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10/12/08 Madison Chain Fishing Report
By Paul Strege

Lake Mendota
Sunday Morning Conditions: Winds WSW 0-5 mph, Sunny, 62 deg water temp.

I had the pleasure of fishing Lake Mendota this morning with a good friend and his son, Hayden. The weather was fantastic. It was a cool, crisp morning with barely a breath of wind. The calm conditions allowed us to spot isolated, shallow water grass beds around the lake.

The first spot we stopped at was a shallow water weed flat. Almost immediately, we started catching fish. Hayden and I were using a ¼ ounce Brovarney Baits swim jig in white color shades (Lite Brite and No Bling) with a 4” pearl white grub trailer. Of the first couple fish to enter the boat, two of them were Mendota “keeper” smallmouth, including the 18 1/2-incher Hayden is proudly displaying in the picture. With declining water temperatures, we expected to find mostly largemouth bass up shallow, but were pleasantly surprised to find an active pod of smallmouth. The smallmouth in the area were roaming the edges of the flats and targeting very small minnows, evidenced by the 1” aquarium-sized bait coughed-up by the fish we boated.

Smallmouth are also present, although not in concentrated numbers, on sloping rock banks. There, you can entice roaming smallmouth with Carolina-rigged Gambler Ugly Otters and Bacon Rinds.

Swim Jig Rig: Rogue Rods Magnum Bass MB664C with 15 lb P-Line FloroClear.
1/4 ounce Brovarney Baits Swim Jig. “Lite Brite” and “No Bling” colors.

Carolina Rig: Rogue Rods Magnum Bass MB704C with 15 lb P-Line FloroClear leader and 5/0 Owner J-Hook. Gambler Ugly Otter and Baby Bacon Rind – Ripe Melon / Green Pumpkin colors.