The Wisconsin fishing opener is upon us
Saturday, May 7 is the general inland fishing opener in Wisconsin. The way things are shaping up it could be a good one here in southeastern Wisconsin. Water temps right now from Milwaukee to Madison are hovering around 50 to 54 degrees and people are already catching fish species that are legal.
Walleye anglers are still catching some fish on the Rock River, but high waters has made it a pain for shore anglers. For better action, consider going for white bass. Action has been sporadic but will be improving as the waters warm. Walleyes are being caught, but white bass are the better choice if you’re looking to get the kids out for some action, and maybe a bonus walleye might show up.
Panfish are being caught on area lakes, with the crappie action getting better and better. Pine, Nagawicka, Okauchee and some other area lakes are giving up crappies, but not in huge numbers. Some fish pushing 13 inches have been reported. All species of panfish are hanging on drops-offs and some are slipping into shallow bays, particularly in the afternoons when the sun has baked the water a bit.
The forecast shows steady and warming temps the next several days. That should push water temps in the upper 50s, and maybe even higher, which, as any bass angler knows, means largemouth could be getting ready to spawn by the opener. Anglers will find good action on pre-spawners by casting lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits. If action is slow, wacky-rigged plastics and jig-n-pig or plastic baits will be the ticket.
Muskies are spawning right now and people can watch it happen by staring off the bridge off Hwy. 16 at the landing on Oconomowoc. These fish will still be shallow, as will be northern pike, on opening weekend.
The days of staying up until 12:01 a.m. to wet a line for the opener are all but gone, but fishing ought to be great around here on opening day. The number one tip – find some great weeds and fish them. Panfish and game fish will stay close to these weeds looking for a meal after a long hard winter.