Top Places for Bass Fishing in Wisconsin

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Wisconsin
Photo By Jeff Samsel

It seems like this winter never shake its grip. It really will, though. In fact, by the time bass open on seasonal waters, things should have warmed significantly and the largemouths and smallmouths should be ready to play. Let's explore a few fine places to play with them! Bass fishing in Wisconsin has never been better!

Door County

An array of bays and rocky shores off Green Bay and Lake Michigan support an extraordinary population of smallmouth bass, and over the past few years, even larger numbers of genuine giants have been showing up in anglers' catches. Lures of many kinds will produce big smallies over reefs and along rocky shores on both sides of the county, but it's tough to beat the simple approach of casting and winding a Kalin's Lunker Grub on a 1/8-ounce jighead. Keep the boat moving initially and let your lure do the searching. When you do catch a bass, repeat the exact same cast. If you get hit again, work that area thoroughly. The fish tend to congregate.

Mississippi River

The Mighty Mississippi River runs 250 miles along Wisconsin's western border, beginning along the Wisconsin/Minnesota line just southeast of the Twin Cities. Largemouths, which abound in backwater areas and can't resist a frog or a spoon swam through shallow grass, make up the biggest share of the normal bass catch through much of the river. That said, rocky areas along the main river hold good numbers of smallmouths and sometimes serve up fast bronzeback action to anglers who fish jigs around the rocks. A series of dams interrupts the Mississippi's flow as the river churns south and picks up volume from tributaries, so significant portions are very lake-like in character while other sections are highly riverine.

Lake Geneva

Although less expansive than the Mississippi River and the bays the border Door County, Lake Geneva offers more than 5,000 acres of fishing waters. Deep and clear, Geneva is best known among bass fishermen for its thick-bodied smallmouth bass; however, the same waters also yield plentiful largemouths, with a great average size and some serious jumbos in the mix. Early in the season, jerkbaits and jigs work nicely for largemouths and smallmouths alike and bass of either species can be caught shallow. As summer progresses, the smallies tend to move deeper and become somewhat finicky, but the largemouths continue to serve up fine action over weed-covered humps.

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