Lakes Waubesa and Kegonsa were created by glaciers that left their debris which damned the melting glaciers and created the lakes 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. The present day Yahara River connects these two lakes with the other two lakes of the Yahara Chain, Lakes Mendota and Monona. Early settlers referred to Lake Kegonsa as “First Lake” because it was the first of the four Madison lakes they encountered traveling north up the Yahara River.
Today Lake Waubesa and Lake Kegonsa are two of the most productive lakes for ice fishing in Wisconsin. For anglers looking for a mixed bag of fish, these lakes offer the opportunity to catch everything from muskie, bass, northern pike, crappie, perch and bluegill.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports connect with the Lake Waubesa and Kegonsa waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish through the ice on Lake Waubesa:
- Panfish suspend in the deeper water in the north end of the lake in the winter. A small jig tipped with spikes will catch bluegills, crappies and perch. Bass and northern can be caught on tip-ups with medium to large shiners.
- The middle of the lake, in 30-35 ft. of water is a great location to find perch. Use a pencil sinker with a small jig tipped with spikes fished on or very near the bottom.
- For northern pike work the bays and rock islands of the lake with tip-ups and medium sized shiners.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish through the ice on Lake Kegonsa:
- Just west of Lafollette County Park, bluegill can be had with small jigs tipped with spikes. Set out tip-ups with medium to large shiners for the occasional northern pike or largemouth bass.
- West of Nichols Point, work the deep water areas during early ice season. Use tip-ups with a jig and waxies to produce perch.
- East of Golladay Point, the east side of the submerged islands is a popular ice fishing spot. Bluegill, crappie, white bass and walleye will all hold here.