ciscos are moving in, and there's some big fish right behind them. Obviously it is time to have a sucker out on a quick strike rig, but it is certainly time to dig out some of your bigger tackle and start chucking.

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up, both on the local lakes and on the Rock, Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. A mixed batch of fish are being caught between the Jefferson Dam and Blackhawk Island in Fort. The Dells are giving up some slot fish and a few keepers...and the white bass are red hot on the Fox in the Oshkosh area.

See you out there.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fishing Report 10-4-2014

It was a cold, rainy couple of days, but the weatherman is calling for a period of stable weather, with decent afternoon daytime temperatures. The fish will be feeding, of that, you can be sure. Concentrate on shallow structure that is adjacent to deep water. Rocks, gravel and sand that are shallow, but close to deeper drops will really pull in fish right now. Baitfish will be moving to the rocks, and the Bass, Pike and Walleye will be right behind.

Here's what I would do. In the morning, fish tight to weed clumps, flipping or pitching, or using one of my favorite fall baits for fishing tight to cover, a buzzbait. You'll be able to grab a mixed bag of gamefish doing this. As the sun comes up, start moving off the sand/weed areas and looking for fish in rock/sand transition areas. Swimbaits, grubs and tubes are awesome for picking fish off the rocks, but if the action is a little faster go with a spinnerbait or a lipless crankbait.

If you're musky fishing, look for fish starting on the deep weed edges in 10-12 FOW. Casting with gliders, bucktails, cowgirls or jerkbaits can really produce, but we're really getting into sucker fishing season now, and you should always have at least one out. As the day goes on, start looking for fish to move into weed pockets to forage, and don't be afraid to look for fish in shallow water, especially from the early afternoon until just before dark.

Around the area,  Pewaukee has been hot, but many of the fish coming in are on the smaller side. Okauchee has been outproducing Oconomowoc and Lac Labelle, but everything should be rolling this week, especially as the nights cool the water temps.

Walleye Fishing has been steady on Lac Labelle, and about average on Pine and Oconomowoc. A few fish are being caught in the Dells, as well as the Rock River, but reports have been sketchy as more people are hunting than fishing right now.

Good Luck,

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fishing Report 9-19-14

Well gang the Musky are biting and the days are getting short. It is fall.

Water temps are in the mid 60's. The weeds are still very green, and thick on most lakes. Fishing  is picking up as the water cools.

Bass and pike continue to relate to shallow weeds. Weeds on shallow flats are being used by active fish a couple times a day to feed and as ambush points. There's lots of baitfish  swimming in the 3-8 foot depths, and the bass are feeding heavily. Floating minnow baits, grubs, jigworms or lipless crankbaits are catching these fish. On cooler, cloudy days, fishing tight to the weed clumps with shallow crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits can be very good. Bigger fish can be caught flipping and pitching jigs to weed edges, around docks with deep water or near wood laydowns.

Musky are moving from the deeper water and are holding on the weedlines, an a great place to connect with a fish is an area where you find the combination of weeds and rock, near where deep and shallow water converge (ie points and bars that stretch out to deep water) Some nice fish are being moved off very shallow along rocks, especially later in the afternoons. As the daytime temps continue to cool down, expect the action to pick up dramatically. Gliders, swimbaits, bucktails and suckers on a quick strike rig have all been producing.

Bluegills are starting to pile up in weedy areas in 6-12 feet of water. Plastics tipped with wax worms are your best bets. Be ready to move in or out depending on conditions, but keepers will be a couple feet above the edges of deep structure. Expect the crappie to move in as the water temperature continues to drop, if the weather gets cool this week, areas with current will see some schools of nice crappies move in.

Walleye  are moving shallow in the morning and the evenings. Minnowbaits, shiners or suckers, or spinner harnesses have been producing. Look for the most active fish to be in 6-12 FOW early in the mornings and in 10-15 FOW during the day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back at it-Fishing Report 9-13-14

Sorry about last week starting up kept me very busy (for those who don't check in regularly, I teach journalism at UWM) and I didn't double check to make sure the report went up (I tried to send it in via my mobile) very quickly became Fall. And as things far, so good and remember some of the best fishing of the year is between now and the end of the season.

The cooler nights during the last week or so have really changed the conditions on local lakes. Water temps have dropped significantly, and you'll find some in the 60's on most lakes. The late algae blooms we had this season are clearing up quick as a result, and the baitfish numbers, which were thinner this year, are really starting to thin out as fish turn on for fall.

Bass fishing will remain really good for a couple weeks, then it will be time to put away the plastics and start fishing live bait for a trophy. Smallmouth (usually) go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're getting real close to that kickoff. For now... expect the fish to make a couple foraging runs a day, but if you're having trouble connecting with active fish, look for the in the deep water, adjacent to the shallow structure. Plastics, cranks and jigs will work, but as the days get shorter, live bait becomes a better option, especially for bigger fish. Leeches will still be good for a bit, but it is time to start using the biggest shiners you can find, or small suckers if you have to.

Walleye fishing is hasn't really started pick up on the area rivers, and fishing the area lakes has been slower than average for this time of year. I'd expect that to change real soon. On the area lakes, the fish will be anywhere there's baitfish around weeds or rock/weed transition areas in 8-12 or 15-22 feet of water. Fishing cranks and stickbaits around weeds works well for active fish, and if you get one out of a patch of isolated weeds, fish through the area very methodically.

Pike have been active in 10-22 feet of water along weed edges, points or sand/gravel transition areas. Spinners are always a solid option for pike, but as the water cools I usually switch back to crankbaits, especially wide wobbling deep divers in natural or red/white patterns. Jerkbaits can really shine right now, especially suspenders worked around weed clumps where there are visible baitfish hovering.

Musky fishing has been picking up, but is sure to get really good. Ditch the tree stand and/or your  goose blind nowis the time to start working for this years trophy. Gliders, bucktails and jerkbaits are all solid options for casting, and remember to keep a sucker out on a quick strike rig for lazy followers. Right now, look for the them to be using weeds in 12-15 feet of water or rocks in 8-12 feet of water. As the water cools, they'll follow the ciscos in, and that's when things start to get really interesting. Pewaukee has been giving a fair number of smaller fish (30-36"), and lots of guys are starting to see some bigger fish on Lac Labelle and Oconomowoc. I know Okauchee and North have guys fishing them, but I don't have a current report as of this morning...and I have heard nothing on Fowler.

Good Luck,

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Weekend 2014- Fishing Report

Well gang, it looks to be a nice weekend to wrap up summer. The unstable conditions mean it is time to break out some live bait. Lindy, split shot and slip sinker rigs really shine under these conditions. Larger sized shiners, nightcrawlers and small suckers are your best options for gamefish.  Unless you're going for panfish, leave the fatheads at home this weekend.

