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Friday, July 20, 2018

Fishing Report 7-20-18

Hey Gang,

I was out a bunch this week, but apparently I was about the only one. I didn't get my usual batch of reports in from my other "people" this week, so just a quickie update.

Water temps are solidly in the low to 80's around the area now. If the weather cools, expect it to drop back into the low 70's, but as long as it stays sunny and hot, you'll need to play the conditions. As always this time of year, you'll do better early and late in the day, but if you adapt your tactics during the day, you can catch fish essentially any time of day. Algae blooms are occurring on many area lakes, so expect dirtier than normal water as you head out.

Baitfish have been fairly plentiful, but concentrated to smaller areas than is common...find the food and you'll quickly find fish.

Bass fishing was a bit off in the early part of this week with the bright skies and high pressure, but fishing was slow and steady. I caught most of my fish this week out of areas I would expect to catch them, but I had to dig into the bag of tricks a couple of times to put fish in the boat consistently.

Primary pattern: weeds along transition areas or at the ends of points. This is where the active fish are/were. Working these areas with a topwater produced early, and I could go back to productive areas later on and catch fish by finessing them out of the weeds. Docks and slop were better mid-day, especially shady docks adjacent to deeper water. Between these things you'll need to cover water, and I caught some quality fish on both grubs (watermelon or green pumpkin) as well as smaller squarebill Norman crankbaits. Up shallow, nothing fancy...wacky, ned rigs, tubes or skirted grubs/jig and craw trailers. I will say this...I threw some different options this week to limited success. I ended up going back to the staples...jigworms and a light carolina-style rig each day to catch fish.

Panfish: About what you should expect for summer. There's "fun" fish around docks and swim platforms if you're heading out with the kids...a simple small bobber and ice fishing jig or #10 or #12 sized hook tipped with a waxworm or spike will produce. If you're looking for keepers...I have two suggestions: fish off the deep weed edges for suspended fish, or look for them in areas with the most current you can find. We caught a nice batch of keepers with the kids one afternoon this week in a very small spot by getting the bait through the smaller gills at the top of the school. I used a small, but reaasonably heavy tungsten jig to get the presentation to sink fast enough it passed the fish at the top of the school.

Pike: Nothing consistent to report. Caught some throwing lip less cranks as well as when I was throwing topwaters for bass. Had a couple nice ones in the boat on Monday morning on a buzzbait thrown over submergent vegetation where we saw some small bluegills in the tops of the weeds.

Musky: Been tough with the heat but if you play your solar lunar table and hit your windows, you can have some solid topwater or glider action, in some surprisingly shallow water. That's all I am going to say on this.

I didn't hear anything new on walleyes or crappie this week, so you can look back at my report from Monday (here) for the last bit of information I had.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Fishing Report 7-16-18

Hey gang,

The hot weather has really slowed things down. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 80's, and fishing has hit that mid-summer period.

You'll do best fishing early and late. Morning bit has been good, but not great between about 4:30-8:30. Things start to really slow down by 10. They start picking back up around 4, and you can get some solid evening action going 6pm-dusk.

Weed edges along drop offs were the best overall pattern this week. With the heat, some docks and slop are holding fish, but the lack of rain has cut into the current through our local lakes in a pretty substantial way.

Overall, Bass fishing slowed way down this run, both in terms of people our fishing and catches. I've put fish in the boat every day I have been out, but there's been some days I was deep into my bag of tricks. Deep weedlines out to 18 FOW, piers or slop have been workable areas. Early, the smallmouth are making a forging run along shallow bars near deep water but getting them to bite consistently has been challenging day to day. Ned rigs, "Chris rigs" jigworms, grubs, tubes, wacky, small Kitech swimbaits and drop shot has put fish in the boat. Fishing very slow has produced a bunch of bites for me the last couple of days, but downsizing a bit has really been the ticket.

Texas rigs, Carolina Rigs and  live bait rigs with leeches, large shiners, chubs or suckers for the deep fish. Open water top water fishing has been good on mainlake and secondary points, but only until mid morning, but a smaller square bill or lipless crank has been a good follow up especially in areas where you see schools of pin minnows or juvenile yellow perch.

Walleye fishing has remained slow but productive. Fishing either end of the day certainly helps. Slip bobbers, with live bait, jigs with plastics or lindy rigs, fished near the weeds are producing, but expect the bite to slow down in the heavy heat this weekekend. At night, back troll with suckers on lindy/slip sinker rigs in 18-22 fow, targeting areas with healthy sandgrass or fish floating rapalas/minnowbaits around weedclumps after dark.

Bluegills are doing their summer thing. Look for them to suspend along the weedlines or out over deeper water. 12-18 feet deep over much deeper water is a great starting point. Drifting along the deep edges with bait suspended vertically is a solid presentation option.

Crappies have been suspending over sunken boats, fish cribs or other structure in 18-25 FOW. Heard several solid reports about bags of keepers coming in by guys fishing vertically with plastics or hair jigs tipped with waxies or spikes.


Okauchee: Bass are on the piers, in pads and slop and on the weed edges in deeper water/along mainlake structure.  Pike have been active, especially in deep areas with quick access to shallow weeds. Panfish are suspending deep, but adjacent to the points.

Garvin: Bluegills suspending over deep cover on east shoreline points.

Oconomowoc:  Bass are suspending off the deep ends of the mainlake points, coming in for limited periods of high activity. Tight to visible weed clumps will produce some bass, panfish are on the deep weedlines (use a split shot or light lindy rig and a panfish leech). Walleye and musky have both been slow.

Lac Labelle: Walleye fishing was slow, but steady. Target weed edges along the 8-12 foot breaks and drop-offs in 10-18 FOW, but be ready to move around. Jigs and rigs with live bait, best action has been 6-8am and again just before dark.  Bass fishing has been very good, with lots of hungry smallmouths coming over the gravel and deep rock.

Moose:  Bass and pike both slow. Crappie and Bluegills are suspending deep and around swim platforms. Bass feeding early, then moving out deep. Look for baitfish, and work small areas hard. It has been a tough bite out there.

Ashipunn: Bass and pike were more active than most other lakes, but also deeper. Concentrate on the visible weed patches, and work them from a variety of angles with spinners or plastics. Piers holding some smaller fish. Panfish are suspending in the deep part of the basin, about 18-22 foot down.

Golden: Bluegills in deep water, holding close to weed edges. Bass have been biting along inside weedlines but docks and the slop are still holding some fish. Topwaters, plastics and spinners are all producing. Pike have been biting, especially on small suckers fished along the deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits or buzzbaits fished through the weedy areas.

Silver:  Crappies have been suspending over the east cribs, and keeper bluegills are holding in the deep sandgrass in 12-18 FOW. Bass fishing was slower than normal, but still pretty consistent,

Finally today: Apparently this blog is one of the 60 best in Wisconsin. I made this list at #48 From Feedspot. I don't know exactly what to think...and it doesn't look like there's much of a prize or anything...but thanks to those of you who have followed these reports over the years.