Best Smallmouth Lakes In Wisconsin – Great Places To Visit For An Abundant Catch!

Many anglers are curious to know more about the best smallmouth lakes in Wisconsin.

If you are a fan of smallmouth bass fishing, then this part of the country is the best place to go. After all, Wisconsin welcomes a large population of this fish species. But the question is, where should you go exactly?

Although every Wisconsin water system may hold smallmouth bass, some are indeed better than others. Thus, we have done our homework and present to you these amazing places to go smallmouth bass fishing in this part of America. Here we go!

What Are The Best Smallmouth Lakes In Wisconsin

The opportunities to catch smallmouth bass in Wisconsin are great. But if you prefer a massive catch, then be sure to head over to these areas where you can expect the results you want.

1. Trout Lake

trout lake - best smallmouth lakes in wisconsin

Don’t be deceived by the name as while Trout Lake is home to the best trout fishing experience, bass is also found here. In fact, there are big smallmouth bass that you can catch while at Trout Lake. But their swimming habits are a little different.

To catch smallies, the best way to go is to stay as close to the shore or to structure as possible. Since the water is quite clear, you will need to be more careful and practice stealth unlike when it is on murky waters.

Furthermore, using baits with natural colors is more effective because of the clarity of the water in the lake.

Overall, the experience of fishing for smallmouth bass in Trout Lake is quite impressive. The surroundings are simply impeccable as there are tall pines lining the shore and bald eagles fly overhead. Most of all, you can easily see the depths of the water because of how pristine it is.

The best time to go to Trout Lake for smallmouth bass is on June 18, right after the catch and release season for bass fishing.

2. Flambeau River (Rusk County)

flambeau river (rusk county) - best smallmouth lakes in wisconsin

If you are an avid smallmouth bass fishing fan, the Flambeau River is a great place to be. The smallmouth here are quite beefy, often with fascinating markings and colors.

Excellent areas to go are in the river’s fastest-moving sections, as well as slow-moving and wider flowages. If you opt to fish in narrow sections, you should be able to catch your target in deeper holes and where fast moving currents combine with slack water.

However, when you happen to be in flowages, you would want to try to catch smallmouth bass as if you’re situated on the lake. Hence, you would want to use buzz baits, crankbaits, and spinner baits to lure your target.

Do take note that the river is located in the Northern Bass Management Zone. What this means is that there is a season for catch-and-release bass fishing implemented from May 7 to June 17. Past that date, the regular season begins.

3. Wisconsin Great River Road

wisconsin great river road - best smallmouth lakes in wisconsin

The Wisconsin Great River Road simply won’t disappoint when it comes to smallmouth bass fishing.

With a 250-mile long stretch of water, this is indeed a bass fishing paradise to anglers. You can find both the smallmouth and largemouth swimming in abundance.

For smallmouth bass fishing, the best place to go is in areas closer to the current. They prefer to frequent small islands, deeper holes, and wing dams – anywhere that is closer to structures.

With the massive size of the river, you can indeed expect more fishing opportunities here. But at the same time, many anglers flock to this place. Hence, it is best to go a couple of miles down or up the river to get yourself some quietude while fishing

Smallmouth bass fishing in the river is open all year round.

4. Pelican Lake (Oneida County)

pelican lake (oneida county)

If you prefer to head over to a bigger lake, then Pelican Lake is the best place to be. Spanning over 3,500 acres, it is indeed massive.

Aside from smallmouth bass, you can find other species here such as perch, crappie, musky, walleye, and northern pike, to name a few. Excellent fishery is to be expected at Pelican Lake.

For smallmouth bass anglers, the perfect spot is closer to the weeds. Check out the weed edges and find variations in the bottom structure and weed line. You can also tie on a plastic work and fish right along the shore structures or the piers. These will guarantee a fight with a massive smallie at the lake!

With a catch-and-release fishing season happening up to June 17, it is best to head over past that date.

Read More: What Does Largemouth Bass Taste Like? See If It’s Worth Eating!

5. Lake Mendota

lake mendota - best smallmouth lakes in wisconsin

Located in Madison, this is becoming a popular spot for smallmouth bass fishing. In fact, you can find a 23-inch smallie in rare instances!

While most smallies are about 14 inches, you can most certainly catch up to 18 inches. The key is in heading over to the best spots on the lake.

Expert anglers recommend some seriously amazing areas for smallmouth bass fishing such as the steep drops, weed pockets, as well as fish cribs.

If you head over in the spring, then you should use the best lures such as tubes and spider grubs. But come summer, heavier jigs are your key options as fish stay deeper into the water.

6. Oconomowoc Lake

oconomowoc lake

Fishing for smallmouth bass in this area can get a bit lonely at times because of the isolated location.

Yet, if you are lucky enough, it is not uncommon to catch up to 30 fish a day and with an average length of 15 inches.

Because of the water being quite clear, it should be easy to find smallies on shallow weed flats. Since heavier pike and muskies are on taller beds, these fish push smallmouth bass right onto the flats.

As for the right type of lure to use, experts recommend clear-water ones. This way, you can be as stealthy as possible considering the clarity and pristine quality of the water.

7. Lake Mohawksin

lake mohawksin

And lastly, we’ve got one of the best smallmouth lakes in Wisconsin, which is Lake Mohawksin. It is right near Tomahawk and perfect for catching this fish species.

It spans more than 1,300 acres, and you can expect to find up to 20-inch smallies here. For springtime angling, you can use tubes and finesse worms, which work like a charm. Summertime works best with spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.

Bottom Line

Smallmouth bass fishing has never been this exciting because of so many places to go to in Wisconsin.

These best smallmouth lakes in Wisconsin are serious hotspots, which is why you will be amazed by the massive catch you can get. Just be sure to have all the tools you need and head over at the best time of the year to maximize your angling experience!

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