FINALLY, fall is upon us! The leaves are turning, people are headed to the woods bow hunting, and the rest of us are enjoying the lack of boat traffic here in Madison. "What is biting and what are they biting" you may be asking. Well lets get right into it.
TMAE Client Brooke with a nice Lake Monona Muskie caught on Sunday
With water temps finally under 65 degrees the "fall feed bag" is now being put on by just about everything that swims in the Madison Chain. This has been especially true for the muskies. The topwater action has been incredible on both Lake Monona and Waubesa with lots of fish being caught in 3 to 8 feet of water. Hot lures include walk-the-dog style stick baits, Lake-X Cannonballs, Lee Lures Water Choppers, as well as Flap Tails. Other sub surface lures that have been especially productive include single 10 and double 8 "cowgirl" style spinners, Musky Innovations Big Joes, Chaos Tackle Regular Medusa, and Monster Lures Squirkos.
Thus far there hasn't been much report on any kind of sucker bite, however in most cases suckers aren't very productive until the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. Key areas have been both shallow weed beds, defined weed edges from 7 to 12 feet of water, and anywhere you can find bait breaking the surface. Even though the temperatures are dropping it is important not to rule out shallow water.
Bass have been frequenting the same locations as the Muskies on both Lake Monona and Waubesa, as well as Mendota (minus the Muskies). Weeds have been the ticket for locating bucket largies. Admittedly many of the larger Bass (5lbs and up) were caught on Muskie tackle. Hot baits over the last week have included spinnerbaits, topwater poppers and Zara Spooks, as well as swim jigs. Deep diving crankbaits have also been producing fish on deep weed edges.
Walleye have also been putting on the feed bag, especially on Lake Waubesa and Mendota. Lots of fish have been taken trolling crankbaits and casting stick baits at night in 8 to 15 feet of water along weeds. As the water continues to cool, the fish will work closer and closer to shore providing excellent shore fishing opportunities until ice up. Stay tuned for walleye updates in the coming weeks!
Panfish have been somewhat scattered over the last couple of weeks, with fish both shallow (5-6 feet) and deep (10-20 feet). Live bait seems to have been slightly more productive than soft plastics. The majority of the panfish action has been Bluegills on Lake Monona, with a few Perch being caught as well.
Stay tuned for more Madison, WI fishing reports and articles by "liking" us on Facebook and signing up for our newsletter. Also tune in to 98.7FM WVMO The Voice Of Monona for the "Hooked On Monona" radio show hosted by Dustin Murphy.