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This past weekend seemed to be the right time to winterize a boat, despite the finality it imposes on the year’s fishing. Those who waited are in good straits: The long-range forecast for the coming weekend is for temperatures near 70 degrees. That sounds like fishing weather – and a good place to go is Lake Geneva for some big fish.

A good game plan for this coming weekend is to target large northern pike, and the two best places this time of year are Lake Geneva and Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis. There is no better place right now than Geneva to fish for big pike and lots of them.

The best method for this time of year is trolling with large crankbaits; the big fish are up from the depths and are cruising the outside of the dying weed lines looking for food. The shad are spawning on the main lake points now and that will bring the bass, walleye and big bluegills in to feed on the shad. The pike will feed on all the above. To see if the fish are showing a preference for a particular color or vibration, one can run a couple of fishing rods with 25-30-lb test line and tie on different baits on each rod. Then let out 125 to 150 feet of line behind the boat and slowly work along the Flats and thru the Narrows. This has been a very productive pattern for a number of years not only for the big northern pike, those between 13lbs and 18lbs, but also the occasional very big smallmouth bass or walleye.

Got to get gear ready, more next week.

Until then keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at www.hookedonfishing@comcast.net.