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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fishing Report 5-10-18

Remember, its always fun to fish on a Sunday, but consider taking Mom with you this week.

There is a pair of Musky Tournaments on Pewaukee and both a Musky and WABTA Tournament on Okauchee this weekend. (Our Tournament Schedule Post is here)

And Okauchee fishing pressure has been very heavy the past week between opening weekend, Musky Mikes League and guys pre-fishing..I am hearing similar reports from Pewaukee. Fish are still biting, but you may need to downsize, or get away from the crowds and the usual spots.

Water temperatures vary greatly between main lake areas (in the low 60's) and protected bays (in the mid to high 60's) on most area lakes.Weed growth is way behind normal, which means if you find some good (ie green) weeds, it is worth the effort to fish them!

Musky fishing has been a bit below average for this time of year, but a solid shallow pattern has been working for anglers who put in the time and are making an effort to deliberately work structural elements. Look for fish on the shallow flats in 6-10 feet of water, or shallow areas with rock/sand transitions. A few fish are also using the first deep break in 12-18 feet of water. Gliders, swimbaits, bucktails and jerkbaits have all been consistent producers.

Best bets: Okauchee, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pewaukee, and Fowler.

Northern Pike have been using the areas where there is new weedgrowth. Anglers targeting bass have been catching a number of pike ranging from smaller snakes to quality 30+" fish. Some of the larger pike are using the deep weedlines in 12-18 feet. Spinnerbaits,small bucktails, lipless crankbaits, floating rapalas and buzzbaits will all catch fish in the shallow water when fished around submergent green weeds. Large shiners or small to medium sized suckers suspended underneath a float, longlined on a split shot rig, or fished deep on a slip-sinker setup are your best options for live bait.

Best Bets: Nagawicka, Golden, Okauchee, Fowler, Moose.

Walleye have been active in cycles that match our current weather patterns. On warmer, windy days they have been biting fairly well. Some fish are patrolling the shallows in the morning and evening hours, but the bulk of the fish are holding around rocky points and mid-depth weeds in 8-12 feet of water. With the cold front set to hit this weekend, the bite could be tough, and you'll need to go finessee to get bites consistently. Crankbaits like rapala shad raps are catching fish, but controlled drifting with live bait has been the best approach. Slow and steady will be the operative words.

Best Bets: Pine, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Lac Labelle, the Nehmabins and Fox Lake.

Largemouth Bass  First wave spawning areas have fish on nests, and post spawn females nearby. Other areas still have schooling fish. Look for bass around shallow weeds, wood laydowns or docks. Rocky areas, especially points adjacent to deep water have been holding the most fish. Wacky worms, texas rigged lizards or stickbaits, lipless crankbaits, and jigs with a chunk or craw trailer have all been producing.

Best Bets: Okauchee, Golden, Keesus, Pine, Nagawicka, Buelah, Moose, Eagle Springs.

Smallmouth Bass  Fish are patrolling the shallow bars in small schools a few times a day, especially on the warmer sunny days. Lots of fish are suspending in deeper water just off of shallow structure. Rocky/sand transition areas have been holding some fish that are foraging for craws. Suspending jerkbaits, tubes, wacky worms, swimbaits and lipless crankbaits in a crawfish pattern have all caught fish.

Best Bets: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Pine, Nagawicka, Lower Nehmabin, Beaver.

Crappie Look for them around shallow cover in 2-8 feet of water. Tight-lining over deeper wood or weeds in 8-12 feet has also been effective on some lakes. Tail-hooked fatheads, plastics or hair jigs tipped with a waxworm and rosie reds are your best live bait options for crappies. Strike zones have been relatively small, so try to make accurate casts when setting up your presentations.

Best Bets: Pine, Okauchee, Kessus, Golden, Garvin, Ashippun, Lake Five.

Bluegills the better sized fish have still been coming from anglers targeting them in a little deeper water. Shallow fish will be near sandy bottom areas with scattered weed growth, but if you just want the kids to catch a few fish, try fishing around any piers that are in the water adjacent to deeper water (6-10 feet). If you want to target eating size gills, tightline vertically while drifting along weedlines in deeper water (as deep as 22 feet) or look for them on the end of sandy/gravel points in 12-15 feet of water. Plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, panfish leeches or redworms are your best live bait options.

Best Bets: Golden, Silver, Garvin, Lower Nashotah, Forest, Upper and Lower Phantom, Ashippun, Upper Geneessee and Lake Five.

Catfish are being caught on the Rock River. Cutbait, stinkbait and nightcrawlers fished around the heads of the deeper holes has been producing some keepers. The area between Watertown and the Jefferson Dam has been red hot the last few weeks.

Trout  Lower Nashotah, Fowler, Lower Geneessee and Paradise Springs-Look for these fish in the deeper water basin or deeper pools on the creeks. In the area lakes, they can be anywhere from just below the surface to 25 feet down over deeper water. Tightlining with minnows or redworms  will catch fish when you find them.

Good Luck Out There.
Feel free to email me if you have questions.

Chris Terry

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fishing Report (5-7-18) (Quickie Update)

Hearing some mixed reports about success on the opener. Overall, sounded fairly average for opening weekend.

I was out for a bit today chasing trout and met with a functional, but still pretty tough bite, but the bass and pike were feeding actively. If I'd have stuck it out, I could have putting something more solid together, but had a few mechanical issues, so I called it a day.

Water temps range greatly, shallow bays and dark bottom areas are in the low to mid 60's, but open water, main lake areas can be in the low to mid 50's.Weeds are non existent.

Panfish are suspending/hanging off the breaks suspended, especially the larger crappies, but you can get onto some decent sized fish in the 4-8 FOW range.  Areas with green weeds will hold the most panfish, but there's not many of those around right now, so look for panfish around laydowns and docks that reach deeper water. Batches of nice gills are starting to school up around deeper docks right now.  Keep it simple, small bobbers and small bait. Minnows for the crappies, but otherwise plastics tipped with waxies or spikes. Remember the biggest panfish are on the bottom of the school, so get that bait down to them.

Bass fishing will be on fire through thus weekend, but expect it to come in flurries of action as you make contact with schooled up fish on the forage run. The fishing should be fantastic for at least the next 10 days/two weeks. Some fish are up on the beds, but most of the larger fish are still chasing bait and craws at the last major structural elements outside of the spawning areas. Jig and pig, wacky, floating worms, soft jerkbaits, grubs, drop shot minnows and lipless crankbaits will produce depending on the day. I caught a couple on my new shaky head rig today when I couldn't get the trout to cooperate.

I'll check back later this week. Get out there, there's fish to be caught.