There’s a fish for every season. Shortly after the ice leaves Wisconsin’s lakes, crappie begin their feeding frenzy. On many river systems, the spring walleye run can be action-packed. Late spring brings great fishing for bluegill on lakes all over the state. As the water begins to warm in early summer, the bass fishing in Wisconsin can be incredible. And, as the mercury begins to drop down toward freezing, the musky fishing can be downright unbelievable.
In general, a musky doesn’t feed during the winter. To make it through those long, cold months, these huge predators must pack on the pounds during the fall. By late fall, muskies will be eating voraciously. Musky anglers who want to catch a trophy fish will spend as many hours on the water as they can during this period.
During late fall, big lures are the rule. Musky baits should be between 12 and 18 inches – or more. Successful musky anglers know that they need to spend a lot of time hunting as muskies can be spread out across the entire lake. In fact, fall is the only time of the year that certain monster-size muskies will make an appearance in the shallows. These huge fish leave their deepwater lairs in pursuit of baitfish, particularly ciscoes. Put a lure in front of one of these ravenous predators and you might experience the fight of your life.
Wisconsin offers some of the best musky fishing in the nation, regardless of the season. Here are some of the state’s very best late-fall musky destinations.
Part of the Wisconsin River, this 2,231-acre impoundment is one of the best musky fishing destinations in the Northwoods.
Lake Arbutus, Black River Falls area
The Black River is home to a healthy population of musky, and Lake Arbutus holds some of the biggest specimens.
Try your luck on one – or all – of this chain’s 28 lakes. You’ll find plentiful fish and lots of room to explore.
If you’re looking for variety, fish the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. This chain has one of the highest concentrations of musky in the state.
Trout Lake, Boulder Junction
The musky fishing in this deep, clear lake really turns on in the late fall. The musky here grow to enormous sizes.
This sprawling impoundment of the Wisconsin River offers miles of channels, numerous islands and lots of musky.