The Lake Winnebago System is Wisconsin’s largest inland lake and one of the Midwest’s greatest bass fishing destinations. The system includes 138,000-acre Lake Winnebago, as well as Big Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Winneconne, Lake Poygan and the Wolf River.
Over the past decade, the bass fishing on Lake Winnebago has been outstanding. Long famous for its walleye and perch, Lake Winnebago now draws bass anglers from around the country. The lake system has even become a popular bass tournament location.
The lake system holds both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The system’s largemouth are found close to shore, particularly near boat docks and other manmade structures. Look for shallow water, emergent weeds and good cover, and you’re going to find some largemouth bass.
Smallmouth bass can be found in many of the same places frequented by walleye, particularly mid-lake humps and points. Fish are often found in deeper holes and along steep drop offs. If you hook into one, hang on—Lake Winnebago’s smallmouth bass are fighters!
The best largemouth bass fishing in the system can be found on Lake Winnebago. The lake offers endless miles of shoreline. Big Lake Butte des Morts offers wide areas of emergent weeds that harbor some big bass. Plastic worms and small crankbaits are good choices for lures.
Smallmouth bass can be found throughout the system, including Lake Winnebago. For some of the best smallmouth bass fishing, try the Fox River or travel upstream and fish the Wolf River. Look for areas where current meets slack water. Crawfish pattern baits are your best bet.
The Lake Winnebago System is huge. Nothing in the state comes close to it. And, the system has a bass population to match its size. Oshkosh’s location on the western shore of the lake and along the Fox River makes it the perfect place to access this fishery. There are boat launches located throughout the community, allowing anglers to launch onto the big lake or the Fox River.
This summer, head to Oshkosh, tie on a plastic worm and start catching some Lake Winnebago bass.