A beautiful weekend is upon us! Not just due to the weather but in part due to the fishing action! I have been out a handful of times since my last report and I gotta say… Ohh Baby!
No matter where you find yourself here on the Winnebago System, there is something hitting on all ends. The rivers, the lakes, and the channels are all possible areas to have on your itinerary as you plan your attack this weekend. The question that comes into play is the one that we all face on each trip out: what do you want to catch and what tactic do you want to utilize?
The channels have been hot from Lake Winnebago all the way through the Upper lakes. Crappies, gills, and perch are being found on structure edges and in new pockets of weeds that are emerging. I have seen some nice crappies being taken while utilizing VERY small jigs with tiny plastics, held up under a float, and popping them back throughout the retrieve. Others have chosen the live bait route and have presented to their targeted panfish, minnows or crawlers on small gold hooks. Some very nice fish are being caught.
The white bass action is in full force throughout the river systems and Upper lakes. While I haven’t heard of huge numbers being caught on Winnebago, I have seen the fish through the Fox in Oshkosh leading all the way up to New London. While most are working fly rigs, some have elected to cast spinners, cranks, and even twister tails in pockets of fish that had been located using electronics. The senior center, Rainbow Park, 41 Bridge, Wolf in Winneconne, and the upper Wolf (around the Rat) have all been hot. This is certainly some fun fishing for the family!
Ah yes. My favorite area. Locations? Well… Fremont into Winnebago! A huge area to cover that’s for sure, but there have been fish being caught throughout. It’s been incredible! Live bait presentations have been the sure-fire way to put fish into the boat. Dragging leeches and crawlers on jigs in the river systems has certainly taken a lot of fish. Slip-bobbering reefs, shorelines and points have also taken fish. When slipping, be sure to save an open rod for the jigging, whether with live bait or plastics. I have seen firsthand that using leeches has certainly cut down a lot, but not all, of the rough fish numbers in one’s boat.
If you like to troll, fish are being taken on cranks. Running shorelines off the fish highways has been hot. I am someone that likes to try other tactics before trolling, but it’s such a valuable tool to have while out. The best depth range has been looking to be 6 FOW. The Salmos and Flickers have been hot as usual. One thing I will point out regarding cranks is that you shouldn’t be afraid to cast a point, reef or shoreline before you get anchored up to slip it. Get the deeper running Flickers (I like #7’s) to really pound those rocks. I like to use the cranks to find the most active fish on a structure, before slowing the presentation down into a live bait form.
The Winneconne Bridge was sure fun last night. While numbers of people were out, and I was very lucky to get a spot, I was able to catch five perfect eating size fish off of the leech rigs I was presenting. While it was very hard to do, I was able to gather enough footage for a bridge fishing video that I will be editing and uploading next week. Be sure to subscribe on the YouTube channel (YouTube.com/OBoutdoor) to get a notification that it was uploaded!
I hope you all have an awesome weekend! The fish are there, the weather is great, and this weekend looks like what I’m going to call the first “major” kick-off to open water season. The launches and the water will be busy so get to where you’re going early and have a great time.