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Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 Local Tournaments

Note: All of these circuits have additional tourneys, these are the ones scheduled for the local lakes we routinely report on. Check the links for more information.


$125 Division
May 10th Okauchee
June 14th Pewaukee

$300 Division
June 1st Okauchee
August 2nd Pewaukee

Anglers Choice Registration Information/Link is Here
May 11 Nagawicka Lake
June 8 Pewaukee Lake
June 29 Whitewater Lake
August 9 Pewaukee Lake
September 7 Okauchee Lake
September 28 Rock Lake
October 5 Nagawicka Lake


Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies Inc (

May 10th Pewaukee

Ironman Musky Tournament Trail (

May 17th Pewaukee
September 13th Pewaukee
November 1st Pewaukee

The Pro-Mac Circuit has been suspended for 2014:

      With a heavy heart, the WMT Series™ has decided to place all three tournament        circuits (Wisconsin Muskie Tour™, Professional Muskie Angler Circuit™, and Muskie Country Tournament Circuit™) on hiatus for the 2014 season. The decision didn't come easy nor was it made in haste.

2014 Opener Preview

Hey there.

Here is my annual pre-opening weekend post. Look for an final update Friday, May 2nd with weather and water conditions from around the area.

For now, here's what to expect when you hit the water for the opener.

1.) Water temps in the low to mid fifties. Some isolated bays may be approaching 60 degrees, but only if the wind stays down, and the afternoons stay warm. Nighttime temperatures this week will dictate most of what happens next weekend.

2.) Limited new growth of weeds and very few old ones. The winter was verytough on the weeds. You may need to focus on wood and rocks. Not too many docks have been put in.

3.) I'd skip the morning run on Saturday, and focus my efforts in the warmer parts of the day. You may need to make some adjustments throughout the weekend as conditions change.

4.) Live bait, fished slowly is going to be a great way to kick off the season. I'd fish for pike or walleye and wait until the weather stabilizes a bit for bass.

5.) Local lakes are open, but the rivers are still active. Conditions vary greatly up north.

Fish Stocking- Trout: Full List is Here.


Local Lakes with put and take trout this season include:
LOWER GENESEE LAKE: RAINBOW TROUT 2474 (No Brook Trout this year)

Panfish: Staging on weed flats and in marshy areas. Look for the warmest shallow water in the afternoons. Plastics tipped with waxworms, or small tail hooked minnows are catching fish, but they are running small. Strike zone is small, so make sure to make accurate casts if fishing for shallow, visible fish. (Best Local Options: Okauchee, Pine, Kessus, Nag, Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Middle Geneessee, Moose, Garvin and Golden)

Bass: Pre-Pre spawn. Look for small groups of fish to be cruising in the shallow water in the afternoons. Some of the early warming bays and channels may have some early bucks up in the shallow water, but I'd expect to see more schooling activity. Grubs, tubes and wacky are your best bets, but a jigworm might be the key approach. (Okauchee, Silver, Golden, Nag, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Kessus, Pewaukee, Beaver)

Action will come in spurts, but look for warmer water and any green weeds you can find. If the sun is out, rocks can pull in fish later in the day as they absorb heat. Large fish can be caught on suspending jerkbaits or slow rolled spinnerbait on the deep edges of points near spawning coves. If you're seeing bigger fish in the shallows, jig and pig in a black/blue, black/red or rootbeer pattern will produce. If you can find some fish out deep, a texas rigged lizard can land you the biggest bass of the season.

Northern: Lots of fish on the flats. Live bait, buzzbaits or lipless crankbaits will produce the most fish. Probably your best option for early fishing this weekend if you're looking for steady action. Big fish will be one breakline deeper than where the active, smaller fish are. Chrome or reflective lipless crankbaits will get your line stretched for sure as will a slip sinker rig with a jumbo shiner or small sucker.(Moose, Kessus, Nag, Emily, Okauchee, Pretty, Golden)

Walleye: Lots of fish on the 6-12 foot deep flat areas. Especially around, but out of the current, and in any shallow standing weeds you can find. Jigging the channel edges or points, lindy rigging and drifting or slow death trolling are good options. #11 or #13 floating rapalas will pull up any bigger fish you come across. (Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pine, Fox, Nag and North)

Musky: Live baiting with suckers, small bucktails and jerkbaits are your best options for the opener. Most fish have spawned, but there are still some fish paired up in some of the spawning areas. A blue-back/chrome combo is speaking to me right now. (Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Garvin, Fowler and North)

Getting ready: Need bait, equipment, or a fishing license? Do yourself a favor and buy from one of the locals.

