Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report – April 2014

Lake Wisconsin Walleye FishingThe Wisconsin River at the Dells below the Kilbourn dam has been open for a month now with reports of lots of walleyes and saugers being caught, and there is open water below the Prairie Du Sac dam as well. The Wisconsin River above Lake Wisconsin opened up at the end of March, and the fishing has been consistently good, at least for a period of time each day, as the walleyes and saugers move through the narrows at the Northeast end of the lake on their way upstream to spawn in the Wisconsin River.

The bulk of these fish will travel to within a few miles of the Kilbourne Dam to spawn. Others will do it somewhere along the way. There are some “resident” fish that spawn in Lake Wisconsin but the numbers are low. With daily high temperatures forecasted in the 60’s for most of the second week of April, the actual walleye spawn will happen soon, and quickly it will be over.

Right now is the time to get out below either the Prairie du Sac Dam or the Kilbourne Dam at the Dells to capitalize on the remainder of the pre-spawn bite. It will be another year before you find this many fish concentrated in such a relatively small area. Most fishing techniques will work now; vertical jigging, live bait rigging, pitching plastics, pitching blades, pulling cranks on three-way rigs, and draggin’ jigs – so pick your poison and get in on the fun.

Hot Tip – Night-time is the right time! To target the largest walleyes, key on depths of 2’ to 10’ depending on conditions during the day, and the bite, as well as the average size of the fish caught, will increase dramatically over the next 10 days if you fish after sundown. After dark, key on the 2’ -6’ depths. Stick baits such as the #11 Rapala, Bomber Long A, Storm Thundersticks, Rapala Scatter Rap Minnows, Rapala Husky Jerks, etc… are all proven big fish baits. Casting jig and plastic combos with a steady retrieve just above the bottom can work as well.

Tight Lines,

Gary Sanders
Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report – March

Lake Wisconsin locked up with ice in November 2013, and ice conditions have been consistently good through February, but open water fishing is just around the corner so be cautious if venturing out on late winter ice as increased current from snow melt rapidly erodes the ice. In anticipation of the spring walleye run, follow these tips to help you be prepared: 1) take time now to make sure those boat batteries are still charged, 2) begin sorting through and organizing your tackle, and 3) put new line on all of your reels. In addition, don’t forget to read the regulations for the waters you intend to fish, and remember that your fishing license expires on March 31st.

We are fortunate to have a continuous open season for walleyes and saugers on Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River, so there is no need to wait for the inland waters opener which occurs annually on the first Saturday in May. For those who prefer to target trout in streams, the early catch and release season opened on March 2nd.

In March, you will typically find open water below the Prairie du Sac Dam where you can either fish from shore, wade in the shallows to cast, or put your boat in at the VFW launch. Open water can usually also be found in early March on the northeast end of Lake Wisconsin. There are three launches on Tipperary Road from which you can launch a boat to fish the Wisconsin River at the head of the lake and an additional launch on the Wisconsin River four miles to the North on County Road V by Hooker’s Resort. Additional fishing opportunities for pre-spawn walleyes and saugers from either shore or a boat can be had on the stretch of the Wisconsin River below the Kilbourn Dam at Wisconsin Dells. Access is on County Road A at either River’s Edge Resort or the new county boat launch right next to River’s Edge.

Gary Sanders

Lake Wisconsin Walleyes Ad

Lake Wisconsin Ice Racing

P1010095On Sunday January 12th the Southern Wisconsin Ice Racing Association held it’s first race of the year on Lake Wisconsin at Remi’s Thirsty Moose.  The crowd was great and so was the weather with temperatures reaching near 40 degrees.  Earlier in the week the temperatures had been as low as 20 degrees below zero so the warm weather and the great racing were a welcome site.  These races will continue through the middle of February, all at Remi’s Thirsty Moose on Lake Wisconsin near the grade.  Schedule: Jan. 19th, 25th, 26th, and Feb. 9th and 16th.

