Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report 11/5/12

The weather we experienced so far through October, is what I would categorize as a “classic fall”. This is a seemingly rare event lately, as in recent memory we have had a number of years with unusually warm periods in autumn that continually warm up the water that had just cooled off and thus affecting the bite. In the fall, warm fronts are great for watching football games or raking the yard, but have a similar affect on fishing as a cold front does in the summer. I won’t say fish stop biting, I don’t really believe fish ever really do – we just sometimes don’t effectively react to environmental changes and struggle to do well when rapid changes occur.

Fishing has been incredibly consistent for some of us, as a catchable population of walleyes and saugers in Lake Wisconsin have been pretty much in the same locations for a month now, and more are showing up all the time. If the weather during the month of November follows suit with October, it is only going to get better. We have had significant rains on a regular basis that creates current and I believe, stimulates ongoing movement up the lake and into the river to wintering locations. The river was up to 6190 CFM at the Kilbourne Dam on October 30 which is the most significant flow we’ve had in many months. Walleyes and saugers should be moving into the deep holes in the river and turning on now so if you need a place to get out of the wind, keep that in mind. As for the lake, focus on the deep break lines from 15’ to 20’ (generally) within a half mile of either side of the trestle, specifically the “tongue” areas that look like underwater points along the channel edge (the spot on the spot). The 3″ & 4″ Authentix Moxi Ringle from BFISHN Tackle on a 1/4oz to 3/8oz Precision Jig has been out fishing EVERYTHING else 5 to 1 the last couple weeks. Tip it with a minnow or fish it plain, or try adding scent like Smelly Jelly to the plastic (old guide trick). One thing to note from the recent brief warm-up is that fish are not biting all day long. It will be slow and then a flurry for an hour and then slow again. When the leaves are all gone and the water temps stabilize in the low 40’s – that’s hammer time!

Contrary to what I’ve just wrote, I have been frequently contacted recently by fisherman grumbling about not having much success. We all struggle finding active fish at times, it’s why it’s called fishing and not catching, but I suspect the issue is likely one of three things for most of these folks:

1. A timing issue (e.g.) choosing to fish in the morning when the major feeding window was in the afternoon. Often success in fishing is not an all day long event, it is short periods of increased activity that you have to capitalize on, and attention to the details such as feeding windows impacted by the sun and moon (moon phase, sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset) can make all the difference on some days. Some days it’s like magic, some days it’s not, but you can try stacking the odds in your favor by looking up this information when you plan your trip.

2. Lack of the proper tools such as a GPS with a detailed lake map chip. If you haven’t already, and you’re serious about wanting to do well more consistently, you really should consider making the investment in a GPS device with an updated lake map. This can mean the difference between catching a fish and catching a bunch of fish.

3. Boat control. Controlling your boat’s position and speed relative to the cover or structure you’re fishing whether you’re trolling, drifting or position fishing is critical to success and a GPS with a map chip helps enormously.

I will add that it is critical to have CONFIDENCE in what you are doing as well as be FOCUSED on what you are doing. You can direct someone to exactly the right location, tell them the best presentation, color etc… But they still have to pay attention to the innumerable variables like wind, weather, boat control, moon related feeding windows, and on and on. If you are jigging and happen to catch a nice walleye or sauger, were you paying attention to what you were doing at the time? Do you remember how you were jigging? Were you snapping it off the bottom, dragging the jig, or just subtly lifting it 2″? Did you glance at your GPS/graph to note the depth and location before the wind blew you off the spot as you took your foot off the trolling motor foot control to reel in and net the fish so you can go back and repeat what you just did? Attention to these details will increase your catch.

Tight Lines,

Gary Sanders

Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

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