Musky Mikes (Okauchee)

Dick Smith's (Delafield)

Smokey's  (Pewaukee)
Taking a Kid Fishing this weekend? The DNR Suggests these spots:

Ashippun Lake Park
Location: In Oconomowoc, WI. Take Capitol Drive west to State Highway 16, go west on 16 to County Highway P, then take P north to County Highway K, go west on K to McMahon Road. Watch for "public access" sign.
Notes: Run by Waukesha County Parks. Park has picnic area, restrooms and shorefishing.

Denoon Lake

Location: Located on Crowbar Drive, south of Kelsey Drive. Go west from Highway Y.
Notes: Public park with ballfields, restrooms, picnic area and boat launch. Not much shorefishing, due to marshy area near shore.

Lac La Belle

Location: At the Fowler Lake Dam, on Highway 67, one-quarter mile north of State Highway 16 in the Oconomowoc, WI. Located just northeast of the beach and park on Lac La Belle. The beach and park are on Highway 16, just west of Highway 67.
Notes: Disabled accessible public fishing pier.

Little Muskego Lake
Location: Access from Idle Isle Park in Muskego, WI on the northeast side of Little Muskego Lake. Take Martin Drive to Hardtke Drive to the park.
Note: Idle Isle Park has a beach, picnic area, restrooms, accessible public fishing pier and boat launch.

Lower Phantom Lake

Location: In Phantom Glen Park in Mukwonago, WI. Take County Highway ES (Main Street) to Andrews Street, then go west into the park.
Notes: Public park with picnic area, restrooms, disabled accessible public fishing pier and boat ramp.

McKeaun Springs

Location: Trout pond located on the west side of Highway 67, between Piper Road and Road X. About 3 miles north of Eagle, WI.
Notes: No facilities, but there is a picnic area with restrooms just a short distance to the south. DNR manages as a children's trout fishing pond. Although it is officially category 3 (3 bag and 9 inch length), there is a voluntary regulation for adults to catch and release, and kids are allowed to keep one trout of any size. Designed to encourage adults to take kids out and teach them to trout fish.

Nagawicka Lake

Location: In Nagawaukee County Park. Take County Highway C, three-quarters of a mile north of Interstate 94 in Delafield, WI.
Notes: Public beach, picnic area, restrooms and concessions, camping, shorefishing and boat launch.

Nemahbin Lakes, Upper and Lower
Location: Southeast of Oconomowoc, WI, off of County Highway DR.
Notes: County owned access on frontage road between the two lakes, Highway DR. shorefishing on Upper Nemahbin from the road right-of-way. DNR owned carry-in site on Lower Nemahbin off Sugar Island Road.

Pewaukee Lake

Location: Village park in downtown Pewaukee, WI.
Notes: Public park with beach and public fishing pier. Can also access Pewaukee River just below the dam. On Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Pewaukee. Boat launch and shorefishing from county park and boat ramp at the west end, on Highway E.

Local Shore Fishing Locations

Okauchee Lake: Shore fishing is available at the public boat landing. Take HWY 16 to the Sawyer Road exit. Turn left at the T-intersection, and drive through the town of Okauchee. At the clock tower, veer left and then go about a ¼ mile to Road T, which is a right hand turn. Free parking for cars is available.

Moose Lake: Shore and pier fishing is available at the Moose Lake Public Launch area. This launch has a nice park like area available to shore fisherman. The Launch area is just off Highway C, across from Cedar Bay road.

Lac La Belle: Public Fishing Pier Located in Memorial Park in downtown Oconomowoc.

Nashotah Park: Just off of the corner of HWY C and HWY R in Nashotah there is a park and ride. Across HWY R, there is a low fence that marks access to the Forest Lake area of Nashotah Park. Anglers have to hike down the hill, but the entire shoreline of the small lake is available for shore-fishing.

