Friday, July 15, 2011

milwaukee river pike and smallmouth fishing

the mighty milwaukee river
It wasn’t that long ago I ventured out to learn the Milwaukee River for the first time. I’m on a quest for at least one decent smallmouth bass and I hope my time doesn’t run out. When the salmon come a knockin, I will be dropping everything. Sure, I could take the easy way out and drive to where Damien has already been catching some nice smallmouth bass but I think Ken G was serious about hunting us down one by one. Don’t worry Ken, your secret is safe with Damien. Plus, I know that the potential for big fish exists when we even bring the Milwaukee River up in conversation. It’s a daunting river to start fishing just based on the amount of watershed and the distance the river travels but I believe when you put the pieces of the puzzle together you just might strike smallmouth gold.

milwaukee river
Basically, I have just started with one access point and will add another access with every new trip I take. My goal by king season is to put together a personal map highlighting the best pools and stretches of water in the entire river. By next summer this should serve as a good cheat sheet to pool hop my way back home coming from the north.

miwaukee river smallmouth bass
A few observations from trip #1
  • The deepest pools held the biggest fish while the water was low
  • Pike were relating to wood adjacent to the deep water
  • Smallmouth were on the rocks where they dropped into the deep pools
  • Leaders are in order, pike have sharp teeth
  • Don’t walk in the deep pools before fishing them
  • 1/8th oz jigs with a grub will penetrated even the deepest pools quickly
  • Don’t wade past your waist while wearing hip boots
  • Don’t keep your keys, phone or wallet in your pocket when you wade past your hip boots
  • Consider wet wading to stay cool

milwaukee river pike
Ok, so another mediocre trip when you look at some of my meager bass but I sure learned a heck of a lot. Throwing small spinners in the shallow runs produced almost a dozen tiny bass. I spooked some nice bass in the 3 pound class and had a huge fish give chase but ended stopping short. Don’t worry bass, I know where you sleep and will be back for more. When all else fails a good pike can save the day, this I know because I caught six from a downed tree on the inside of a big bend. The two biggest pike of the day were lost to the tree and the other to a bite off. I hope to be keeping cool in the Milwaukee this weekend chillin with a group of my buddies. I hope we all have a nice smallmouth on the end of our lines.

the pike save the day on the milwaukee


  1. Some great pics and nice scouting. Looks like that river is the Bees Knees for sure. Good luck on it this weekend. Look forward to the report. Tight Lines.

  2. You seem to to be getting out every few days to different locations and a good mixed bag of fish. I'm envious Bake.

  3. I have an invite to do some small mouth fishing next week. I hope i can go. Nice job on the pike and river smallies.

  4. It's been a good time so far for sure. We will hopefully get on some fish tomorrow, we have 3 people going fishing. John, I wish I was fishing every day, I just have a back log of posts since our internet was down from the last big storm.

  5. One of these days I should make the drive over there and try it out for myself! I'm just too lazy to make the drive! Nice fish!

  6. Blake really nice pike and smallmouth on spinning. What length was you using? Great Post