Looks to be a nice weekend ahead. I expect alot of people to be hitting the water. If you're one of them, here's what to expect on our local lakes.
High water and water temps in the high 50s to mid 60's. In other words, prime time for shallow water fishing.
Musky have been biting and chasing aggressively. Look for them in areas with scattered weedgrowth. You can find fish deep, but the active fish are feeding up after the spawn, and are patrolling the shallow weed flats, rock points and sandy areas for food. Natural colors, like perch or shiner, or straight black have been working, and lots of nice fish are being caught. Work an area fully, don't be afraid to take your foot off that trolling motor pedal and make repeated casts to fishy looking areas. It never hurts to have a sucker out while casting, many fish that follow a bait in will convert on a boatside sucker rig this time of year. Pewaukee is giving up fish, but Okauchee has been on fire since the opener. Also consider Oconomowoc, Folwer and Lac Labelle.
Northern pike are doing many of the same things that the musky are doing, they are just out a little deeper. Look for weeds in8-12 feet of water, then fish them hard with spinner or buzzbaits. A small sucker or large golden shiner on a slip sinker rig will also produce. Okauchee, Moose, Fowler, Lower Genessee, Kessus, Nagawicka and Golden Lakes have had pike action.
Bass fishing is set for an all time great this weekend. The perfect water temperatures for a pre-spawn bite mixed with the full moon period means trophy fishing opportunities await you this weekend. Look for bass in shallow water near weeds or wood laydowns. The piers will hold fish as well. Wacky worms, tube baits jig and chunks, floating worms, and large texas rigged plastics are all great options, but also consider shallow running crankbaits or buzzbaits. For live bait, nightcrawlers on a split shot rig or large shiners under a float/bobber are the best options. All area lakes will have active largemouth bass this weekend, but focus your attention on the really good ones: Okauchee, Moose, Golden, Silver, Pine, Nagawicka, Garvin and Lower Nehmabin.
Walleye: Look for walleyes on mid depth structure or in the shallow weeds. Some fish will be patrolling the shallows for baitfish. You can catch walleyes on crankbaits, but this is prime season for live bait presentations. Jig and minnow, jig and leech, or lindy rigs with nightcrawlers or leeches will produce, especially early and late in the day. Trolling with bottom bouncers or lindy's can help you to locate fish. Try Pine, Lac Labelle, Fox, and Oconomowoc lakes for walleyes.
Trout: Stocked trout are still available on some area lakes. You need an inland trout stamp to fish for or possess these trout, but they can be taken easily on live bait (minnows or redworms) or with small in-line spinners. Look for them in the deepest holes of the smaller lakes. Watch your electronics, if you see a school of fish suspended, chances are that these are the trout. Slip bobber or vertically tight line just above them. Fowler, Lower Nashotah, Ottawa and Lower Genessee offer your best opportunities.
Panfish: Crappie action continues to be good on many area lakes. Look for fish to start to move into the reeds or onto shallow wood this week. Until then, look for schools of crappies in the shallow, dark bottomed bays or boat channels near green weeds. Tailhooked minnows below a bobber will always produce, but keep a second rod rigged with a plastic tipped with a waxworm or spike out. Some days the plastic/grub combo has been outproducing the minnows, especially for larger fish. Bluegills are starting to come in shallow, but a good number of fish are still in water as deep as 15 feet. If this weather stays consistent, the bluegills will start moving in to stage for the spawn, but this hasn't happened in any significant number as of yet.
Fowler and Lac Labelle are still slow no wake until further notice. The launch at Lac Labelle is flooded out, and the launching piers are under the water.
I'll be at Musky Mikes this Saturday from 5am to 11am. Stop in and say hello.