Tuesday, August 30, 2011

giving credit where credit is due

Being a brand new smallmouth bass fisherman and the newly appointed president of “The River Snobs” (a made up group) I would like to take a moment to say thanks. Not to a person, but to a river.

This river begins in Fon du Lac County and flows just over 100 miles before emptying into Lake Michigan. Its watershed covers a 900 square mile radius and its flow is fed by three main tributaries. It gets a dependable run of great lakes steelhead, salmon, and trout but is also home to almost every warm water species of fish imaginable. Any ideas?

The Milwaukee River is correct and it has served as my base camp for learning the ropes of river bass fishing. Its water has kept me cool on the hottest summer days and has offered me a chance at some bonus pike and musky (even if the musky wasn’t my catch). I’ve been amazed at how clear the water is and how secluded I feel when wading its banks. The Milwaukee River gives you that “up north” experience while being just a stones throw from Wisconsin’s largest city.

a scenic milwaukee river dam

A lot of people have inquired about where to fish for the bass on the Milwaukee. I’ve bounced around quite a bit fishing both the main and west branch of the river. I can honestly say that every single access I have come across has had some good water with some fish there to be caught. This is a very long river, and even though its named the Milwaukee, it doesn’t mean that the fish are found just in the city limits. To tell you the truth, I have only fished bass from Thiensville and north. I had no one there to point a spot out on a map. All I started with was the desire to catch some fish and the rest came natural. To me, exploring new areas is half the fun of fishing. Getting off the beaten path and blazing my own trail is what it’s all about.

starting the morning off right

another milwaukee river slob smallmouth bass

What are you waiting for?

These photos are from my last bass trip of the season here. I don’t think I will be back until the salmon are in, and I will miss this river. 


  1. Great stuff, Blake! Makes me want to hit the river!

  2. Everyone always talks about the Mississippi and the Wisconsin River being some of the greatest Bass fishing, but I'm thinking the Milwaukee is right up there, if not above them. Muskie,pike,bass,trout,Salmon,Steel head...etc..sheeeeeeshhhhhhh
    It has it all. Looking forward to some posts on the upcoming Salmon hunt. Nice pics and fish. Thanks for sharing all the great info&tips gathered from wading around on the Milwaukee's newly discovered territories. Tight Lines.

  3. Great post Blake. Those river smallies put up the best fight.

  4. hey blake, I was wondering how you go about finding public areas to fish on the river north of thiensville? I've seen lots of houses which turned me away from what looked like good fishing areas.

  5. Drew,

    First, thanks for reading. I always access from hwy overpasses and public parks and keep my feet wet while fishing the rivers. Homeowners could be a pain to deal with...

  6. Thanks for the response Blake, your blog was a great read, I'll have to get out there and scout out some new places to try now! Best of luck to ya for the upcoming salmon season!

  7. Drew,

    If your ever looking for some more detailed info, shoot me an email. Happy to help out.

  8. Blake
    Landing smallmouth on any type of water is a blast. I use to compare them to the spot, but after landing some on Picwick lake in Tennessee a few years ago, I am convinced they are the hardest fighting bass anywhere. Thanks for sharing.