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Friday, June 12, 2015

Fishing Report 6-12-15

Wow, it is the middle of June already....

Panfish are close to done spawning on most of the lakes. You may find some stragglers here and there, but the bulk of the nesting activity is over. Time to start looking for panfish suspending off the ends of points or off weedlines. 12 feet down over 15-22 FOW is a good starting point. I like to fish vertically for these fish, although slip bobbers can really produce. If you're on fish, but they're running small, try getting you bait a foot to 18inches deeper...the bigger fish are traditionally at the bottom of the school.

Largemouth Bass fishing has been average, with some days providing for some tough conditions. The shallow fish are moving into traditional spots: slop, docks and shallow rock bars. On bright sunny days, fish tight to cover...flipping into weed patches, dropshotting or texas rigs on deep weed edges can really produce. On the windy days, try baitfish pattern crankbaits or spinner baits on edges or transition areas in 8-12 or 12-15 FOW. I'm catching a bunch of fish on smoke colored flapper grubs fished on the flats where there's some scattered weeds, but many of those fish are in the 10-15 inch size. Natural colors (browns, pumpkins and greens) have been better for the jig/chunk-jig/craw combos.

Smallmouth are biting, but the bite seems a little inconsistent by most reports. Some days you can knock them dead, some days they have been a little scarce. Stick to the plan...look for them on top of mainlake structure and points early and late, and look for them in deeper water during the main part of the day. White deep diving crankbaits have been hot, as have smaller (3") tubes in watermelon red, and I wouldn't overlook a traditional approach: size 9 or 11 floating rapalas (or the shadow rap!) in a natural pattern. (Note: I'm catching more smallies "up" in the water column than on the bottom.

Northern Pike continue to bite, and it has been one of the more consistent bites the last week. Shallow fish are actively chasing buzzbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits, especially on the shallow-flat areas with scattered weeds. Out deep, slip-sinker rigs with small suckers or the biggest shiners have been red hot for larger fish. Okauchee and Fowler have put out some nice pike the last week, but some of the smaller lakes (School Section/Pretty/Emily) have also been productive.

Walleye fishing has slowed down as the fish have moved out deeper. If you've been catching eyes at one depth, look for them in the same areas but at the next major depth contour. Deep weeds (especially along weed/sandgrass and sand transitions) seem to be key, but a few people have been catching them suspended (using slip bobbers) in the deep water near structure Nighttime trolling bite should pick up this next week if the weather stays stable. Oconomowoc had the best reports, and continues to give up solid bags of 18"+ keepers, North and Lac Labelle have been active.

Musky fishing has been pretty good. Bucktails are catching/raising some decent fish along mid-depth weed breaks while crankbaits/jerkbaits are raising some fish off the first deep break. Pewaukee has been solid, although lots of lazy follows have been on the docket. Oconomowoc has been busier than Okauchee (although fishing pressure on Oconomowoc is very high). Reports for Lac Labelle, Fowler and North Lake were scarce this past week.

I'm heading to Madison this weekend for Take a Vet Fishing, but I'll be back on our local lakes on Monday.

Good luck and be safe.