Northern Wisconsin & Green Bay Smallmouth Fishing
I have spent the last couple of months chasing giant Smallmouth Bass around the state of Wisconsin. Pound for pound, these brown bass truly are one of the hardest fighting fish in fresh water. I am going to break this report down into the two different types of fisheries that offer the best chance at trophy class fish, how to catch them right now, and how to approach the upcoming months.
Bay of Green Bay:
The waters of Door County have some of the best Smallmouth fishing in the country right now. Not only are there huge numbers of fish, but there’s a good chance of hooking into a 6 or 7 lb, or bigger bass. We seem too been in the middle of the spawning period. Concentrate on the edges of shallow spawning flats (6’ – 12’) for pre spawn bass that are getting ready to move shallow. Target these fish with small tubes (green pumpkin and brown colors) and jerkbaits. The new Shadow Rap Shad has been a great jerkbait on the great lakes since it matches there forage perfectly. If you prefer to fish shallower water and catch more numbers of bass concentrate on depths of 2 -6 feet and you will find fish on spawning beds and some fish that are done, that are cruising the shallows looking for food. For the fish on beds, use small tubes and drop shots.
Smallmouths that are done spawning and cruising the shallows are looking to feed. This is the time when I like to fish fast moving baits, such as flukes, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits. Once the water starts to warm into the 70’s in the next couple weeks start to look for deep rock humps, as bass will spend most of their summer here.
If big water is not your thing, Northern Wisconsin offers phenomenal Smallmouth fishing as well. Just about every deep, clear, rocky lake up here offers great fishing. As of right now there are a few fish on beds, and a lot of them cruising shallow breaklines looking for a meal. My favorite way to fish these lakes during the post spawn period is with top water baits. My favorite being the Rapala Skitter Prop. You can fish them fast, have a lot of flash, and make a lot of noise to get their attention. This bite will last for a couple of weeks yet as these fish hang out on the deeper edges of spawning flats. Once the water warms up into the 70’s look to find them a bit deeper, on rock points and rock humps.
-Adam Rasmussen, “Rasmussen Outdoors”
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