Local Fishing Report

“In The Smiley Barn”
I-94 & Hwy 83 * Delafield, WI 53018
(262) 646-2218

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fishing continues to be phenomenal on the area lakes ! Surface water temperatures on the area lakes were reported to be in the low to mid 60’s.

Bluegills are in pre-spawn mode on most lakes, but spawning on some of the smaller lakes. The Gills will be found in shallow water looking for areas to spawn. Green weeds, piers, or wood will hold gills. A 1/64th or 1/32nd oz ball jig, ice jig, or #8 hook baited with a waxworm, giant redworm, cricket, panfish leech will work best. A black ant fly or bluegill bug baited with a wax worm also works excellent. Suspend these under a small pencil or Rocket bobber and make long, accurate casts for best results. Bluegill fishing is best during warm, sunny afternoon and evening hours. This is a very important time of the year to selective harvest when fishing Bluegills during Pre-Spawn and Spawn periods.

Crappies are in Post-Spawn mode on most lakes.  Crappies were found suspended above weeds or wood in 10 feet of water or less near warm water areas. A small fathead or rosy red minnow baited on a gold Aberdeen hook suspended under a small pencil or Rocket bobber worked best. Casting a 1/32oz jig and plastic combo such as a Dick Smith’s Panfish Grub, Cubby Mini Mite, Itty Bitty Swimmers, or Kalin’s Crappie Scrub will also be effective.

Walleyes were in post spawn patterns on the area lakes. Look for them around rock bars or weed beds in 5 to 10 feet of water. A jig, lindy rig or slip bobber rig baited with a jumbo tuffy, medium golden shiner, small sucker, leech, or nightcrawler will work best. Casting Husky Jerks, X-Raps, Rippin Raps, or floating Rapalas will attract aggressive walleyes, as well a swim jig dressed with a 4” paddle tail. Early morning or evening hours will be the best times to target walleyes.

Smallmouth bass were in various spawning stages as well. Look for the Smallies in the shallow to mid-depth range near rocky areas. A small sucker, chub, jumbo tuffy, nightcrawler, or large leech fished on a hair jig or live bait rig will work well. Casting swim jigs, Keitech Paddle Tails, suspending jerkbaits, spinners, ned rigs, or tube jigs will also produce.

Largemouth bass were in mixed stages of spawning. Smaller males will be cruising around shallower, warm water areas during afternoon hours. Larger females will be found along drop-offs, points, or weeds outside warm water spawning areas. Wacky worms, swim baits, 4” plastic worms on Slider jigs, Ned rigs, and jig and chunk combos will attract bass. Casting lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits, or spinnerbaits will trigger reaction strikes. A nightcrawler on a split shot rig or suspending a medium golden shiner, or sucker under a bobber will be the best choice for live bait.

River fishing for Whitebass has been steady on the Rock, Wolf, Wisconsin and Fox Rivers. Whitebass can be caught using a three way rig with a #6 hook baited with a large fathead minnow. Casting a jig & twister combo, small spinner, Road Runner, or a jig baited with a minnow or ½ a nightcrawler worked as well.

Catfish have been caught on the Rock and Crawfish Rivers, along with Koshkonong, Cherokee Marsh and Beaver Dam.  Fish along the bottom using cut up suckers, stinkbait, green nightcrawler, or a leech on a river rig.

Musky fishing has been slow recently, but downsizing your bait will be most effective. Small bucktails, small glide baits, lipless crankbaits, and swim jigs are good baits for spring muskies. Target drop-offs, rock bars, weed beds for best results.

Northern pike are very active. Smaller, more aggressive pike will be found near shallow structure and baitfish. Bigger pike will be found along drop-offs. A medium to large sucker or golden shiner minnow baited on a circle hook rig suspended under a slip bobber or hair jig will work best. Casting Mepps spinners, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and crankbaits will also produce pike.

Coho Fishing on Lake Michigan has been good out of all Ports. Orange Dodgers with Peanut Flies and small spoons for the Cohos are working the best.

Please practice Selective Harvesting for the Future of Fishing.

Please visit the WI DNR website for rules on possession, bag, and minimum size limits.


Good Luck!
Mike & Becky Smith

Link to Wisconsin DNR Fishing Regulations