Best Bait For Beach Fishing
Fishing The Pike Lake Unit Of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine
The Pike Lake Unit of Wisconsin's Northern Kettle Moraine has two lakes within its jurisdiction. Pike Lake is the largest at 446 acres and a depth of 45 feet. Loew Lake is much smaller at 23 acres and a depth of 25 feet. Both of these lakes feature a variety of game fish and the possibility for a trophy catch.
Pike Lake is located east of Hartford, WI on State Highway 60. There are several access points on both the east and west side of the lake. On the east side of the lake you take Pike Lake Road which is just west of Hartford, south to Lake Drive. Here you will find two private and one public boat launching sites. There is also bait for sale and boat rental available.
On the east side of Pike Lake is The Pike Lake State Forest. Turn south off of State Highway 60 on Kettle Moraine Road for the lake access. There is a public beach area and a handicap fishing pier but no boat launch. The State Forest does require you to purchase a vehicle permit. There are also hiking, picnicking, and camping facilities at the State Forest.
Pike Lake is a spring fed lake with no inlets. The Rubicon River on the north end is its only outlet. The south and western shores have been developed but the north and eastern shores remain in their natural state.
The lake is known for its naturally reproducing walleye pike population. It is considered to be the best lake in Southern Wisconsin to fish for walleye. Rounding out the game fish are perch, northern pike, largemouth bass, and crappie.
The lake is a kettle formed by the glaciers during the last ice age. Thus it has a very gradual drop off. A depth finder might be helpful to locate the drop off point. Along the northeast shore is a wetland area which attracts the shy walleye. This area starts just north of the Rubicon River outlet and extends to almost the beach area.
Pike Lake does have a no wake time from sunset to 10:00 AM but afterwards, during the summer, there is heavy boat traffic. The best times to fish are early in the morning or late at night. The winter season has quality fishing along the drop off point.
Loew Lake is actually a widening of the Oconomowoc River. Access to this lake is difficult thus it is not heavily fished. There are two state parking areas. The first is just north of Monches Road on St. Augustine Rd. The second is off of Emerald Drive north on County Road K from County Road Q. It is possible to carry or cart in a small boat or kayak from these locations. State car permits are required.
When I went to Loew Lake I took a canoe launched from County Road Q up the Oconomowoc River. It is about a two mile paddle but scenic and heavily populated with wildlife and few people. The river is shallow in places and I would not recommend using a motor.
The shoreline of Loew Lake is mostly wetlands and undeveloped. The DNR maintains a home for a park ranger and no other development can be seen from the lake. The Lake is also away from any heavily traveled road so it is very quiet. One can easily imagine they are on a remote lake far away from any urban sprawl and not just minutes away from Milwaukee.
The Oconomowoc River has many species of fish which move freely from lake to lake. Species of fish move into the river to spawn in the spring. Loew Lake offers the angler the opportunity to catch a wide variety of game fish. Northern Pike, Bluegill, and Crappie are the primary fish caught in this lake. Due to its close proximity to Little Friess Lake, which just up the river, there is also a population of largemouth bass.
The Pike Lake Unit of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine can satisfy any angler. Nearby in the surrounding towns there are plenty of stores to replenish your fishing gear. You will also find good restaurants, bars, entertainment, and lodging. You can swap your fishing tales with fellow anglers and pick up tips where the hot spots are.
The Pike Lake Unit of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine is only thirty miles north of Milwaukee on US Highway 41. Exit on State Highway 60 west towards Slinger and Hartford. Camping is available at Pike Lake State Forest. The town of Hartford has a couple motels and a Bed and Breakfast. Whether you spend a day or a week, you're sure to enjoy your fishing trip to this part of the country.
The author is a volunteer campground host at the Pike Lake State Forest.By Kent Hadley - A writer of the true and untrue. A teller of tales and sharer of recipes. A political addict. A husband, father, grandfather, dog friend, traveler, roamer, and person liker. A Bear's fan, Buck's fan, Badger...
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