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6/29/2008 Madison Chain Fishing Report

By Paul Strege

Lake Mendota

Sunday Morning Conditions: Winds WSW 15-25 mph, Sunny, 71 deg water temp.

Sunday morning I went searching for some large post-spawn Lake Mendota smallmouth. While the smallmouth did not totally cooperate, I was able to find some better-sized largemouth. The morning started with a light breeze, but by 9:00 A.M., the wind was howling out of the west. And having launched from Tenney Park with an emergency no-wake in effect, shelter was somewhat limited. I focused on deep weedlines hoping for the smallmouth bite that usually is in full force by this time of year, but after going my first two hours with only a handful of Rock Bass boated, I picked up my Rogue Rods Crankbait rig and started covering water.

Once I moved up onto the weedflats, I almost immediately started catching fish. My first weed flat spot produced two largemouth over 18 inches and one smallmouth from an area the size of my boat. The spot-on-the-spot consisted of loosely scattered milfoil in 10 feet of water. I used a Rapala DT-10 with 15-pound P-Line to keep the crankbait from diving past 8-feet deep. Moving along weedlines close to shore and subsequently moving onto the flat in between, produced one additional 17-1/2 smallmouth and a whitebass. By the time I decided to return to the launch at 11:00 A.M., the wind had kicked the waves up to 3-feet in height, and positioning the boat in a given area was very difficult. I stopped at one final weedline point on the way back to the launch and with the help of a newly-released Gambler Deep Diving custom crankbait, I landed the best fish of the day: a 19 largemouth.

Crankbait Rig: Rogue Rods MB 702CBB (Crankbait Blend) with 15-pound P-Line Floroclear and Rapala DT-10 (Perch) and Gambler Lures Deep Diving Custom Crank (Chartreuse Shad).