Local Fishing Report

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Now is the time to be targeting walleyes on the rivers! River water temperatures were in the upper 30’s to low 40’s. Please release female walleyes loaded with eggs to spawn.

The Rock River in Jefferson and Fort Atkinson have produced Walleyes, Saugers and a few Catfish. Anglers caught the most fish near deeper holes, while larger females were caught in shallow water seeking areas to spawn.  A 3/8 to 1/2 oz. Hair Jig, or Leadhead Jigs dressed with a minnow, or a 3” to 4” plastic tail such as a Hutch’s Sauger Slayer, B-Fishn Moxy, Pulse R, Ringworm or Paddletail produced. A slip sinker rig or split shot rig baited with a minnow has produced finicky walleyes. Shore-line anglers have done best using a Dick Smith Naked Three Way rig with either a streamer fly, floating jig, or #4 hook baited with a fathead. Casting jig and plastic combos have also produced.

The Wisconsin River at the Dells, Prairie Du Sac and Nekooksa; Wolf River at Fremont and Winneconne; Fox River at Depere and Oshkosh; and the Mississippi have also been giving up walleyes.

Most of the area lakes are ice free. It’s time to hit the water for panfish. 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 may move into shallow, dark bottomed bays, channels, and marsh areas in search of warm water and food. When panfish are in these shallow areas, use your trolling motor and make long casts so you don’t spook the fish. Afternoon and evening hours are the best times to fish when the water will be warmest.

Try using a small ice fishing jig or small Dick Smith ball head jig baited with a spike, wax worm, redworm, or small plastic tail for Bluegills. A black ant fly tipped with a wax worm also works excellent. Suspend these under a small bobber and make long casts for best results.

For Crappies, try using a small fathead minnow or wax worm baited on a rocker ice jig or #8 aberdeen hook suspended under a small slip bobber or rocket bobber. Casting a 1/32oz jig dressed with a small plastic tail such as the Dick Smith Panfish Grub or Cubby Mini Mite Jig can also be effective.

Anglers have been fishing the Lake Michigan harbors for brown trout. Casting a 3/8oz darter jig dressed with a 4” Gulp minnow or paddle tail was effective. Soaking a spawn sac or small or medium golden shiner minnow on a #6 Octopus hook suspended under a slip bobber worked as well. Casting Cleos, Kastmasters, or Krocodiles can also produce.

The Root, Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Pike Rivers have produced a few steelhead. Soaking a spawn sac under a Raven float will produce, as will flies, wax worms, and small spinners.

Please practice Selective Harvesting for the Future of Fishing.

Please visit the WI DNR website for rules on possession, bag, and minimum size limits.
Please practice Catch and Release for the Future of Fishing

Good Luck!
Mike & Becky Smith

Link to Wisconsin DNR Fishing Regulations