This past week fishing has improved dramatically!
The fish are starting to go into their early summer patterns and the weather is also starting to act like early summer.
The largemouth bass are in the shallows and can be easily caught on either artificial lures or live nightcrawlers. The best depth is in the 5-6 ft. range around boat docks and shallow weeds. A lot of fish are coming off of white spinner baits or plastic worms. The best color is either grape or black. Due to the thick algae, try to use the lightest weight possible. I usually peg my sinker with a toothpick or use a Florida weight with the screw in holder. Some of the biggest bass I’ve seen in the lake have been caught this year. The best locations are the north shore boat docks from the Yacht Club to Delavan Lake Marina or from Willow Point to the west. The higher the sun, the closer you need to fish the docks.
Perch and Bluegills are biting in the shallows. The bluegills and perch are both in about 5-6 ft. of water. The best bait has been leaf worms or small nightcrawlers. I fish almost exclusively a small hook and bobber combination. None of the perch I caught last week exceeded 11 inches but they are starting to show up and bite. The bluegills still have not spawned but very soon they should start to concentrate in the spawning areas. Hellgrammites, when available will be the best bait to use. The bluegills usually spawn in 2-3 ft. of water on hard sand bottoms. Most of the bluegills I caught this week were by Lake Lawn, in the shallow weeds. There are still large numbers of bluegills in deep water, but finding them is a tougher task – anywhere from 15-25 ft. of water.
Walleye fishing is starting to pick up. The fish are starting to position on the weed breaks in 15-20 ft. of water. The best bait has been nightcrawlers. I’ve tried leeches several times but haven’t had any luck with them. Also when the fish are in this pattern, medium to deep diving crank banks cast down the break can produce a lot of fish. I prefer either green patterns or perch patterns. The best times of the day are early a.m. before sunrise (4:30-5:00 am) or in the evening just before sunset. I’ve had very little success during the day. There haven’t been any really good locations yet; I’ve caught fish (although sporadically) all along the south shore.
I’m still catching an occasional smallmouth bass on the weed line while fishing for walleyes. Some of the smallmouth bass have been really nice approaching the 18-inch size limit. I’ve caught all of the smallmouth bass on nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig. One of the keys is using the smallest sinker you can get away with factoring in the wind. When it’s calm I start with a 1/8 oz. Sinker and as the winds increase I switch to a ¼ oz. The leader length is approximately 18-24 inches.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063