High winds, rain and some very cool (cold) temperatures for the start of this past week curtailed fishing pressure on the area lakes. Yesterday we finally rose to temperatures above 60 degrees and anglers were back at it. Water temperatures on the area lakes were reported to be in the low to mid 60,s. With the cooler weather, live bait will work best to catch many species of fish. The full moon period is here, which can make for great fishing.
Bluegill fishing was best along weed lines in 8 to 18 feet of water. A small jig or hook baited with a wax worm, leafworm, or piece of nightcrawler worked best for bait. A jig and plastic combo, black ant fly or small jigging spoon baited with a wax worm worked as well. Vertical jigging or a slip bobber rig were the best presentations to use.
Crappies were found around weed beds in 8 to 15 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 small fathead minnow worked best.
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 jig or hook baited with a small fathead minnow, or leafworm presented on a slip bobber rig or split shot rig worked best.
Largemouth bass were most active around weed flats in 4 to 8 feet of water, near visible baitfish. Casting swim jigs, spinners, shallow running crankbaits, or wacky worms produced. Anglers fishing weed lines or points in 12 to 15 feet of water did best using drop shot rigs, Texas rigged plastics, spinnerbaits, and tube jigs. A nightcrawler, or fathead minnow and suspended under a bobber worked best for live bait. Topwater baits produced early and late in the day during calm conditions.
Smallmouth bass action was best along breaks or near rock/gravel areas, most always near baitfish. Tube jigs, skirted grubs, wacky rigs, swim baits, drop shot rigs and jerkbaits produced. A slip sinker rig baited with a fathead or small sucker worked best for live bait. Top water baits were effective during early morning and night time hours.
Northern pike fishing was best in deeper water (18 to 25 feet) near baitfish. A medium sucker or fathead minnow fished on a slip sinker rig with a circle hook and heavy fluorocarbon leader worked best. Casting over weed flats with Chatterbaits, spinners, swim baits, shallow running crankbaits, or buzzbaits produced many smaller pike.
Walleyes were found tucked into mid depth weeds or along deeper structure in 15 to 20 feet. A jig, slip bobber rig or live bait rig baited with a fathead, nightcrawler, or a small sucker produced. Early morning or nighttime hours, cast minnow style crankbaits over the tops of weed beds.
Musky were found along weed lines or on breaks in 18 to 25 feet of water near baitfish. Cast bucktails, glide baits, spinner baits, crankbaits and swim baits triggered fish. Soaking a sucker on a quick strike rig suspended under a slip bobber will help put fish in the boat. Try fishing top water baits during nighttime/early morning hours.