Tagged in Lake Winnebago

April 1, 2014

Five Places to Fish the Spring Opener

Woman with fish

She examines a recently caught fish

On May 3, Wisconsin’s gamefish season opens. If you’re an angler, it’s the most exciting day of the year. Make plans to be out on the water that weekend in a place that offers great fishing. These five destinations are your best bets for the opener.

Vilas County

The walleye fishing is incredible in Vilas County. Most of the county’s 1,300 lakes are home to good populations of walleye. The biggest, deepest, clearest lakes, such as Trout Lake, harbor some enormous fish. But, during the first days of the season, look for smaller, shallower lakes, which warm up earlier and provide more action. Anglers can target smallmouth bass, but they must be released between May 3 and June 20. Largemouth bass are fair game. Vilas County is also one of the best musky destinations in North America – their musky season begins May 24. Vilas County’s 12 resort communities offer lodging as well as shopping and dining.

Oneida County

Just south of Vilas County, you’ll find Oneida County, home to hundreds of lakes and a beautiful landscape of towering forests. Anglers targeting walleye in Oneida County will find plenty of excellent lakes, including Boom Lake, a flowage on the Wisconsin River in the heart of Rhinelander. Boom Lake is also famous for its musky and smallmouth bass. Oneida County shares the same season dates as neighboring Vilas County (see above). Anglers will find eight friendly communities in Oneida County offering hotels, resorts, cabins and cottages.

Lake DuBay, Stevens Point Area

At 6,700 acres, Lake DuBay is big. This flowage on the Wisconsin River has a fishery to match its size. Big bass, fat walleye and hefty northern pike all swim in these waters. During the first days of the fishing season, a wise angler will turn his attention to some of the shallower backwaters and bays where the water will be the warmest. Anglers shouldn’t overlook the panfish that call Lake DuBay home, particularly crappie. And, this lake is one of the state’s premier musky lakes (the musky season on Lake DuBay begins on May 24). After a day of fishing, take a tour of one of the Stevens Point area’s four breweries, including the famous Stevens Point Brewery.

Lake Winnebago, Oshkosh

Unlike the other destinations on this list, bass and walleye fishing is open year-round on Lake Winnebago. The 138,000-acre lake’s walleye fishing is second to none. The natural reproduction on the Winnebago System is outstanding. The lake is also becoming well known for its bass fishing, with good numbers of both largemouth and smallmouth. Panfish are plentiful on the lake, with perch being the most targeted species. Trolling is the most popular method for catching walleye and yellow perch. Bass can be found close to shore in weeds and around docks and other structure. You’ll find hotels and numerous boat launches in Oshkosh.

Flambeau River, Rusk County

The Flambeau River is home to a wide variety of fish species, from panfish to sturgeon. But, smallmouth bass are what put this classic riverway on the map. The Flambeau boasts huge smallmouth bass. Anglers will find smallies in all sections of the river, from the flowages (Ladysmith, Big Falls, Dairyland, Thornapple) to the wild river stretches. During the spring, look for smallmouth bass in the shallow sections of the flowages and in deep pools along the river. Canoeists and kayakers will have a distinct advantage when it comes to accessing some of the Flambeau River’s most secluded pools. It’s an exciting place to fish. Ladysmith is Rusk County’s hub for lodging, shopping and dining.

These are just five of Wisconsin’s many fantastic fishing opportunities. Find more great places to fish this spring.

For complete fishing regulations, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hook and Line Fishing Regulations.

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January 14, 2014

Wisconsin’s Winter Walleye Waters

Ice Fishing

Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller

Winter is a great time to target what might be Wisconsin’s tastiest gamefish. Walleye bite throughout the winter, and ice fishing is the ideal way to target this elusive predator. Best of all, Wisconsin is home to some of the top walleye fisheries on the planet.

Ice fishing allows walleye anglers to pinpoint active fish and carefully present lures and baits—the same careful approach would be difficult from a rocking boat. When an ice angler finds a group of active fish, he can quickly catch his limit. And, there’s nothing like the sight of a big, fat walleye coming up through the ice.

This winter, experience the thrill of catching walleye through the ice. Here are eight of the very best Wisconsin winter walleye waters.

Oshkosh – Lake Winnebago

At 138,000 acres, Lake Winnebago is the king of all Wisconsin walleye destinations. The Lake Winnebago System, which includes the Wolf and Fox rivers, has unmatched natural reproduction. The result is a fishery with numerous walleye and good numbers of big fish. During the winter, the area around Oshkosh offers some of the giant lake’s best walleye fishing.

Rusk County – Lake Holcombe

Few Wisconsin lakes offer such a diverse, high-quality fishery as Lake Holcombe. This 4,000-acre lake is a flowage on the Chippewa River. Lake Holcombe boasts more than 120 miles of shoreline. Walleye anglers will find good fishing throughout the winter.

Stevens Point – Lake Du Bay

The sprawling Lake Du Bay is a nearly 7,000-acre flowage on the Wisconsin River. The lake is known for its musky, pike, smallmouth bass, panfish and walleye. Anglers should look for sunken trees and other structure along the old river channel. Some of the deeper backwaters can also hold fish.

