Jun 7, 2017

FISHING BIG GREEN LAKE

Big Green Lake offers a wide variety of species in May and June with great potential to land a trophy walleye, pike, smallmouth bass, or even a giant lake trout. There are varying techniques I use to stay productive on Big Green Lake.

May is the favorite month for many fishermen since it is the opener for most of our inland lakes. Most of the shallower lakes and river systems in central Wisconsin are warmed up, and those fish are already done congregating in their spawning areas. On the other hand, the water temperature on Big Green Lake, being 235 feet deep, stays cooler longer and there is a lot of spawning going on in May and June.   The walleye are usually shallow and still in their spawning grounds in the beginning of May. Big Green Lake can grow very large walleye; we put several thirty plus inchers in my boat from Big Green each year. Casting crankbaits after dark is a popular way to target the big walleye. Due to the clear water in Green Lake, the bright sunshine can make them inactive during the daytime. Finding the newly growing green weeds during the months of May and June is what I generally focus on to locate them.   A little wind with clouds will have the walleye roaming over the tops of the submerged weedbeds on the prowl for a meal. Trolling and casting shad style crankbaits around the weedbeds can produce great walleye action under these conditions. On a sunny day with less wind, a lead head jig with a leach or nightcrawler, fished very slowly down in the weeds, is a good way to get to the walleye that are not up in the water column chasing down their meal.

Big Green Lake is most popular for its smallmouth bass and lake trout population. May and June are prime months to get in on the best smallmouth fishing that an inland lake can offer in central Wisconsin. Depending mostly on the water temperature and clarity, usually some shallower bedding smallies will start their spawn movement by filling up the sand patches surrounded by rocks or weeds in mid-May. I have noticed on Big Green Lake that the different depths of spawning activity can make it a large window of spawning time. As the spawning is finished up in the month of June, the weeds are growing faster and that turns some of the spawning grounds right into a summer home for these big bass. Some smallmouth prefer to move back to the deeper breaks after their spawn is done, but many will stay and live shallower in the ten to fifteen foot weedy areas. Popular artificial bass baits like tubes, football jigs, and stick worms will catch these aggressive, hard-fighting smallmouth.

Lake trout are a lot of fun to target and catch, and there are not many places that have opportunities for big inland lakers other than Big Green Lake. The season runs from January through September. I like to find several big marks in an area on my Humminbird Helix 12. I get the sensitivity just right so that I can watch our lures falling right down to the big marks under the boat while the i-Pilot holds us perfectly over top of these fish. I like to mix up our lures with large rattle spoons like a buckshot. Also glide baits like puppet minnows, Rapalas, and johnny darters can work well. Paying close attention to the Humminbird is key. It's like a game of cat and mouse with your lure.   Whether it is 60 or 160 feet of water that we are targeting, I use the same techniques. As the lake trout start to come up and chase the lure, I take the lure away and continue to jig very aggressively. This jigging method seems to make it more of a challenge for the trout and that can make them very aggressive, even when they don't show much interest in a slow moving lure.   Lake trout are a deep open water fish that will roam in any part of the water column. Suspended fish are sometimes looking for prey to chase down, and that is another reason why good electronics in the boat help me get my baits right in front of the big deep lake trout.

With a lake that is 235 feet deep and overwhelming with steep structure and deep weedbeds, these are just a few of the patterns that I search for and species that I target starting in May and June. Green Lake is an incredible fishery and a lot of fun to fish after learning its challenging offerings.