As water warms up, so will the fishing

NOAH BORGARDT plucked this largemouth bass out of Ripon’s Gothic Mill Pond earlier this month. Tracy Landerman photo

by Reagan Zimmerman

Big Green Lake

What’s hot: Not much

What’s not: Everything

Guide’s Corner:

Dennis Walker, Dennis Walker Pontoon Guide Service on Big Green Lake, 294-0611

With the season just starting and the weather being finicky, fishing has been a little rough, according to Walker.

“It just opened up [the weekend of May 6], so it is a little bit early. The water is still fairly cold,” he said.

Walker is hoping for some warmer weather to help the fish become more active.

Walker didn’t hear a lot of reports of anyone catching much.

“I heard they caught a few bass; there were quite a few bass guys fishing.”

They were catching mainly smallmouth bass with spinners, artificial worms and jigs.

“Lake Trout is open, but it has been pretty slow because they are all scattered all over the whole lake.”

Normally, the trout can be found in deep water, but due to the fluctuating weather and water temperature in the high 40s, they are spread out in the shallow and deep water.

“They are tough to find and tough to catch,” Walker said of the lake trout.

Panfish, bluegill, and perch can be found in shallower water. Walker suggests using nightcrawlers or fish with a slip-bobber to catch those three.

He hasn’t heard much when it comes to fish activity. There should be some white bass and walleye movement, but the water is still too cold for an accurate prediction.

Once the temperatures climb, the water will warm up and the fish will become more active.

“It is going to make all fishing better,” Walker said.

Mike Norton’s Fishing and Hunting Adventures,, 920-295-3617.

The fishing guide noted he primarily has been fishing for lake trout, which is his specialty, and they’ve ranged between five and 10 pounds.

He has been catching them in 80 to 100 feet of water, using silver spoons.

Norton has not had luck with any other bait.

“We have been trying other things, but it hasn’t been fast action,” he said. “It has just been a few large fish and not much else.”

Norton fishes for the fish that primarily live in the deeper water, which are lake trout, cisco and white bass.

Little Green Lake

What’s hot: Not much

What’s not: Everything

Guide’s Corner:

Todd Schulz, Landing on Little Green Lake, 920-398-2620.

This early in the season, Schulz noted it is hard to tell what fish are biting.

The weather is slowing the warming of the water so the fish are not as active — making it hard to judge what is hot and what is not, Schultz said.

To find panfish, anglers should go out a little deeper in the water. It is a bit slower than normal because they won’t come into shallower water until they start spawning, which hasn’t quite happened.

Right now, he is waiting for the crappies and bluegill to move into shallower water.

He suggests 10 feet of water as the best depth.

Schultz noted Little Green is filled with shallow areas perfect for bluegill and crappie fishing.

“Out here, it is just like a big bowl,” he said.

To be successful, Schulz recommends using red worms and crappie minnows as bait.

He predicts that with the warmer weather, the panfish will be more active.

“When it warms up, the panfish will come in and start spawning in the shallows and then you can move in the shallows,” Schulz said.

Walleye are most likely found out in the deeper areas of the lake or along the weed lines.

“Some of the guys this weekend were catching them with leeches,” he said.

Fun Fish Facts:

Wisconsin’s lakes and streams are home to more than 160 different species of fish.