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Friday, June 19, 2015

Fishing Report 6-19-15

Hey gang,

Since our last report, I've been out:
Friday   (6-12) Oconomowoc
Sunday (6-14)- In Madison (On Waubesa) for Take A Vet Fishing Event.
Monday 6-15 - Moose
Tuesday 6-16 - Ashippun
Thursday 6-18 Golden (AM) Kessus (PM)

Overall, fishing has been very inconsistent in our area. It hasn't been bad, lots of people are catching some fish, but they are scratching them together, one here and one there. Some days have been gangbusters good, other days have led to some people considering golf as a better hobby. (Don't fall into that trap.)

For me, I'm catching fish (bass and/or pike) every time out, but I'm working harder for them than I can remember for this time in June. More importantly, most of the fish being caught are running on the smaller side. That's very typical for periods of inconsistent weather, where larger fish go on short spurts of high feeding activity, and remain largely neutral the rest of the time.

Conditions are around average for this time of the year...weed growth is catching up, and surface water temps are in the low to mid 70's. Baitfish still seem to be in short supply (couldn't find any concentrations of bait last evening on Kessus), but with the water temp getting into the 70's, the bluegills finishing their spawn and pike and musky starting to move out to deeper areas, things will probably get back to normal.

Panfishing has started to slow down from early season peak. Many spawners have moved off the shallow nests and out to deeper water. You may still find some batches finishing the spawn, especially in the sand or small gravel along Southern or Eastern banks of a lake, but the bulk of the fish are starting to congregate around deeper docks, swim platforms (always an overlooked option) or along the first deep break in the weedline. Small plastics tipped with waxworms, or a small (size 10-12) gold or red hook with red/leafworms or panfish leeches are always your best options for keepers. 

Largemouth fishing has ranged from high action (from smaller fish) to just plain tough. Fish really haven't set up into their summer patterns, and with lots of anglers fishing the calender rather than the conditions, I know (from talking to my regular sources of information as well as people at the launches and on the water) fishing hasn't been very solid. Lots of approaches are working, but you'll need to be ready to adapt on the water. In shallow, docks and slop are holding fish, but it seems like you can only really catch fish out of either where there are visible baitfish nearby. Docks are usually a solid, consistent pattern at this point in the year, but there certainly seems to be less fish on the docks than "normal." Mid depth 5-8 weed flats seem to be holding the most fish, but again, those fish seem to be post-spawn schoolers chasing bait. Bigger fish were coming from areas near spawning bluegills, but they seem to be making a move out to the weedlines and deepwater points. Live bait on a split shot or lindy rig has been working (for me) on tougher days, but I'm still catching the bulk of my fish using small (downsized plastics) or smaller jig/trailer combos. Topwater is working in the mornings, but only until abut 7:30.

Smallmouth fishing is very similar to largemouth fishing right now...inconsistent. Look for them along the shallow breaks in 4-8FOW, especially along sand/gravel transitions or rock/weed transitions. Some fish are spending part of each day feeding along the deep, lee side of mainlake points, but secondary points are where the better action has been. Areas with steeper drops seem to have been the best the last 10 days, but don't hold me to that. Soft jerkbaits and grubs are catching fish out the scattered weeds along the breaks, tubes and skirted grubs off the rocks.

Walleye fishing has been better than average, but fish are running undersized. Note that I have not personally been out for walleyes since last week, but anglers are catching eyes on Lac Labelle and Fox tight to weeds, and out of the deeper sand/gravel on both Oconomowoc and North Lakes. I'd go conventional...tight to weeds with light jigs and leeches or plastics or lindy rigging with live bait out deeper. Cranks, especially floating/suspending minnows are catching some out of the weeds early and later in the day.

Pike fishing has started to move towards summer. Smaller, action fish can be caught on the shallow weedflats fishing spinners, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits or squarebills. Better fish are coming on the weedlines with slip sinker rigs tipped with larger livebait (small suckers or big shiners). Use a heavy florocarbon leader and a circle hook for better success. Look for the deeper fish in the sandgrass or any standing weeds you can find in 15-22 FOW.

Musky fishing has been below average. Fish are making a transition from shallow spring to their deeper summer areas, and anglers haven't really gotten back onto the new pattern. For now, I'd recommend topwaters around shallow rocks, especially early and late in the day, and spinners/bucktails cowgirls along the deepest visible weededges you can find. Gliders on the flats will produce, but really only in areas where there are schools of visible baitfish swimming.

Good Luck Out There.