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Winnebago System Fishing Report 07-14-17

Another fun weekend is upon us! It’s looking to be a beautiful weekend in the forecast and I’m sure a lot of you can’t wait to hit the water… myself included! With a busy weekend instore for the Winnebago System, here comes a weekend ready fishing report to help you hopefully get an extra tug or two on the end of your line.

It doesn’t happen too often on our system when the first spot holds the quantity and the quality of fish we’re after, but yesterday, Lady ‘Bago opened up her gates and it was a blast. After getting the boat dropped, I began contemplating what location and tactic were going to be the first ones on the radar. There were so many options on the table as there are so many great bites going on right now. Before we jump into my choice, let’s first touch on a couple that have been showing some great results.

If you are hunting down Walters in the weeds, get some leeches and crawlers, and start jumping cane beds. On the outside of some of the cane beds throughout our system, there is also some submergent vegetation pockets. While it’s always a good idea to think that the actual cane beds hold the fish, these outside pockets can certainly produce fish as well. By utilizing the smallest jig possible to feel the action of the jig which is holding either a juicy crawler bit or a leech, one can be so successful bopping around from bed to bed until we find an active area. One tip I’ll leave you with in this area: You must be stealthy when approaching these beds and the surrounding pockets, not only on your approach, but also when presenting the jig into the given area. If you aren’t careful, you can easily spook the fish you seek.

Maybe you’re not into weeds and like trolling? Well, harnesses and cranks have been a blast as well! By either working the shallower cuts and contours of the Upriver Lakes or dropping into the deep wastelands of Winnebago, fish are showing themselves in some awesome numbers. Salmos and Flickers are the main choices for the cranks (is that a surprise?), but I have been hearing a lot more reports coming off the Salmos. If my trolling rods are getting wet and brandishing cranks, most of the time, the boat will run a 1.8-2.2mph speed, whereas, if the harnesses are buzzing around, I like the .8-1.2mph speeds. With the possibility of some stronger winds this weekend, if you are looking to troll, I would suggest cranks over harnesses unless you are fishing some areas with less wind. This is mainly due to boat control, as slower speeds are needed (usually) to effectively run a harness.

Well, if you’re like me, you love slip-bobbering and jigging - reefs, points, breaks, etc. If so, you’re in luck as that is what I went for yesterday… jigging reefs. With the winds yesterday coming out around the 15mph or so strength, I didn’t see a single fishing boat on the way out from the launch on the Westshore. Because of this, I knew I had an awesome chance at getting on one of the humps and bumps the Westshore holds and having it all to myself.

When I’m reef jumping, I approach each reef thinking it holds two types of fish – fast fish and slow fish. I hardly ever use an actual anchor as the spot-lock feature on the Minn Kota works great. This makes for a quick and easy “run-and-gun” style of fishing that we use so often on the hard water. The technology we have available to us these days is certainly amazing.

When I get on a location, the Flickers come out and I will cast the reef quickly and efficiently to cover the area for any highly active fish. Before leaving, I slow it down, looking the less active fish with a jig, which either holds a plastic, a crawler or a leech. With not even one highly active fish found on the spot I chose yesterday, the jig came out, brandishing a crawler. The outer edge didn’t hold any active fish so I jogged in a few feet… and whack! The fish started pounding once I realized they wanted a very quick drag across the bottom, without hardly any pause. Now I only really fished this reef for a good hour, but I hooked into quite a few fish during this time and all of the fish were released. This fast-paced hour of fishing action will be shown in the newest video that will be uploaded to the OB Outdoors YouTube Channel next week. If you want to get a notification as to when it’s uploaded, make sure to jump on the channel and subscribe! (

I can’t stress it enough and I know I sound like a broken record… but make sure you have all known tactics at the ready. Our system can either reward us dearly or spank us so bad it leaves a bad taste in our mouth… on any given day! No matter where you find yourself this weekend, I hope you guys are able to make the most of it and have an awesome time throughout it. Until next time,

“Tight Lines. Stay Dry.”

- Kyle

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