Changing water temps, season mean transition time for fish

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Dave Duwe | May 27, 2014

Geneva Lake 5/25 through 6/2
The water is warming nicely and therefore the fishing is improving. The Memorial Day weekend is showing an increase in boat traffic but the fishing pressure has not been that strong. The smallmouth bass are starting to move in to spawn and now is the best time to catch the nice smallies.

Smallmouth bass are scattered in 12-15 feet of water. The best location has been the spawning flats such as Belvidere Park, Elgin Club and the former Northwestern Military Academy. There are two ways to approach the fish. The first is a 1/16-oz. white hair jig or the second is a half-oz. football head jig with a root beer-colored crayfish trailer. Within the next week, the fish will be solidly on the spawn and is the best time to catch them.

Largemouth bass have been active in Abbey Harbor or in Trinkes. I've been catching between 15 and 25 per trip. The best approach has been split shot rigged night crawlers or using split shot rigged Chompers in green pumpkin color. Look for the fish by the outwash of the motors, the fish seem to stage in the slightly deeper water.

Lake trout fishing has started in the main lake basin. I had one outing so far and caught an 8-lb. fish in 114 feet of water, 108 feet down. The fish was caught on a green evil eye spoon. We had several other hits but weren't able to land them. One of my guide clients said he caught one 40 feet down, which inspired me to try for them, this is the earliest I've tried for them. They appear to be very tight to bottom.

Rock bass have started to move and become very aggressive. The best depth is the 10- to 12-foot range.  Look for the most action by Linn Pier or by Belvidere Park. The best success has been on night crawlers and fat head minnows.  I've been using a split shot and a single hook.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water.  For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at (608) 883-2050.

Delavan Lake 5/25 through 6/2

With the Memorial Day weekend, fishing traffic has been intense. The fishing has been improving daily, most of the lake fly hatch has subsided and the fish are again biting. The water temperature is rising and the bluegills are moving into the shallows.

Northern pike have still been very active in the 6- to 10-foot depth range where there are weeds. The best location has been in Viewcrest Bay or in the Highlands Bay. The best approach has been slip bobbered medium suckers. Another method is to free swim small suckers on a spinning rod with 20-lb. fluorocarbon. You cast out your bait and let it do what it does. We caught several bass and northern using that method.

Largemouth bass are starting to spawn. They are in 2-4 feet of water. The best location has been by the golf course or back in Viewcrest and Highland Bay. The best approach has been green pumpkin Senkos or Zoom Flukes. The fish have been scattered so you need to keep moving for the most success. 

Bluegills are starting to move into the shallows to prepare for spawn. The best location has been inside of Browns Channel or in front of Lake Lawn Resort. In the next week the bluegill fishing should be fantastic. My best presentation is a small ice jig with a leaf worm. I position the bait about 4-5 inches above bottom or weed growth. 

I tried crappie fishing last week in the normal locations and caught none. With the lack of weed growth this year the whole pattern has changed. I believe the fish are in 6-8 feet of water because I fished several locations where they typically are in 10-12 feet and haven't located them.

Walleye fishing has been slow. The best action has come off of the point that comes out of Township park in the evening. Success has come off of casting jig heads with twister tails or Rapala Husky jerks in chrome and blue.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water.  For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at (608) 883-2050

Daily Reports
5/25 Geneva Lake, sunny, 70 degrees, light winds, water temp 60 degrees.  Caught one 8-lb. lake trout. Took my son and friends out for a day of fun fishing. We caught one lake trout on a green evil eye. It was caught in 114 feet of water, 108 feet down. Had several other hits, but couldn't get them in the boat.

5/24 Geneva Lake, sunny, 65 degrees, light winds out of the west. Water temp 60 degrees. Caught 25 largemouth bass, 1 smallmouth and a bunch of rock bass and bluegills. The largemouth bass were caught in Abbey Harbor and the rock bass and smallmouth were caught in the main lake by Belvidere Park. The best bait was a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best depth in the main lake was 12 feet of water.

5/23 Delavan Lake, sunny, 70 degrees, SE wind at 5 mph. Water temp 61 degrees. Caught and kept 22 bluegills, caught and released two largemouth and four northern pike. Pan fish were all caught in Lake Lawn marina and the pike were caught in Viewcrest on medium suckers fished underneath a slip bobber.  The panfish were caught on leaf worms in about one foot of water. With the rising water temperature, the fish are preparing to spawn.

5/22 Geneva Lake, sunny, light west wind, 65 degrees, water temp 57 degrees. Caught one largemouth, 13 smallmouth – the largest at five lbs., and one 16-inch crappie. All the fish were caught on a 1/16 oz. white hair jig with a pink head. Fished most of the west end of the lake. The best depth was in 12-13 feet of water.

5/20 Delavan Lake, sunny, 65 degrees, W wind at 10 mph. Water temp 59 degrees. Caught  12 northern pike and one smallmouth. The best bite was in seven feet of water using medium suckers fished beneath a slip bobber. 

5/19 Delavan Lake, cloudy, 55 degrees, W wind at 20 mph. Water temp 56 degrees. Caught one largemouth at four lbs. and 13 northern pike. The bite was slow due to the lake fly hatch. The fish were caught in seven feet of water, about three feet down in Viewcrest Bay. We used medium suckers fished beneath a Thill slip bobber.

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