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5/24/08 – 5/25/08 Madison Chain Fishing Report

By Paul Strege


Lake Mendota

Saturday Morning Conditions: Winds NE 5-10 mph, Sunny, 55-58 deg water temp.

I went out fishing on Lake Mendota on Saturday. With the water temperature being relatively cold for this time of year typically, I decided to target some prespawners. I started fishing a Husky Jerk off 6 to 16 foot breaklines. I located some hard bottom / rock areas with my Humminbird Side Imaging Unit since the weeds are just starting to grow off the bottom. Almost immediately, I caught a scrappy 14-inch smallmouth. The rest of the morning, however, I struggled to find any decent-sized keeper bass. About mid-morning, I found a main lake spawning bed in 9-feet of water with two smallmouth occupying the nest. With a measurable breeze, it was difficult to maintain boat position, let alone accurately cast to a deep nest. After several casts with jigs and tube, I switched to a drop shot Gambler Lures Giggy Stick and got bit. After babying the fish near the boat on 6-pound test, I finally landed a nice 19-incher. I looked for other nests in the area and could not find another. My water temperature gauge read 57.2 degrees where I caught the smallmouth. After moving spots another couple of times, I caught an 18-inch largemouth on a Husky Jerk. The rest of the morning, however, was relatively lack-luster with the exception of several northern pike and black crappies (they like Husky Jerks, too…)

Lake Monona

Sunday Morning Conditions: Winds SW 15-20 mph, Mostly Cloudy, 60 deg water temp.

Fishing was better on Monona when compared to Mendota the day before. Again, I spent most of the morning searching for prespawn largemouth and smallmouth. My second stop of the morning yielded the chunky 18-inch smallmouth shown in the photo. The fish bit a drop shot soft plastic minnow. A few more casts to the same spot also produced another keeper largemouth. As on Saturday, identifying harder bottoms with my Side Imaging unit was a key in locating active fish. I bounced around to a few other spots and also caught keepers on a Carolina Rigged Gambler Lizard in addition to the drop shot. I spent some time scanning the shallows, but did not see a significant number of fish cruising. The spawn might be right around the corner with warmer, more stable weather approaching in the next couple of weeks.

 Jerkbait Rig: Rogue Rods Magnum Bass MB664C with 15-pound P-Line Floroclear and Rapala Husky Jerk


Drop Shot Rig: Rogue Rods Drop Shot rod (DS 693S) with 6 lb Trilene XL and #4 Owner Octopus Hook. Green Pumpkin Red Flake Gambler Giggy Stick and 4” soft plastic minnow.