In a state of full freshwater lakes, choosing one can be a challenge. There are more than 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin. On a recent fishing trip, we made our way to Green Lake with fishing rods in hand. We chose Green Lake not only for fishing, but also for its scenery. We didn’t know before the trip, but Green Lake is Wisconsin’s deepest natural inland lake. Much of the lake is more than 200 feet deep. There are also some boulders dotted along the coast, photogenic and a handful of perfect peninsulas. This post is sponsored by our partner Vamos a Pescar and all opinions are ours.
We decided to go boating on Green Lake for a day with great weather. We didn’t even have a cloud in the sky until we docked at the end of the day. While conditions on the water were perfect, our guide explained that sunny days are not always the best for fish to bite, but we got lucky and caught lots of fish from the boat.
To start our fishing trip we dropped our lines for something smaller than we expected. Our guide started our journey by catching our own bait. This is a type of fishing that we have never tried before. The action was great catching small perch which later became an appetizer for the fish we were really looking for. With a few dozen perch in the live bait pool, we made our way across the large lake to some of the captain’s favorite spots.
We have always used worms, night crawlers, and the occasional leech to fish in Wisconsin, but this would be our first casting with a live fish as bait. There were few large fish with standard live bait. However, this was not the case that day. With this great lure, almost all of the fish we put on the boat were bigger than any other fish we’ve ever caught in Wisconsin – some of them were even wall worthy!
It wasn’t long before the fish started to bite and the #FirstCatch found its way into our net! After a ten minute battle of daring under-boat races, Hannah did the honors of catching a nearly three-pound little bass to begin our day of fishing in Green Lake.
We were able to catch a few fish an hour while we were on the lake, it was great fun and we kept watering and being busy. This is different from other trips we’ve been on, such as halibut fishing in Homer, Alaska. While this experience was also a lot of fun, it was much more practical and required a little more skill. Most of the day we caught and released the fish and used the pike to take a few photos while they came to in the water.
Our biggest fish of the day jumped on the line in the middle of the afternoon as we fished deep on the north shore of Green Lake. When we started rolling this it looked tough, but we weren’t sure if we were fighting algae or if we had something big on the line. After a few minutes of fighting, the fish came out of the water and everyone on board said, “Wow, that’s a big fish.” He put on a show by jumping out of the water several times before our guide safely caught him on the net. With the net over the boat, he fished out a smallmouth bass which tipped the scales to nearly 4 pounds (19½ inches).
To end the day, Hannah managed to catch a large pike, her first pike. After walking at least 100 feet of line, he attached the hook and began rolling it into the boat. Though not as active as the largemouth bass, it struggled with splashes on the way to the net.
We had a great day fishing at Green Lake. It’s surprising we fished here for the first time because it’s so close to where Hannah grew up. We picked the perfect day for the weather and we got lucky fishing too!
What you need to know about fishing in Green Lake, Wisconsin
Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased online or in sports stores. We buy our fishing licenses at a gas station on the same day as our fishing day. Domestic fishing licenses are available in annual or one-day formats. Annual and 1/4/15 day licenses are available for non-residents. All persons over 16 years of age need a fishing license, which is valid from April 1st to March 31st of the following year.
The fishing is open year round, but seasons and sizing restrictions apply to certain fish. The fishing season for trout and black bass, pike and pikeperch is from May 6, 2017 to March 4, 2018. Here is a full list of fishing regulations and seasons in Green Lake Wisconsin.
Green Lake is really big and if you’ve never been there it is best to go to some of the best spots on the lake with a local guide. We went with the local fishing guide Justin Kohn, who was born and raised in the area and knows this lake like the back of his hand. He had saved fishing spots on his GPS that we would never have found.