Let the fishing season begin: Walworth County Lakes

By Dave Duwe - May 1, 2007
Walworth County in Southeastern Wisconsin is blessed with many great fishing lakes. The county has one of the deepest lakes in the state in Lake Geneva and one of the busiest lakes in the state in Delavan Lake.

Lake Geneva is the biggest and deepest lake in Walworth County. Being the deepest lake it does have its disadvantages, especially in early May. The water is still really cold and the fish are not very active. Most of the smallmouth bass are being caught suspended, not associating with any structure. They are however, actively chasing baitfish pods near the spawning flats. My preferred presentations are Rapalas, Husky Jerks, and Kalins Grubs in avocado color fished on a darter head or Arkie Jigs Shinee Hinee, (a small crappie jig that resembles a small shiner).

Largemouth bass will be the most active in the shallows, in such places as Trinkes, Abbey harbor or Williams Bay. I like using baits such as the Yum Dinger or a Texas rigged plastic worm. Green pumpkin or watermelon are always my best colors.

The larger bluegills will be in the emerging weeds. The best presentation will be slip bobbers with ice jigs tipped wax worms. Look for the bluegills in Geneva Bay on the east end of the lake or by the South Shore Club (Military Academy). Smaller bluegills and pumpkin seeds will be caught in the shallows of Trinkes or the Abbey. The best depth will be 12-16 ft of water.

Delavan Lake will be the busiest lake in Walworth County come opening day. I prefer not to guide on the lake on opening weekend due to the crowds. The crappie fishing this spring has been pretty good the last few weeks of April. People have been catching a lot of fish in the 8-12 ft depth range. I prefer using plastics, mini-mites or small twister tails. My favorite colors are purple, white or motor oil. A lot of fish can be caught on small fatheads fished on slip bobbers. Key locations are in 5-12 ft of water in front of Lake Lawn Lodge or the west end around the "island." Due to the very clear water in early May, the walleye become very hard to catch and I prefer to wait until the water warms a little, the bite turns on about Memorial Day. The best bet in early May is slip bobbers and fathead minnows. I like fishing the emerging weeds in 10-14 ft of water around the Yacht Club.

The largemouth bass will be cruising the shallows in pre-spawn. The best approach are Yum Dingers fished Texas rigged in 3-5 ft of water near the outlet by Lake Lawn Lodge or on the west end near the island.

My choice for opening day and for the first couple of weeks of May is the smaller lakes in the county. Lakes such as Lake Como, Whitewater Lake and Lake Beulah all have great fishing opportunities. Most of them receive a lot less fishing pressure than the two highly publicized lakes. All three of these lakes have very good largemouth bass and northern pike fishing. These lakes are smaller and shallower which makes the water temperature warm faster, making the fish more active. I work the shallow emerging weeds in 3-5 ft of water. My best baits are white ΒΌ oz spinner baits or the 5" Yum Dinger fished Texas rigged. These lakes are great fishing lakes and are made more enjoyable by less boat traffic and pressure.

You can really get away from the crowds and fish the smaller creeks. Bluff creek, which is a trout stream or Turtle creek, which has a decent smallmouth bass and pan fish bite along with a lot of rough fish. No boat required for creek fishing. Come and enjoy some of the best fishing in Wisconsin. The fishing in Walworth County is truly awesome.

Author Dave Duwe
Dave Duwe
Full-time guide Dave Duwe owns and operates Dave Duwe's Guide Service, featuring the lakes of Walworth County, WI. Dave has been guiding for over 20 years and is one of Southeastern Wisconsin's best multi-species anglers. Dave is an accomplished outdoor writer and seminar speaker. He is a member of the Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Association and Walworth County Visitor Bureau. Sponsors include: Lund Boats(Jerry's Sport Service Inc.), Mercury Marine, Arkie Jigs, and Vexilar Marine Electronics, a pro-staff member of Minn-Kota trolling motors,Hummingbird graphs, Cannon downriggers, Lindy, Pure Fishing and All Terrain Tackle. For more information, please check out Dave's website www.fishlakegeneva.com .