Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Surface water temperature on the area lakes and rivers is currently in the low to mid 50’s.
Panfishing on the area lakes has been good the last week. The key to catching panfish in the spring is to look for warmest water temperature along with green weeds. Prevailing winds will help determine which part of the lake to look for the warmest water. During warm, sunny days bluegills and crappies will move into shallow, dark bottomed bays, channels, and marsh areas in search of warm water and food. Afternoon and evening hours are the best times to fish when the water will be warmest. Small baits, slow presentations, and light line must be used with the cold water temperatures to catch fish. When panfish are in these shallow water locations, use your trolling motor and make long casts so you don’t spook the fish.
Crappies can be caught using a small fathead or rosy red minnow baited on a #8 Tru Turn hook suspended under a small pencil bobber or rocket bobber. Casting a 1/32oz jig dressed with a small plastic tail and wax worm can also be effective.
Bluegills anglers will do best using an ice fishing jig or 1/80th oz. ball jig baited with a spike, wax worm, redworm, or small plastic tail. A black ant fly or bluegill bug tipped with a wax worm or spike also works excellent. Suspend these under a casting bubble or rocket bobber and make long casts for best results.
The Rock River in Fort Atkinson and Jefferson has been producing Post-Spawn Walleyes, Saugers and Catfish. Anglers caught the most fish near deeper holes. A 1/4 to 1/2 oz. Hair Jig or a Leadhead Jig dressed with a minnow or a 3” to 4” plastic tail such as a Moxy, Pulse R, Ringworm or paddletail produced. A three way rig with either a floating jig, streamer fly, or #4 hook baited with a minnow was effective as well. A few catfish were caught in deeper holes using a river rig baited with a nightcrawler, minnow, or stinkbait.
The Wisconsin River at the Dells, Prairie Du Sac, Nekooska, and Petenwell is also producing Walleyes and Saugers. Walleye were caught using a jig dressed with a 4” plastic tail or minnow, slip sinker rig and minnow, or casting crankbaits. Crappie and Whitebass fishing will pick up soon.
Please practice Catch and Release for the Future of Fishing.
Mike Smith & Becky Smith