On area lakes, bass fishing has been hot and cold depending on the conditions. Windy days are dramatically better than still days. Fish are using the weedlines in 10-15 feet of water, points and off shore structure in 6-10 feet of water, as well as the piers and the slop. Shallow fish can be taken on jigworms, skirted grubs, tubes or jig/chunk combos. Deeper fish are being taken on crankbaits, live bait rigs, slow rolling big spinnerbaits or by flipping the weededges with a heavy jig. The morning and evening is producing a topwater bite, especially over shallow flats with scattered weeds. Okauchee, School Section, Ashippun, Golden, Pine, Silver, Moose and Kessus have been the most consistent, but the bite has been pretty much the same from all of the area lakes. Key are just about done with the rocks, so look for them to make a move out to deeper water for a week to 10 days.

Walleye fishing has been fair overall, but much, much better in the low light hours. Small jigs with live bait, or lindy rigs have been the best producers. A few fish are still being caught on spinner harness/bottom bouncer combos while trolling with electrics. Evening is the time to be fishing minnow baits around weeds for bigger fish. Pine, Oconomowoc, North, Lac Labelle and Lake Koshkonong have all been giving up walleyes.

Northern Pike continue to bite in the shallows. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, shallow diving square billed or lipless crankbaits are the best ways of catching these fish. Larger fish are still using the weedlines and are moving onto some deeper rocks and can be targeted with inline spinners, or using live bait like larger chubs, shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig. Vertically jigging structure in 22-28 feet with a jig/repear tail combo has caught a handful of nice fish, but the pattern has been inconsistent overall. Try Okauchee, Golden, Pine, Fowler,, Kessus, Pretty and Moose Lakes for pike.

Musky fishing has been slow, but steady. Lot's of people are starting to see some mid to high 30" fish, especially early and late in the day. Look for fish on or adjacent to mainlake structure that has easy access to deep water. Topwaters have still been catching a few fish, especiallyin the morning. Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, and Fowler are all producing to one degree or another right now, but the boat traffic is pushing the active fish into low-light/low activity periods.

Panfish are still using deeper water, suspending 12-16 feet down over deeper water, and drifters have been picking up some nice keepers. Some anglers are reporting some decent gills in weedy areas as shallow as eight feet, but most people out have reported the most consistent action along the weedlines in 12-18 feet of water. Tightlining with panfish leeches, leaf worms, or plastic/wax worm combos all have been productive.

Good Luck and Cheers,

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fishing Report 8-22-14


Water levels vary from system to system, but weed growth is still very heavy, Water temps are in the low to mid 70's.

Panfish have slowed down over the last two weeks. Crappie and bluegill continue to bite along weedlines or suspended out over deep water, as well as in mid-depth weeds, but keepers have been hard to come by unless you're working deeper fish. Plastics tipped with live bait, tail hooked minnows and leafworms fished vertically or with slip bobbers will produce. Evenings have been better, as is typical for this time of year. (School Section, Lower Geneessee, Lower Nashotah, Forest and Golden)

Largemouth continue to run late summer patterns. Fish are feeding in short spurts throughout the day. On the hot sunny days, look for them around docks or slop, or out deep in 12-15 FOW. On the cooler cloudy days, look for active fish in sand/rock or rock/weed transitions in 4-8 feet. Topwater bite will be good, especially early in the morning. (Silver, Moose, Ashippun, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Garvin)

Smallmouth fishing has been spotty. If you can find some active fish, you can do well, but making that connection can be a tough nut to crack, especially on the hot days with little or no wind (like today). Look for fish around the edges of the shallow structure like rock bars or sand/rock transition areas. The fish will be deeper than you think they should be in most cases. Jigworms, grubs, minnowbaits and small white crankbaits can be dynamite, but don't skip the tubes and lipless crankbaits. On tough days, live bait rigging, especially with large shiners can save a day on the water.(Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, Pine and North)

Pike fishing has been slow, but steady. Lots of undersized fish are being caught in the shallow and mid-depth areas. I'd consider moving out deeper and using live bait on a slip sinker rig, trying to connect with active fish in 18-22 or 22-25 feet of water. (Okauchee, Nagawicka, North, School Section, Pretty and Kessus)

Walleye fishing has been entirely inconsistent lately. People still fishing at night are reporting some success off the deeper sand flat areas, but a few decent fish are being caught out of the shallow weeds very early in the morning using rapalas or similar minnow baits.  (North, Nagawicka, Pine and Oconomowoc.)

Musky are getting more active, but anglers are still reporting lots of lazy follows. Gliders, bulldogs and cow-girls have all produced limited action in the past week, but most of the fish are mid-30's to low 40 inch fish. Topwater is working just before the sun gets up and just after it goes down. As the water begins to cool, the action will pick up considerably. (Pewaukee, North, Okauchee, Lac Labelle Oconomowoc)

Good Luck,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Paul Smith's Column (8-17-14)

Paul Smith has a column in today's Journal-Sentinel on the DNR's new panfish research and proposal. There's some significant changes within the plan, especially if you are someone who has been targeting keeper sized panfish for a fair amount of time.

Panfish limits were fairly open when I was a kid. 50 Fish per guy-per day with just about any panfish or perch species counting towards the 50. I can remember going out with groups of guys and filling coolers of fish at night when I was a kid...(I especially remember having to clean those fish in the middle of the night)

The DNR has resources relevant to this discussion here and with research data here. It's probably worth your time to take a look if you regularly target panfish for the table.

The local informational meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m on Thursday, September 4, at the Waukesha DNR Service Center, Room 151, 141 NW Barstow Road.

Update from the water 8-17-14

Ended up being a good week for my first week back in action.

Fished Okauchee on Wednesday.

Hit the water about 9am. Tried to fish some isolated rock piles looking for bass foraging for craws...caught one decent fish and a pair of snakes for the trouble.
Switched gears a bit, started fishing tight and deep in cover and went on a couple hour shooting spree...had a dozen+ mixed LM and SM..some on both sides of legal, but with three real quality fish mixed in. Also broke off a small musky.
Caught a couple more closer to the launch on the way back. Not rock-em/sock-em robots or anything, but a decent midday run.

Fished Oconomowoc Thursday for Musky.

Struck out, but had five follows between 1-8pm. Fish were using transition areas with bait fish nearby. Pulled a nice one up to the boat mid-afternoon on a mini-dawg, but just couldn't get the fish to commit on the figure eight. Looked to be a mid-40's in about 8 FOW.

Saw a couple of smaller fish after that, but about 4:45 we saw some gar feeding near where we were fishing. A big fish followed in a glider we worked through the area where the gar were busting minnows on the surface. Fish was high 40's, had it right up to the boat, but again a fairly lazy follow.

Fished Oconomowoc Friday for Bass.

