Fishin for Smallies

I really enjoy fishing for smallmouth bass in Wildcat Lake in Boulder Junction Wisconsin.

Wildcat is one of three lakes in a chain. The others are Big and Little Kitten Lakes.  They’re found just north of Boulder Junction on County M in Vilas County.  Although these lakes are all Class A muskie waters, Wildcat is good for smallmouth bass.  Largemouths can be caught on all three of the lakes as well.  Crappies are very good there too.

I look for rocks.  Typically, smallies relate to the rocks while the largemouth relate to the weeds.   Another key to success he re is to find rocks near deeper water.  The smallmouth will move from deeper water up to shallower water and use rocky drop offs for their travel route.

I fish for these hard fighting fish with plastics.  Tubes, beaver baits and wacky worms work well.  If I had to choose one of the three, I’d go with a 5 inch Strike King Ocho or Shim E Stick worm fished wacky worm style.  Keep in mind though that day by day will depict what these fish want.  Wacky worms seem to work the best most often on these relatively clear lakes.

If I’m fishing shallow water, less than 5 feet, I’ll just use an octopus hook and no weights.  If I’m finding fish on the drop offs and deeper water, I’ll use a wacky worm jig.

I enjoy fishing these lakes and so many others in the Boulder Junction area.  Within 10 miles of town one can find 194 lakes to fish.  There are no excuses for a bad day on the water.  If one lake is not on, pull the boat out of the water and go down the road to another lake.  You will find active fish somewhere be it on a large or small lake.

The smallie in the photo was caught at mid-day in late May on a wacky worm in about 15 feet of water near a rocky drop off.  It was a pumpkinseed colored worm.  Water temps were still pretty cool, in the low 60s and clear.  You could tell the difference between a nickel and a quarter in 5 feet of water.

I fish the Boulder Junction area spring, summer and fall.  In that it’s only about 6 hours from my suburban Chicagoland home, it’s an easy drive.  And as I say at the end of all my TV shows, that means “Great fishing is not that far away/” tm.

Leave a comment