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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fishing Report 8-13-15

Hey gang,

Been a tougher than average week out there. Water levels are down, and the wind has been up. Fish can be caught, but you'll need to adapt (sometimes on the fly) to conditions throughout the day.

Water temps are in the mid to high 70's around the area, and there were a couple of late season baitfish hatches this week which have some hefty schools of minnows swimming around. Gamefish continue to be spread out, and can be caught shallow or deep...sometimes both at the same time.

Patterning fish remains challenging, and there's a fair amount of spot fishing occurring right now.

Panfish are suspending along the edges of deep structure, but can be anywhere from just under the surface to 18 Feet down over deep water. The usual deep water approaches (split shot rigs tightlined, or slip bobbers will work) but here's a hot tip. A small popper or fly tipped with live bait will generate some quality bites when fished near vertical drop offs. I've seen this approach work before, but to be frank, I have never seen it so consistent as I did in the later part of this week. I had a batch of quality bluegills two days this week. I assumed the first time was a fluke, but it worked again this morning. Topwater fishing for bluegills with a ultralight is one heck of a fun time by the way.

Largemouth Bass continue summer patterns. With the clear skies and sunny days, docks and slop have really turned on in the shallows, and there's another batch of fish that you can chase down in 12-18 FOW with texas or carolina rigs. Topwater is working until about 8-8:30, then the fish are hunkering down. You can fish actively early, but you'll need to slow way down and be precise to keep getting bites.

Smalllmouth have been hit or miss this week. An observation (and nothing more) when current is flowing in our local lakes/rivers, the smallmouth seemed to bite better this week...but when there was little to no flow (like today) I caught far more largemouths. I was curious about this observation, and while I only have my own (extensive fishing) logs to go by, it does seem to be a factor, especially in the Oconomowoc and Bark River lakes in the area. That said, targeting smallmouth can be accomplished by fishing the weed/rock transitions, as well as the shallow weeds adjacent to deeper water (like those along a depth contour transition or at the ends of shallow structure/points) Topwaters, including spooks and smaller size poppers are producing, but don't overlook floating minnow baits. By mid morning the bite has been shifting out a bit, where grubs and tubes will continue to produce. Did some dropshotting out in the way deep today, but only caught a couple of smaller fish...the bite was much better in 6-12 FOW. If you find some fish cruising a shallow bar, wacky, tubes, skirted grubs or small crawfish colored crankbaits will produce.

Walleye fishing was about average, with some whitebass mixed in. Fish were shallow and deep, but really holding tight to weeds in both areas. Jigging and rigging with live bait was productive, but some anglers are starting to fish the weedtops with minnowbaits in the evening, and that has been a decent (but not great) bite this past week. Leeches are getting harder to come by, but use them if you can find them, otherwise a crawler or small sucker or chub are your best options.

Pike fishing was pretty standard this week. Buzzbaits, spoons, spinners and lipless crankbaits were catching fish, as were heavy line slip sinker rigs with circle hooked suckers. The weedlines in 14-22FOW had the best fish, but there are still some nice fish cruising the shallow rockbars.

Musky: I didn't hear anything solid this week, but check back next week.

Good Luck,