Looks like there is some warmer weather on deck for this weekend and the early part of next week. That last cold snap really slowed down the fishing, not the bites, just the number of people heading out.
Pike have started moving toward the marshy areas to get ready for the
spawn. This is the time to chase your winter trophy.
Focus along the last transition before a shallow
flats, especially marshy areas (like the Crane's Nest on Okauchee, the
North end of Golden Lake, or the West side of Lower Nehmabin ).
While large shiners will still catch
fish, now is the time to set up with dead bait. Running three tip-ups
per guy, I like to do two with a live shiner and one with deadbait until
I find out what's working. Suspend your dead bait rig just a bit higher in the column than your live bait rigs.
Typically bigger fish will come during a 2
hour stretch during the day (usually at first light before the fishing pressure sets in), but if you get on a good depth contour you should expect to see the more aggressive, smaller "action"
fish bite throughout the day.
Panfish action has been slower (probably because of the weather), but steady. There's still a handful of
guys getting some keepers out of shallow weeds, but the guys looking
for and finding suspended fish in deep water are having better success.
12-16 feet over 20+ seems to be the magic combination this year, but
deep water adjacent to mid-depth structure is always your best option. You need to be ready to be mobile to find fish.
Madison Fishing Show is next weekend, and the JS Sports show is also coming. Open water is just around the corner.
Good Luck, and be safe.