Worked hard using one of my proven patterns. Started with a topwater approach and caught a couple of nice fish right away, but then made an adjustment and stayed on a quality bite for the rest of the morning. Slow and steady wins the race. Ended with a nice batch of LM + SM with multiple fish over 20."

Fished Lake X Saturday.

Lake X is my secret project lake right now. As usual, Lake X is a special underfished place, with just solid fishing for numbers and size of multiple gamefish. Yesterday was no different...30+ bass (14-19") and six pike (24-34") in just over three hours of fishing.

Good Luck Out There.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fishing Report 8-13-14

Sorry for missing a week...I was out of town being a professor and out of commission after melting my back two weeks ago which had me on bed rest (and off the water) for a couple of days.

I was back at it today...and conditions are a bit hard to lock down. I fully expected to start pounding some fish up on the rocks, but really didn't get on any with consistency, so switched gears and fished tight (and I mean tight to cover) and pulled out a decent day. I think the cold front and unstable weather has the fish in a bit of a funk right now. You can still catch them, but you're going to have to slow down, get precise with your presentations, and recognize that it is the middle of August.

Panfish are still schooled up in deeper water. Crappies are tight to the weedlines in 12-15 and 18-20 FOW, but are suspending off the edge. Bluegills are still in tight schools in the deep part of the basins. Look for them 18-22 feet down over 30-50 FOW. If you're out with the kids, and want action (and smaller fish) docks and swim platforms near current are holding tons of potato chip sized fish right now.

Bass fishing seems to have slowed down a bit. This is a fairly typical thing for this run in August, especially on the down size of the full moon. The fish will make a transition to shallow water rock-weed transition areas to forage for craws over the next 10-12 days. I expected this to be working today, but I saw no evidence that it was happening yet while on the water today (8-13). Fishing tight to cover, punching slop or skipping tight to docks/pontoons will produce if you're having trouble finding fish deep. Expect the fish to have small strike zones...and be ready to make multiple casts to targets. Drop-shotting the deeper edges in 12-18 FOW seems to be producing a few fish, and the morning top-water bite has been good, but only until about 8:30. I caught fish today on a jig and craw, a skirted grub, a jig worm and a wacky rig. Nothing on a tube or texas rig. I didn't try it today, but shallow running-wide wobbling and lipless crankbaits can save tough days this time of year.

I don't have any new news on walleyes this week. I haven't been fishing for them (see above) and my other regular information source has struck out his last three times out. I'd assume the fish have been biting at night with the full moon cycle, and that if you're out very early or late in the day, that weed edges and sand flats with sandgrass in 12-18 or 25-28 FOW will hold some fish. As we get on towards fall, look for walleyes on shallow areas along deep water/mainlake points. Jigging and rigging with live bait works the best on our local lakes, but if you're out at night....don't forget the number 11 floating rapalas in natural/ silver-black patterns. Fish that over weed patches, trying to make slight contact with the weeds. Keep the net handy.

Pike bite has been slow and steady all season. Spinners, cranks and buzzbaits will take fish, as will wide wobbling crankbaits. Small pike are still on the shallow weed flats...bigger pike are in 15-22FOW on the weed edge. Chase these fish with a small sucker or big shiner on a slip sinker rig.

Musky fishing was slow the last 15 days, but people are starting to see some quality fish on a regular basis. Some people are trolling the deeper basin areas looking for fish relating to ciscos, but it seems like the people catching fish are hitting shallow pockets (6-10 FOW) with topwaters or weed edges in 12-15 FOW with large spinners or gliders. Heard a report of a high 40's fish on Oconomowoc and a couple of low 40's from Okauchee...meanwhile the word from Pewaukee is slow and steady, but with most action coming from mid to high 30 inch class fish.

I'll be out a bunch over the next two watch for some mini-updates with condition reports.


PS....Thanks for reading this blog.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fishing Report 7-31-14

The end run of summer begins this weekend. Time to get on the water.

In General Terms :The cooler mornings/cold nights complicated fishing some this week. Fish were still biting, but activity levels and strike zone size was limited. Afternoons and evenings have been better than early in the day. As we move into August look for fish in the usual summer places, but watch for them to have periods of time where they feed actively. The changes in the photocycle and the length of day will be evident to the fish, and you can expect to see activity levels peak and ebb during each day.

Panfish are still holding in deeper water, and will continue to do so for a couple of weeks. Look for them to suspend along weedlines in 12-22 feet of water, or to suspend over deeper sandgrass about 14-18 feet down over 40-50 feet of water. Pine,  Ashippun, Golden, School Section, Okauchee, Garvin, and Lower Nashotah (RED HOT!) .

Largemouth will continue to come in using two primary patterns in the short term. On sunny days, you can find them around shallow docks, wood laydowns, slop and scattered weed clumps.  As the sun gets up, look for them to move tighter to overhead cover, but here will be periods of time during the day where their activity level will increase for a short spell. Be ready to switch tactics as they switch on and off, especially around transition areas and over flats where the topwater bite can really be fantastic. Deeper fish will continue to use weededges and points in 12-18 feet of water, or be suspended over deep water about 6-12 feet below the surface. Some fish are relating to rockbars in 5-12 feet of water. Tube baits and skirted grubs are a great way to target these fish. Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle and Moose have all had active bites around rock/gravel areas. Some fish are still being taken off the weedlines and off the weed flats by anglers flipping around heavy cover on Okauchee, Kessus, and Golden.

Smallmouth are starting the early fall pattern of making 3-5 foraging moves each day. When you are contacting active fish in shallow water, the bite can be incredible. Topwaters, including size 9 or 11 rapalas or poppers in natural patterns can get you started, but be ready to switch to tubes, wacky, skirted grubs or twister tails as the day progresses. When things are slower, look for them to be just off the first major break in deeper water. Crankbaits in white or chartreuse, spinners or live bait are better for the deeper fish.  Okauchee, Pine, Oconomowoc, and Lac Labelle have been producing.

Walleyes will continue to hold in their summer patterns for another couple of weeks, but they will quickly make a move to shallower weedy areas as the baitfish move in for their fall spawning run. For now jigging or backtrolling with live bait around weededges or drop-offs in 12-18 feet of water is a good place to start, and be ready to adjust to deeper water on sunny days or shallower on cloudy or windy days.  A few fish are appearing on mid-lake structure but many are staging off main-lake points, especially where there is bottom transitions from rock to sand or from sand to muck. Trolling with bottom bouncers and spinner harnesses or drifting with live bait rigs are great ways to target these fish. North, Oconomowoc, Pike, Fox, Lake Koshkonong, Lac Labelle, and Pine lake have all been productive.

Northern pike activity has beenslow and steady all summer, and I wouldn't expect that to change. Smaller pike can almost always be found in shallow water around weed clumps and inside weededges adjacent to rock bars/shorelines. Larger pike can be taken trolling cranbkaits or backtrolling live bait along deeper weed edges, especially in 12-20 feet of water. Try Moose, Fox, Pretty, Kessus, Okauchee, Golden, Fowler Garvin, School Section and Ashippun Lakes for pike.

