Anglers ready to hit Madison's lakes for Saturday's opening day - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Anglers ready to hit Madison's lakes for Saturday's opening day of fishing season

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Bluegill and crappie, like this black crappie fisheries biologist Dan Oele displays, are moving in and holding in their pre-spawn locations in southern Wisconsin and can be found near fresh aquatic plant growth. Photo credit: DNR Bluegill and crappie, like this black crappie fisheries biologist Dan Oele displays, are moving in and holding in their pre-spawn locations in southern Wisconsin and can be found near fresh aquatic plant growth. Photo credit: DNR

Wisconsin DNR news release

MADISON -- Anglers are getting ready for tomorrow's May 5, 2018 inland fishing season opener and walleye are likely to have finished spawning in many places and ready to put on the feedbag, state fisheries officials say.

"It's been a long winter. Time to get outdoors and have some fun," Justine Hasz, Wisconsin's fisheries director said in a news release.

"Fishing opening day is a great tradition, and the warmer weather last week and predicted for this week should set the stage for some good fishing. I'm hoping to catch some walleye and crappie this weekend."

(Fishing reports from other area's of the state are HERE.)

Fish populations look very good with walleye spawning finished on most lakes, with Lake Mendota being the exception where fish should be in shallow with water temperatures still in the low 40s.

For the lakes that have warmed up to the mid-50s, expect fish to be in post-spawn patterns in flats adjacent to those spawning areas.

The water on most lakes hasn't hit that clear water phase where daphnia become abundant and filter the phytoplankton from spring turnover, but it is right around the corner.

Choose lures that account for the water clarity and in clear water choose natural colors and slower presentations.

Bluegill and crappie, like this black crappie fisheries biologist Dan Oele displays, are moving in and holding in their pre-spawn locations in southern Wisconsin and can be found near fresh aquatic plant growth.

Walleye populations are looking great in southwestern Wisconsin and lakes are supporting two to six adult fish per acre with a strong year class from the 2014 plantings being 15-17 inches.

Bass are beginning to move in and are holding in those pre-spawn locations and can be found near fresh aquatic plant growth. The same can be said for bluegills and crappies.

Look for warmer water and new plant growth. This can concentrate those pre-spawn fish as they will feed on invertebrates and insects on the plants.

Muskies may still be patrolling the shallows and looking for spawning habitat. They may be visible but not always interested in biting.

The Wisconsin River is up and flows are very high so be careful on the river.

Most of the walleyes that spawn up by the Dells are returning to Lake Wisconsin so concentrating jigging on those current breaks at the top end of the lake can be very productive this time of year. 

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