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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fishing Report 5-22-18

Hey gang,

If you're in town for the holiday and want to talk some more specific tips, email me or call me (262-893-2183). Shameless self promotion---I do have some openings for half days over the holiday weekend and late next week.

Weedgrowth is very behind for this time of the season, and Mayflies are hatching on some of the area lakes. Baitfish are still hard to find consistently. If you find fish, there's likely to be a wad of them in the same area. Slow down, work an area and make solid presentations. Fish can be caught but you might have to put in the time.

Bluegills are slowly starting to congregate in shallower water. Look for them in 4-10 feet of water, and be ready to move shallower as the temperatures warm up. Current areas and traditional spawning areas (like sandy flats or gravel areas) will have fish. Waxworms, panfish leeches, redworms and plastics are taking fish, but bigger gills have been hard to come by in any significant number. (Try Okauchee, Garvin, Golden, Forest, Middle Genessee, , Ashipunn, Pretty, Phantom and Lower Nashotah)

Crappie fishing has been slow and steady, but can be great on any given day. Most crappies are in shallow bays near weeds, wood laydowns or reeds. A handful of fish are still spawning. Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics like a tube jigs or reaver have all been taking fish. With the temperature set to warm back up for the holiday weekend, expect crappies to be very active on area lakes. Try the Crane's Nest and Bay Five on Okauchee, Garvin, Kessus, Nagawicka (Deeper Channels), Golden (North End) Pine and Silver.

Largemouth bass are still spawning on many area lakes. Anglers are catching fish targeting them in shallow water, but a few fish are still being caught off the open areas on flats especially in spots that have standing weeds. It might be hard to consistently find bigger fish, but on warm afternoons, the action can be awesome.  If you're out and its a tough bite: downsizing your presentations. Smaller grubs, 4" lizards or a downsized wacky rig using a finesee worm or french fry on lighter line can unlock some fish. Seeing fish cruising? Bust out a tired and true option: a Number 11 floating rapala or a smaller rattletrap. Try: Pewaukee, Okauchee, Lake Five, Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, Kessus, Silver, Eagle Springs, Lake Five, North, Golden, Fox or Emily

Smallmouth bass have been active despite the crummy weather recently. Rock structure, scattered weeds on sand and major points are all holding fish. Expect them to be a little spooky, especially in the shallow water on sunny days. Skirted grubs, jigworms, jig and craws, tubes, and soft jerkbaits are all catching fish. Go natural with your color choices this weekend. Try: Oconomowoc, Lac Labelle, North, Nagawicka, Pewaukee, Lower Nashotah and the Nemahbin Lakes.

Walleye are in a full post spawn bite mode right now. Look for them around edges of current areas on the local lakes. The weather has a bit of a funk on them, but with a good presentation you can get on them. Weeds are hard to come by right now, so focus on gravel and sand transition areas. A split-shot or light slip sinker rig can get you bit when jigs will not. Leeches, large shiners and chubs are better than nightcrawlers right now, but working edges with crankbaits (like shad-raps or frenzies) or backtrolling can put fish in the boat when you find an area where they are holding. North, Fox, Oconomowoc, Pine and Lac Labelle are your best bets, but Pewaukee has also been giving up a few.

Northern Pike fishing has been the most consistent gamefish action in town. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, weedless spoons or suspending jerkbaits are catching fish around shallow weed clumps, or at the edges of coves and marshy areas. Try: Okauchee, Kessus, Garvin, Nagawicka, Fowler, Golden, Pretty, Emily.

Musky Fishing has been slow and steady. There are lots of smaller fish in the shallow water chasing baitfish. Gliders, jerkbaits, swimbaits and bucktails have been productive, but many anglers continue to describe lots of lazy follows, so having a sucker out on a quickstrike rig is a great idea, and figure eights are mandatory on every cast.  Try: Okauchee, Pewaukee, Fowler and Lac Labelle

Around the area: The high water has  seen Fishing on the Rock River picked up again, and anglers are still catching a few whitebass south of Ft Atkinson, and catfish between the Jefferson Dam and the mouth. The action has been good when its on, awful when its not.

Trout fishing
 in the stocked lakes and ponds continues to be good.  Lower Genessee, Ottawa and Lower Nashotah continue to give up fish.

Have a great holiday weekend. Again, thank a vet.