Fishing the Wisconsin Great River Road


Photo by Brady Rogers 


Fishing the Wisconsin Great River Road

With over 119 species of fish, the Mississippi River along the Wisconsin Great River Road has more species than can be found in any Wisconsin lake!  Walley, sauger, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, catfish, crappies, and bluegills just to name a few.  The river has some of the Midwest’s best fishing and because of conservation and habitat restoration, it is only getting better.  


Lake Pepin – Pepin County

When fishing the Mississippi River, Lake Pepin is a great spot.  At over 25,000 acres, it is the largest lake on the Mississippi.  You will find steep drop offs where walleye are likely to be found in the summer and fall.  The deeper water, the lake reaches a depth of 60 ft, is the best place to fish for suagers.  And 117 miles of shoreline are available to put in a line and have some fun chasing after panfish. The lake is known for white bass.  Watch for where the seagulls are diving, it’s likely they are feeding on the same things the white bass are.


Lake Winneshiek – Crawford County

Lake Winneshiek is Pool 9 of the Mississippi River and encompasses over 4,500 acres.  While northern pike and largemouth bass can be a common catch on the lake, if you want the fun of pulling out lots of fish, panfish is a great choice.  With a daily bag limit of 25, you can bring home the fish fry!  Bluegill, pumpkinseed, perch, and crappie are plentiful.  Late summer kicks the panfish fishing into high gear.  A wing dam, a little piece of nightcrawler, and you’re in business.


Trout Streams – Buffalo County

While the Mississippi River has a lot of fishing choices, the surrounding region is also very well known for its trout streams.  Buffalo County alone has 73 trout streams.  Some good choices are the Waumandee Creek and the Little Waumandee Creek, both class II.  There is a lot of public access and trout stream easements to allow anglers an opportunity to get at these crystal clear streams.  View this map to discover where to go, and how you can get to the streams.  You’ll find many access points that are just a short walk in from the road.


Trout Streams – Vernon County

Maybe it’s your first time fly-fishing, or you just want someone who can help you find the trout stream hotspots, then you may want to look into a guide service.  Vernon County is not only full of trout streams, but there are several services that will help get you into some waders.  The Driftless Angler is a popular fly shop that also offers guide services.  Half-day and full-day trips are available.  Brain Ramsey Outdoor Sporting Life is another great choice.  Not only does he offer guided trips, but also fly casting lessons.