Conditions: Right now most lakes are in the low to mid 60's...but you may find some areas where the water is substantially warmer. Weed growth is still behind, but is starting to catch up. Water remains low on most lakes, and even after the rain we had this week, current flows are way down.Bluegills Current areas (if you can find them) and dark bottom bays (with sand or gravel areas) will hold the most fish. Smaller gills are moving up into shallow water, but if you're looking for nice gills, try 8-12 feet of water. Regardless of depth, focus on sand/gravel areas for the best success. Leeches on a split shot rig are the best way to chase larger pannies, but Waxworms, redworms and plastics are taking fish.
Crappie fishing has been hit or miss. People are catching some nice crappies, but consistent numbers of keepers have been hard to produce. A few crappies are being caught over deeper water near mainlake structure, and you may still find a few spawning crappies are in shallow bays near weeds, wood laydowns or reeds. Minnows, hooked through the tail on a small hook (#8 or #10), waxworms and plastics have all been taking fish.
Largemouth Bass A few fish are still spawning, but not as many as last week. Topwaters (Pop R, small propbaits and #11 Floating Rapalas) and crankbaits (Norman Baby N's and Rattletraps) are catching schooling fish over open water areas, especially weed patches on the mid-depth flats in 6-12 feet of water. Fish have been hard to pattern though, and you should be ready to be flexible. Lots of fish are schooled up, but with weeds in limited supply, and baitfish schools hard to pin down this season, you might have to actually cover some water to find fish consistently. Grubs like a Kalins or Zoom Fat Albert can provide you a knockout punch in these situations, and I caught plenty of fish this week just working a grub on some mid-depth flats. Texas rigged lizards, tubes, skirted grubs, and wacky worms are all catching fish, especially off the shallow rocks, but as always, if the bite is tough, try a jigworm. Browns and pumpkins have been outproducing greens and watermelons for me. Live bait on slip sinker rigs are catching a few fish for anglers making solid drifts over productive areas, but try to keep your leader a bit longer to keep you bait higher in the water column.
Walleye fishing has been tough. With limited weeds, fish are hard to pin down. Slip Bobbers, jigging with live bait or drifting with lindy rigs have been productive, especially when using small suckers or leeches for bait. In the evening, a few anglers are still catching fish by working rapala minnow baits over any isolated weed clumps on mainlake points and humps they can find. 12-15 FOW seemed to be the best before the weather shifted.
Northern Pike fishing was slow, but steady. The best way to catch pike is a small sucker or medium to large shiner on a slip sinker rig with a flourocarbon leader. Drift along the deeper edges of the weeds you can find in 12-18 feet Up shallow- Lipless crankbaits, buzzbaits and spinner baits are still producing.
Musky fishing has been pretty slow. Anglers continue to report lots of lazy follows, so quality figure eights are an absolute necessity. Topwater and jerkbaits are still catching some fish, but with weeds hard to come by, plan on covering some water.
Trout fishing in the stocked lakes and ponds continues to be a great way to catch some keepers. The fish have moved into the deeper water, so tightlining or slip bobbers are the way to go. Watch for them on your electronics and then set up just above them.
Good Luck Out There. Drop me a line if you need some help before you hit the water. Email me here