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Madison, WI Fishing Report 9/30/2017

As proper fall temperatures return to the region, the fall bite here in Madison is about to get underway. With the hopes of cool weather and cooling water in the coming weeks, we can expect some of the best fishing of the year right around the corner. Here are my top producers for the past couple of weeks here on the Madison Chain.

Walleyes have been in what seems to be a transitional period between their typical summer behavior and their fall movements. Smaller fish have been seen in shallow water after dark, while the larger fish are still being found out deep on deep weed edges, rock bars, and breaks. A handful of eater class fish have also been found in the Yahara River in deep cuts (6 to 9 feet of water). Dropshots with fathead minnows have been a top producer, while fish are still being caught trolling with larger crankbaits like size 9 Berkley Flicker Minnows. It won't be long before the shore bite kicks off here in Madison!

Muskies have been in kind of a strange mood the past 2 weeks with lots of follows, but very few fish actually committing to eating. Slow topwater like Flaptails have had lots of action, as well as bucktails and gliders. On overcast days dark skirts and dark blades seem to move the most fish, while the opposite is true on sunny, clear days. Once the weather settles into typical fall temperatures with declining water temperatures, the muskie bite will be more predictable and productive.

Bass are definitely on the chew! Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught off of deep weed edges on the main lake (Mendota and Monona) with plenty of fish still being caught up shallow. Dropshots, weedless 7" worms, deep diving crankbaits, slow rolling spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits have been my go to baits for targeting these deeper fish. Weedless senkos, swimjigs, spinnerbaits, and poppers have been producing shallow fish. The slop bite is also still producing fish on upper mud lake. Warm days really get the fish fired up in the slop.

Panfish/everything else have also been relating strongly to deep structure and deep weed edges. Lots of big gills are being caught around the Monona Terrace wall and under the John Nolen bridges. Live bait such as spikes and wax worms have been the hot bait on both bluegill rigs and under slip bobbers. The occasional crappie has also been part of the mix. There has also been a cool big crappie bite on Lake Waubesa in the basin that I stumbled upon while trolling for walleye. Shad Raps and Vexan Wasps (size 4) have been putting the hurt on the basin crappies while trolling with planer boards are 1.7 mph.

I have to apologize for the lack of online reports as I have been super busy guiding! Thank you for checking in to and making us the number one fishing website in the Madison area!

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