Lakes Area Fishing Report Week of October 22, 2012
Fishing has been a shear roller-coaster just as our weather lately.
A couple weeks ago the walleye bite on Delavan was going “Gangbusters” with our first initial cool down.
With our heavy winds and cooler temps leading up to our recent “Indian Summer” fishing was no less than great.
In the past week or so the bite has been very tough for just about every species on area lakes.
Smaller lakes and our rivers have been a little more consistent.
On the bright side the King Salmon bite has been very good fishing the harbors in Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine.
The crank bait bite was going strong for a few weeks in September, but has turned into more of a skein/spawn bite recently.
A few anglers have been catching a mix of browns, rainbows and salmon on flies in the tributaries where there is water flow, which has been minimal this fall.
Fishing Report August 22, 2012
Delavan Lake surface temps dropped considerably cooling to the mid 50’s at the surface.
Fish have been found at all depths from 3 feet under the surface to on the bottom in 35 feet of water.
Lately fish have been scattered all throughout the water column.
Many fish have been caught suspended 10-20 feet down early mornings and in the evening.
Lots of casting and covering water has been vital in hooking up. Delavan is notorious for requiring several game plans as what worked yesterday may not work today.
Large mouth and Northern pike have been very scattered and have started to bite more with many medium sized fish being landed.
The northern pike have been running small in shallow water with larger fish coming out of 30 plus feet of water.
Largemouth for the most part have vacated deep water moving into the shallow weed flats or near the first break in 12-15 feet of water.
Casting crank baits has been the best plan landing nice bass, but plan on casting all day.
Fishing the deep weed line in 14-20 feet of water has been a good pattern at times, but many larger bass have been holding 2 feet of water or less.
Casting until your arms fall off comes into play trying to land your presentation at the right place at the right time.
In the shallow water about the only rigs you can fish are weed less soft plastics to get through the weeds.
In deeper water, casting slow falling baits, jerk baits or suspending cranks will produce.
Casting dense plastics such as Berkley Heavy Weight Thumpin’ Worm, Sinking Worm or YUM Dingers present that slow fall.
Jerk baits such as Berkley’s Hollow Belly or Jerk Shad can present both the slow fall and a fleeing baitfish motion.
Suspended cranks in a shad style running 4-10 feet down worked slowly above the weeds pulling out the most aggressive fish.
On calm days most fish will remain deep requiring vertical presentations or long casts working some ground in the abyss.
Fishing while the sun is low we have caught fish shallow and suspended over shallow and deep weeds.
It has migrated to a good minnow bite fishing large fathead minnows, suckers or chubs.
As the water continues to cool I will start to use large shiners as we approach post turnover
The bite has been very light so watch your line and wait for the “tick” on your rod.
Again fishing near the main points and mid-lake structure on the lake along with deep weed beds paid off.
Fish areas where deep rock and weeds meet such as Browns Channel, Willow Point, the Island and the Oriental Boathouse.
Concentrate on fishing between 12 and 18 feet of water, but do not overlook that deep suspended fish bite in 25 to 35 feet of water.
The walleye bite has been improving day to day. Many fish are residing in deep water in 22-41 feet of water feeding on deep pan fish and blood worms.
On the shallower side walleyes are holding on inside the weeds during the daylight hours and a few fish on the outer weed line out to 18 feet of water.
The night bite will continue to be more consistent until the water begins to cool more rapidly.
Lindy rigging or drifting split-shot rigged fat heads, suckers and crawlers have produced consistently.
Lake Lawn Resort, along the lake side of the Rock Wall, west of the Yacht Club, the Island, the stretch by the Gray Condos and Browns Channel has been great producers.
Look for inside bends and points along the deep weed lines to locate fish.
Northern pike continue to hold in 24-45 feet of water being the magic depth landing fish on Lindy rigs and clicker reel set-ups.
The best areas being west of the Yacht Club on the inside bend east of the Orange Marina, the stretch by the Gray Condos, Brown’s Channel and East of Brown’s Channel.
Putting time in and covering water has been the pattern in the past few weeks.
With our cooling surface temps and cool nights the bite has improved.
Big Bluegill are holding in 30-40 feet of water with many suspending over deep water out to 45-50 feet of water have been mixed in size requiring a lot of sorting.
Bluegills have been holding in 20-23 feet of water some days, although I have caught many large gills in 12-15 feet of water right in the weeds.
Do not overlook fishing in real shallow water inside the weeds as we approach the end of October.
Fishing vertically jigging Hali spoons or small jigs or casting split-shot rigs tipped with crawler pieces or leaf worms has produced.
Best baits have been leaf worms or crawler pieces and hellgrammites. Fish the large flat weed beds near Willow Point, Yacht Club and Del Mar and Assembly Park.
Perch continue to bite along Assembly Park, Community Beach and the Island in 25-35 feet of water.