They race both four wheel ATVs and motorcycles, studded and non studded with different classes.  Watching a motorcycle race on oval at more than 60 mph on ICE is a lot fun!!  If you want to a have great time and see some very exciting ice racing make sure you stop at Remi’s Thirsty Moose over the next few week-ends.

Waterfront Zoning Regulations and how they affect Lake Wisconsin residents and users.

Lake ShoreThe Lake Wisconsin Steering Committee will be sponsoring another educational meeting for all citizens interested in learning more about the DNR “Shoreland Zoning Standards” and how they affect you as a lake frontage owner or as a user of the lake and how they protect water quality.  There will also be discussion regarding the future of these zoning regulations. 

The presentation will be led by Lynn Markham; UW-Extension, Center for Land Use Education located at the UW Stevens Point.  Her recent projects have included publications about protecting waterfront investments and lakes, and zoning board workshops.  We have invited the Columbia and Sauk County Planning and Zoning staff to help answer questions.

The meeting will be held on November 21, 2013 from 6:00-7:30PM at the Lodi Woman’s Club Public Library, 130 Lodi Street, Lodi WI.

All interested residents are encouraged to attend and participate.

Please contact Kirk Boehm at 608-635-8851 or if you have any questions.

Lake Wisconsin Featured Property of the Month

Welcome to the first installment of Terra Firma’s Featured Lake Properties of the Month. Each listing represents a strong value based upon the cumulative attributes of the property as it compares to the most closely related properties.

N4886 County Road U – Windows and more windows upstairs; windows and more windows downstairs; and nothing else, nothing but woods and the river to view. This home sits on a bluff overlooking the Wisconsin River just up from Lake Wisconsin and offers nothing but gorgeous views.

Lake Wisconsin/Wisconsin River: Views of the majestic Wisconsin River from every room in your home! Easy access to Lake Wisconsin and the interstate, and all for less than $310K. This Home has been meticulously maintained and offers 2 bed/2 bath with fully exposed walkout basement where there is a perfect spot to add a 3rd bedroom. Hardwood floors, stone exterior, 2 car garage, stone gated entry, brand new roof, and a huge yard are just some of the many features. Priced at $309,000.

Request a data sheet, maps, and more pictures HERE.

Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report – September 2013

Lake Wisconsin FishingThe kids are back in school, football season is underway, and the nights are definitely getting cooler. Autumn begins on September 22 by the calendar, but from a fishing perspective, I view September as roughly the midway point of the transitional period between summer and fall. This process starts in August on Lake Wisconsin and progresses through October in most years.

Change – The days keep getting shorter and nights progressively cooler. These changes are significant as it affects how we attempt to locate and pattern fish on a given day during this period. It is common now to see day/night air temperature fluctuations from 20°-30° Fahrenheit which can cause water surface temperature swings of 5°-10°F.  Add to that the shorter days causing weeds to die and consume rather than create oxygen, and the abundance of forage, and fish can be downright difficult to pattern.

Where did they go? – The easy fishing and big numbers we put up on most days in May through July are only memories now. Pulling crank baits and Slow Death rigs along and off the edges of 15’-20’ break lines just doesn’t work as well now because walleyes are on the move. While you may still find some fish holding on these deeper locations on certain days, keying on 15’ or less will likely find you getting bit more often. Fishing the tops of structures such as humps and sand bars at the mouths of bays that drop off to deeper water can provide good fishing. Use your lake map to identify structural features such as humps, points that extend far out underwater, and sand or rock bars in close proximity to deeper water.  Walleyes will not be uniformly dispersed on these areas however, so look for some kind of subtle change like the presence of rocks, a rock to sand transition, or some other feature that is “different” from the surrounding area –“the spot on the spot”. Deep flats will also hold some fish but again, try to pinpoint areas where hard & soft bottom meet, or some other irregularity that might hold fish. Live bait is a good idea along with a slower presentation. Casting a jig & ½ crawler to the top of a hump and slowly dragging it down the side is often effective. Lindy Rigs dragged slowly along the tops of a break with wind or electric motor can be good as well.

