Wisconsin Fishing
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Wisconsin Lakes

 

Wisconsin may be known for great Cheese and Beer, but we also have a State covered with amazing lakes.  Most of our great lakes are located in Northern Wisconsin, which features the Minocqua Lakes, Hayward Lakes, Bayfield County and Door County. Wisconsin Lakes are prime for outstanding Walleye Fishing, Northern Pike Fishing and Bass Fishing with trophy catches being made 12 months a year. With incredible fishing lakes like: Geneva Lake, Castle Rock Lake, Lake Winnebago, Big Green Lake and the Great Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, you are sure to catch your limit on these and most Wisconsin Lakes. If you enjoy your stay at one of our fine Wisconsin Resorts, you may be interested in searching for Wisconsin Lake Homes for sale on one of your favorite lakes. WisconsinsLakes.com is your source for the most detailed information on Wisconsin Lakes and Wisconsin Fishing.

 

 

Wisconsin Fishing

Wisconsin Walleye Fishing

 

The Walleye is the most sought after fish in Wisconsin Lakes and they can be found in waters throughout the State. Walleye spawn in the spring when the water reaches a temperature of 45-50 F. In river mouths, bays, and along reefs where there is rock rubble or gravel on the bottom is where the female typically lays her eggs. Generally, Walleye can be found in shallow water during the post-spawn period and they migrate gradually into deeper water as the water warms. By late June they are established in their summer habitat, and anglers look for Walleyes around reefs, islands, deep-water weedbeds, narrow channels between islands, and underwater humps. The best structure for Walleye offers deep water for midday shelter, with a gradual slope leading to shallow flats or weedbeds, where Walleye can hunt perch and other forage fish at night. A basic primer for successful Walleye fishing on Wisconsin Lakes includes the following points:

1. Walleye travel in schools. An angler who catches one should persist in that area because more Walleye are usually nearby.

2. Walleye are usually on or close to the bottom. Bait anglers should check their line regularly to ensure that their bait is just touching the bottom or a few inches above it. Anglers trolling for Walleye should feel their lure bumping the bottom regularly. If a Walleye is caught in 23 feet of water, it's very likely that most of the school are resting on the structure at that depth.

3. Walleye eat fish almost exclusively. Anglers can't go wrong with presenting lures that closely resemble baitfish. Crankbaits like the Rapala are good traditional Walleye lures.

4. A slow presentation usually catches Walleye more effectively than a quick one. Walleye are slow, deliberate feeders, particularly since they are usually dormant in daylight hours, so anglers should work their bait gently across the bottom.

5. Studies have shown that Walleye have two peak feeding hours: one just after dark, and another that begins about 3 a.m. and lasts until daylight. Daytime Walleyes can be coaxed into biting but the brighter the day, the slower the Walleye fishing. Wind, overcast, and the onset of dusk all serve to diminish sunlight penetration into the water, and anything that diminishes sunlight helps put the Walleye in a more favorable mood for feeding. Weeds also provide Walleye with shelter from the sun, and in recent years anglers have discovered that some Walleyes inhabit thick beds of pondweed and coontail throughout the summer.

 

Top Wisconsin Walleye Fishing Lakes

 

Castle Rock Lake

Chippewa Flowage

Lake Koshkonong

Lake Mendota

Petenwell Lake

Shawano Lake

Turtle Flambeau Flowage

Lake Winnebago

Lake Wisconsin

Lake Wissota

Yellow Lake

 

Wisconsin Musky Fishing

 

The Musky is the most difficult fish to catch in Wisconsin Lakes and is the king of the water. Fishing season begins in May and during the spring you can typically find them in the warmer shallow bays using live bait. As the water warms by late June the musky fishing picks up in Wisconsin Lakes. They will lurk around the weeds and cabbage beds searching for food and cover. Troll or cast the outside weed edges during the day and the inside edges in the evenings. You can also fish the bays with a growth of milfoil or coontail weeds. If there are stumps or logs in these weedy bays, fish around them. As summer progresses some of the best musky waters are deep along the edges of weeds and dropoffs to deeper water. Other summer hangouts for musky in Wisconsin Lakes include: over sunken islands and rocky or sandy bars adjacent to deep water, long points extending into the lake, rocky points off islands, at the inlets or outlets of a lake, and along lily pad beds near deep water.

 

Top Wisconsin Musky Fishing Lakes

 

Chippewa Flowage

Lake Wisconsin

Lac Courte Oreilles

Yellow Lake

Lac Vieux Desert

Lake Dubay

Pewaukee Lake

 

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Wisconsin Northern Pike Fishing

 

Northern Pike in Wisconsin Lakes grow to huge sizes and a trophy catch is possible with every cast. In spring and fall, fishing for Northern Pike is best early in the morning. Unlike Walleye, Northern Pike do not feed at night and in the morning these fish wake to an empty stomach. Lures are a matter of personal preference, with flashy spoons, wobbling shallow-running plugs, and feathered spinners being popular choices on Wisconsin Lakes. While Northern Pike will strike at anything, timing and approach can lead to a more successful day on the water and here are a few basic tips:

1. Choose a lure that will perform well in the given situation. In heavy weeds use a spoon or plug that will swim just above the weed tops.

