Lakes Area Fishing Report 05/08/12-05/21/12
Fishing Report 05/08/12-05/16/12
Fishing has been very consistent in the past two weeks. With our warm weather the fish have been going into their late spring early summer patterns.
The surface water temperature has been between 60-65 degrees in the past week throwing the bite in to an excellent pattern. Before the warm up the water surface temps were well below 60 degrees.
Day to day the water has warmed substantially. Smaller lakes in Walworth County the water surface temps have soared into the upper 60’s into the 70’s.
Delavan Lake has been in the mid 60’s. Geneva has just broke 60 degrees although fish coming out of 10 foot of water or more are ice cold yet to the touch.
Game fish have been biting consistently on smaller lakes as well as Delavan Lake. The pan fish bite has been excellent shallow and out to the 12-15 foot depths.
All of the game fish have been caught on minnows and crawlers in the past two weeks. XL fatheads or small suckers have been working for game fish and crappies. Large to XL suckers have taken bass and pike.
I had the chance to fish with Ted Peck, a well-known guide and outdoor writer, on both Delavan and Whitewater Lake recently. We took part in some great fishing putting together a few articles that may be coming up in the Janesville Gazette and WI Sportsman in the near future.
Influxes of largemouth bass have moved onto beds and are hitting creature baits such as craws or lizards. Examples are Power Bait Chigger Craws, Havoc Pit Boss or YUM Craw Papis as well as YUM Dingers wacky rigged in bedding areas.
A few post and pre-spawn bass have been caught in deeper water casting crank baits such as XCalibur Rattle Baits or Twitch Baits, swim baits such as Berkley Pogys or Hollow Bellys or finesse plastics such as Power Bait Shaky Worms or Power Worms.
Fishing live bait such as fathead minnows or medium shiners fished under Thill Slip Floats on the deep emerging weed line has produced both quality bass and northern pike.
I have found bass in less than two feet of water out to 15 feet of water. The weed line into shore has produced the most in numbers, but larger fish have been caught in deeper water.
The large weed flats running along Assembly Park, lake Lawn and the rock dike has been excellent for action. The Island, Browns Channel and Willow Point have produced fish.
Small mouth Bass have been biting in 10-15 feet of water hitting minnows and Lindy rigged live-bait.
Drop-shotting finesse plastics or working Bass Stalker Football Jigs in green pumpkin or blue black tipped with Kalin’s Grubs or Chigger Chunks along the bottom has produced.
Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shads rigged on bullet head jigs has also worked well. Key on locations listed for both walleye and largemouth bass. Hard bottom adjacent to weeds will be productive areas to fish.
Walleye action has been consistent on Delavan. Many fish have been caught during the daylight hours fishing between 17-22 feet of water fishing vertically or dragging Lindy rigged small suckers or crawlers.
The optimum time has been early morning and the last few hours of the day. Casting swim baits slow rolling them on the bottom or swimming jigs tipped with Kalin Grubs or live bait has also produced.
The night bite has produced nice fish casting cranks above the weeds or fishing slip-floats with small suckers, magnum fatheads or crawlers. Brown’s Channel, the Island, the Gray Condos, The Yacht Club and Del Mar are key locations.
Northern pike have been biting more consistently in 8-10 feet out to 20 feet of water. Many fish have been relating to the emerging weed line, but have been smaller in size.
Fishing medium to large suckers Lindy rigged or under floats has been a topnotch presentation. Fishing along the north and south shore has produced equally fishing in the wind most of the time.
Target areas such as Assembly Park, Del Mar, Brown’s Channel the Island and the Yacht Club.
Blue gill fishing has been consistent for the larger fish in a pre-spawn pattern, but many have moved shallow bedding up each day.
Many smaller fish can be caught in 2-4 feet of water. The larger gills have been caught in deeper water suspended and at times right in the weeds in 8 to 10 feet of water.
Moving around and covering water is the game plan to find the active large gills. Leaf worms, helgramites and crawlers have produced.
