By Jon Giacalone
Pewaukee Lake is popular with Milwaukee-area fishermen and receives heavy recreational use throughout the year. The state has recognized Pewaukee as the finest muskie fishery in southern Wisconsin!
There are two distinct basins separated by the Rocky Point peninsula. The deep west basin was the original lake. The shallow east basin was a marsh with a creek running through it until a 6-foot dam was built at the outlet.
Pewaukee is noted as being most productive in spring and fall when boating traffic is down. The western basin is better known for walleye, muskie and smallmouth, while largemouth and northern pike are the main species in the eastern basin.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up-to-the-minute fishing reports, follow the Pewaukee Lake waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Pewaukee Lake:
- For largemouth bass, efficient weedline fishing is a key to success. Look to weed pockets, inside weed edges, deep outside weedlines or differences in weed species or density as potential casting targets. Texas-rigged worms and lizards, jig/worms, jig n' pigs, weedless spoons, spinnerbaits and top-waters are preferred lures for working a weed environment.
- Smokey’s Bay offers vegetation and several rock bars. The largest rock bar is marked with buoys but extreme caution is advised when navigating this area. Work the larger rock bar with un-weighted weedless plastic worms, JB Rattlers and shallow-diving crankbaits for bass, walleye and occasional pike.
- Pewaukee's walleye population tends to be under-fished. Live bait presentations are quite effective on this water. Slip bobber combinations and weedless jigs (Jacks, Slo-Poke) in bright colors are excellent in the weed cover. Tip jigs with minnows in May, and switch to leeches by mid-June. Trolling Shad-Raps, Wally Divers or Thundersticks is also effective.
- Abundant panfish populations offer steady action year-round. A wide assortment of live bait rigging, including slip bobbers and small jigs, is commonly used. Waxies, mousies, spikes, angleworms, small minnows are favored baits. Remember that post-spawn fish tend to move to the deep weedlines or suspend in open water in the vicinity of the deepest weedline.
A depthfinder is important for locating summer, fall and winter fish.
- Early season muskie relate to new weed cover that attracts forage such as yellow perch.
The shallow east basin warms quickly and offers the season's first action. However, the west basin receives the vast majority of the muskie pressure - summer through fall. Twitched minnow baits, tandem spinnerbaits and down-sized bucktails are important spring and summer presentations.