Gary Sanders
Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

Lake Wisconsin August Calendar of Events

August 8: LodiAugust

Fitz’s Corn Broil fundraiser for Lodi area non-profits. Dinner includes brats and corn on the cob. Games, raffles, auction, music and fun for the whole family. 5 p.m. at Fitz’s on the Lake north of Lodi, W11602 Hwy. V.


August 9-11: Lodi

42nd annual Harmony Grove Brat & Beer Festival. Softball tournaments, food, music and raffles. Sunday family day with hay rides and children’s activities. Lewis Byrnes Park intersection of Cross Street and Rodney Drive.


August 10: Lodi

Susie the Duck Days. Lodi-Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce presents family-fun activities including Duck Derby race on Spring Creek with prizes, Search-for-Susie kid’s game, car show, dining, music and shopping. Downtown Lodi. Parade at noon on Main Street sponsored by Lodi Rotary. (608) 592-4412 or


August 10: Lodi

23rd Annual Lodi Library Run Walk. Begins at 8 a.m. with registration at the Lodi Elementary School parking lot, 101 School St. One mile run for kids under 14. Call the Lodi Public Library (608) 592-4130.


August 10: Baraboo

Cranes of the World Festival. Family activities, arts and crafts and guided crane and prairie hikes. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. International Crane Foundation, E 11376 Shady Lane Road.


August 10: Baraboo

Summer Art Classics fine arts fair at Courthouse Lawn in Baraboo. More than 80 artists with paintings, photography, jewelry, sculpture, glass, ceramics, fiber art and pottery. Food, entertainment and children’s activities. Downtown Baraboo. Held rain or shine. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


August 16-18: Baraboo

Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show and Massey expo. Huge flea market with over 600 vendors, crafts, antiques, auction, music and food. 8 a.m. -5 p.m. at the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show Grounds, S3347 Sand Road, Baraboo. (608) 522-4905 or


August 17: Lodi

Annual Optimist Club Raffle and Pig Roast dinner celebrated at the Lodi Fairgrounds at 5 p.m. with a raffle, top prize $3,000, at 3 p.m. Fundraiser for the Lodi Optimist youth programs. Tickets must be purchased in at advance at Associated Band, 102 N. Main St.


August 23-24: Portage

Taste of Portage Market Fair. Food court, art and craft vendors, children’s activities, car show and live music. Downtown Portage along Hwy. 33. Portage Area Chamber of Commerce (608) 742-6242.


August 30-31: Prairie du Sac

Annual Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, Marion Park, 100 First St. Beer garden with live music, children’s games, food court, arts and crafts fair, Classic Run at 8 a.m. Saturday, parade at noon on Saturday and Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw. (608) 643-4317


August 31: Pardeeville

Pardeeville Community Car and Truck Show fundraiser. Free friendly (alcohol free) event. Children’s games, music, crafts, concessions, over 500 registered cars, antique and classic tractor show and model cars. 8 a.m. – 4p.m. Chandler Park, east of Hwy. 44, left on Park Drive,


Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report 7/23/13

Lake-WI-walleye-300x225Fishing on Lake Wisconsin for walleyes and saugers is still quite good. Trolling with crank baits with either planer boards, long-lining or lead core line, as well as pulling slow death rigs on break lines or in deeper holes by a break-line, continue to be the most consistent methods for numbers of fish.

We are still keying on the same areas as last month – the 8’ to 10’ flats and 12’ to 16’ break lines, but there are some significant changes occurring that are worthy of note as they will likely impact the fishing;

  1. Water temps have jumped up significantly in the last two weeks. We are seeing 80 degree + surface temps.
  2. The algae bloom is well underway.
  3. The flow rate in the Wisconsin River has finally dropped significantly
  4. We are starting to see some evidence of Mayfly hatches.