Musky reports have slowed down over the past couple of weeks, but I suspect that has as much to do with the weather as anything. For the next run, look for them to over weedy flats in 8-12 feet of water making for some great topwater or large bucktail action, or in deeper water suspended around baitfish which is perfect for a trolling bite. Action will pick up considerably in the weeks ahead. The usual lakes have been been producing, Pewaukee and Okauchee have been slower than average, but are still producing for anglers putting in the time.

Good Luck and Cheers.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Special Rate


I still have a few days next week open. Given the short turn-around, I'll extend my lower price offer.

$50 off my regular half day rate. We can fish for bass, pike and/or walleye on any of the usual local lakes.

Email me  or call for more information.

Fishing Report 7-25-14

Conditions have been relatively stable.

Water temps around the area are in the low to mid 70's.

This is the Okauchee Tie-Up you might be looking for another place to fish on Saturday.

Panfish are in the late summer pattern. A few quality fish are still with the little fish in the dense shallow weeds, but the large majority of keepers 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.

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 has been so-so, but docks have been hot.  Out deep: crankbaits, drop shots, big texas rigged worms (10-12") and slow rolled spinnerbaits are catching some fish around deep weed edges and off the secondary structure located on 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. Schools of smallmouth are  patrolling the rockbars and shallow rocky points a couple of times a day.  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. Look for fish on the weededge in 12-18 FOW and again between 22-27 FOW on deep gravel, rock or in the sandgrass.

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 consistently this year. As the days start to get shorter, the photocycle will start to trigger some more fish to chase yellow perch or small suckers into the weeds.

Musky fishing...has been pretty slow. A few fish are using current areas with lots of baitfish, but they have been hard to catch. Topwaters are producing a few early and late, as is trolling the main basins with deep diving stickbaits.

Good luck out there. Be safe.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oconomowoc Lake Article

Journal Sentinel Outdoor Editor Paul Smith's column today was about our outing to Oconomowoc Lake this past week. I really enjoy fishing with Paul, and we had a really great outing last Wednesday despite some unique fishing and weather conditions.

It makes the point I have been making... even under the tough conditions that the weather has been making, the fish are still biting like just have to work for them a bit.

Read all about the bass we the Outdoors page of JSOnline.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Dates Available

Just some of that shameless self promotion.

I have a handful of open dates the week of July 28.

I would like to fill them. I'll offer a special rate to do so. Contact me for more information.

Cough Cough $50 off Cough Cough


DNR Fisheries Plan-Lake Michigan

Paul Smith of the Journal-Sentinel has an article up on JSonline that's worth a read, especially if you like to fish Lake Michigan. The DNR has released a draft of its proposed fisheries plan.

The article is here at

The draft of the DNR plan is available here.

Notably: there will be four public sessions on the plan:

The DNR will host four public meetings to provide information, answer questions and take comments. All meetings are scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m.
The meetings are scheduled:
■ Aug. 4, Wisconsin DNR Green Bay Service Center, 2984 Shawano Ave., Green Bay.
■ Aug. 5, Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave., Cleveland.
■ Aug. 7, UW-Milwaukee GLRF-SFS, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee.
■ Aug. 7, Wisconsin DNR Peshtigo Service Center, 101 N. Ogden Road, Peshtigo.
 Alternatively, comments can be sent by email to or by mail to Bradley T. Eggold, Department of Natural Resources, UWM-GLRF-SFS, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fishing Report 7-17-14

The cooler weather has slowed the fishing, but it is still very, very good for this time of year. Being precise with presentations, and paying attention to the details is helping to pattern fish, which leads to better fishing.

Anglers are catching a mixed bag of largemouths. Deep weedlines in 12-18 FOW, piers-especially with rock or sand underneath, slop and shallow bars near deep water are all holding fish. Texas rigs, slow rolled, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are catching the deeper fish. Wacky, jigworms, pre-rigged worms and small crankbaits are catching fish out of the shallow water. A few nice fish have come out of the smaller lakes flipping (rather than topwater fishing) the slop. Personally, I continue to catch a nice batch of fish on flappers, jigworms, tubes and wacky worms fished around mid-depth weed clumps in 4-8 FOW.

Smallmouth fishing has been slow and steady this season with many smallmouth suspending just off the structure in the deeper water. By mid-morning, expect to start seeing wolfpack groups foraging in the shallow rocks, or rock/sand transition areas. Right now, fish just a bit deeper than normal, using tubes, wacky and jigworms. If the bite is tough, downsize a bit. A wacky rig with a french fry in place of a senko style bait can be just the magic you need at this point in the season. Floating rapalas, zara spooks and pop-r's are catching some topwater fish.

Musky fishing has been on fire since the weather cooled off.  Trolling deep with big cranks and jerkbaits has been the primary pattern, but a few fish are being taken on topwaters, again early and late in the day. Gliders fished fast along turns in the deep weedlines has also been productive.

Walleye fishing has remained slow. Slip bobbers, with leeches, fished over weeds is usually a pretty good daytime presentation this time of year,. At night, back troll with suckers on lindy/slip sinker rigs in 18-22 fow, targeting areas with healthy sandgrass.

Bluegills are doing their summer thing. Look for them to suspend along the weedlines or out over deeper water. 12-18 feet deep over much deeper water is a great starting point. Drifting along the deep edges with bait suspended vertically is a solid presentation option.


Okauchee: If you're going out, bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-12 feet. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Pike have been very active, especially in deep areas with quick access to shallow weeds.

Garvin: Great spot for panfish. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet.  Bass are using the shallow flat on the south end and the weedline turns. Pike have come off the deep weedlines on the northwest and north east corners, and suspending over the deeper water.

Forest: Panfish and pike have been biting. Live bait over the deep holes on slip bobbers for panfish, inline spinners for the pike.

Oconomowoc:  Bass are holding on the obvious structural breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Largemouths are still more active than smallmouth. Northern pike has been better than average for anglers with small suckers catching the majority of the fish.  Musky fishing was picking up, but lots of fish are still doing lazy follows, and lots of people are reporting that they are seeing fish over the tops of weeds chasing juvenile gills.

Fowler: Small panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing was steady, but a little slow on weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks and drop-offs in 10-18 FOW.

Moose:  Bass and pike continue to bite, and action has been good. Target the breaks and weed clumps in shallow water with crankbaits or spinners. Backtrolling with small suckers on a slip sinker rigs around the first major drop to deep water has been a hot tactic, especially in low light conditions.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike have been good. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Panfish are suspending in the deep part of the basin, about 18-22 foot down.

