An extended cold front has moved through the Winnebago land area, bringing cooler temperatures, rain and some wind into the general area. This was a huge departure from the previous record setting heat seen during the month of July. Lake Winnebago has seen a huge reduction in the top water algae, along with a serious and drastic water temperature change. Water temps have plummeted to around 70 degrees, falling from peaks of 91 degrees several weeks ago. Water clarity is variable around the lake, but generally allows visibility to about 12 Inches (very stained). Another large fly hatch occurred over large stretches of the lake this past week.
Fishermen have suffered through the weather changes. Many of the sport species of fish are in negative feeding moods, making for many frustrated anglers during the extended cold front. However, there are days of solid activity, especially with perch.
The perch bite continues to be best on the southern third of the lake. Large groups of anglers can be found on the east shore from Pipe down to Fond du Lac. To a lesser extent the same can be said for the west shore starting a t Kalibus Reef , following the weed lines down to Fond du Lac.
In Fond du Lac, there have been solid schools of perch working along the front of Lakeside Park, working all the way out to the Third Reef. This is one of the better bites on the lake currently. Fisherman’s Road launch is parked shut nearly daily, as schools of perch can be found throughout this general area. The number of fish being reported has been declining in the area, partially due to the heavy pressure by fishermen. It is not unusual to find packs of boats in the 20-40 boat range in a tight area.
The walleye bite has been shut down. It is the “dog days of August” so that is not unexpected. Earlier this week an active school of mid-sized eyes were present just south of Columbia Park. These fish were concentrated in 10-13 feet of water, and liked the wobble of the Salmo Hornets behind Off Shore Planner Boards. By Sunday, these fish had disappeared or had lock jaw. We trolled this area and found large schools of fish on the graph that were unwilling to consume any presentation. Reduced water clarity may be a contributing factor also.
Unfortunately, walleyes have ample food source currently. The large fly hatch provides food 24/7. The young of the year are now ready for consumption, and a mainstay of the walleye’s diet. These walleyes have food available constantly, so there is no need to chase a meal. Reaction strikes are your best bet right now.
White Bass continue to be active in the deeper water. Try trolling crank baits at 2.2 to 3.0 mph to target these fish in the upper levels of the water column.
Black Bass (Small and Large) were very scarce for us this week as we made several attempts to attract these fish. The same was true for Northern Pike.
And there are the sheepheads…..and more sheepheads…and more sheepheads….and more sheepheads.
I wish I had more to report, but that is the reality of Lake Winnebago right now.
River Haus is in the process of adding a new parking lot to the property, which will give some added parking to the sport shop in Fond du Lac. Don has brought in some specialty “perch worms” for the perch jerkers. Be sure to stop by on Brooke Street to check out a great selection of live and artificial baits.
Get on the water soon. It will be hunting season in less than a month, so better stock up that freezer full of filets for the Fall fish fries. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email. Have a great week!