If you consider these four items together along with the calendar period, it tells me that it is likely that another pattern is developing. The pattern I’m referring to is fishing for suspended walleyes. With the slower flow of current, the algae bloomFishing-Lake-WI-300x225 and some bug hatches occurring, we should start to mark fish suspended over deeper water (in 15’-25’ generally). These fish are most easily targeted during the week when there is less boat traffic by the trolling applications mentioned above. Slowly cruising in the main channel while watching your locator for good sized banana shaped “hooks” on your screen. Note the depth these are at, and set your gear to run baits both at the same level, and slightly above these fish. Berkley Flicker Shads, Rapala jointed Shad Raps and Storm Smash Shads in firetiger and chrome/blue patterns should work, along with other baits as well. Make plenty of turns to speed up and slow down baits to determine the best speed.

Tight lines,

Gary Sanders

Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC

Lake Wisconsin July Events

Looking for something to do the last weekend of July in the Lake Wisconsin area?  Check out these fun events.

July 24th – 28th, Portage

Columbia County Fair.

Amusement rides, grandstand shows, food and fun at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, Veterans Memorial Field, Wauona Trail and Griffith St.


July 25th – 28th, Waunakee


Four day event with petting zoo, carnival, softball tournament, run/walk, evtertainment tent, craft show, food stands, parade, and fireworks. Centennial Park, 901 S. Holiday Dr..

Free bus shuttle service available all weekend.


July 27th – Baraboo

Downtown Baraboo Circus. 9am – 4pm

Circus performances, historic circus wagons, children’s activities, music, cricus displays, walking tours, foods, sidewalk sales, farmers market, huge antique and collectibles Sale-a-Palooza, parade and popular water fights.


July 27th – 28th, Baraboo

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show Re-enactment.

Featuring cowboys and cowgirls, Texas longhorns, Civil War Cannon, Gatlin gun demonstration, trick riding, roping and shooting, a stagecoach hold-up and a territorial bank robbery. Saturday 5-6:30pm. Sunday 2-3:30pm. Baraboo circus World, 550 Water St.

Lake Wisconsin Fishing Report – 6.18.13
We’ve just past the mid-point for the month of June and fishing on Lake Wisconsin for walleyes and saugers remains very good. The fish are widely dispersed from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to the Prairie du Sac dam. Trolling with crank baits with either planer boards, long-lining or lead core line has been the most efficient means of getting fish for the last three weeks; however I will say that long-lining and pulling lead core sets has out fished planer board sets 2 to 1 in my boat. I have not found any particular preference for color or brand of crank bait

which is unusual. On my scouting trips as well as guide trips, I have routinely been intentionally pulling a different color and brand of bait on each rod and have yet to determine a preference. #7 Storm Smash Shads, #7 Berkley Flicker Shads and #7 Rapala jointed Shad Raps have pretty much had equal success while long-lining and pulling lead core. #5’s have worked to but the #7’s have been the most consistent for me. Other brands of baits than

FishingWithLakeWisconsinWalleyes.comthose mentioned above will work too.

Multiple locations and depths are producing fish regularly, but I have been concentrating on two main areas:  8’ to 10’ flats and 12’ to 16’ break lines. What I do, is to mark a GPS way point when I get a fish, and soon a line of way points will be established so that you can easily return and pull baits over the same productive locations at a later time.

When pulling lead core lines, one trick that I’ve been doing to get extra fish off of a break line once the bite seems to slow, is to change colors and styles of baits. I can run back and forth along a contour 8-10 times picking up one to three fish on every pass and then it will seem like the bite stops. For example, if you’re running Smash Shads and Flicker Shads and it seems like you’ve worn out the spot, changing out the baits from the straight models to jointed Shad Raps in different color patterns has worked like a charm to get a few more.

Another trick is to work the area over by slowing down and pulling Slow Death rigs on bottom bouncers in order to finesse a few more fish. Once you’ve fished area, look at your Lake map to identify areas with similar features elsewhere and go fish those. Pretty soon you will have a “milk run” of spots established allowing you to keep moving and maximize your time on the water.

Good fishing to you,

Gary Sanders

Lake Wisconsin Walleyes, LLC