Groups of up to 3 anglers are embarking on two 3-hour trips to learn the basics on how to enjoy fishing on Pewaukee Lake.
Tuesday June 20th saw 3 groups go out and become proficient at identifying at least 3 different freshwater fish species, utilizing a spinning rod/reel combo, applying a variety of
artificial and live bait presentations.
The kids are also interpreting down and side imaging sonar as well as GPS and lake counter mapping.
In addition, each participant will receive their very own Shakespeare rod/reel combo with a line, a tack pack sampler and a Hooked Up 101 Fishing Academy t-shirt following their last session.
The following video highlights the 3 groups who took part in the fishing action on Day 1 of these trips! Enjoy!
Now it was time to reconnect for this special birthday celebration with Ben, Noah, and Gabe as we targeted Large and Smallmouth Bass as well as Walleye and Crappie.
We started out casting Havoc Beat Shads, and Gulp Sinking Minnows on the flats of Upper Nemahbin.
The first 30 minutes Noah tangled with a Smallmouth Bass that was kind enough to give us an “aerial hello” before giving a sly smallmouth smile and spitting Noah’s hook.
Then the chilly wind started to blow out of the Southwest so we changed up slightly and started throwing Berkley Cutter 90+s on the windblown flats of Upper Nemahbin and almost instantly Gabe took a nice 16″ walleye.
Around 7:30 a.m. we moved to Lower Nemahbin and started drifting for Crappie with slip bobbers and fatheads minnows. The smaller the minnow the better it seemed. Each drift on key stretches of Lower each had the kids catching at least 1 every pass with a few “escape artist/bait stealers”. The key was keeping the minnows pretty tight to the bottom and in their faces. If we drifted too fast, the bait would come up too high and the Crappie were reluctant to chase.
Finally, we spent the last part of the trip back throwing Cutters on Lower and the Largemouth cooperated there as well, but they were even smaller!
The boys jumped out of the boat at 10:00 a.m. and for Perkins to enjoy some pancakes with mom and dad. Fish stories were told I’m sure!
Late Summer is an opportune time to explore new, potentially productive waters in Southeast, Wisconsin and trolling is an effective technique for targeting big walleyes.
The particular lake we chose to fish receives moderate pressure from anglers and recreational water sports enthusiasts throughout the summer months.
BUT as the summer begins to wind down, the lake becomes less pressured and trolling several lines targeting deep water walleyes is a great way to reap rewards and scratch that exploratory itch!
As a fishing guide who has been on the water this season for 195 hours since the opening weekend in May, exploring new water with a willing client is a refreshing way to pass on the enthusiasm and excitement that comes from the sport of fishing!
While these “go for broke” missions aren’t always successful, the following video highlights the fact that these trips can ramp up an anglers fascination for the sport when hunches about a fishery are confirmed!
Trolling on Lake LaBelle in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin can be a marvelous way to fish for walleyes with kids!
Covering water at pace and a variety of depths simultaneously can be a great way to start a trip. If majority of your shallower presentations are getting a majority of the action, it may be a great option to begin casting to the flats. If the fish on the deeper side of the boat are the most active you can switch to live bait rigging for them and really directing these respective areas.
In the process of trolling, kids may catch a variety of other game fish as well. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, and even White and Yellow bass will be more than willing to attack a crank bait or a crawler harness on LaBelle.
Check out the video for a small sample of how this technique is effectively applied! Thanks for watching!
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!
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!
Lake LaBelle has historically been a hot lake for bass and walleye, during the month of June–specifically Father’s Day Weekend.
It has been the setting for many memorable fish catches for dads to share with their children! This past weekend was no exception!
During a 4-hour morning trip beginning at 5:00 AM, Glen celebrated his special day with his sons Noah, and Gabe.
Many father types choose to sleep in on their special day, but this group was up before the son knowing that the early morning hours on LaBelle can be an exciting opportunity to catch shallow smallmouth bass on a variety of presentations.
After investing the first 30 minutes of the trip getting Noah and Gabe comfortable with their Abu Garcia Cardinal SX 6’6″ spinning combos, the fish responded in kind within the next 15 minutes on one Bparticular stretch of shoreline. From the back of the boat Noah put 3 smallmouth bass in the boat in short order!
We quickly made sure Gabe’s rod had the same presentation at the end of his line and he got his battle with a smallmouth underway!
Before putting a cap on the trip, we couldn’t part ways without spending an hour searching for LaBelle’s famed walleyes. We live bait rigged for these fish in 20-30 feet of water and with 10 minutes left in the trip, Gabe reeled in a nice 16″ fish and Noah was nice enough to hold it for a photo!
Great Fathers’ Day Memories Weitzer family! Have a great summer and enjoy your upcoming camping trip to Devils Lake! If you get any fish photos be sure to send them my way!
Shortly after pulling up to their dock, Jack and Jackson shared a few of their favorite fish stories from their own experiences fishing the lake. I may have just met this family for the first time, but I can tell Jackson is a TRUE fisherman…he was VERY tight-lipped about his favorite ‘hot spot’! When I attempted to ask him more details about his story detailing the day he pulled out multiple perch cast-after-cast he just smirked!
On this trip the goal was to provide the father and son duo with a few more seasonal spring hot spots and techniques in order to have them duplicate our morning and experience even more successful outings on their own.
At first light we targeted some key stretches of shoreline with a combination of presentations including a jig-and-grub tail and a soft plastic stick bait rigged ‘wacky style’.
This 1-2 combo would let us know the mood the fish were in following the overnight air temps that dipped 30 degrees. The jig-n-grub tail would look to appease the aggressive fish and coax a reaction strike, while the stick bait would fall subtly to entice sluggish fish into feeding on an easy meal.
Jackson and his jig-n-grub tail were quickly on the board as a nice chunky smallmouth bass that struck right next to the boat.
After a few smallmouth were caught shallow, we decided to move offshore and begin targeting walleyes in deep water with live bait rigs. After a 10-minute pass dragging small suckers on circle hooks, Jackson was rewarded with a nice 18″ walleye!
Towards the end of the trip, the live bait rig proved to be rather deliberate so we decided to take our game to the fish and start trolling with #5 and #7 Flicker Shads attempting to cover water quicker in search of walleyes willing to bite!
Despite the cold spring weather, the fishing action throughout the trip was just hot enough to keep these LaBelle Lake residents toasty with smiles each time they tied into a fish willing to bite.
I’m very glad to have shown Jack and Jackson some key ingredients to success on this body of water as they take subsequent trips this spring on their own.