2. Go to a smaller lure if Northern Pike are striking short or missing your lure. Don't be afraid to use a light, small spoon. Even large Northern Pike will strike a small lure.

3. Always use a wire leader. Walleye anglers using jigs will testify to the fact that Northern Pike will snip off a lure instantly if it is tied onto monofilament line.

4. Fish early and fish deep in hot summer weather. Large Northern Pike spend the entire summer in deep water, foraging on ciscoes and other baitfish.

 

Top Wisconsin Pike Fishing Lakes

 

Delavan Lake

Fox Lake

Geneva Lake

Lake Mendota

Lake Puckaway

Shawano Lake

Lake Winnebago

Yellow Lake

 

 

Top Wisconsin Bass Fishing Lakes

 

Big Green Lake

Castle Rock Lake

Lake Koshkonong

Lake Mendota

Lake Puckaway

Shawano Lake

Lake Tomahawk

Lake Winnebago

Lake Wissota

 

Wisconsin Angling Techniques

 

In order to consistently catch fish in Wisconsin Lakes, there are two very important basic rules that an angler should apply as a guideline:

 

1. Fish on or very near the bottom.

2. Fish a structure edge adjacent to deep water.

 

These rules should be applied as one. If one rule is applied and not the other, the chances of successful fishing are greatly reduced. Big fish have their home on the bottom. Therefore when either casting or trolling you should get your lure down deep. You should feel your lure bump or scrape the bottom at frequent intervals. It is always a good idea to fish a structure edge adjacent to deep water. Dropoffs, shoals, sand bars, weed beds or a change in bottom texture are hot spots in Wisconsin Lakes.

 

Fishing Dropoffs

 

Fish in Wisconsin Lakes are most apt to be located along a dropoff that contains cover. This will not always be true but it will apply most of the time. The cover could be weeds, boulders, stumps or sunken logs. The cover should, if possible, extend to the edge of the dropoff. Fish will relate to break lines during their migration from the deep water to the shallows to feed. The evenings and cloudy days are always best for walleye fishing in Wisconsin Lakes.

 

Top Northern Wisconsin Fishing Lakes

Chippewa Flowage

Turtle-Flambeau Flowage

Lake Tomahawk

Lac Courte Oreilles

Lac Vieux Desert

 

Top Central Wisconsin Fishing Lakes

Lake Winnebago

Castle Rock Lake

Big Green Lake

Lake Puckaway

Lake Onalaska

 

Top Southern Wisconsin Fishing Lakes

Geneva Lake

Lake Wisconsin

Lake Mendota

Lake Koshkonong

Lake Delavan

 

 

Wisconsin Pike & Muskie Fishing

 

Wisconsin is known for some of the greatest Northern Pike and Muskie fishing in the world. Both the Northern Pike and the Muskie are ferocious predators, and will feed on just about anything that swims. The pike, however, does seem to be a bit more diversified as to what it feeds on. For example, pike will feed on dead fish, especially in the late winter, and during the cold months of early spring and late fall. Muskies seldom, if ever, feed on dead bait. Fish are the preferred forage for both pike and muskie, but both fish will feed opportunistically whenever possible. Their diets often include frogs, crayfish, muskrats and ducklings. Both also prefer single, large food items versus several smaller ones.

 

Northern Pike and Muskies both spawn in much the same waters, though pike generally spawn earlier. When ready to spawn, pike and muskies head for the sheltered areas along some shorelines or in the back of bays. They prefer sandy or silted areas over gravel or rocks, and preferably, vegetation should be present. Pike also like to spawn in the dead stems of rushes and reeds at the back of protected bays.

 

Selecting a particular Wisconsin lake to fish is sometimes a tough decision because so many great fishing waters hold both species. The Vilas and Oneida County Lakes in north-central Wisconsin are among the best for both number of muskies, and trophy-caliber fish in the 30-40 pound range. In the opposite corner of Wisconsin rests Sawyer County and its legendary muskie waters. Nearly all of the state's world-class muskie catches have come from this area.

 

 

Wisconsin Bass Fishing

 

Bass fishing in Wisconsin is popular throughout the state and big catches are made in most lakes. Bass, like all fish, are cold-blooded, meaning that their body temperature corresponds to the temperature of the water around them. Largemouth bass are most active when the water temperature is in the 60-78 degree range. The 65-72 range is their optimum temperature, but they function well above and below this. Smallmouth bass like it a little colder, with 55-72 being their active range and 62-68 their optimum.

 

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are oriented toward cover, usually toward bottom. Most of the preferred food is found in or near cover of some form, so this, plus the need for security and protection from sunlight, is a factor in their specific habitat preferences. Smallmouths typically inhabit rocky terrain. They can be found around rocky points, cliff-like shores, rocky islands and reefs, and rip-rap shores. Perhaps the primary reason for the smallmouths fondness for rocks is that they harbor crayfish. Largemouth bass are found in a wider variety of cover than smallmouths. You can typically find them around logs, stumps, lily pads, brush, weed beds, docks, and bridge pilings.

 

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