Walleye are one of the most highly prized game fish in Wisconsin. Thousands are caught each year during their spring spawning runs. Walleye are primarily minnow feeders, but leeches, small bullheads, nightcrawlers, and various small plugs are favorite baits. In clear waters, walleyes usually stay in deeper areas during the day, moving into the shallows at night. In more turbid waters, they can be caught throughout the day. The large, unusual eyes of the walleye are designed to help them easily find their prey .
Large Mouth Bass will bite on almost anything. They can be caught on minnows, worms, or other live bait, plus poppers or streamers presented with a fly rod, or plugs thrown from a casting or spinning rod. Because the bass is usually associated with weeds, a weedless bait will often be necessary. Best fishing times are early morning and evening during the warm months. Bass like warm water and warm weather. Few bite in the winter.
Small Mouth Bass Pound for pound the Small Mouth bass is the scrappiest fish of all Wisconsin. It is usually associated with a rocky stream or lake environment where its favorite food, the crayfish, is abundant. Some of the best lake fishing takes place in June during, and just after, the spawning season, and in early fall. Natural baits like hellgrammites, dragonfly larvae and crayfish are especially effective during early morning or late evening. (Note: in Wisconsin it is illegal to possess live crayfish while fishing or while possessing angling equipment on any inland water, except the Mississippi River.) Probably the best artificial baits are those used on the surface. Light tackle is ideal. Fish quietly, casting toward rocks or logs, keeping the rod tip up and the line taut.
Pumpkinseed are a close relative of the Bluegill with the same narrow body shape as bluegills. Another trait Pumpkinseeds share with bluegill is excellent flavor. Pumpkinseeds are true panfish - delicious when lightly floured and pan fried. Being easily caught from shore, putting up a tough fight at the end of a line, and looking like a jeweled treasure from the watery depths, the Pumpkinseed has what it takes to endear itself to children.
Yellow Perch are primarily bottom feeders with a slow deliberate bite. They eat almost anything, but prefer minnows, insect larvae, plankton, and worms. Tackle may range from a simple hand line or a fly rod in summer to a short, whippy, jigging rod in winter. Because perch prefer cooler water, the best fishing is usually in deep water. Perch move about in schools, often numbering in the hundreds. If one spot is unproductive after a few tries, it is best to move to other spots until a school is located .
Northern Pike Unlike other common species of game fish are most active when the water is cool. The Northern pike is quite accommodating to anglers, biting best during the daylight hours. Being a predator, Northerns prefer live fish baits, and wobbling spoons. They are a favorite target of ice fisherman with tip-ups.