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Friday, April 17, 2015

Fishing Report 4-17-15


Some awesome weather has really turned on the spring fishing. Now is the time to hit the water.

On the Rock River, the walleye bite has slowed down but the whitebass run is getting started.  The water is warming up, and the better bite seems to be in the late afternoon in shallow water near rocks or shell beds. Controlled drifting with jig and plastic combinations, or anchoring just up stream from the hard bottom structure and running three ways with live bait seem to be the most consistent approaches. For whitebassL Jig and twister, jig and minnow, small inline spinners, small reflective minnow baits or small lipless crankbaits are all solid options for chasing whitebass. Look for shelves or areas with incoming water off the main channel. Fish will start heading for creeks with moving water, just work an area until you start getting bit, and adjust in or out as necessary. The mouths of the Bark and Crawfish River, the area just south of downtown Ft Atkinson, and the Jefferson Dam are starting to give up some earlier schoolers. White, white and pink or gold have been the best colors this season, although a blue and white combo is a long time favorite of mine.

Closer to home, the area lakes are all open. Water temps are still in the mid 40's to low 50's, and many anglers are reporting that the water is cloudy. Crappie are being caught in 2-4 and 6-8 feet of water in dark bottom areas. Look for them in shallow bays with a northern bank, boat channels or marshy areas. Areas with green weeds, wood laydowns or reeds will concentrate fish. Early on I like to use waxworms or spikes on a small red hook, tailed hooked fathead minnows and as the water warms, I'll start to use plastics, all suspended under a bobber. The bite will be light, so make sure your weight makes your bobber stand straight and gets and keeps your bait down. One trick with crappies is to keep your bait just above them, they like to feed "up."  Lower Nehmabin, Pine, Nagawicka, Fowler, Lac Labelle, Golden, Garvin and Stumpy, Ice House and Bay Five on Okauchee are all traditional hotspots for early spring crappies.

I'm always happy to help and provide some tips, shoot me an email or a call if you have questions.