Its is almost June, but you wouldn't know it by the weather or the conditions. Water temps are still in the low 60's in most places. Water is high everywhere close to home, and there's more rain on the way.
Everyone has good days and bad days...but I'll tell you, when its been on, it has been great...on the other days, I'm putting fish in the boat, but I'm grinding for them. The better part of consistent fishing is patterning fish....and it has been difficult to do it day to day.
A couple of things to keep in mind as you head out. Most, but not all of the LM and SM are done spawning, so on top of lousy conditions, it is post spawn. You need to slow down. Think you have? You're still going way too fast.
Second, making contact with the cover has been real important for triggering bites. I am catching fish every time out, but keeping the presentation in the strike zone (which has been very small some days) has been the key.
Panfish bluegills are staging for the spawning process. Crappies are at the end of their run, but the bluegills are just getting started. I'm starting to see some beds in the shallow water, especially in areas of sand or small gravel, but these tend to be the smaller fish. If you're looking for decent keepers, you need to look for those fish in 10-12 FOW. They are hard to find with the eye but a good starting point is the deeper water adjacent to areas where you see beds in the shallow water. Rock Bass have been biting like crazy everywhere, and could be a solid option if you're heading out with the kids.(Best bets: Middle Gen, Lower Nehmabin, Nag, Okauchee, Garvin, Keesus, Silver)
Largemouth are at the end of the spawn. You may still find a few fish on nests, but many are defending fry or starting to feed on juvenile bluegills. Most fish are patrolling shallow flat areas or are feeding hard around rockpiles and roadbeds. Look for them around scattered weeds or near where bluegills are starting to spawn, this a great pattern to work right now. This is topwater season, and poppers, jointed floating minnows and smaller walk the dog baits (like zara spooks) can really produce. As the sun gets high, look for fish around docks and in first deep water adjacent to longer points. Wacky, Ned Rigs, Tubes, Jigworms, Jig/chunk, Skirted grubs, pre-rigged worms, Texas rigs and Sliders will all catch fish.
Hot Tip of the Week: Go Old school and try the Old Davey Hite Floating Worm technique. Usually only works for a week or so, but with the season we're having, it is working great. (Orange is my favorite BTW)
(North, Keesus, Okauchee, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc, Golden, Forest, Silver, Ashippun.)
Smallmouth The active fish are in small wolfpack schools, patrolling shallow bars, points and drops with rock/weed transitions. Tubes, grubs, jerkbaits, spinners, topwater and live leeches or small suckers on lindy rigs are producing. (Pine, Oconomwoc, Lac Labelle, Nag, Upper and Lower Nehmabin, Beaver)
Northern pike are making move out to the deeper weed edges. Look for them in 10-15 or 12-18 FOW. Live bait on slip sinker rigs is always the most consistent approach for larger pike. If you're looking for faster action...square bill or lipless crankbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, oversized grubs, Husky Jerks or spinners fished around shallow weeds, especially in flat areas will all produce. (Nag (Red hot!) Golden, Kessus, Fowler, Okauchee)
Walleye are using the heavy current, and relating the rock/weed transitions. Pitching jigs tipped with live bait into the holes on the weed edges or ends of weedlines has been very productive. Back trolling lindy rigs or pulling spinner harnesses along transition edges is producing. (Pine, Nag, Oconomowoc, Fowler, Lac Labelle).
Trout Stocked Trout fishing has still been good on many of the local lakes that got fish. The cooler weather and rain has pushed many of the fish deeper than they have been. Corn is always a bait option, but smaller minnows (crappie sized), red worms or scented plastics have been working. One person told me they caught a limit using a small gold mepps spinner.
Musky fishing reports have been slow (and scattered), but it might have more to do with the number of people fishing than the conditions of the bite. Reports suggest Pewaukee has been slow, and Okauchee is giving up a few smaller fish. Oconomowoc has been the most consistent. Gliders and bucktails have been the most productive daytime, with topwater giving up a few fish at dawn or just after the sun sets. I heard three independent people tell me that white skirt with a silver blade was the bucktail they used to catch a fish this week.
Around the area: Whitebass and Catfish are biting on the Rock River, but reports are a bit hard to come by.
See ya on the water. Be safe out there.