The whole lake has been good for blue gill action, but concentrating on shallow flats near deep breaks such as the Yacht Club, Lake Lawn and Brown’s Channel are good locations.
Crappies have been caught in 6-12 feet of water suspended over weeds. Look for suspended schools using your electronics.
Fishing large flats such as Lake Lawn, the Yacht Club, Willow Point Assembly Park, Jackson Park and Brown’s Channel have been best.
Fishing small hair jigs or jigs tipped with plastics or small minnows has produced. Hali spoons have worked best tipped with leaf worms or crawler pieces have worked best in deep water for all species.
A few nice perch have been caught in deep water while fishing gills and crappies in 12 to 20 feet of water on the bottom.
Many have been 6-9 inches with a few larger fish being caught. The Yacht Club, Village Supper Club and Browns Channel have been consistent locations.
Musky fishing should pick up as the water warms. Trolling shallow baits such as Shallow Raiders, Super Shad Raps or Smithwick Super Rouges over the large flats over emerging weeds would be a go to presentation covering water.
Out from the Island, Willow Point and the Yacht Club would be areas to target. In the past week I have seen many large fish chasing crappies and gills as we have reeled them in.
Smallmouth action has been slow to start fishing the flats and the first break.
Concentrate on 10-20 feet of water on main lake flats adjacent to break lines, points and bars drop-shotting live bait and finesse plastics. Fishing search baits for pre-spawn bass has been a key strategy.
Working Booyah Football Jigs similar to Delavan Lake has been good for reaction strikes. Mid-mornings have presented a good crank bait bite in 8-10 feet of water fishing suspended baits and lipless baits erratically.
Fish flat sandy areas such as Fontana Bay, Geneva Bay, Linn Pier and Crawford’s Bar are a few of many key areas to fish.
Large blue gills and Pumpkinseeds still have been caught up to 10 inches in 8-12 feet of water fishing near the bottom.
Pumpkinseeds have also been caught on shallow sandy flats while fishing smallmouth. Leaf worms and crawler pieces fished on small spoons such as Hali or Swedish Pimples have worked best or drop-shotting live bait.
Look for schooled fish on your electronics. Geneva Bay, Trinkes, Linn Pier, Maytag Point and Fontana Bay are a few areas to fish.
Yellow perch have been shallow in large numbers and size. Many perch up to 12 inches in the past weeks have been caught in 8-15 feet of water.
Many fish are in the 4-6 foot depth range, but are smaller in size. Baby Roaches or Milwaukee Shiners on split-shot or drop-shot rigs have worked taking fish along with small jigs tipped with plastics.
Sandy flat areas such as the Yacht Club, Geneva Bay, Cisco Bay and Buttons Bay are great areas to target.
Northern Pike have been found in the same areas as the gills. Fish Lindy rigged or under Thill Slip Floats medium to large shiners or red tail chubs.
Trolling large ½ to ¾ ounce white or chartreuse spinners has also taken fish. Key areas to target are deep flats such as Trinkes or Williams Bay steep break-lines and such as the Military Academy, Cedar Point and George Williams College.
Large mouth bass have been caught up and around piers out to 12-15 feet of water. Drifting pre-rigged worms or live-bait has produced. Texas or Wacky rigged Yum Dingers in green pumpkin, watermelon and purple colors have worked best.
Casting spinner-baits and crank baits have worked also when fish are feeding actively. Elgin Club, The Country Club and Geneva Bay have been best.
Rock bass as always are biting. The biggest fish have been caught near conference point and Rainbow Point in 12-15 feet of water drop-shotting half crawlers or small shiners.
Walleye fishing has been mediocre at best fishing after dark trolling stick baits. Trolling long-lined baits such as Smithwick Rogues, Berkley Flicker Shads remains the best tactic finding and taking fish. Trolling in Fontana Bay, Trinkes and Cisco Bay are great areas to fish.
Whitewater and Rice Lake continues to present an awesome largemouth bass bite. Fishing bedding fish with similar baits as Delavan has taken fish.
The jig bite has been consistent fishing lay downs, shore stations, piers and the floating vegetation. The large bogs have held nice fish during the day.
