By Jon Giacalone
Big Green Lake supports both excellent cold water and warm water fisheries, and may be most well-known for the quality of the lake trout it produces. That said, a variety of species thrive in this waterway, including muskie, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, white bass, yellow perch, crappie, cisco, and brown trout.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as well as other local fishing organizations do an excellent job keeping the lake's fish population healthy and in-balance with annual stockings of lake trout, brown trout, muskie and walleye at various times of the year.
Interestingly, scuba divers find Big Green Lake to be a popular diving location due to the lake's excellent water visibility and maximum depth of 236 feet.
Recreational boating and traffic can be especially heavy on the weekends and holidays, so your best fishing opportunities are during off hours.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up-to-the-minute fishing reports, follow the Big Green Lake waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Big Green Lake:
- Rocky shorelines in Woods Bay, Indian Point, Sugarloaf and inlet areas will hold early spring walleye. Small jigs tipped with fathead minnows work the best at this time. Focus on areas containing broken rock or in areas with developing weeds.
- Lake trout can be caught in deep water during winter. Water from 50 to 225 feet will all produce trout. Cut bait should be used on tip-ups. Ciscos are the best bait, but chubs also will produce. Use the freshest bait for the best results. Place the bait near the bottom.
- When temperatures begin to rise in late winter, white bass can be caught through the ice. The southeast corner, near Pilgrim Road, of the lake is a good place to look for late winter white bass. Use flashers to locate schools in 25 to 50 feet of water. Work Swedish Pimples at or above the schools of bass.
- The northeast corner of the lake, around Dartford Bay and Sunset Park, produce the best winter northern pike catches. Look for areas of vegetation. Medium to large golden shiners fished below a tip-up is the preferred method for locating winter pike. Some anglers choose to use dead smelt as well.
- In spring, smallmouth will move into shallow areas with a gravel or sand bottom to spawn. At this time, spinners, tube baits and crankbaits are effective. A perch-colored Husky Jerk is a good bait to try. On calm days, small topwater baits, such as a Skitter Pop, will trigger strikes.