The Season is Open!
Here we find ourselves a week into the 2016 Wisconsin game fish season. Currently the weather is making patterning fish somewhat difficult, however fish are certainly biting. Panfish, particularly bluegills and crappies are moving in large numbers to shallow bays and channels. Crappie minnows, small fathead minnows, and Berkley Gulp 1" minnows have been hot rigged under a slip bobber.
With water temps beginning to get into the mid to high 50's bass are beginning to bed up on Lake Monona. Once temperatures stabilize they will move into full spawn mode, most likely in the next two weeks. Currently plastics like stick worms and tubes have been producing fish in the shallows, while jerkbaits and spinnerbaits have been producing fish on deep structure (8-12 feet of water) and weed lines.
Walleye fishing has been like other things hit or miss. Fish can still be caught shallow after dark and early morning trolling or casting crankbaits in areas with minimal weed growth. The fish seem to be moving into their typical summer patterns such as deep weed edges, rock structure, and breaks as the days go on. With water temps creeping into the high 50's, crawler harnesses and slow death rigs are going to start producing good numbers of fish, as will ripping blade baits on deep structure.
Northern action has been pretty steady on Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa in the last week. As usual, they are hitting pretty much anything you throw or troll to them, however crankbaits (especially Rapala Husky Jerks), swimjigs, and glide baits have been producing the most and the biggest fish.
Muskie action has been both hot and cold with reports of lots of follows and boated fish, as well as no follows and no fish caught. The fish being seen and caught have been found in the warmest water anglers can find and within 5 to 7 feet of water with healthy green weeds. Lure choices have varied from baby squirkos and phantoms to spinnerbaits and even topwater stick baits like the Lee Lures Fish Stick.
TMAE also competed in the Capital City Muskies Inc spring tournament on Saturday, May 14th. Fishing on Waubesa we raised 13 fish, missed 3, and were fortunate enough to boat a beautiful 42" fish. Although the weather was unfavorable with sustained 30mph winds from the north west, finding warm water and good weeds held true.
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