Dick Smith's Live Bait & Tackle

I-94 & Hwy 83
2420 Milwaukee St.
Delafield, WI 53018
(262) 646-2218

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Becky Smith's

Fishing Report

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Colder weather has limited the amount anglers fishing the rivers for Walleyes lately, but the best fishing is yet to come! Water temperatures were reported to be in the upper 30ís. The water level on the rivers is low with slow current. With the cold water temperatures, slow presentations, live bait, and the lightest jigs/rigs to maintain bottom contact is needed. A stinger hook must be used for light biting fish.

Anglers fishing the Rock River in Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, and Indianford reported catching many small male walleyes and saugers, with a few keepers. Anglers fishing in boats have done best drifting near deeper holes or current breaks while vertical jigging. A 1/8th to 1/4oz jig baited with a 3Ē plastic tail, minnow, or both or a hair jig & minnow have produced. A slip sinker rig or split shot rig baited with a minnow has produced finicky walleyes. Shore-line anglers have done best using a three way rig with either a streamer fly, floating jig, or #4 hook baited with a fathead. Casting jig and plastic combos have also produced.

The Wisconsin River at the Dells, Prairie Du Sac and Nekooksa; Wolf River at Fremont and Winneconne; Fox River at Depere and Oshkosh; and the Mississippi have also been giving up walleyes.

With the help of wind, sun, and rain, most of the smaller lakes are now ice free! The large, deep, or wind protected areas should be ice free soon. Itís almost time to hit the water in search of panfish! Use caution if taking a boat out on lakes that are partially covered with ice. The wind may switch and cover the launch area with ice. Donít have a boat? There are many shoreline opportunities on the area lakes to catch panfish.

Bluegills will be found in warmest water locations. These will usually be found in shallow, dark bottomed bays, channels, and marsh areas. Northern ends of lakes generally warm fastest, so concentrate on these areas first. Green weeds or wood will also hold gills. Small baits and light 2# or 4# test line must be used this time of year to catch gills. An ice fishing jig baited with a spike, wax worm, redworm, or small plastic tail will work best. Suspend these under a small bobber and make long casts for best results. Afternoon hours is the best time to target gills when the water is the warmest.

Crappies should be found suspended outside warm water areas. As warm weather approaches, the crappies may move in shallower just in search of warm water and food.  A small fathead minnow or wax worm baited on a rocker ice jig or #8 aberdeen hook suspended under a small pencil bobber or rocket bobber will work best. Casting a 1/64oz jig dressed with a small plastic tail can also be effective.

Anglers have been fishing the open water of the Lake Michigan harbors for brown trout. Casting a 3/8oz darter jig dressed with a 4Ē Gulp minnow or paddle tail was effective. Soaking a spawn sac or medium golden shiner minnow on a #6 Octopus hook suspended under a slip bobber worked as well. Casting Cleos, Kastmasters, or Krocodiles can also produce.

The Root, Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Pike Rivers have produced a few steelhead. Much needed rain would help bring more fish up river. Soaking a spawn sac under a slip float will produce, as will flies, wax worms, and small spinners.

Good Luck!
Becky Smith

Where to Fish


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