Over the past few years i've tried to add a lake or two to my fishing repertoire. In 2016 is was Defiance, 2017 McCullom, 2018 rediscovering Skokie Lagoons, 2019 rediscovering Loon Lake. This year I wanted to expand thing even further so i've decided to head to southeast Wisconsin. My first stop would be a small 40 acre lake in Walworth County not far from Lake Geneva.
Arrived on Friday with my kayak and was basically just searching and throwing confidence baits (Mepps, spinners, senkos) mostly. Not much was happening but I knew there were bass and pike in here so I fished for several hours - 3:30pm-8pm. Wind was from the north, temps in the 70's, bright sunshine. Finally found a handful of small bass and a modest pike.
After I left I was pretty sure i'd visit again, but wasn't super impressed. But, as the evening went on and I had time to process the outing, it hit me that I have to give this lake another go. And despite the cooler temps Saturday and brisk east winds, I was confident that that might actually be ideal conditions for what I wanted to do. And the results paid off quickly. A Mepps spinner amongst the emerging lily pads produced a decent 17" bass. Then I started to find the northern on the same bait. But, I knew I had to throw a bigger bait. So I tied on one of my own custom spinnerbaits and and quickly had a fish - and it was a doozie. After several runs and the drag peeling away, I could see it was a BIG pike. All I kept saying was "don't come off, don't come off!" I didn't have a net but had my Lucid grips. Several jumps, runs under the kayak, and runs into the weeds, I got him boatside and desperately tried to get the grips in his mouth. Finally a success! But, he was so damn big he thrust a certain way and the grips came off! Nooooo! But, he was still hooked. Another quick run and another attempt to get a grip on him and I hoisted him into the kayak. Good Christ this thing was big! Getting pictures was a bitch, especially with this thing still thrashing about, but also my adrenaline was pumping at full speed. Well, got some ok pics (there are 3 pics of the big fish below) and he was harmlessly released. Wow!! Measured at 36". Didn't get a weight but he was a heavy dude (or gal) for certain. I was beat to hell after that!
Needless to say, my first weekend fishing in Wisconsin was well worth the price of the license. And i've got several more promising waters in Walworth County to explore this year!
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Jason W. Norris
Managing Editor - WindyCityFishing.com