Pitching and flipping ½ to ¾ ounce Bass Stalker Jigs with Berkley Chigger Chunk trailers around wood and floating vegetation has produced numbers and size.
The northern pike bite has been good around the Bogs and along the 12-15 foot break line fishing emerging weeds casting deep diving crank baits or spinner baits. Live bait such as medium suckers or shiners under Thill Slip Floats has also produced nice fish.
A few nice gills have been caught in 4-8 feet of water along standing and emerging weeds, but most have been smaller in size.
Lauderdale Lakes Area
The Lauderdale Chain has been consistent for just about everything. With warm water temps the bass have been bedding for some time. Many weed lines are now established and are holding fish.
Fishing wacky rigged YUM Dingers in natural patterns, Booyah spinner baits, or top water such as Rebel Pop Rs or Sizmic Toads over shallow areas has produced.
Target the stump fields and shallow bull rush areas finding large numbers of spawning bass.
Northern pike have been caught in 6-12 feet of water fishing shiners under Thill Slip Floats along the weed edge.
Crappies have been caught fishing small jigs with plastics or small shiners under floats in 8-13 feet of water near established weeds.
Blue gills have been caught in 2-8 feet of water with many fish on beds in the past week and a half. Fish for gills using an Eagle Claw #10 nor 12 Aberdeen Hook under a small float tipped with leaf worms, crawlers or helgramites.
Rock River/Lake Koshkonong
Fishing is starting to pick up with post-spawn walleyes along with saugers being caught in the Blackhawk Island and Newville/Edgerton area.
Jigs tipped with crawlers or fatheads slipping the river or casted have been best. Going with the lightest jigs you can get away with has been best. There is a monstrous surplus of river shiners in the river system creating stiff competition trying to catch fish.
Trolling the lake has been producing consistently catching post-spawn walleyes and northern pike. Crank baits have been working, but as the water warms crawler harnesses will start to shine.
Bright colors and big blades throwing out vibration has been a winning plan. Running my Minn-Kota Terrova electric trolling motor pulling harnesses behind my Church Planer Boards has worked best on calm days. Be sure to run your boards wide covering water.
A few pike have been caught in the lake and the river casting crankbaits, spinners or jigs tipped with plastics.
Catfish have been caught around lay downs, wood and along shallow water and in main river channels while fishing walleyes.
A few white bass still are hitting white or chartreuse twister tails on jigs in 1/32 to 1/8 ounce.
Fishing will continue to get better as the water warms.
Lake Michigan Harbor/Tributaries
Many of the charters are catching great numbers of fish day to day catching a good mix of salmon and trout.
Most fish in the lake have been caught in 175 feet of water into shore. The harbor bite has been hit and miss with our warm-up with many Coho Salmon, Kings, brown trout and rainbows being mixed in.
In Racine the Root River was flowing strong with our rain event earlier, but again is very low along with many of the other tributaries along the east coast.
The Milwaukee Harbor has had a strong influx of Coho Salmon and Kings showing up.
Kenosha harbor has a great number of Coho Salmon show up, most fish have been caught out from the Pike River inlet.
Trolling and casting shallow, medium and deep diving cranks such as Thundersticks, Berkley Flicker Shads or Smithwick Super Rogues have produced.
The classic Coho Dodger and Fly combos have been taking fish on lead core, dipseys and running the rigs shallow off of my Church Planer Boards.
The perch bite has been another disappointment this year. Many big blows out of the east has prevented getting out on the water this spring.
The days out in the harbor have produced smaller perch and the fish have been fewer in numbers.
The Coho bite has been excellent fishing the harbor area out to deeper water.
Best Of Luck On The Water!
A Pair of Delavan Pike Caught Fishing Suckers under Thill Big Fish Slider Floats
A Nice Delavan Slab Crappie
Another nice Delavan Northern Pike
A Prime example of a Delavan Pre-Spawn Blue Gill
Delavan is full of these beautiful Large Mouth Bass. This bass was caught fishing Texas-Rigged YUM Dingers.
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.