Golden: Bluegills are in deep water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, but holding close to weed edges and the major structure. Typically, bass have been biting best on deeper weedlines but docks and the slop are both holding some fish. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits fished through the weedy areas.

Silver:  Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 18-25 FOW.

Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially dillys or leafworms or slip bobbering with plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes  has been very good for panfish. Night fishing is in full steam on Middle.

If you've got specific questions: Feel free to email me.

Good Luck Out There,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fishing Report 7-10-14

Well gang,

Fish are biting all day long, but the bite is better at low light/cooler sections of the days. The full moon cycle this weekend along with some stable conditions and moderate temperatures should make for some excellent fishing this weekend.

I'm catching bass on two major patterns. First off...docks. The docks have really turned on, and I'm catching some very nice fish with the bright sunshine days we've had recently. I haven't been working the slop much, but I'm sure it will be good, especially mid-morning to early afternoon during the hot part of the day. Skipping docks with wacky, skirted grubs or fishing adjacent to shadows with small, shallow running crankbaits is working...and working great. Remember, the shadows are the key to effectivce dock fishing. If you're fishing from shore, target slop that you can reach, or fish in moving water like a river or creek with skirted grubs or wacky rigged worms.

Otherwise, the edges of weeds, especially where that weed edge is close to a graded drop in 9-12 FOW (sloping drop rather than a steep break) has been holding a huge quantity of fish. Typically that means there is a baitfish hatch that has their attention, and not surprisingly I'm catching lots of fish on jigworms, flapper grubs and twister tails....working them through suspended water. Deep weedline fish can be caught in variety of ways, but drop shotting, slow rolling spinnerbaits, and deep diving crankbaits will also produce.

Panfish are pretty much done spawning. You may find a few stragglers, but the best keepers (both crappie and bluegills are out deep, suspending as far as 20 feet down over much deeper water (found a nice batch yesterday over 52 FOW). Drifting over schools you can spot on your electronics with slip bobbers seems to be working for people putting in the time, but as always, I'm a fan of tightlining vertically for suspended fish.

Walleye have been active during the ends of the days. 12-18 FOW seems to be clutch, but I'm still grabbing a few out to 25 FOW, especially out of the deep sandgrass. This weekend, floating rapalas (size 11 or 13) fished over weed clumps adjacent to dropoffs should get interesting.

Pike fishing has been slow but very steady. The photocycle tends to slow them down except for early and later in the day. Right now, target isolated weed clumps in 8-15 FOW or weed edges in 15-22 FOW for pike. Live bait (small sucker or large shiner on a slip sinker rig) is outproducing cranks, but never give up on a buzzbait, spinnerbait, spoon or lipless crankbait when chasing pike.

Musky fishing has been slow, but the full moon this weekend will certainly put people on the water. Look for fish on the weed edges (especially weed edges on long points) in 12-18 FOW. Double-bladed spinners seem to be hot right now, but such things happen when that's what everyone is throwing at a given time. A smaller jerkbait or glider is my personal recommendation.

Last note...a personal one. I believe I had the largest bass I have ever seen in Waukesha County on my line this week(and that's saying something). The fish got away from me while I was playing it, and once it was in deep water, I couldn't recover to get it in. I know it is the middle of summer, and although this is traditionally "the dog days"...the fish are biting, and biting very well. You just have to work a bit to get at them. 

Forget golf...go fishing.

Good luck and be safe,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Holiday Weekend Fishing Report (7-3-14)

Half way through summer...and things are happening on our area lakes. Most water temps are in the mid 70's. Weed growth and baitfish populations are at about average for this time of year.

Fishing has been very good, despite the unstable weather. Obviously the lakes will be busy with a three day holiday weekend, so plan on fishing early and late, but if you can stand the boat traffic, fishing has been steady all day all the last three weeks.

If you're a newbie or casual fisherman....keep it simple this weekend. Get some leeches or small suckers and fish them on a slip sinker or lindy rig. Just keep the line tight and put your boat around the deep edges of some visible weeds. You will catch fish.

If you're looking to cast some lures...try a lipless crankbait.  Just cast it at any weeds you see, and reel it in as fast as you can.

Panfish Looking for action? Small panfish can be caught in shallow water using a small hook, bobber and live bait, especially around docks or swim platforms. The better sized fish are being caught out of the deeper water (12-18 FOW) by anglers drifting and fishing vertically. If you're on a deep school, but not catching keepers, get your bait down a little deeper. Crappie are suspending over deep water, and along weed edges, and the activity has been steady by anglers who find the schools.

Largemouth bass continue to run traditional summer patterns.  Look for them in inside weed edges in 4-6 FOW  and the outside edges in 8-15 FOW. These fish can be caught on a variety of tackle, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged wacky worms, jigworms, jig and chunks, skirted grubs and tubes. Piers are holding fish and the slop has been pretty good. If you just want to catch fish, keep it simple...leeches on lindy or slip sinker rigs on the deep weed edge is an easy way to put some fish in the boat on just about any area lake.

Smallmouth bass fishing was fairly inconsistent this past week. Fish are using rocky points and bars especially early and later in the day. Most fish are holding on the deep side of breaks or suspending off mainlake structure, coming in briefly to forage. Skirted grubs, twister tails, tubes, wacky worms, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits or floating rapalas are your best tackle options, but live bait like leeches and small suckers has been working for the people backtrolling deep sand in 18-25 feet.

Walleye fishing has been very slow with the unstable weather. Anglers putting in time are catching a few fish. Fish continue to be caught along outside weed edges or off deeper flats with sandgrass. Slip bobbers or split shot rigs with live bait or suckers, backtrolled on lindy or a slip-sinker rig has been producing the larger fish. Fishing over the tops of weed clumps near breaklines with floating rapala minnows is grabbing a few as well, especially early and late in the day. Most fish are being caught along weededges in 12-18 FOW, but I've been catching them as deep as 25'

Pike fishing has been a little below average with lots of smaller pike being reported. Active fish are using the shallow weedflats to feed on small baitfish, including a massive bloom in juvenile panfish. Fish with inline spinners, lipless crankbaits, small bucktails or buzzbaits tight to scattered weedclumps in 4-8 FOW. Larger pike were hard to come by according to most reports, but if you want to chase them, try the weedline in 12-18 feet of water and fish with suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig.

Musky fishing remains slow overall, on the bright sunny days, target suspended fish out over deeper on smaller lipless crankbaits, gliders and bucktails. A few fish have been caught off the weedline on larger swimbaits. Anglers continue to report lots and lots of lazy follows, so keep a sucker out. 12-15 FOW seems to be the magic depth over the past couple of weeks.

Lake By Lake:

Okauchee:  Bass are on the piers, in the slop and on the weed edges in 8-12 feet. Musky are feeding in the shallows in the morning, and then moving out to 18-22 feet. Nothing substantial to report on panfish, but look for keepers suspended over deeper water and on the deep ends of the mainlake points.

