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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day 2015 Weekend Preview

Make sure to thank a vet this weekend. (and every weekend for that matter.)

Today is Thursday 5-21:I've been out every day for the last week.

Friday: Musky Fishing...moved two high 30 inch fish, but came up empty handed except for some pike. Saturday and Sunday: Out with the kids catching panfish and bass. Monday: Okauchee With Paul Smith in the morning, and out for some bonus time in the afternoon. Bite was tough, but consistent. Tuesday, was more of the same and fish were more active than I would have guessed with the cold front, and the same was true yesterday. I'll be out this afternoon, and again tomorrow and Saturday.

If you're in town for the holiday and want to talk some more specific tips, email me or call me (262-893-2183). Shameless self promotion---I do have some openings for half days over the weekend and late next week.

Onto Business:

Overall, water temps are back in the low 60's in Main Lake areas, while some bays are in the High 60's to Low 70's. Weedgrowth is very behind for this time of the season, and Mayflies are starting to  hatch on a couple of area lakes.

Bluegills are starting to congregate in shallower water. A few nests are starting to appear in the traditional sandy and gravel areas.Look for them in 4-10 feet of water, and be ready to move shallower as the temperatures warm up. Current areas and spawning areas (like sandy or gravel areas) will have fish nearby. Waxworms, panfish leeches, redworms and plastics are taking fish, but bigger gills have been hard to come by in any significant number. (Try Okauchee, Garvin ( red hot!), Golden, Forest , Upper and Middle Genessee, School Section, Ashipunn, Pretty, Phantom and Lower Nashotah)

Crappie fishing has been slow, but can be great on any given day. Most crappies are in shallow bays near weeds, wood laydowns or reeds. Some fish are still spawning (you can tell by how black the fish turn this time of year). Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics have all been taking fish. With the temperature set to warm back up for the holiday weekend, expect crappies to be very active on area lakes. (Try: Okauchee (especially the North Flat, Bay Five and the Crane's Nest), Garvin (North End and Wood Laydowns), Kessus, Nagawicka (Channels), Golden and Silver.

Largemouth bass are still spawning on many area lakes. Anglers are catching fish targeting them in shallow water, but a few fish are still being caught off the open areas on flats especially in spots that have standing weeds. It might be hard to consistently find bigger fish, but on warm afternoons, the action should be good. Shallow water presentations like jig and chunk or craw, wacky, texas rigged lizards, spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits will all catch fish right now, but don't overlook smaller topwater presentations. Live bait, nightcrawlers, leeches or small suckers are your best bet. (Try: Okauchee, Lake Five, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Kessus, Silver, Eagle Springs, School Section, Golden, Fox or Emily)

Note: I caught a large number of LM and SM bass this week by downsizing my presentations. Smaller grubs were red hot, and I dropped down to a 4" lizard on my texas rigs. I even dropped my wacky rig down in size, using a finesee worm or french fry, while fishing with lighter rod with just 4lb test. It made a difference on a couple of the tougher days, and I was still catching some decent 15-18" LM's as recently as yesterday.

Smallmouth bass have been active, and a few anglers are reporting nests on many area lakes. Rock structure, scattered weeds on sand and major points are all holding fish. Expect them to be a little spooky, especially in the shallow water on sunny days. Skirted grubs, jigworms, jig and craws, tubes, and soft jerkbaits are all catching fish. Go natural with your color choices this weekend. (Try: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, Pewaukee, Lower Nashotah and the Nemahbin Lakes.)

Walleye have been active, but keepers have been inconsistent. I've heard som scattered chatter about some keepers being caught in 8-12 feet of water. Slip bobbers, Jig and minnow, jig and leech, and split shot rigs with nightcrawlers or small suckers have been the best way to target eyes. In the evening, a few anglers are catching fish by working rapala minnow baits over weed clumps. This weekend should be red hot for walleyes, especially in the evenings. (Try: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Nagawicka, North and Fox)

Northern Pike fishing has picked up with the warmer weather. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, or suspending jerkbaits (like Husky Jerks or Rouges) are catching fish around shallow weed clumps, or at the edges of coves and marshy areas. If chasing pike with live bait, look for them in 6-12 or 12-18 feet, using small suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig. (Try: Okauchee, Kessus, Garvin, Nagawicka, Fowler, Golden, School Section, Emily)

Musky Fishing has been slow and steady. There are lots of fish in the shallow water chasing, and a few are even being caught on topwaters, but the most consistent action has been coming in 12-18 feet around mainlake structure. Gliders, jerkbaits, swimbaits and bucktails have been productive, but many anglers continue to describe lots of lazy follows, so having a sucker out on a quickstrike rig is a great idea, and figure eights are required on every cast. Gold blade/balck skirt seems to be the color of the season, but white/copper combos have also been catching a few. (Try: Okauchee, Pewaukee, Fowler and Lac Labelle) 

Around the area: Fishing on the Rock River has picked up again, and anglers are still catching a few whitebass south of Ft Atkinson, and catfish between the Jefferson Dam and the mouth. The action has been good when its on, awful when its not.

Trout fishing
in the stocked lakes and ponds continues to be good.  Lower Genessee, Ottawa and Lower Nashotah continue to give up fish.

Have a great holiday weekend. Again, thank a vet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Okauchee -Angler's Choice Tournament

Forgot to put this up...but the results for the second weekend bass tournament on Okauchee are posted.

18.33 for five fish wins it.