This weekend is Free Fishing Weekend....no license is necessary Details here.
Okauchee has a WABTA tournament this weekend, Pewaukee has a pair of Angler's Choice tournaments and there's a Kayak tourney on Nag this Sunday.
Around the area--Water temps are still in the mid 70's on most area lakes. Weed growth is still behind but is catching up. Bluegills are on nests, especially in sandy or pea gravel areas, baitfish are starting to pop out, and are approaching average for this time of year. The Oconomowoc River lakes are still fairly dirty by most reports.
Panfish: Crappie were the secret story of the last week as second stage spawners moved into the wood and reeds and did their ritual. Typically when bluegills are on the beds, people abandon crappie fishing for about two weeks, but anglers were really on some nice bags of keepers. For crappie, look for them in wood that hangs over, or reaches into deeper water, and fish in the branches with slip bobbers and small jigs tipped with live bait.
For bluegills, there's plenty of action fish that can be caught in the shallows right now, but if you're looking for better fish, split shot or lindy rigs with panfish leeches in 12-15 FOW will produce some nice keepers, especially in deep sand. There's some awesome bags being brought in right now.
Largemouth: Spawn is over, but you may still find a few males protecting fry. You're going to see lots of active smaller fish, but larger fish can be hard to pattern. If you're catching fish consistently, stick with what's working and the bigger fish will come. Weeds (if you can find them) and docks are holding fish, If you're catching fish out of a certain area, try to duplicate what works in similar areas on the lake. Topwater is working until about 9am, then keep it simple. wacky rigs, (especially with a jig head), neko rigs, ned rigs, texas rigged worms, skirted grubs, jig and craw, lipless crankbaits are all producing right now. As the slop gets up, a frog bite will get going, but the bulk of the fish are still in the areas where bluegills are spawning. Don't forget to keep a size 11 floating rapala minnow tied on to throw at fish you see cruising.
Smallmouth: Look for them to be foraging on rock bars and in sand/gravel or sand/rock transitions in 4-8 and 12-15 FOW. Drop shot, wacky, grubs, skirted grubs, spinnerbaits, tubes and jerkbaits are solid bets,. Topwater fish are going from sunup to about 8am, and then for an hour before dusk, but downsized POP-R's will work all day. If you can find some fish deep, jig and leech or lindy rigs with small suckers or chubs might be the answer if you find yourself with a tough bite.
Walleye fishing has been absolutely on fire. Fish have been caught as shallow as 3 FOW, but the bulk of the fish seem to be holding in the transitions or drop offs in 12-15 FOW. Live bait rigs or jigs during the day, casting with jig/grub or jig/ringworm combos has been working early and late. Shad raps or minnow baits worked around visible weed cover can trigger fish that seem reluctant to bite.
Pike fishing has been very consistent. Most of the fish have been running small, but I heard from a couple of folks who found some better fish. Look for weeds that have baitfish in them and then cast with lipless crankbaits, spinners or buzzbaits. Live bait, suckers or large shiners on a slip sinker rig with a floro leader is your best bet. Action: Look for them in 4-8 FOW, Looking for some Size 12-18 FOW where weeds are coming up.
Musky has been very slow. Anglers are seeing lots of fish, but lazy follows have been the consistent report. Stay with it, and watch your solar lunar tables for activity windows. Consider downsizing your bait some as well.
Good luck out there.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
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