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Friday, May 13, 2016

Fishing Report 5-13-16

Hey gang,

Was a solid week after the opener last weekend. Conditions are still a bit on the early side, water temps are still low overall, and weed growth is way behind average. That said, there's plenty happening.

Fishing was slow, but steady all week, even with the changing conditions. As I write this, it looks like we have a patch of stable weather ahead, and that will certainly get things going. If you have to choose...hit the water on the sunny afternoons, and in any case, focus your attention on protected areas with dark bottoms (in other words, the warmest water).

Okauchee has a bass tournament on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There's a charity musky tournament on Pewaukee next weekend (Info Here)

Panfish will continue to move to shallow areas, especially on warm, sunny afternoons. The bite can be really good, especially in the mid afternoon on sunny days. Look for shallow, dark bottom bays with scattered weeds, woods or reeds. The fish may be very tight to shore. In areas with current, look for schools of fish in deeper holes and outside turns, even if these areas are very small. Remember the largest panfish will always be in the bottom of the school, so if you're catching fish, but they are small, try getting your bait a little deeper. Bluegills will hit on a variety of live bait, including redworms, dillys, waxworms, spikes, or butterworms. For active bluegills, plastics will outperform live bait, and will usually help keep some of the smaller fish off your line. For crappies, tail hooked minnows, skirted grubs, road runners, or waxworms on an ice-fishing jig will really produce. Don't be afraid to look for crappies a little deeper especially if there's wood or green weeds. (Try: Okauchee, Garvin, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac Labelle, Ashippun, Silver, Golden, School Section or Middle Genessee)

Largemouth are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Look for them in shallow areas with rock, sand or muck. Protected bays with wood laydowns or weeds will really concentrate fish, but most of the fish being caught right now are early males, making some nests around docks and other shoreline cover. Larger female fish have not come in yet in significant numbers, so look for them deeper where they will likely be actively feeding on rockbars and around scattered  (green )weeds. You can use a variety of presentations to chase these fish. Jig and chunks will catch less fish, but are a great way to catch a bigger fish. Slower presentations like wacky worms, texas rigged lizards or tubes are all great for probing areas, but spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, and crawfish imitating shallow diving crankbaits will all catch fish right now. Using live bait? Leeches, nightcrawlers or large shiners are your best option. (Try Okauchee, Moose, Kessus, Golden, Silver, Fowler, Pine, and Pewaukee)

Smallmouth bass are starting to run rocky areas, foraging, but they haven't really schooled up yet. Look for them in the usual early season spots, but don't be afraid to look for them as deep as 25 feet, where they will be feeding on schools of yellow perch. Spinnerbaits are a great way to cover water, tubes are a great way to look for fish around the dropoffs and on the shallow rockbars. Lindy rigging with large shiners can really produce some amazing fish this time of year. (Try Lac Labelle, Beaver, North, Lower Nashotah, Pine, Pewaukee, and Oconomowoc)

Walleye are sbeing caught in smaller numbers. Look for walleyes in shallow water, around rocks or sand, especially early in the morning, and later in the evening. In the daylight hours, schools of fish will be cruising the sand flats in 8-15 feet of water. Live bait rigging, (Lindy rigs with small suckers or big shiners!) jig and minnow or jig and leech combos, or trolling with shad or minnow imitators are your best approaches. (Try Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Fowler North or Pine)

Northern pike were a little slower than I would have expected this week, but with multiple tournaments this weekend on Okauchee, I think many anglers were targeting bass rather than pike. Action pike are in shallow water, especially near marshy areas, and will aggressively bite spinners, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits or live bait suspended around shallow weeds.(Try: Moose, Kessus, Okauchee, Fowler, School Section, Lake Emily and Pretty)

Musky fishing was slow but steady for the opener. Most fish are in 5-12 feet of water, and are biting on swimbaits, gliders, jerkbaits and bucktails. A handful of decent fish were taken on suckers as well. Remember to do your figure eights on every cast right now, as lots of anglers were reporting lazy follows this past weekend. Personally, I like to use smaller baits in a black and blue, or black and orange combination at this point in the year. (Try Okauchee, Oconomowoc Garvin, Lac Labelle and Pewaukee for Musky)

Catfish were starting to bite more aggressively on the Rock River. Look for them around wood on the bottom, or in the channel turns. Stink bait, cutbait or nightcrawlers were all producing.

Trout fishing was fast and furious on the stocked lakes and ponds around area. Full data on lakes and ponds that have stocked trout is here.  (Lower Nashotah, Lower Genessee and Fowler all had trout stocked this season)