Thursday August 31, 2017
Water temperatures have consistently been in the low 70’s.
Bluegill fishing continues to be decent on the area lakes. Look for them tucked into weedbeds in 8 to 15 feet of water or in deeper water 25 to 30 feet. Larger bluegills were found towards the bottom in both locations. A small jig or #8 hook baited with a wax worm, giant redworm, small leech, hellgrammite, or piece of nightcrawler worked best for live bait. A 1/32oz jig and plastic combo tipped with live bait was effective as well. Vertical jigging, drop shot rig, or a slip bobber rig were the best presentations to use.
Crappies were found suspended around weed beds in 8 to 12 feet of water during early morning and evening hours. During the day, look for them suspended along deeper weed lines or over deeper water. Casting or drifting while vertical jigging a 1/32oz jig and small fathead minnow worked best. A Cubby Mini Mite or Dick Smith’s Panfish Grub tipped with a wax worm also produced.
Perch were caught fishing along the bottom near mid depth sand/weed flats during early morning hours. During the day, look for them in 15 to 25 feet of water near weeds or sand grass. A 1/32oz jig or #8 hook baited with a large fathead minnow, giant redworm, or hellgrammite presented on a slip bobber rig or split shot rig worked best.
Largemouth bass fishing will be best around piers and slop, or deeper water with the warmer weather. Wacky worms, plastic frogs, pre rigged worms, swim jigs, shallow running crankbaits and nightcrawlers will work best around shallow structure. Drop shot rigs, Texas rigged plastics, wacky jigs, tube jigs, and deep diving crankbaits worked well in the deep. A small sucker or large golden shiner on a slip sinker rig or under a slip bobber worked best for live bait. During early morning and evening hours, fish top water baits over 4 to 8 foot weed flats for explosive action.
Smallmouth bass were found around edges of drop offs near rock/gravel areas. Casting tube jigs, swim baits, small crankbaits, and wacky worms produced. Drop shot rigs fished in deep structure in 20 to 30 feet of water also produced smallies. A slip sinker rig or slip boober rig baited with a leech, jumbo fathead, small sucker, or chub worked best for live bait. Top water baits were effective during early morning and night time hours.
Northern pike were very active around mid-depth weed beds. Casting jerk baits, spinner baits, buzz baits, swim jigs, and chatterbaits produced many smaller pike. Larger fish were caught in deeper structure, 18 to 25 feet, using a medium sucker or chub fished on a slip sinker rig with a circle hook and heavy fluorocarbon leader. Casting or trolling deep diving crankbaits were effective as well.
Walleye fishing was best along deeper structure in 12 to 25 feet. A jig, slip bobber rig, or live bait rig baited with a jumbo fathead, leech, nightcrawler, small sucker, or medium golden shiner produced. A lead head jig dressed with a 3” to 4” paddle tail can also work great. Early morning or night-time hours, cast suspending jerk baits or shallow running cranks over the tops of weed beds.
Musky fishing has picked up in the last week. They were found along weedlines or deeper structure. Casting bucktails, spinner baits, crankbaits, and swim baits triggered following fish. Soaking a large sucker on a quick strike rig suspended under a slip bobber will help put fish in the boat. Try fishing top water baits during night-time/early morning hours.
Catfish have been active on the Rock & Crawfish Rivers, along with Lakes Mendota and Beaver Dam. Suckers, chubs, large golden shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait worked best for cats.
The Lake Michigan Harbors of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Port Washington and Sheboygan have all been producing King Salmon and a few Browns. The best action has been in low light conditions. Vertical Jigging Dick Smith’s Glow Darter Heads with a 4-5” plastic, casting glow spoons, and crankbaits have all produced.
Please practice Catch and Release for the Future of Fishing
Becky Smith & Mike Smith