Fowler Lake: There is space for shore fishing by the Labelle/Fowler Dam, at the boat landing and in the Riverside Park. The lake is just off HWY 16 in Downtown Oconomowoc. The boat landing is behind city hall.

Nagawicka Lake: Two areas allow public shore fishing access. There is some space at the public launch in the County Park off of HWY 83 near Delafield. A second option allows you to access St John's Bay and a section of the Bark River. Take HWY C to where the Military Academy is. There is a small park just south of downtown Delafield on the east side of the road.

Pewaukee Lake: Located in Nagawaukee County Park on the west side of the lake. From I-94, north on State Highway 83 for 1/8 mile, east on County Highway DR 1 1/2 miles, north on County Highway E to park entrance. Park fee is charged. There is also a public fishing pier along the city strip near the beach on the east end.

Ottawa Lake: Located in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. From State Highway 67, west on County Highway ZZ for 1/3 mile to park entrance. State Park sticker required for entry.

Upper Genessee: Carry in boats and shore fishing are available. Parking is in a small gravel lot, just south of I-94, on the east side of HWY 67.

Paradise Springs: Located in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. From downtown Eagle, west 1 mile on State Highway 59 to County Highway N, north on N for about 1/2 mile to site. State Park sticker required for entry. Artificial lures only.

Lower Phantom Lake: Located in Phantom Glen Park. From County Highway ES, west on Andrews Street to park entrance.

Other Useful Links

Local Fishing Reports from

Becky Smith's handy list of shorefishing locations, boat ramps and boat rentals is online at at

The DNR maintains a database of printable lake maps online.

There's also a easy to use reference to find boat launches at the DNR Website.
The local highlights of the DNR's 2014 Spring Fishing Forecast are here and the full statewide report is available here.

The DNR's online license purchases avoid the wait opening morning.


Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 DNR Fishing Preview-Waukesha County

The full report DNR Preview is here.
Waukesha County Highlights
Lac LaBelle -
1154 acres. Average length –16 inches. Population estimate – 3 adults per acre. Current regulation: 20 inch mini mum length, daily bag limit of 1. 
Access information: Shore fishing opportunities near the Oconomowoc River inlet can provide fast action. The public boat launch is located on south end of Lac LaBelle near the public beach area on Wisconsin Avenue. A
healthy adult walleye population continues to support natural reproduction of walleye inLac LaBelle, as revealed by continued fall electrofishing surveys. Walleyes on Lac La Belle provide excellent angler catch and release opportunity, but creel sized fish greater than the 20 inch minimum length limit are hard to come by.
Oconomowoc Lake -
818 acres. Average length – 15 inches. Population estimate – 2 adults per acre. Current regulation: 18 inch
minimum length, daily bag limit of 3. Access information: The public boat launch is located on the Oconomowoc River upstream of Oconomowoc Lake near the Okauchee Lake dam on Wisconsin Ave. Oconomowoc Lake has an excellent size structure for walleye, smallmouth bass and muskellunge. Oconomowoc Lake has a moderate level of
walleye natural reproduction indicated by fall electrofishing surveys. 
Pewaukee Lake -
2437 acres. Average length – 34 inches. 2012 population estimate – 0.35 adults per acre. Current regu
lation: 40 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 1. Access information: There are two boat launches found on Pewaukee Lake;the county park launch on the west side and Smokey’s bait shop on the east side. Pewaukee Lake is home to the largest musky density in southeastern Wisconsin. Not only do the muskies in Pewaukee boast an average size of 34 inches, anglers annually catch a few fish over 50 inches. Abundant yellow
perch, black crappie and bluegills make up an excellent forage base for this thriving musky population. The DNR propagation program provides an excellent muskellunge  product that is stocked annually.
Okauchee Lake
- 1210 acres. Spring netting in 2013 revealed an average length of
40 inches. Current regulation: 40 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 1. 
Access information: There are two public launches on Okauchee Lake found at the Golden
Mast Restaurant and the DNR launch. The DNR boat launch is located just east of the Okauchee Lake dam on Road T, north of Wisconsin Avenue. The Golden Mast boat launch is located off of Lacys Lane north of East Wisconsin Avenue. Okauchee Lake has a maximum depth of 94 feet and has an excellent cisco population which provides an additional forage base resulting in above average growth rates. Okauchee Lake is a
great option for catching a trophy muskellunge.
Oconomowoc Lake
- 818 acres. Average length – 15 inches. Current regulation: 14” minimum length, daily bag limit of 5. 
Rocky substrate, deep drop offs and woody structure provides excellent habitat for smallmouth bass on Oconomowoc Lake. Recent fall electrofishing surveys continually show excellent size structure and abundance of smallmouth bass with good trophy potential

