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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,