This past week has been incredible for walleye fishing on Lake Winnebago and Green Bay. On a normal year, the walleye fishing on Winnebago subsides drastically into July and especially August. However with the higher than normal water levels in the river system, the fishing has been anything but normal this season. High water and large amounts of bait have remained in the river since spring providing no reason for walleyes to return to the lakes.
Good numbers of 15-19″ walleyes made their way back to Winnebago about a month ago but I still believe the entire system is about a month and a half behind schedule. The water is starting to show signs of a good algae bloom but cool temps and heavy rainfall keep knocking the algae down. On calm days, walleyes are hanging out off the deep edges of the reefs in 15-19′ of water.
Trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses with Off Shore planers boards have been the best for catching the suspended fish. Most active fish I have caught have been in the 10-13 range. Flicker Minnows, Flicker Shads and Salmo Hornets have been great producers. On days with wind, the reefs are loading up with fish. Casting crank baits like #5 or #7 flicker shads in purple colors or jigging baits like the Lunkerhunt Fillet or Johnny Darter have been dynamite. Get up on the tops of the reefs which have a few weeds and cast away. The jig and nightcrawler bite has been almost non existent. It seems as though the fish want some size and speed to their baits. Perch fishing has been a lot of fun on Winnebago as well but it takes a bit of time to weed through all the 7.5 -8″ fish. For August, this has to be one of the best bites I can ever remember for Lake Winnebago.
Up on Green Bay, BIG fish continue to be the story. I have been spending equal time guiding on the bay as well as Winnebago. The mud bite out from Suamico and up to Pensaukee has been incredible. One word of advise for all the fisherman….when you find a good line of fish, do not motor back over the top of them to set back up on a troll. Go out and around the school before you get back on your line. The weekends have been terrible for this. As the day progresses, fish are spooked and spread out over a huge area due to the amount of boat traffic. Just like ice fishing, start moving away from the crowds to find fish in un-pressured areas. I have not found many fish or bait in the northern bay as of recent. It seems as though the bay is following along with Winnebago in the fact of being a month or so behind schedule.
The jigging bite on the bay has really picked up and has been a lot of fun. No real hogs yet but some solid 27 – 28″ fish along with a ton of low to mid 20’s have kept the lines tight. Deeper structure from 20-30 feet has been where I’ve found most of the active fish for jigging.
The walleye bite is incredible right now and the muskies will be soon be next. If you’re interested in setting up a trip you can contact me through my website at www.mrbluegill.com.
Tight Lines Everyone!
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