I'd like to say there's a rash of new information to give you for this weekend, but there's not.
The water level is still high on most area lakes, although the slow-no-wake provisions have been lifted for the most part. It is still a good idea to check at the launch to see if there are any special rules in place.
Water temperatures range from the low fifties (in main lake areas) to the low 60's (small dark bottomed bays) Although the daytime weather has been conductive to rising water temperatures, the cold, not cool mind you, but downright cold overnights we've been having keep the lakes from progressing to far.
While lots of fish are being caught on the days when the weather cooperates, the most active bite right now is musky. Large numbers of fish are patrolling shallow areas throughout the day. Look for areas with some scattered weedgrowth in 6-12 feet of water. Bucktails, musky sized spinnerbaits jerkbaits and gliders are all landing a fair number of high 30 to mid 40 inch fish. Okauchee has been red hot, anglers are moving lots of fish on Oconomowoc, Fowler has given up a handful and Pewaukee has been better than average. If you've wanted to give musky fishing a try, now is the time.
Bass fishing has been fair. Male bass have moved shallow, and a few nests are starting to appear. A few pre-spawn females have started to appear in the shallow areas, but the bulk of the bigger fish have not moved in as of yet. If the weather stabilizes and the overnights don't get to cold over the next little bit, expect to start seeing those bigger females real soon. Shakey head rigs are catching some nice fish, while wacky worms, texas rigged lizards, lipless crankbaits and jigs with chunk or craw trailers have been producing. Shiners, small suckers and nightcrawlers on a split shot or lindy rig have been catching some fish as well, especially in areas just outside of the traditional spawning areas. Okauchee has been giving up more numbers, but overall smaller sized fish, Kessus and Golden are giving up some larger ones, but less of them.
One exception: One report from Okauchee has a monster largemouth caught and released last week. The fish, if the report was accurate is estimated to have weighed more than 7lbs.
Walleye fishing slowed down a little the last week with the drop in water temperatures. Anglers targeting walleyes have done okay with jig/minnow and jig/plastic combinations, but the bulk of the fish are coming on lindy rigs with nightcrawlers trolled very slowly around the edges of rock areas. Pine has been better than average, as has Lac Labelle for the anglers willing to brave the launch there, while Oconomowoc, the Nehmabins and Nagawicka have been a tiche slower.
Panfish are still using shallow water, but they are relating especially tight to weed and wood cover. Look for them in 3-6 feet of water in areas adjacent to sandy bottoms. Look for them on Silver, Golden, Ashippun and Kessus.
Stocked trout are still being caught on Fowler, Lower Nashotah and Lower Genessee. The fish have moved to the deeper water, watch for them on your electronics, then vertically splitshot with a tightline or slipbobber small minnows, panfish plumpers or redworms just above the depth you see the fish at.
Good Luck Out There,