Located in southeast Wisconsin near many major metropolitan areas, Lake Geneva is a popular fishing lake. Summer pleasure boat traffic becomes extremely heavy during summer. Many local anglers choose to fish this lake during the week to avoid the heavy traffic.
Excellent structure, abundant forage and depth combine to create a productive fishery. Stocking efforts of brown and lake trout have established excellent angling opportunities. The lake is best known for its quality smallmouth bass population, though largemouth bass and northern pike are well represented here too.
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For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports connect with the Lake Geneva waterway page on Fishidy.
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Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Lake Geneva:
- During summer, smallmouth bass will hold in scattered weeds found close to the thermocline. Linn Pier Flats, Buttons Bay and the west side of Geneva Bay are good summer areas.
- Late fall is another prime time to catch smallies. At this time, the bass tend to be concentrated. These fish can be found as deep as 15 to 30 feet. Using a Lindy Rig tipped with a live shiner is an excellent choice.
- On summer nights, trolling crankbaits or spinner/live bait rigs will produce walleye. Local anglers prefer to rig deep-diving Reef Runners or deep-diving Rapala Taildancers on lead core line. Blue/silver, perch, black/gold and rainbow trout patterns should be used.
- Weeds and wind-blown structure attract walleye from summer through fall. Structure that meets the thermocline down 20 to 35 feet produces the best. Mid-lake humps, deep weeds adjacent to drop offs and feeding shelves are the top producing areas.
- During summer and fall, northern pike will move to deeper water, 30 plus feet near steep drop-offs. At this time, deep-diving crankbaits on wire line will produce active pike in deep water.
- When northern pike are located, live bait rigs will produce less active pike. Black Point, Geneva Bay and Williams Bay are key areas to cover.
- Man-made cover is the key for locating summer largemouth bass on this metropolitan lake. Look for fish to hold near docks and moorings. Docks near shoreline weedbeds or weedy flats tend to be more productive. Docks that don’t get daily use by owners will also produce largemouth bass.
- Controlled drifting with the aid of quality electronics will locate schools of suspended panfish during summer. Try night fishing or the early morning periods to produce the best during this time.