Where is spring? These cold nights are holding up the show in serious fashion. We need a stretch of sunny days and warm nights in a bad way.
Okay, Now that I have vented, let's get down to business.
Crappie are starting to migrate into the shallow water. The relationship between warm afternoons and a solid bite cannot be denied. The water remains relatively cold for this time of year, and the warmer afternoons are triggering the early fish to bite.Expect this bite to pick up as it warms up.
Look for the fish in shallow, dark bottom areas that have a north facing shoreline, like bays or boat channels. A tail-hooked fathead, waxies on an icefishing jig or a crappie sized tubejig are always solid options. Fish can be very shallow, but some of the bigger fish will be as deep as 15 feet. Green weeds or wood laydowns increase your chances of finding active fish. Try Stumpy, Bay Five or Icehouse Bays on Okauchee, The North end of Garvin, the finger bays on Kessus, the boat channels on Nagawicka, the north shoreline of Ashippun, or the north end of either Pine or Golden lakes are consistent producers of early crappies.
Need to get your bass fix? Take a day trip up to Lazy Lake. I've heard from two trusted sources that the fish are biting. Jerkbaits and jig/chunk combos are producing. Remember the Lazy Lake rule: Black and Blue.
Rock River: The walleye spawn is wrapping up in Jefferson. The bulk of the fish are doing their business and starting to move into the post spawn phase. As usual, the Whitebass followed the walleyes into the river, and they are staging for their spawning process. Jig and minnow, jig and twister, three way rigs, small mepps spinners or small rattletrap/lipless crankbaits are your best options for right now. If you aren't catching fish where you are, be prepared to move. The schools of whitebass are reported to be large, and if you aren't catching fish, you're probably not on them.
Depere: The larger fish have moved in and the "zoo" has started. John Gillespie's annual show there was just filmed, so expect the crowds to get even bigger. Reports from my sources there say that alot of fish are being taken this year on a slip sinker rig dragged across the bottom. When I lived "up nort'" we used to use alot of lipless cranbaits, shad raps and rattling stickbaits. Either way, be prepared for a crowd, and if possible, try to focus your attention on the water to the early evening or overnight hours for your trophy hunting.
Wolf/Fox rivers: Winneconne and Oshkosh have both been active the last 10 days. Fish are reported to be on the move. Whitebass fishing is picking up.
This weekend is the fishing clinic weekends. Email me if you require additional information.