Hellgrammites are the go to bait of choice although we have picked up nice perch jigging spoons near the bottom.
Crappies are at times suspended 5-20 feet down in 35-45 feet of water, others the fish are holding tight to the bottom.
I have also landed many nice crappies in the 10-12” range drifting with small jigs in 10-12 feet over weeds on windy days.
Plastics have been working in pink, purple and bubble gum.
Geneva Lake has continued to cool also being in the same temperature range as Delavan.
Geneva continues to produce some nice largemouth and small mouth in the last couple weeks.
Fishing the deep weed edge along breaks has produced drop-shotting live bait and using finesse plastics in natural colors.
Casting lipless cranks along with suspending jerk baits have produced well fishing the large flats for bass.
Fishing 12-15 feet of water has been the key depth for large mouth with many fish remaining shallow under the docks and piers.
With our cool nights many small mouth have migrated to off-shore structure biting later morning and midafternoon. Fishing finesse plastics and jerk baits have all produced.
When fishing, target areas such as Fontana Bay, Abbey Springs, Cisco Bay, Crawford’s Bar, the Military Academy, Elgin Club and Trinkes to the Country Club.
Northern pike are still hitting chubs and suckers. Chubs certainly getting the nod having a hard time keeping suckers lively fishing so deep.
Pike are still residing in 25-32 feet of water being a productive range; shallower water in the 12-15 foot range on cloudy days Lindy rigging your offering or fishing Thill slip-floats.
Small perch Lindy rigged has also produce nice pike and small mouth bass. Just a reminder, remember to count the perch as part of your bag limit and it is legal to use for bait if it was caught on the same lake you are fishing.
Small mouth have been caught in 22-33 feet of water. As I mentioned, early morning many fish have been feeding in shallower water, but quickly move to deeper water as the sun rises.
Smallmouth are still hitting suckers and chubs while fishing pike, but dragging crawlers, fathead minnows or chubs Lindy rigged or drop-shotting has been producing best.
On clear calm days I have been fishing as deep as60 feet of water fishing suspended schools of cisco and pan fish picking up nice bass.
Look for fish near Black Point, the Military Academy, Cedar Point, Aurora University, and Linn Pier or outside the bay areas with Fontana and Geneva Bay being best.
Large blue gills and pumpkinseeds still remain in deeper water in 20-35 feet out to 65 feet of water, as the perch have remained shallow in 12-18 feet of water.
Fishing vertically drifting spoons such as Hali or Swedish Pimples or drifting crawlers on split-shot rigs have produced fish.
A few crappies are still being caught near Conference and Cedar Point suspended over 50-70 feet of water fishing 10-20 feet down using white or clear plastics.
Windy overcast days have been best.
Rock River/Lake Koshkonong
Water levels have improved and seemed to be holding well.
Fishing in the river has still remained a little inconsistent, but has been producing more fish fishing near Blackhawk Island and upriver from the 106 bridge.
Slipping the current with crawlers or fathead minnows has produced best. Days when the fish have been not responding to live bait fishing plastics such as Berkley Gulp! 4” Minnows have worked well.
Walleye and sauger have been very scattered requiring covering a lot of water and spending some time making several drifts.
White bass seems to be the best bite on the river right now.
Hopefully eyes and saugers show up soon as we are already behind by the calendar!
The king salmon are on their annual run. Many fish are in the harbors and river systems.
Fishing Milwaukee, Racine or Kenosha has produced some great fishing for rainbows, browns and fall Coho and King salmon.
The bite will continue to heat up for browns and steelhead as we move closer to the end of the year.
Water temperatures are still in the 50’s; needing the 40’s and 30’s to get the bite rolling. Many charter captains are finding fish in 60-70 feet of water.
As we reach fall turnover and our next full moon, musky fishing will be at its best this fall.
Many lakes such as Monona and Pewaukee are pre-turnover and have poor water clarity along with thick weeds to contend with.
Recently on a trip to Monona, the algae bloom was out of control with less than a foot of visibility.
With our cooler weather coming at the end of the week our lakes will hopefully push through turn over getting the bite rolling as the water stabilizes.
The particular day I visited Monona there were at least 10-15 musky hunters out there experiencing a tough day.
The lakes in Waukesha County have been producing nice “Skis” fishing Pewaukee, Okauchee and Oconomowoc Lakes.
Casting buck tails and smaller cranks have produced while the sucker bite has begun to produce more and more.
Most of the leaves have fallen showing progress of our fall which means some of the best fishing of the year is still ahead!
Good Luck and Great Fishing!
Pictured below aree some recent catches out of Captain John's Boat
John Reddy a local fishing guide operates Reddy Guide Service in the Delavan area. He is a professional fishing guide and educator licensed by the Department of Natural Resources and a United States Coast Guard licensed Great Lakes Charter Captain. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.