Finding the right depth is key
Geneva Lake, Oct. 1 through Oct. 8
Delavan Lake has been slow, but Geneva Lake has been very good for fishing. The fish are in their late summer, early fall patterns and can be easily harvested. Most of the fish I’ve been catching are in 20 feet of water yet, however there is also a good bite in 8-10 feet of water.
Largemouth bass can be caught in 10 feet of water. They are biting on split shot rigged night crawlers. The best location is Coleman's Point or the Northwestern Military Academy. Some of the fish have been very large and are loading up this fall for the winter. As the water cools, the fish will start associating with main lake points and will be in large schools. This appears to be about two weeks away. Currently night crawlers have been producing the most, but with cooler nights that will switch to extra large fat head minnows.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent. They are biting in 22-25 feet of water. They are in big schools. On Sunday we caught 20 smallmouth bass in one hour. They are almost exclusively biting on extra large fat head minnows or small yellow perch caught in the lake. I’ve been fishing both minnows and perch on a lindy rig. With the depth I’m fishing, I’ve found that a ¼-oz. sinker and a 2-foot leader is working the best.
Bluegills and sunfish have been in the 10- to 12-foot depth range. The best location is by the Elgin Club. They can be readily caught on split shot rigged night crawlers. On Saturday of last week, we caught several over 9 inches. If you want to catch a bunch for a fish fry, it’s a good time to go.
Yellow perch fishing has been good. They are in the scattered weeds in 10 to12 feet of water. Look for the fish by Knollwood and Belvidere Park. The best approach has been slip bobbering with small crappie minnows. You want to place the bait about 1 foot off bottom.
Lake trout fishing is closed and will re-open this winter.
With the thermocline dissipating the northern pike are again moving shallow. The best depth is 12 to 15 feet of water. They can be caught on slip bobbers with medium suckers or yellow perch. The best location has been by the beach in Fontana or in Williams Bay. You want to place the bait about 1 foot above the weeds.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at (608) 883-2050
Delavan Lake, Oct. 1 through Oct. 8
The most important thing to realize is that the lake is very low. You need to travel out of the boat launch area with great caution. The Delavan Lake Sanitary district says the lake is 10 ½ inches low, but it appears 2 to 3 feet low to me. Overall, the fishing has been on the slow side. The best action has been coming at night or first light. The water temperature has been a bit unusual. The lake would like to turn over, but it’s just not cold enough for it to turn yet.
Northern pike action has been average in 12 to 15 feet of water. Slip bobbers with medium suckers have been producing most of the fish. Look for the fish associated with weed flats, such as at Viewcrest and the Highland Bay. It has been rather slow, but if you give it enough time you should be able to catch a few fish.
With the water temperature cooling, the largemouth bass have been moving shallow. They are in the 12- to 14- foot depth range. They can be caught on a split shot rigged night crawler or minnow. You need to keep the boat moving to find the active fish. The best location has been by the Oriental boathouse or by Viewcrest Bay.
Bluegill fishing has been a bit slow as well. I don’t know if the fish are deeper than I’m fishing but I’ve been trying for them in 12 to 15 feet of water and haven’t had much success. Once the lake turns over the fish will again be very easy to pattern.
Walleye fishing has been average. They are biting on Smithwick Rattling Rogues. Chrome and Blue Cordell Spots in ½ oz. are also working well. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or on any weed points in the lake.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at (608) 883-2050.
9/30/12 Lake Geneva, Sunny and 43 degrees, winds E at 8 mph. Water temp 61 degrees. Caught two largemouth bass and 25 smallmouth bass. The biggest smallmouth was 20 inches. The big fish was caught on a lindy rigged yellow perch. The best location was by the Holiday Camp and we fished by the Yacht Club as well. The best depth was 22 to 25 feet of water.
9/29/12 Lake Geneva, sunny and 46 degrees, light winds out of the west. Water temp 62 degrees. Caught four largemouth bass, two were legal; 20 smallmouth bass, four were legal. Almost all of the fish were caught on lindy rigs fished with fat head minnows. We fished by the Northwestern Military Academy and by Holiday Camp.
9/26/12 Delavan Lake, 45 degrees, W winds at 15 mph. Water temp 63 degrees. Caught three largemouth bass, one northern pike and one walleye. Fishing was very tough. The bass and walleye were caught on lindy rigged night crawlers. The best depth was 20 feet of water. The northern was caught on a lindy rigged sucker.
Dave Duwe has been a fishing guide on Delavan and Geneva lakes for nearly 20 years. Dave is a community blogger and is not a part of Walworth County Today staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of Walworth County Today staff or management.