Garvin: Great spot for panfish lately with some nice keepers. Look for the sunken wood in 10-15 feet. Musky are still using the treeline break and suspending off the south drop. Bass are using the shallow flat on the south end. Pike are on the deep weedlines on the northwest and north east corners, and suspending over the deeper water.

Forest: Panfish and pike have been biting. Live bait over the deep holes on slip bobbers for panfish, inline spinners for the pike.

Oconomowoc:  Mornings and evenings have been best. Bass are holding on the obvious structural breaks and suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points. Northern pike and walleye fishing has been best for anglers using small suckers catching the majority of the fish, pike was better than walleye during the day.  Musky fishing was slow, but lots of fish are still doing lazy follows, and lots of people are reporting that they are seeing fish in shallow water chasing juvenile gills.

Fowler: Small panfish are biting, a few LM were caught in the river and out of the deep slop. Pike are on the weedlines. No word on musky.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing is moving toward its typical summer pace. Weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks are holding fish as are drop-offs in 10-18 FOW. Musky have moved out to suspend over deep water in the main basin. White bass have been stealing lots of bait from walleye and panfisherman.

Moose:  Bass and pike continue to bite. Target the breaks and weed clumps in shallow water with crankbaits or spinners. Backtrolling with small suckers on a slip sinker rigs around the first major drop to deep water has been a hot tactic, especially in low light conditions.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike have been biting, and the action is close to average for this time of year. Best bet on Ashipunn is to concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Slip sinker rigs with leeches fished tight to the weed edge worked for me with one of my kids today.

Golden: Bluegills are moving out to deeper water, suspending over the deep part of the basin, but holding close to weed edges adjacent to deeper water. Bass have been biting best in the morning, but a deeper weedline bite has been picking up. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits fished over the submerged weeds.

Silver:  Bass can be caught using plastics around the weed clumps in 4-15 feet or around piers and boat lifts. Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 12-18 FOW.

Lower and Middle Genessee: Panfish have moved to the deeper water with sandgrass, and largemouths are being caught around shallow to mid depth weeds. No word on trout on Lower, but news of the trout fishing has been fairly limited. Lindy rigging with live bait, especially leafworms or big reds has been very good for both bass and panfish. Night fishing is really picking up on Middle, especially along the deep points and drop offs.

Pine: Walleye, Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth are being caught off the rocks early in the day, and off the weedlines in the mid-day and evenings. Slip sinkers with live bait will produce, but don't overlook crankbaits or slow rolled spinnerbaits for suspending fish.

School Section: Bass and pike are biting, but most of the fish have been small. Look for the deep spots, and work them hard with plastics or live bait.

If you've got specific questions: Feel free to email me.

Good Luck, and stay safe this weekend.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fishing Report 6-28-14 (Quickie update edition)

I was out a bunch this week.

A couple of things of note...

1.) Baitfish are back. This spring presented a difficult situation with baitfish, but that problem seems to have worked itself out with some fairly large hatches recently. I've seen everything from pin minnows, to wild shiners, to juvenile panfish and perch this past week. Bait had been harder to come by this season, but not anymore.

2.) Weeds are up. The weeds had a slow start after the tough winter, but growth is rolling now. Big patches of everything...especially milfoil are up and growing.

3.) Panfish are still spawning...but they are almost done. Crappie are out on the weed edges and suspending over deeper structure. Shallow bluegill beds have been pilfered, but there's still plenty of fish out deep...and some bigger schools are starting to suspend.

4.) Smallmouth fishing was tough this week, but the largemouth bite was on fire. Fish are still roaming the flats, but they are also starting to setup in deeper water.

5.) The best bite has been from about 7am-10am.

Talk to you next week.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fishing Report 6-24-14

I've been out a bunch, and here's the latest.

Panfish are still spawning on many (most lakes) but most people are fishing way too shallow for the keepers. I'm catching some monster sized pannies out of 12-18 FOW, especially out of the sand. Panfish leeches and big redworms have been great presentations.

LM bass are starting to move out deep, but are also starting to use docks, pontoons and slop. Early morning the bite has been a little tough, but the mid morning bite has been red hot. Wacky, jig and chunk, flapper grubs and skirted grubs up shallow....jigworms, dropshot and cranks are working out deep. Catching a bunch of fish pulling lindys with live bait along outside weed edges as well.

SM have really turned on. Morning has been best as fish come up onto shallow areas to feed, but you can get at them in deeper water with texas or carolina rigs and with a dropshot or tube bait. Deep gravel has been on fire the last batch of days.

Walleye have been on fire, but you have to be ready to adjust to them...not just day to day, but hour to hour. Fish have been moving in and out of the shallow weeds and I'm catching them as shallow as 6 FOW and as deep as 23. Slow trolling/drifting with lindy rigs has been a great way to find fish, and then jigging with large/jumbo leeches once you're set up on area. Fish have been tight to weeds, but on the deep edges.

Pike have been slow but steady. Typical action for this time of year...shallow weeds holding smaller fish that can be taken by casting lipless crankbaits, buzz baits or spinner baits. Out deep, live bait (small suckers or large/jumbo shiners) on slip sinker rigs have been better for the bigger fish.

Talk to you Friday.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fishing Report 6-12-14

Heading out for Father's Day weekend? It should be good. Water temps range from the high 60's to mid 70's around the area. The water has cleared up substantially, and weed growth is about normal (finally).

Okauchee has a pair of club bass tournaments this weekend.  Pewaukee has a Take a Vet fishing and a WABTA event on Saturday. (Might be a weekend to stay off the larger lakes.)

Around the Area:

Bluegills are still spawning for the most part, and the better panfish are being caught out of the deeper sand. Look for them shallow, but if you want some better sized keepers, find sand/gravel areas in 8-15 feet, and fish for them vertically with light lindy or split shot rigs baited with panfish leeches. (Middle Genessee, Nagawicka, Pine, North, Golden and Silver have been solid producers.)

