Here's my annual "big post" for the opener.
The current weather forecast for Saturday:
Partly sunny. A 20 percent chance of light rain showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 70s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.
Windy with some rain, but warmer this year. Water temps on local lakes are between mid 50's to low 60's.
Live bait rigging will be a great option for gamefish during the opener. Slow rolling spinnerbaits or bucktails or burning lipless crankbaits will be great options for exploring weedy areas and drop offs.
Taking a Kid Fishing this weekend? The DNR Suggests these spots:
Ashippun Lake Park
Location: In Oconomowoc, WI. Take Capitol Drive west to State Highway 16, go west on 16 to County Highway P, then take P north to County Highway K, go west on K to McMahon Road. Watch for "public access" sign.
Notes: Run by Waukesha County Parks. Park has picnic area, restrooms and shorefishing.
Location: Located on Crowbar Drive, south of Kelsey Drive. Go west from Highway Y.
Notes: Public park with ballfields, restrooms, picnic area and boat launch. Not much shorefishing, due to marshy area near shore.
Lac La Belle
Location: At the Fowler Lake Dam, on Highway 67, one-quarter mile north of State Highway 16 in the Oconomowoc, WI. Located just northeast of the beach and park on Lac La Belle. The beach and park are on Highway 16, just west of Highway 67.
Notes: Disabled accessible public fishing pier.
Little Muskego Lake
Location: Access from Idle Isle Park in Muskego, WI on the northeast side of Little Muskego Lake. Take Martin Drive to Hardtke Drive to the park.
Note: Idle Isle Park has a beach, picnic area, restrooms, accessible public fishing pier and boat launch.
Lower Phantom Lake
Location: In Phantom Glen Park in Mukwonago, WI. Take County Highway ES (Main Street) to Andrews Street, then go west into the park.
Notes: Public park with picnic area, restrooms, disabled accessible public fishing pier and boat ramp.
Location: Trout pond located on the west side of Highway 67, between Piper Road and Road X. About 3 miles north of Eagle, WI.
Notes: No facilities, but there is a picnic area with restrooms just a short distance to the south. DNR manages as a children's trout fishing pond. Although it is officially category 3 (3 bag and 9 inch length), there is a voluntary regulation for adults to catch and release, and kids are allowed to keep one trout of any size. Designed to encourage adults to take kids out and teach them to trout fish.
Location: In Nagawaukee County Park. Take County Highway C, three-quarters of a mile north of Interstate 94 in Delafield, WI.
Notes: Public beach, picnic area, restrooms and concessions, camping, shorefishing and boat launch.
Nemahbin Lakes, Upper and Lower
Location: Southeast of Oconomowoc, WI, off of County Highway DR.
Notes: County owned access on frontage road between the two lakes, Highway DR. shorefishing on Upper Nemahbin from the road right-of-way. DNR owned carry-in site on Lower Nemahbin off Sugar Island Road.
Location: Village park in downtown Pewaukee, WI.
Notes: Public park with beach and public fishing pier. Can also access Pewaukee River just below the dam. On Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Pewaukee. Boat launch and shorefishing from county park and boat ramp at the west end, on Highway E.
You can also get a list of local shore fishing spots from the right hand column or from the shop, with directions, when you pick up your bait this weekend.
Whitebass are currently running in the Rock, Fox, Wolf and Wisconsin Rivers.
Stocking Info Here.
Area Lakes that have Trout:
Fowler, Lower Genessee, Lower Nashotah, Ottawa as well as the streams at Paradise Springs.
Crappies and Bluegills: Primarily the schools are relating to weed clumps in shallow water. Newer, green weeds, reeds or small wood laydowns are attracting the most fish right now. For crappies try small fuzzy jigs tipped with waxworms, small fatheads or rosie reds. Bluegills have been biting on plastics tipped with waxworms or spikes, redworms, panfish plumpers or pieces of nightcrawler.
Best Lakes For Panfish: Ashippun,Kessus Moose, Silver, Buelah, the Geneessee lakes, Lake Five, Okauchee and the Nehmabins.
Largemouth are in a spawning to post spawn pattern. Small schools of them are chasing baitfish in the shallow water. Quite a few nests have been seen, and lots of fish have already spawned. Many of the smaller fish are also relating to shallow wood laydowns. For the best action look for LM to be along the first drop offs or at the edges of shallow bays. Later in the day they may move to the backs of spawning coves. Lindy or split shot rigs with nightcrawlers or suspending large shiners under slip bobbers are your best live bait options. Texas rigged plastic lizards, wacky worms and jigs with a chunk trailer will be good options if fished very slowly. Slow rolling spinnerbaits or ripping rattletraps around weedy cover could produce some reaction strikes.
Best lakes for largemouth: Okauchee, Kessus, Pewaukee, Fowler, Nagawicka, Golden, Pine.
Smallmouth remain in deeper water for the most part, although a few have been seen making foraging runs into rocky areas during the middle part of the day. Look for them to be suspended in the water column in deep water near points and other rocky structure. Suspending Jerkbaits, swimbaits, slow rolled spinnerbaits or twister tail grubs are good options for chasing suspended smallmouths. If you can find some fish on the rocks, lindy rigging with leeches or nightcrawlers should do the trick.
Best lakes for smallmouth:Nagawicka, Lower Nehmabin, Oconomowoc, Pine, Lac La Belle.
Walleye: Many walleyes have been seen roaming shallow flats chasing baitfish. This indicates typical post-spawn behavior patterns, which matches the water temperatures on local lakes. Bottom bouncers with spinner harnesses, lindy rigs and jigs will all catch these fish. I'd consider using a mix of live bait in the form of nightcrawlers, leeches and small suckers. Look for walleyes to relate the edges of shallow water. I'd run live bait rigs to find fish, then fish an active area hard with crankbaits like a shad rap or floating rapalas.
Best lakes for walleye: Lac La Belle, Pewaukee, Pine and Oconomowoc. A few fish are still being caught on the Rock and Crawfish Rivers.
Northern: Pike are past their post spawn blues and are feeding aggressively. Small pike are all over shallow water and you can expect the big pike to be relating to the first break. This is prime time to chase pike with live bait. Use big bobbers and suspend large shiners and small suckers around weed edges or near areas with visible panfish.
Best lakes for pike: Moose, Golden, Nagawicka, School Section, Fowler, Lower Gennessee, Okauchee.
Musky: Lots of fish have been seen recovering from the spawn, but the fish that seem to be chasing active baitfish are relating to green weed growth in mid-depth water. You never lose out by floating a sucker on a quick strike rig while casting. I'd stick to jerkbaits, gliders or small bucktails for the opener this year, and concentrate your efforts on any scattered weed clumps you can find. I'd make lots of casts to an area to get neutral fish to bite.
Best lakes for musky:Pewaukee, Lac La Belle, Fowler, Okauchee and Oconomowoc.
Good Luck out there!