Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report 10/18/12

The fall colors around Lake Wisconsin are spectacular right now and the fishing for Lake Wisconsin’s walleyes is getting pretty good also. Some of the same patterns that were effective in late September, are not only still working, they are improving. The declining water temps to the high 40’s, as well as the increased current from the recent heavy rains, have caused some fish to move up the lake into more predictable locations. This is a natural progression that occurs annually and is triggered by a number of factors to include day length, water temperatures, flow or current and sometimes forage. The best is yet to come, however, when the water temperature gets down to 40° – 45º and stabilizes, fish will concentrate even more in deeper water and provide the classic “fall bite” everyone desires.

A wide variety of presentations are effective right now and that is the easiest variable to control. Location is much more critical – if you find them, chances are you can get some to eat what you’re offering. Numerous color combinations are effective and while I’ll concede that on some days color can be critical, I believe you should choose colors that you have confidence in, whatever they may be. Confidence in what you’re doing keeps your head in the game, you’ll be more focused, and put more fish in the boat.


Fish have been scattered along the channel edges from the 13′ – 15′ flats to 20′ as well as scattered along the bottom in 18′ – 23′. If you’re marking fish deeper, well, then fish deeper of course. Fish the more complex break lines near deep water, keying on “tongue” areas or the bends and irregularities along the break lines that resemble small points. It’s not just walleyes and saugers occupying these areas either, expect to run into the occasional crappie, pike, catfish and plenty of white bass as well.


• Northland Tackle Fireball jig and (jumbo fathead) minnow in 1/4 oz – 3/8 oz sizes vertically jigged with a subtle motion near the bottom. Use big minnows now if you can get them.

Colors: Firetiger, Parrot, Parakeet & gold are favorites of mine but others work equally well.

• Blade baits – A variety of them get bites, but the 1/4 oz B-Fish-N B3 blade gets my vote for the one that consistently hooks fish the best as the hooks are both sharp and appropriately sized. These are fished vertically with a snap-jigging motion and most hits come on the drop, so it is critical to maintain contact or feel with the bait as it is dropped down. In other words, don’t let the blade fall on slack line after you snap it up. Additionally you’ll want to choose a medium-heavy rod that has a fast action for good hook sets. Baitcasting rod/reel combos work great for this.

Colors: – Glow green tiger, orange glow tiger and gold plate all work, but feel free to customize yours with your own favorite color or combinations – a couple cans of spray paint in contrasting colors are cheap and fish are not too critical of art skills. Simply mask off the area you don’t want painted and spray.

• Hair jigs – A variety of materials work but plain old bucktail jigs are my favorite. Tip with either a minnow or gulp alive if desired as it can help on some days but is not always necessary.

Colors: Contrasting combinations light and dark colors such as chartreuse, orange, blue, white, green, black, purple and yellow work well and if you tie your own, try adding some strands of mylar tinsel for added flash.

• Jig & plastic – The old standby twister tails work, but new designs that have more of a shad-like profile such as the 4” Authentix Moxi Ringle from B-Fish-N on a 3/16 oz, 1/4 oz. or 3/8 oz B-Fish-N Precision jig head can be pure magic. It’s a bigger offering but hungry walleyes are looking for a meal this time of year. If the bite is slow try adding some scent or tip with a minnow.

Colors: (jigs) Green tiger, orange/chartreuse, orange tiger, sour apple, pyro-keet, black and ford blue and (Moxi’s)chartreuse/orange core, chartreuse/green core, chartreuse pepper, goldcracker/chartreuse & firecracker/chartreuse have all put Lake Wisconsin walleyes in the boat recently.

• Lindy Rig – The old stand-by Lindy Rig can be an excellent choice either with a jumbo fathead hooked through the lips or tail or tie on a Northland Tackle Gum-Drop Floater in your favorite color. (Try hooking the minnow through the head upside down to make it struggle more)

• Dubuque Rig – This is a big sauger killer! This variation of the Wolf River rig, substitutes the pencil sinker drop weight with a big, heavy 5/8 oz, ¾ oz, or 1 oz jig dressed with either hair, plastic, live bait, Gulp Alive – really whatever you want. Simply tie your main line to a three way swivel, add a 6” – 8” drop line from the three-way swivel to the jig and an 18” – 36” leader from the remaining eye on the three-way swivel to a floating Rapala or a Gum-Drop Floater/minnow combination. You’re fishing two presentations at once and big saugers love the big thump of a big jig! Drop the rig to the bottom and slowly work your way along the break line with the electric motor while lifting and dropping back.

Gary Sanders
Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report 10/4/12

As summer on Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River comes to a close, we look forward to fall fishing. In between, there is a period of transition, where the days are getting shorter, nights cooler, and the average daytime temperatures are lower. This September’s trend of steadily declining water temperatures to the mid 50’s came to an abrupt halt with the recent warm spell.  This time of year, one hopes that water temps fall quickly, bottom out and stay cool, as that accomplishes both the triggering of the urge to feed in anticipation of winter, as well as to provide some stability in their environment. Stability leads to patterns that can be discovered, learned and repeated. Nature seldom cooperates however, and we deal with what we get.

The full moon definitely helped for the last weekend in September on Lake Wisconsin. Several patterns have been effective depending on what day you fished recently, and being versatile is key. I have had some success recently, vertical jigging with a Northland Fireball jig & minnow on the channel edges. The most fish, were found right on the break from the 13′ flats to the 20′ river channel with 17′-18′ being the best depth. Additionally, some legal saugers were caught pulling Storm Thundersticks behind 4 colors of lead core. Work baits up and down the break and note what depth contact is made. Mid-lake humps topping out at 10′-13′ also held many white bass that readily take a jig & minnow combo or a Lindy rigged minnow.

With September 2012 behind us we look forward to October. As the fall progresses, note that calm, sunny days this time of year often trigger movement to shallower water of 10′ or less. Keep in mind that “shallow” is a relative term and “water of 10′ or less” can also refer to the top 10′ of the water column over deep water.

Gary Sanders
Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC