With surface water temperatures approaching the low 80 degree mark the larger gamefish have seemed to move their deeper haunts near schools of suspended baitfish and the kids have targeted Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass by using both live bait rigs as well as finesse dropshot rigs respectively to pursue these species.
While air temperatures hovered around the low to mid-80’s, the fishing action remained hot as well as Colton, Travis, Solomon, Madison, Ryan, Joe, and Aditya all boated some great fish and shared a bunch of laughs while enjoying the great outdoors on their home body of water!
Pine Lake in Waukesha County offers some phenomenal Northern Pike Fishing for kids and families.
The trick to finding these fish is to utilize your boat electronics and scout out potentially productive areas areas while idling before even casting a line. Watching your graph is key until you come across images that indicate loads of bait fish in the water column!
When you find bait fish stacked between 25-30 feet during the summer months (Beginning of July through the end of August), you will certainly come across some aggressive Northern Pike.
Take a peak at the following video highlighting how we pulled 3 nice Northern Pike from the depths in a short morning trip on Pine.
For Aiden’s birthday fishing trips in May, he generally is looking to get after a new species of fish to cross off his freshwater bucket list. During today’s trip he was interested in chasing Northern Pike on Nagawicka Lake.
With summer coming to an end, and school about to begin, Aiden was looking to get back in the boat for one more trip during the open water season to seek out a Northern Pike or two.
Within the first 5 minutes of arriving at our initial location and even before we could get all our live bait rigs set, Aiden’s first battle with his target species was underway as the drag from the Abu Garcia Orra undoubtedly indicated a Northern Pike had engulfed his minnow.
After some coaching on how to land, photo, and safely release these fish while avoiding their teeth 🙂 Aiden quickly expressed with confidence that he would prefer to handle all the ensuing fishing action on his own with no help from me.
Whether it was fetching the next minnow, hooking them up, deploying the rig, checking the drag, monitoring weeds on the line, and of course landing the fish, Aiden was all about taking over!
THAT is what it’s all about! Nothing like the sport of fishing to help bolster confidence and excitement!
Storms were approaching throughout this 4-hour trip and we did eventually have to take a 20 minute break to seek shelter from rain and some thunder/lightning, but the clouds parted again, and Aiden was back at it to make sure we got full use of the dozen minnows we had brought along for bait!
In the end Aiden boated 9 nice Northern Pike and with these photos he’s got evidence that he’s now crossed them off his freshwater fishing bucket list. As we idled into the ramp he was already discussing what species he’d like to go after next time!
The Northern Pike on Nagawicka Lake historically provide some stellar action for youth and families during the month of July. The mid-summer rainy fronts that move through with the humid weather have really had an impact on the bite as the fish tend to fire up right before the rain jackets get put on.
Andrew had his son Collin and daughter Ashley out for a little early morning action before the sweltering air temps and humidity set in over the lake.
This crew went through a dozen minnows and we actually had to head to the shallow sand flats to catch small perch to continue the trip with bait!
In the end Ash and Col each put several fish in the boat and Collin came away with bragging rights as his first Pike of the morning ended up being the biggest of the trip at nearly 30″ in length!
Earlier this past week I had lake residents Nicky (Age 8), and Gus (Age 6) out with their cousins for a panfish extravaganza. Friday evening Nicky and Gus invited their school mates, Drew and his brother Colin, for the chance to catch Northern Pike and Walleye from Oconomowoc Lake.
The boys and their family have an ongoing fishing contest board at the house ranking the top fish caught in each species throughout the season and Nicky, especially, want to get his “name in lights” in the Northern Pike and Walleye categories after their uncle recently caught a 29″ Pike.
The 3-hour program we ran to keep the kids focused throughout the duration of their trip was to fish focused and patient for the big fish in deep water on live bait for the first 45 minutes. Then we’d quick swap to the gear aboard and make our way to some key shallow water areas targeting panfish for a 15 minute fun “break”. Then back at it again for the trophies for another 45 and so the pattern would continue.
Each of the 4 anglers had a rod assigned to them for probing deep water (25-35′) and they each diligently kept and eye on their rod while consuming some “lucky snacks”.
Fourteen minutes into the first 45-minute session, Drew’s Fenwick Rod bent over hard and drag from his Abu Garcia Orra screamed as the first Northern Pike of the trip took a liking to his presentation. It was agreed it was due to the Rice Krispy Treats aboard!
After hooking into it, Drew called for backup and Nicky finished the job with his fancy, fast feet, reeling technique (SEE VIDEO BELOW 🙂 ) on this 26″ Northern Pike. High 5’s were exchanged all around as a memory for life was created amongst these boys.
We went to the panfish and each boy landed at least 2 bluegill, sunfish, or perch before it was time to get focused on the big ones again.
Once set up on a different part of the lake, it wasn’t more than 12 minutes into this pass and Colin’s rod got the call. He sprang to his feet and expertly landed an 18 1/2″ walleye while first mate Gus expertly put the net under it!
The kids were, at this point, hooked on the prospect of catching at least 1 more big fish for the evening so even though we went to take our “panfish break” all they could talk about while catching a few more bluegills was where the next big fish hot spot might be.
Fortunately the boys reside on a portion of the lake that has great big fish structure and cover for Northern Pike. After all, their uncle did take top spot on the Pike leader board with the 29″er.
In an effort to dethrone their elder, we focused hard on the break near their house and with 5 minutes left in the trip, the drag on Gus’s rod screamed as if to say “FISH ON”. He expertly set the hook but right before the fish broke the surface of the water it came unpinned. Very tough luck! However, the boys didn’t have time to get down on the misfortune as Nicky’s Rod also went off and he took to battling the 2nd Northern Pike of the night an came out victorious with another 26″ fish!
As we idled over to meet parents on the dock, Colin and Nicky proudly retrieved their proof from the live well for a great family photo experience capturing their night of big fish hunting on Oconomowoc Lake!
Delavan Lake, located about 45 minutes from the Lake Country area, is a destination lake that offers some great summer Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass Fishing.
HookedUp101 recently took a 5-hour trip to chase the trophy fish that this body of water produces.
The morning started with some casting as the dense fog covering the lake made navigation a bit slower to the first destinations we’d like to have fished. We decided to stay closer to the launch and cast Berkley Skinny Cutter 110+’s for a few Largemouth Bass and smaller Northern Pike while waiting for the fog to lift.
After an hour we were safe to venture out to specific points on Delavan an began presenting medium suckers and chubs on live bait rigs on hard bottom areas adjacent to steep drop offs in search of some toothy Pike and beastly bass.
Capping off another Father’s Day weekend we had Andrew, Tom, and Peyton out in the boat to celebrate while fishing. These trips are becoming and annual adventure for HookedUp101!
With the air temps in the high 80’s-low 90’s, bluebird skies and water temps rising steadily on Waukesha County lakes to the upper 70’s, you’d think that this evening trip would’ve been a challenge.
OH NO…not when you have moon rise and sunset nearly in sync on this evening of fishing AND a full moon cycle in full effect!
The guys jumped aboard with anticipation of catching walleyes and smallmouth deep soaking live-bait rigs and dragging rock to mud transition areas.
This approach was slow on our first spot on the far west end of the lake, but we made an adjustment in location after one pass and low and behold the smallmouth and walleye started to show up like they should. Peyton and Tom took turns landing fishing from the depths in between a furious game of rock, paper, scissors!
At about the middle point of their 4-hour trip, Peyton grabbed the rod and reeled into his fish with perfect technique only the thoughts of a snag crossed our minds briefly as his 7′ Fenwick HDX spinning rod barely budged the mass at the end of his line at the onset of this epic battle. Upon contact, Peyton’s dad yells, “Here it comes!” and a beautiful 32″ Northern Pike launched itself about 2 feet into the air from 25 feet of water.
The collective “WHOAAAA!” sounded more like we were celebrating the 4th of July than Father’s Day given our “Grand Finale” response to this beast’s acrobatics!
In an instant we all thought this fish had broken the leader and come undone, but a quick glance at Peyton’s rod showed the continued solid bend in his line as the fish peeled drag back to the bottom of Lake LaBelle.
With patience and determination, Peyton landed his fish and proudly displayed a proper grip on this fish for a quick photo and subsequent successful release. The added excitement in hindsight of the fight was that we noticed the fish HAD, indeed, spit the hook but while spinning through the air on it’s jump, it must’ve rehooked itself under it’s pectoral fin. It was enough to keep the fish and the memory alive throughout the battle.
After finishing out our deep water approach there was approximately an hour and half of daylight left. The moon was beginning to rise in the East and the sun slowly disappearing in the West. We swapped our rods out and began to chase the smallmouth on key stretches of rocky shoreline just as we had done on our morning trip.
Once the boys dialed in their casting while throwing Berkley Grass Pig plastics and Beat Shads, the fish began to respond in kind. Smallmouth began finding the bottom of the net in seeming 5-minute intervals! As the moon got higher and the sun got lower the fishing just kept getting better and better.
In the end I do believe we lost track of the amount of fish we caught. It must’ve been a significant amount considering the ever competitive Tom and Peyton couldn’t even remember the score!
With a few minutes remaining, Peyton landed an absolute beast of a smallmouth with a belly full of fresh crayfish. THAT fish was the perfect end to a near perfect trip. Great to walk off the boat and back to the cars after giving the lake and the fish everything we had! Rewarding end to the Father’s Day Weekend! Well done guys!