Great Fishing, Good Friends That's What it's All About!
The past week has been a busy one, most days fishing from sun up to sun down. I had the chance to fit in a trip with a friend I used to fish with frequently when I was younger. As a guide many clients ask if I fish for “fun” too. I am truly passionate about fishing, about every aspect to the sport, to the art of what many anglers come to enjoy and love. I answer with a speedy “yes” every time the question is asked. The time I get to fish alone or with an old friend seem so little, I thoroughly cherish every chance I get.
On our recent trip we did a lot of catching up on life and had the chance to fish a few areas off of the “beaten path” on Delavan Lake. The lake has been absolutely hammered this summer by anglers and finding secondary areas where fish have not been pressured is key to continued fishing success.
In our discussions we talked about the early days of when Delavan was rehabilitated and even in the past ten years how much has changed. Less than ten years ago a limit of jumbo perch was a reality without putting in 16 hours to catch them. A limit of walleyes was a common thing for most anglers fishing classic “walleye structure” in a short amount of time. I recently caught a true 10” bluegill over the 4th holiday weekend, which was also common in the early days.
There is no doubt Delavan is a world class fishery bringing anglers from afar. Please remember if you travel to any of our Wisconsin waters to fish to practice catch and release and take only what you need for a meal. I am a true believer in catch and release to maintain and manage our lakes and rivers for other anglers, but most importantly our kids to enjoy. I know this can be very a controversial subject with many anglers, but I stand behind what I believe. I have seen first hand how catch and release practices impact a fishery and what it can become.
Delavan continues to produce quality fish for all anglers to enjoy due to successful managing practices from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This year I have had many young anglers in my boat who are truly passionate about fishing. The analytical questions asked by these youngsters continue to amaze me. It inspires me further to educate and work with young anglers about the art of the sport and most importantly the ethics that go with it.
One of the greatest things about guiding is my clients all become friends. Many of my returning customers are also close friends that I have had the privilege to know along with their families. Great fishing and good friends, that’s what it is all about!
Fishing Report 7/25-8/8
Delavan Lake surface temps are hovering in the mid 80's at the surface most days by the end of the day at 85 and above. Large mouth and large bluegills are the best consistent bite right now. We have been catching quite a few yellow perch, but are ranging small in size. Fishing the deep weed line in 14-20 feet of water has been crucial to success catching 3-5 pound largemouth consistently. On calm days most fish will remain deep, although the early morning bite has been very good. Fishing while the sun is low we have caught fish shallow and suspended over deep water. We continue to do well fishing crawlers and leeches catching a mixed bag of pan fish and game fish. Fishing slow has been a consistent pattern to stick with in the heat. Drop-shotting 6-7” Finesse worms and weightless stick baits will all take fish. I have been also catching bass swimming or dragging football head jigs tipped with a Chigger Chunk trailer. 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.
The walleye bite has been consistent at night being tougher during the day. Many fish are residing in deep water in 22-30 feet feeding on deep pan fish. 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. Lindy rigging or drifting spilt-shot rigged leeches or crawlers rigged on harnesses have produced. I did well trolling crawler harnesses on Keel trolling weights for suspended fish or running bottom bouncers for fish holding near the bottom. Contour trolling along with the deep flats will produce fish. Purples, silvers and perch patterns all worked using Colorado blades sticking with natural colors. 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 to locate fish.
Northern pike are holding near the thermo cline. Fishing in 24-32 feet of water has been 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, Brown’s Channel and East of Brown’s Channel. Putting time in and covering water has been the pattern in the past few weeks. As the hot temps start to cool the bite will improve.
Big Bluegill are holding in 18-25 feet of water with many suspending over deep water 10 feet down. Fish the large flat weed beds near Willow Point, Yacht Club and Del Mar and Assembly Park. Fishing vertically jigging Hali spoons or small jigs tipped with crawler pieces or leaf worms has produced.
Perch continue to bite along Assembly Park, Community Beach and the Island in 12-20 feet of water. Hellgrammites are the go to bait of choice.
Crappies are still suspended 10-15 down in 35-45 feet of water. I have caught a few 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 produce some nice largemouth in the last week. Fishing the deep weed edge has produced drop-shotting live bait and using finesse plastics in natural colors. 12-20 feet of water has been the key depth with many fish remaining shallow under the docks and piers. Target areas such as Fontana Bay, Abbey Springs, the Military Academy, Elgin Club and Trinkes to the Country Club.
Northern pike are still hitting chubs and suckers. Pike are still residing in 25-32 being a productive range Lindy rigging your offering. 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.
Smallmouth have been caught in 22-28 feet of water. Early morning many fish have been feeding in 8-10 feet of water, but quickly move to deeper water as the sun rises. Smallies are still hitting suckers and chubs while fishing pike, but dragging crawlers or drop-shotting has been producing best. Drop-shotting wacky rigged or nose-hooked finesse worms worked along deep breaks has produced fish. Look for fish near Black Point, the Military Academy, Cedar Point, Aurora University or outside the bay areas with Fontana and Geneva Bay being best.
Blue gills still remain in deeper water in 18-22 feet as the perch have remained shallow in 12-18 feet of water. Drifting crawlers or leeches on split-shot rigs have produced fish.
A few anglers have reported crappies being caught near Conference and Cedar Point suspended over 90-110 feet of water fishing 10-20 feet down using white or clear plastics. Windy days have been best.
Rock River/Lake Koshkonong
With the hot weather and water temps the walleye bite has been a little stagnant. Fishing in the river has been producing more fish fishing deeper holes near Blackhawk Island and up river from the 106 bridge. Slipping the current with leeches or crawlers has produced.
Catfish have been hitting chicken livers, dough bait or while fishing walleyes on jigs. Many fish have been caught in deeper water fishing slack water behind an eddy or deadfall timber.
As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler the bite should improve.
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.