Oneida County – Lake Tomahawk

This classic Northwoods lake provides great walleye fishing during the winter. It is one of the biggest lakes in northern Wisconsin, weighing in at 3,392 acres. The lake is famous for its fishery, which includes a healthy population of walleye.

Boulder Junction – Trout Lake

Deep and cold, Trout Lake is stands out as one of Wisconsin’s best fishing lakes. The crystal-clear waters hold not only the usual selection of warm-water gamefish, but also lake trout and whitefish. The walleye on Trout Lake grow big and fat on the healthy forage base. Be ready to tie into a hefty fish.

Rhinelander Area – Boom Lake

This flowage on the Wisconsin River is one of the most popular fishing destinations in Wisconsin—and for good reason. Walleye anglers will find good action here throughout the winter.

Onalaska – Lake Onalaska

The Mississippi River is one of the best walleye fisheries in the country. Lake Onalaska, a 7,700-acre pool on the Mississippi River, is an outstanding walleye destination. In addition to walleye, Lake Onalaska offers great fishing for northern pike and panfish.

Black River Falls – Lake Arbutus

Lake Arbutus is a multifaceted destination. In addition to northern pike, musky, bass and crappie, you’ll find good numbers of walleye. It’s a great place to set out some tip-ups. You never know what you’re going to catch here.

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September 13, 2013

Where the Walleye Lurk: Great Fall Walleye Destinations

During the summer month, it seems that walleyes only bite when it’s cloudy, rainy or windy. In the fall, that changes. Some of the best fall walleye fishing days are bright, sunny and calm. For the walleye angler who has worked hard all summer long to put fish in the boat, fall can be a real treat.

Fall fishing

This fall, you can’t go wrong with any of these four walleye destinations.

Oshkosh on Lake Winnebago

Lake Winnebago is the king of all Wisconsin walleye fisheries. At 138,000 acres, a walleye angler could spend a lifetime fishing this lake. The two techniques that catch the most fish during the fall are jigging and trolling. Look for walleye near mid-lake humps and depressions. Fall can bring some tremendous catches.

Boulder Junction’s 194 Lakes

This resort town is best known as a musky hotspot. However, nearly all of the lakes that dot this quiet little corner of Wisconsin hold walleye. In fact, the clean, clear waters of Boulder Junction hold some hefty fish. Even some of the smaller, lesser-known lakes in the area offer good walleye fishing. Plus, the fall color is spectacular here.

Lake Onalaska and the Mississippi River

The community of Onalaska is set on the banks of 7,700-acre Lake Onalaska, one of the best fishing holes on the entire Mississippi River. Each fall, the walleye fishing heats up on this complex of channels, sloughs and sprawling backwaters. The best walleye fishing can be found near current.

Lake Du Bay in the Stevens Point Area

Just a short drive north of Stevens Point you’ll find the 6,800-acre Lake Du Bay, an enormous impoundment on the Wisconsin River. Look for walleye near old river channels. Jigging is the method of choice here. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a smallmouth bass or even one of the lake’s muskies.

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August 12, 2013

Panfish A-plenty: Top Lakes for Fall Panfishing

Fall is a great time to go fishing for bluegill, crappie and perch. Collectively known as “panfish,” these three types of fish can be caught on nearly every lake in the state. Wisconsin boasts some of the best panfishing in the Midwest. There are thousands of lakes to choose from, but here are some of the very best.

caught a panfish

Lake Onalaska – If you want to catch a big bluegill, head to Onalaska and fish 7,700-acre Lake Onalaska. The great bluegill fishing here is no secret – the lake carries the moniker, “Sunfish Capital of the World.”

Lake DuBay – This vast flowage north of Stevens Point is crappie heaven. Loaded with sunken timber and other underwater structure, crappie thrive here.

Lake Holcombe – Located at the south end of Rusk County, Lake Holcombe might be one of the most complete fishing destinations in the state. Fish for panfish, as well as bass, musky, walleye and catfish. You might even catch a glimpse of a giant lake sturgeon swimming under your boat.

Lake Winnebago – Perch reign supreme on Lake Winnebago. The best place to launch your boat on this 138,000-acre mega lake is Oshkosh. Perch can be caught by jigging, slip bobbers, worm harnesses – just about any technique will work.

Van Vliet Lake – This small lake near Presque Isle in Vilas County is great for panfish. It features a fishing pier, making it a good place to take the kids.

Squirrel Lake – Located in Oneida County, this lake boasts excellent fishing for panfish. The bluegills on this lake are numerous, as are the bass.

Lake Arbutus – This Black River Falls area lake is best known for its musky and walleye fishing, but it also boasts great fishing for panfish, particularly crappie.

Lake Mendota – Launch your boat at Mendota County Park in Middleton and fish this huge lake for bluegill and perch. The bluegill here are huge and the perch are enormous, plus you might hook into one of the lake’s dinner-plate-sized crappie.

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June 26, 2013

Looking for lodging in Oshkosh?

The newly renovated Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center is your best bet. Nestled downtown on the banks of the Fox River, many guest rooms overlook scenic views of the river and Lake Winnebago. It features amenities such as a pool, whirlpool, fitness center, game room, laundry and full breakfast. Connected to the Oshkosh Convention Center, guests can also enjoy their bar/grill and lounge space.

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