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7/2/09 Madison Chain Fishing Report

By Paul Strege

Lake Mendota

Thursday Evening Conditions: Winds NW 10-15 mph, Mostly Sunny, 73-75 deg water temp.

I spent this evening with a good friend Jay and his son Hayden. As it had been a while since I last fished Mendota, I was not sure what to expect. We started the evening by fishing the far west shoreline around the Fox Bluff area. Although the shoreline was protected from the wind, the water clarity was not that great. We picked up a few small northern pike and largemouth on Brovarney Swim Jigs, but did not find any bass of decent size. Next we moved to a shoreline that was somewhat exposed to the wind that smallmouth regularly use to spawn. Although the spawn had been over for a while, I figured there might be some post-spawners willing to bite off of the adjacent weedline drop in 12-feet of water. Casting drop shots and Gambler Aces (a plastic stickbait) to the weedline edges produced some healthy 2-1/2 to 3 pound smallmouth and largemouth. The Aces were rigged on 1/8 ounce Gambler Wacky Jig Heads to offset the wind. With the short shank and weed guard, the jig head has become one of my favorite ways to fish wacky worms and Senkos, especially in wind. There were additional bass to be found roaming the mid-depth pockets of submerged milfoil as well.

 To cap the evening, we made one last move to University Bay. A few smaller bass were actively biting, but the big fish of the evening would turn out to be a 10-pound catfish that Hayden caught. Who knew that they liked the Gambler Aces, too? The catfish hit right at dusk, past the inside weedline, in about 3 feet of water. It was the largest fish that Hayden had ever caught and was a great way to end the day.

I expect fishing to continue to improve on Mendota in the upcoming weeks, and look forward to the seasonal Rapala DT bite that starts in mid-summer and carries through to fall.



 Drop Shot Rig: Rogue Rods Drop Shot DS 639S with 6 lb Suffix Elite and Green Pumpkin Icesickle Worm (trimmed to 4).

 Ace Rig: Rogue Rods Magnum Bass MB664C with 14 lb Suffix Siege line. Green Pumpkin Gambler Ace with 1/8 ounce Gambler Wacky Jig Head.