Lac LaBelle -
1154 acres. Average length –
12 inches. Current regulation: 14 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 5. Access information: Shore fishing opportunities near the Oconomowoc River inlet can provide fast action. The public boat launch is located on south end of lake near down town area on Wisconsin Avenue. Trophy smallmouth,large flathead catfish, abundant walleye and giant muskellunge lurk in this unique fishery. The forage base consists of white suckers, golden red horse and yellow bass. 
Northern Pike
Big Muskego Lake -
2200 acres. Average length – 26 inches. Current regulation: 40 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 1.
Access information: There are three public launches located on the lakes’ east, south and southeast sides found on Boxhorn and Durham Drive. This shallow system has heavy aquatic plants and big northern pike.
The highly conservative minimum lengthlimit provides exciting catch and release action for bass and pike.
Lower Phantom Lake -
373 acres. Average length – 25 inches. Current regulation: 26 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 2.
Access information: The public boat launch is located at the west end of Andrews Street,west of Main Street in the city of Mukwonago. There is a park and a public fishing pier located next to the boat launch. Lower Phantom Lake has excellent northern pike habitat with abundant aquatic plants. Recent stocking efforts have increased the northern pike abundance and reports of pike in the mid 30-inch range have been reported by anglers.
Okauchee Lake -
1157 acres. Average length– 9 inches. Current regulation: No minimum length, daily bag limit of 25. Access
Look for crappies in one of many shallow bays when the water temperatures rise to the low to mid 50
degrees. Spring netting in 2013 revealed excellent black crappie size structure and abundance.
Pine Lake -
711 surface acres. Average length – 7 inches. Current regulation: No minimum length limit, daily bag limit of 25.
Access information: The public launch is located on the lakes’ north side off of highway K also known as Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. Spring netting in 2013 revealed bluegills were found in good abundance and
had an average size of 7 inches.
Golden Lake -
252 acres. Average length– 6.5 inches. Current regulation: no minimum length limit, daily bag limit of 25.
Access information: The public launch is located on the lakes’ south side off of High way 18. Golden Lake has a nice diversity of aquatic plants and a primarily sandy bottom. Panfish have a good size structure in Golden
Rosenow Creek -
A 1/2 mile reach Average length – 7 inches. A recent stream shocking survey revealed brook trout up to 11 inches.
Current regulation: 9 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 3. Access information: Access can be found at the Oconomowoc high school property off of North Lapham Street. This small coldwater stream has consistent
natural reproduction of brook trout providing good action.
Paradise Springs -
A 1/2 mile reach Aver age length – 7 inches. Current regulation: 9 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 3
downstream of Hwy N. Catch and release, artificial lures only Upstream of Hwy N. Access information: Access can be found on Hwy N north of Hwy 59 west of Eagle. Natural reproduction and supplementalstocking provide good action on both sides of Hwy N. Downstream, anglers can find brook trout hiding under a number of bank
structures. Upstream of Hwy N features ADA access to a fishing pier located on the stocked pond.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A handy new tool from the DNR

Interactive map shows locations of all Wisconsin fish species found in state

MADISON - Anglers and fish enthusiasts alike can now see where their favorite fish species have been found using an interactive Department of Natural Resources research tool that shows results from fish surveys dating as far back as 130 years.

Check it

New Bag Limits for Ceded Territory (2014-2015 Season)

The DNR has released the revised bag limits for northern lakes in the ceded territory.

If you're heading up north for the opener next weekend, you will definitely want to check these as some of the changes are fairly substantial.

Paul Smith's JSonline Article is here

Complete List of Ceded Territory Limits from the DNR is here