musky muhs-kee n:  incurable overwhelming lifetime obsession

Fishing Information

Oneida County offers an amazing variety of lakes and a huge list of fish species. Anglers can choose from crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and musky. The lakes offer numerous boat launches.

The following is advice on how to fish Oneida County through all four seasons of the year.

Spring

The first days after the ice comes off Oneida County’s lakes are ideal for targeting panfish, including bluegill and crappie. Wise anglers head to Oneida County’s shallowest lakes and look for bays and backwaters that are warming more quickly than deeper parts of the lake.

The gamefish season opens in Oneida County on the first Saturday in May, giving anglers the opportunity to fish for walleye and northern pike. Catch-and-release fishing is also available, with the harvest season for bass beginning the third Saturday in June.

During the late spring, the fishing for walleye and bass can be fantastic. Water temperatures are at an optimum for walleye and smallmouth bass and the fishing for these species can be tremendous. Anglers can begin using larger, louder and flashier lures as fish become more aggressive.

Summer

For many anglers, summertime in Oneida County is pure heaven. All species can be targeted in the summer. This is the time of the year when musky hunters start pursuing their quarry. Musky fishing in Oneida County begins on the Saturday nearest Memorial Day.

Musky anglers use bucktails early in the season, switching to crankbaits and jerkbaits as the summer progresses. Northern pike also provide action throughout the summer and often bite on the days when no other fish will look at your lures.

Walleye are perhaps the most popular summertime obsession among Oneida County anglers. The best fishing is in the morning and in the evening, or on cloudy days. While fish can often be found on deep rock piles and mid-lake humps, there are a number of lakes and flowages in Oneida County that provide walleye action in the shallows. Look for fish in sunken timber and along the deep edge of weedbeds. Jigging is by far the most popular presentation.

Bass fishing is excellent in Oneida County during the summer. Largemouth bass can be found in shallow backwaters and weedbeds and are easily enticed with large plastic worms and surface baits. Smallmouth bass – often reaching trophy size – can be found in deeper water.

Fall

Trophy musky fishing heats up when the water temperatures begin to drop in the fall. Anglers target musky using very large jerkbaits, crankbaits and bucktails, as well as live suckers. Smallmouth bass are popular in the fall as well. In fact, fishing for most Oneida County species tends to get better in September and October. Plus, anglers are treated to fantastic fall color.

Winter

Ice fishing in Oneida County is excellent. Panfish, northern pike and walleye are available through the ice in good numbers. Walleye and northern pike tend to be targeted using minnows and tip-ups. Panfish can be found by jigging the areas where they were found in the spring and early summer. Learn more about ice fishing in Oneida County.

Stop Aquatic Invasive Species!

Invasive plants, animals and pests are taking a toll on Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers and landscapes. The DNR is working with citizens and partners to slow the spread of invasive species. Through educational outreach, strategic planning and active management we are protecting our environment and economy from invasives. Learn more about how to protect against transporting aquatic invasive species by visiting http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/

Help control VHS in Wisconsin waters

The Department of Natural Resources has detected a virus affecting fish in the Lake Winnebago system called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS for short.

The DNR reported that this virus is not harmful to humans and that it is completely safe to handle and eat fish caught in Wisconsin waters. It is important to note that VHS is a deadly virus to fish and spreads easily among a variety of fish populations. The DNR is actively responding to contain this threat and has issued the following recommendations that should be practiced on all Wisconsin waterways:

  • Put your catch on ice and do not move live fish and unused bait minnows away from the landing or shore.
  • Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells and other containers when leaving the landing or shore.
  • Use live minnows purchased only from registered bait dealers in Wisconsin or catch it yourself in the same water you fish.
  • Clean plants and debris from your boat before leaving the landing.

To learn more about VHS, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/vhs/index.html