Bass are settling into their summer patterns, anglers are catching fish both out of both shallow (2-6 FOW) and deep water (10-15 FOW). Docks, rockbars, slop, scattered weeds on flats and the deep weedlines all have active fish. Largemouth have been active on most area lakes on weed edges in 6-12 feet of water. Piers have been very good during the brightest parts of the day, and the slop bite is picking up as the weeds fill in. The topwater bit has been good, but most topwater fish are being caught before 8am over flat areas adjacent to deep water, especially areas with small patches of weeds. Pop-R's with an orange or red belly have been producing some nice schooling fish, and grubs, jigworms, jig/chunk combos and wacky worms are all producing shallow...texas rigs and drop shots are turning on deep. (School Section, Golden Nagawicka, Lower Nashotah, Okauchee, Fowler and Pewaukee)

Musky fishing has been very inconsistent. Struggling to find them in shallow water, many anglers have started looking for them in deeper water. The most active fish have come on deep divers and tubes fished along the deepest weedlines you can find. 15- 18 FOW seems to be the spot to be this year, but lots of bass anglers working inside edges are catching skis "by accident." (Pewaukee has been the most consistent. Oconomowoc and Okauchee have been slower. No word on Fowler or Lac Labelle)

Walleye action has been about average with the bite fluctuating day to day with the weather shifts. Jigging and rigging along the 8-12 FOW weedges has been working when the fish are active. Leeches under slip bobbers are catching fish in 8-15 feet, especially around weed/rock transition areas. Suckers fished on a split shot rig have been taking some better fish, especially in the late evenings. Weededges and sand grass are the areas to key on, especially in 10-15 feet of water. (Lac Labelle has been hit or miss, Oconomowoc and Nagawicka have been average, North and Pine have been very active, especially in the evenings.)

Pike action has been slow and steady. Fish the weed flats and outside edges with spinners or live bait. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits, buzzbaits and lipless crankbaits are really producing for the action seekers. Reapers and large jerkbaits are catching some better fish, but the action has been very slow.  (Kessus, Nagawicka, Lower Nashotah and Okauchee)

Happy Father's Day

Take a Vet Fishing article...

Dennis Ottosen, the reporter who rode in my boat for the Take a Vet fishing event just posted his article in the Mcfarland Thistle.

Check it out here.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Take a Vet Fishing Event in Madison

Another great year on the water for this awesome event. I can't say enough good things about Take a Vet Fishing. Everything was handled great...boat launching, boat landing, the after events...just very well done. 80 boats in and out with minimal drama at Babock.

I had a Vet -Dan and a Reporter -Dennis. Fished 6:30-11:30.

As for the fishing...went out to the same spot as last year, and again drifted with plastics...caught a mixed bag of about 20 Largemouths and a couple of crappies. Had about 5 bite-offs from toothy critters. Caught at least one fish one all but one drift.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Fishing Report 6-6-14

This weekend is Free Fishing Weekend. You can fish without a license, which makes it a great time to take new people out.

Conditions: Right now most lakes are in the low to mid 70's. Weed growth is still behind, but is picking up, especially the milfoil. Water remains high on most lakes, and is fairly stained for this time of year.

Bluegills are on their beds. Current areas and spawning areas (like sandy or gravel areas) will hold the most fish. Smaller gills spawn up shallow, but if you're looking for nice gills, try 8-12 feet of water. Leeches on a split short rig are the best way to chase these larger pannies, but Waxworms, redworms and plastics are taking fish. (Try Okauchee, Garvin, Golden Nagawicka, Forest, Middle Genessee, Ashipunn, Pretty and Lower Nashotah)

Crappie fishing has been hit or miss. People are catching some nice crappies, but consistent numbers have been hard to produce. A few crappies are being caught over deeper water near mainlake structure, and you may still find a few spawning crappies are in shallow bays near weeds, wood laydowns or reeds. Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics have all been taking fish. (Try: Okauchee (Red Hot), Garvin, Moose, Kessus, Nagawicka, Golden and Pine.)

Largemouth Bass  are in the full-on post spawn period. A few fish are still spawning, but not many. Topwaters (Pop R, Redfins and #11 Floating Rapalas) and crankbaits (Norman Baby N's, wiggle warts and rattletraps) are catching fish over open water areas, especially weed patches on the mid-depth flats in 6-12 feet of water. On the sunny afternoons, the fish have been tighter to cover in 3-8 feet of water and fishing around the docks and in the slop has been picking up. Plastics: Texas rigged lizards, tube jigs skirted grubs, and wacky worms are all catching fish, as always, if the bite is tough, try a jigworm. Live bait on slip sinker rigs are catching a few fish for anglers making solid drifts over productive areas. (Try: Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Pine, Kessus, Nagawicka, Moose, School Section, Pretty, Golden or Emily)

Smallmouth Bass fishing was still slow as fish finish their post-spawn pattern. Minnowbaits, like size 11 or 13 floating rapalas are actually a great way to catch these fish. Keep it simple, black and silver or chartruese and white are the best. If it warms up this weekend and the early part of next week, look for them on sand/rock transition areas and  target them with tubes, skirted grubs or twister tail grubs. (Try: Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, Pewaukee, Beaver or the Bark and Oconomwoc Rivers.)

Walleye fishing went south with the weather this week. Fish are still using shallow weeds and weed edges in 6-12 feet. Slip Bobbers, jigging with live bait or drifting with lindy rigs have been productive, especially when using small suckers or leeches for bait. In the evening, a few anglers are still catching fish by working rapala minnow baits over isolated weed clumps on mainlake points and humps, but this bite also dropped off with the weather changes this past week. (Try: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, North, Pine and Fox)

Northern Pike fishing was slow, but steady. The best way to catch pike is a small sucker or medium to large shiner on a slip sinker rig with a flourocarbon leader. Drift along the deeper edges of the weeds you can find in 12-18 feet Up shallow- Lipless crankbaits, buzzbaits and spinner baits are still producing. (Try: Okauchee, Kessus, Garvin, Nagawicka, Pine, Moose, Fowler, Golden, School Section, Emily)

Musky fishing has been slow. Anglers continue to report lots of lazy follows, so figure eights are an absolute necessity, and having a sucker out on a quick strike rig is always a good idea. (Try: Okauchee, North, Pewaukee, Fowler and Lac Labelle)

Around the area: Fishing on the Rock River, anglers are still catching some whitebass, walleyes and catfish between the Jefferson Dam in and the mouth at the Indianford Dam.

Trout fishing in the stocked lakes and ponds continues to be a great way to catch some keepers. The local ponds, Lower Genessee, Ottawa and Lower Nashotah continue to give up fish.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 1st WABTA Results-Okauchee Lake

Results are posted from Sunday's WABTA bass tournament on Okauchee.

Not spawn conditions led to some smaller bags than the tournament a couple weeks ago.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

North Lake Boat Launch Informational Meeting-June 24th

There's been some movement on a public launch for North Lake.
"The application calls for a 25-stall gravel lot of mixed-use parking to be built off of Highway 83 near the downtown business district for unincorporated North Lake."

The meeting is Tuesday, June 24th at 7pm at the Merton Town Hall.

The story from the Lake Country Reporter: is here.

Early Season Special

I have some dates I'd like to fill in the next couple of weeks and I can offer a special rate ($50 off my half day/$100 off my full day) my usual fee to do so.

We can fish for bass, walleye and or musky on a variety of local lakes. I have weekday availability during the weeks of the 9th, 16th and 23rd, and I have weekend options on the 15th, 21st and 22nd.

Email Me or call (262)-893-2183. Let's go catch some fish...

