Hey gang, we're up and running with spring. The local lakes area starting to open up. Assuming we don't get another bad cold snap or do our traditional late march revert to winter move, expect that panfishing opportunities will begin in the next 10-15 days.
Meanwhile, the river runs are starting. Anglers are getting in at Depere and reporting solid numbers of fish. Oshkosh and Winnecone also are sending back positive reports.The Dells have been going for a couple of weeks, but closer to home the Rock River is set to get hot.
Pre-spawn males are moving into the river already, and anglers are starting to report that females are staging near the mouth of the river. The current flow is very strong, and the water is very high in the river from Jefferson to Blackhawk and even at Indianford. You'll need some heavy weights (1.5-2.5 oz) for your three way or lindy rigs. If you plan on drifting, bring a drift sock or some 5 gallon pails to slow yourself down. Focus your attention on slack water or eddies as much as possible. If you can get your bait into a current break, and keep it close to the bottom, you'll catch some fish. Use the large or even better the magnum fatheads, large rosie reds, shiners or small suckers.
We've got a special rack setup at the store with river orientated tackle, including a variety of jigs and rigging components. If this type of fishing is new to you, especially given the high water conditions, check out the article Ray posted on the shop's website and be sure to check out this weekend's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Outdoors article for a report on the outing I did this week with Paul Smith.
PS. If you're looking for some tips with the rivers, shoot me an email.