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I fished Madison for a good portion of the day today (2:00 - 9:30 pm) and I have to say that I was more than pleasently surprised with how the bite was considering the time of year and the recent arrival of a classic cold front.

I started out pulling deep diving shad raps and reef runners behind boards in the main basin of the lake looking for suspended fish while the wind was still relatively calm. Did I find any suspended fish? Not a one. The only fish I marked while trolling the main basin were tight to the bottom and I decided to leave those fish alone. As the afternoon wore on, the wind picked up but the clouds hung in there. I moved to, without question, my favorite section of shoreline on Madison which favored the wind direction. I began pitching plastics to 3' of water and less only to be "jinxed" by a couple of largemouth bass. (Sorry bass guys. I'm only joking!) I then switched back to pulling #5 shad raps in 10' of water behind boards. This proved to be a tactic that did not work at all either. It was now approaching 5:00 pm and I still had very little to show for my efforts. I continued to hang in there on the same shoreline but moved further east and found a small pocket of weeds that was just loaded with gizzard shad in less than a 1' of water. I decided I was going to work this particular area over for the remainder of this trip by casting cranks because I had a feeling something was going to happen here. Turns out, I hit the nail right on the head! grin.gif My first cast I boated a 24" 'eye and it was a tank. Beautiful fish! Immediately following that fish was a 17.5" 'eye and another 'eye that was pushing 21". Both the 21" and 24" fish were released. Then the sun came out in full force and the bite completely shut off until 8:00 pm. However, in the time frame from 8:00 - 9:30 pm the fish turned back on and I proceeded to fill my 6 fish limit with 5 more 'eyes that ranged between 16 - 19". Again, beautiful fish! The walleyes in Madison are some of the healthiest fish I have seen in a long time. Very solid.

The key for me tonight was boat position, lure color, and retrieval speed. I held my boat in 5 - 6' of water, backing into the waves, and was making very long casts to less than 6 inches of water. Each 'eye that I caught bit about half-way back to the boat. I also was making a fast retrieve the first couple of cranks of the reel and then really slowed things down back to the boat. I mean really slow. In fact, at times, I would completely stop reeling and just give my rod a little twitch. Lure color was also important, with the black and silver and "baby bass" patterns of the #5 shallow runnin' shad rap ruling the day.

My wife took some nice pictures of "the catch" tonight when I got home but I wish I could have gotten some shots of those 20+" fish I caught and released. Definitely a sign of things to come for this fall. I can't wait!

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Team Otter: Sounds like you had a great day on Madison.Since you took some pictures,you could do us a favor and post them,never many eye pictures on This Forum.Also,I hope the date for the get-together will work for me as it will be another good time.Im going to try and make the date you pick work.

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Lee Harvey,

It was indeed a good day on the water.

Because the photos are not "catch and release" photos I can not post them on this forum. However, I will e-mail them to you at your home address.

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Hey team otter good job out fishing.I was out their trying to find suspended eyes in the deep water also but no luck.I was just wandering if you where fishingin the same spot as some of your earlier posts.I havent tried the shallow water yet but I guess I might have too start.Just wandering if you where going to make it out Sunday nite.

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Yeah, I don't know what happened to those suspended fish. There's usually a good population of 'eyes wandering out there above the main basin, but not yesterday!

Yes, I was fishing in one of the same spots that I have fished before and in fact, many times before.

I'm not planning on going out tonight but possibly this Wednesday evening.

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Hey Team Otter was out sunday fished from 6:00to9:00no eyes fished from millers down to cabins past bray park with just a couple of hits.I was planning on taking girlfriend out on monday nite was just wandering if im on the right path or completely wrong? I want the girlfriend to try to catch her first eye out of the boat so A little help would be greatly appreciated.I dony mean giving up your spot but maybe just general area if I was in it or not. THANKS ALOT

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I was positioned in 5-6ft of water and casting shallower.I was using #5 shallow shads and shallow running salmo bullhead pattern.Shallow shads in silver black, blue orange and chrome.I was wandering if you think bright colors would work

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Two Eyes,

When casting, I would concentrate more on matching the color of the forage base in the body of water you are fishing. In the case of Madison, dark blue, black, and silver typically out-fish any other color. However, when trolling, often times brighter colors work better because this becomes more of a "reaction-type" bite.

As far as location on Madison, I can tell you that you need to find areas that are concentrated with baitfish and where there is still ample cover for the fish to rest. Even if the cover is sporadic, it is better than nothing at all. Also, fishing on the windy side of the lake is key.

Yesterday you said you got nothing and fished from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. The sky was much clearer yesterday than on Saturday. When the sky is high, try pitching plastics and work the presentation very slow.

Noticing the little things will go a long way for you!

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Hey Team otter was out last night caught every thing but eyes.I never read your reply until I got home I,11 have to try that next time out.Thanks for the info

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I am fairly new to the site, but I guess I have never heard about the pictures. Catch and release only? Whats the deal?

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No problem. If you stay after it, you will eventually connect. When you do connect, remember exactly what you did to get the fish to hit and then try to replicate that over and over. Don't worry, you're catch rate will start to increase real soon! laugh.gif

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slayer73,

The "catch and release" photos only policy is just one of those things that has been created by the founders of this site. We need to respect the policies to their fullest potential even though it would be awfully fun to post pictures on here.

If you give me your home e-mail address, I can hook you up with some pictures!

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Let see those pics!!!!!!! always enjoy a good pic or two.........

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Tweedlap,

I'd be happy to send you some pics but I need your e-mail address. confused.gifgrin.gif

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      Nice job Bob! Fishing off the neighbors dock sucked for us. My gang is coming up Thursday night till Monday, this will be our opener, we'll hit it hard. It's a bummer my dock is mostly under water and the lift isn't in. Thanks to the neighbor around the corner for letting us park on shore at there place next weekend.
    • SkunkedAgain
      Well, I chose my screen name for a reason. 😆 Congrats to everyone
    • Bbobber
      I had a great weekend the weather was decent and fishing was good. I caught 5 walleyes 21"-25", 4 northerns largest was 32" and a 17 largemouth opening day. 2 more walleyes, 2 crappies 2 northerns on Sunday all on jig and minnows.
    • DLD24
      We had a good opener as well we could have kept limits opening day, but just kept enough for a fish fry. Then Sunday had our little friendly tourney and everyone had a pretty good day. Pulling cranks and jigs n minnows caught fish.  
    • Kettle
      Water temp today 45-50. Few fish, windy and cold 
    • Tominator692
      Had a great opening weekend. Son and I boated 51 walleye between Saturday and Sunday. Plenty of small stuff but no problem getting some nice keepers. This is a pic of the best weekend fish for us. 
    • fishingstar
      I was on Rice this weekend also. Seen boat lifts with water up to the canopy. I was the only one to catch a fish out of the hole campground It was about a 6" crappie.
    • BWpineisland
      We had a pretty good weekend. There were two couples and we limited out both Saturday and Sunday. The eyes we kept were all 15-17”.  We caught many 10-14” eyes and one 26” which was returned to the water immediately. All on a variety of jigs in 18-35’ of water. As usual the women out fished both of us😀
    • Bloatlord
      Wrong area, sorry.
    • Raven77
      I will second the advice on watching out for floating debris.  We saw a lot of floating logs and deck sections this weekend.  Also, most hazard and navigation buoys were not out yet.  I wonder how many lower units and props were destroyed this weekend?  It would be dicey if you don't know the lake.
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