Allen had a good time last week!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Journal Sentinel Article - Lac Labelle

I was out with Paul Smith on Lac Labelle a couple weeks ago...but the article about our outing is now posted.

Landing a Labelle Walleye-From JSONLINE.Com

Check out the whole article at the Journal-Sentinel Outdoors Page.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fishing Report 5-29-14

Okauchee has a WABTA bass tournament on Sunday.

Panfish, especially bluegills were already spawning on many local lakes. Some fish were starting to make nests in the shallow sand. Look for active fish along the inside edges of weedlines at the end of points, a key staging area for panfish before the spawn. Some crappies can be caught off deeper fish attractors/brushpiles...but fishing vertically, tightlining tail hooked crappies minnows is probably your best approach. I heard some decent crappies were coming from Ashippun, Kessus and Pine, but I have not verified this.

Largemouth bass are more or less done with their spawning activity. Lots of fish are still schooled up and chasing bait on the shallow to mid depth weed flats with scattered cover. Baitfish remains the key factor on fish location so presentations made slow and very tight to cover (like flipping or texas rigs for example) willcatch fish. If the wind is laying down, one of my better tricks for these conditions is to twitch a size 11 floating rapala minnow, pop-r or pop-x around shallow structure/cover. This is also prime time for live bait presentations, especially larger shiners or small suckers on a slip sinker rig.

Smallmouth were finishing up the spawning ritual. Likely will be a tough bite until conditions stabilize a little, but when the bite is tough sometimes your best approach for brown bass is to get unconventional. I'd throw spinnerbaits and crankbaits for smallmouth, especially around the deep edges of transition areas. Tubes on the rocks or crawfish pattern crankbaits bounced through the sand and rocks in 8-15 FOW might just be the ticket to stick a big fish this weekend.

Northern Pike have been active-throw spinnerbaits, buzzbaits or lipless crankbaits around shallow patches of weeds for some action. Bigger fish can be taken on slip sinker rigs tipped with larger bait around the deeper edges of the roadbeds or rocky points.

Walleye: The bite has dropped off substantially with a lake fly hatch this past week, but some fish are being caught on live bait in 8-12 FOW. Oconomowoc has been active while the bite has dropped off some on Pine, North and Lac Labelle.

Around the area:  Trout are still coming, although in limited numbers, from the stocked lakes and ponds.

Good Luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Revised Bag Limits Up North...

The DNR has revised the bag limits on many of the lakes in the ceded territory.

Press Release and Links are Here.

Anglers' daily bag limit for walleye will increase to five per day on 269 lakes, to three per day on 171 lakes, and to two walleye per day on seven lakes, according to Ron Bruch, DNR Fisheries Bureau Director.
"This is a great time of year to fish for walleye," said Bruch. "With spring just arriving, taking ice off the lakes, and with the walleye done spawning, anglers should find hungry fish ready to bite."

The Full List Is Here

Fishing Report 5-22-14 (Memorial Day Weekend)


The fishing has picked up some this past week. The relatively stable weather has started to push the fish towards some patterns. Catching fish hasn't been an issue, patterning them has been the problem.

Condition wise: Weed growth is way ahead of itself this year, and water temps are ranging from the low to high 60's.

Panfish are starting to move into shallow cover. Wood laydowns, reeds and any standing shallow water weed clumps are good bets. Crappie can still be seen congregating in the shallows around wood, while schools of bluegills and some yellow perch are starting to pop up around other types of shallow cover, especially sand. If you're catching smaller panfish, move out just a little deeper and you'll probably find what you are looking for. Use live bait to find fish, then plastics once you are on some better sized fish.

Largemouth bass fishing has gotten more interesting. Lots of small male fish moved up onto nests in shallow water, but there are lots of quality pre-spawn fish are still on the feed. If the weather stays stable over the next couple of days, spawning activity will pick up.

Two pieces of advice: 1.)...beating the banks may find you a quality fish or two, but out over the flats with scattered cover will be more consistent. 2.) ...look for visible baitfish where you are fishing. If you're not seeing schools of shiners or juvenile panfish in the weeds or wood you are fishing're not going to catch as many fish. I'm catching a fair number of fish, but I'm scratching them together doing a couple of different things. One thing that has been consistent though...areas with current have been producing, but you must slow way down with a presentation to get a consistent bite.

Smallmouth fishing has varied lake to lake...primarily on the water temperature differences between our local bodies of water. Keep it simple, play the water temperature game. Look for active fish in shallow rocks or sand. Patrolling fish will feed, fish holding tight to cover or the bottom are less likely to do so. This is a great time to use skirted grubs on a football head jig for shallow smallmouth and larger curl-tail grubs in deeper water. Chubs, Roaches or Shiners on a split shot or light lindy rig will also produce...especially if you find some fish in 12-18 FOW around some of the shallow structure.

Walleye fishing: Not much to report. Anglers who are chasing walleyes right now report finding them in 6-8 FOW. Finesse live bait rigs or small jigs tipped with leeches seem to be doing the job. Lac Labelle is always a solid bet for action-but there's very few weeds up out there just yet. Oconomwoc, North and Pine have been better options for keepers.

Northern pike have been active on most area lakes. Smaller fish are being caught in the shallow weeds using spinners, buzzbaits lipless crankbaits, and minnowbaits-nd if you're out for action, this bite has been the most consistent. Bigger pike have been a little harder to come by, but dragging live bait-small suckers, chubs or large/jumbo shiners with a slip sinker rig off the first deep break is still finding a few quality fish.

Musky fishing has been a bit on the slow side, but some decent fish are still being caught in shallow areas close to where bass and panfish spawn, but a few have started to make their way out to deeper ledges and drops. I've heard smaller gliders are pulling up some follows, but I had two fish to the boat on Tuesday morning throwing a bucktail.

Stocked trout are still being caught out of the area lakes and ponds...but if you want in on the action, best to get to it soon.

A handful of Whitebass are still being caught in FT Atkinson and near the Jefferson Dam on the Rock River. The Catfish bite has also been picking up a little bit as the water temperatures move up.

Should be a great weekend both weather and fishing. Be safe.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lighthouse Youth Center -Musky Tournament

Another event for your attention- A bragging rights musky tournament for a kids charity:


From the email bin:
Please join me in fishing the Lighthouse Youth Center Muskie Tournament on May 31st. Proceeds of this event will benefit this central city after school program.  Details of the event can be found at 2014 Muskie Tournament.
               Pastor James G. Buske
               Executive Director
               Lighthouse Youth Center

From the Event Registration Website:

Join us for the 7th Annual Muskie Tournament on Pewaukee Lake - Half Day Tournament starting at 7:30am-Saturday, May 31, 2014

By participating in this annual fishing tournament you are providing the opportunity for nearly 1000 inner city youth of Milwaukee to improve their chances for success!