Wisconsin 2019 Fishing Opener.


As spring rolls in and the water temperatures start to warm up fish across local lakes and rivers start getting ready for the spring spawn. In Wisconsin, the game fish opener starts up May 4th. Many anglers have been counting down the days to get back out on the water and tangle with some game fish again. This is the time of the year the ice fishing equipment gets put away for the summer and the open water and casting rods come out to play. Spring fishing opener can offer some of the most exciting fishing opportunities of the year. During this season most game fish species are typically up shallow preparing for there annual spring spawn. Game fish such as bass and panfish will make there way into shallow worm gravely water that absorbs sunlight. You can look to find many game fish species this time of year in anywhere from 2-5′ of water.

Fish Location

Fish this time of year will follow the worm heated water and stage there until there spawning duties are over. One of my favorite fish to target this time of year is bass. When bass fishing early spring you can look to find both largemouth and smallmouth bass in similar areas. These fish are typically aggressive and willing biters of most baits. When targeting early season bass I prefer to use finesse style lures. My go-to technique for spring bass is a drop shot rig. This rig has outproduced many lures for me on many occasions. The drop shot is also an extremely versatile lure, you can fish this with most plastics and live bait. When using the drop shot rig I like to use six-pound fluorocarbon. When it comes to the line I prefer to use seaguar invizx to get the job done.


Generally, I will fish this bait extremely slow off the bottom. One of the unique things about fishing this time of year is you get a chance to come out and sight fish. When the water is warmer near the shorelines you can typically see many of fish species up shallow cruising around. It’s almost like fishing in an aquarium. Another effective way to catch bass this time of year is by casting a wacky worm. This is an easy rig to use and catches many fish. The way I like to rig a wacky worm is by using a number four hook to ten-pound fluorocarbon line. I typically fish this rig on a spinning reel, this allows me to get the maximum sensitivity out of my presentation. Be sure to take full advantage of the spring fishing near you, its a blast!

Spring Fishing Tips

Typically around the end of March to April time frame, local lakes here in southern Wisconsin start to thaw out. As water temperatures slowly start to heat up the ice leaves the lakes, fish start there spring spawning patterns. This time of year you can expect to find fish returning to there nearby bays and flats that they have been spawning in for as long as they have been alive. Most fish this time of year are fairly dormant and inactive for the most part. It’s important to remember that fish this time of year require patience and some technique to catch due to cold water temps. Most fish in a small lake will congregate in similar areas to start their spawning rituals. Most fish like to locate shallow warm bays and muddy flats. When it comes to spawning fish you need to make sure it is the season before targeting that specific fish. Panfish are available to catch year round, unlike bass, walleye, pike, and musky. Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to get an accurate confirmation on fish seasons near you. Shortly after the water temperatures have warmed up you can look to find most bass and panfish species shallow. Bass will look for weedy soft bottoms where they can drop their eggs. Fish this time of year can be fickle when it comes to locating the correct spawning grounds. It is also important to consider the predators and competition aspects that fish go through during this period. Bigger fish such as northern pike and musky spawn before the panfish and bass. Northern pike will spawn before a musky, its common for water that contains both musky and pike for the first hatched pike to eat the musky fry. Always keep in mind fish spawning patterns and their usual sping movements in order to catch them this time of year. If you’re not familiar with a new body of water in search for spring fish. Always start by scouting shallow, weedy soft-bottomed bays or marinas to find a variety of panfish and bass. Always remember safe fish handling and selective harvest once the season opens in your neck of the woods.