Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report – June 2014

Lake WI walleye fishingThe weather threw us some curves with an extended cold front in late May as well as some significant rain, but aside from just a few days, overall fishing for walleyes & saugers on Lake Wisconsin has been pretty good over the last three weeks. One of the keys to success in my boat, has been mobility. We all want to go back where we caught fish yesterday, or last week or even last month, but May fishing means that fish are on the move, so in order to be consistent, you should be too. We’ve been finding walleyes mostly shallow, and saugers on the break lines, but we are getting some very nice upper slot limit sized walleyes mixed in with the eater sized saugers on the channel edges.

Walleyes and saugers are transitioning from post-spawn to their summer patterns. In most years during mid to late May, walleyes can be found quite shallow relating to sand. Shallow water warms faster; warm water attracts bait in the spring, and thus hungry walleyes. These fish are usually willing to hit a number of presentations such as drifting a jig & minnow or jig and crawler. A simple split shot rig or a Lindy rig can also be effective as well as one of my favorite methods, dragging a jig & plastic both up & downstream. Trolling crank baits in shallow water is another tactic that works well at times too. Many of these fish in the mouth of the river are just passing through on their way to summer locations on break lines and mud flats in the lake. Additionally, a cold front or weekend boat traffic can push these fish out, so if you are not getting bit, even if they were there yesterday – move.

One of the first places to look is the first break line adjacent to the shallow flat you made contact on previously. If you mark fish but can’t get them going on a break line, switch it up and try trolling a crank bait, pulling bottom bouncers with a Slow Death rig or even vertical jig it. If you can’t get them going there, move further along to an adjacent deeper flat. Fish tend to scatter on deeper flats so presentations that cover water quickly are desirable. Nothing beats trolling brightly colored shad imitating crank baits to cover the flats quickly and trigger strikes.

If you try different locations and different techniques and still continue to struggle to contact fish, go back to where you started in the morning and start all over again. Timing can be significant in fishing. As Lake Wisconsin is a dark water system, water temps tend to rise over the course of the day. Fish are cold blooded, and activity tends to increase along with the water temps during the post-spawn to pre-summer period. You may just find that the locations you blanked on in the morning are now giving up a great bite later in the day.

Saugers have been very cooperative, and we’ve been routinely catching limits pulling crank baits on lead core lines on the main lake channel edges in 13’ to 17’. The bite hasn’t been all day long however, so going back over areas and pulling Slow Death rigs where we previously contacted fish with crank baits has produced extra fish. Vertical jigging with a half crawler has been working as well in 13’ -17’ depths.

Tight lines,

Gary Sanders

Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

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