Do you love big bluegill?
Lake Geneva is 7 miles long, and 2 miles wide......during the summer months, the lake is home to a vast amount of pleasure boaters, jet skiers, para sailors, and the like.....The shoreline of LG is dotted with extravagant 7 figure homes which become the talking point of several large cruise ships that offer tours of this amazing body of water......I've had the pleasure of fishing LG hundreds of times over the last 30 yrs, and during that time I've had the opportunity to explore its intricate shorelines, deep flats, and abyss like basins.
LG has a maximum depth of 170 ft, and hosts lake trout, Northern Pike, Walleye, LM and SM Bass, and recently introduced Muskellunge......Its panfish population is amazingly healthy, and abundant. Slab Crappies, Rambo sized Rock Bass, Giant Bluegills, hand size Pumpkinseed's, Kong like Bullheads, and a multitude of small to medium Perch that at times, seem to carpet the lake floor.......Cisco's and Emerald shiners are also part of the food chain.
Located in Southeastern Wi., Geneva is approx. 80 miles from Chicago, and 60 Miles from Milwaukee.....I live 45 miles north of Chicago, and 20 minutes from LG :)
Geneva's size, beautiful shorelines, and crystal clear water has always been a big attraction to most of the summertime seasonal activity that takes place at LG......here is an ariel view.
Some of my first deep water spoon research took place on Lake Geneva between August, and October of 2007.....Several years prior to my research, LG experienced an infestation of Zebra mussels. Initially, these little creatures were demonized for having the ability to destroy vital components of the food chain......this has not yet to be proven. In fact, several species of fish are now known to readily consume, and digest this highly nutritious food source. Lake Geneva's Pumpkinseed population has capitalized on this resource, and produces some of the largest, and most beautiful "seeds" in the state.
Geneva has always been known for its water quality, but once the Zebra mussels occupied LG, 10 ft visibilities quickly attained a depth of 15 ft.....The filtering qualities of the Zebra mussels actually changed the game. Bluegills were suddenly making beds in 13-15 FOW, the now gin clear water had pushed the gills deeper than ever before. The added light penetration also contributed to deeper weed growth....16-18' not uncommon. Late summer temps, and conditions typically push gills as deep as 40ft. This made for a perfect place to do my deep water research.
Some of the lightest braids, and Fluorocarbon leaders were used when presenting spoons in this gin clear environment.
Many of you have read my blogs on spoon fishing, but this deep water presentation is the most challenging, and the most addictive of them all.
For the last 3 Sundays, I have returned to trusty waypoint 18.....somewhere on the north shoreline of Geneva Bay in 15 FOW, with isolated healthy weeds. This area has consistently produced non-stop gill action between 1pm and 4pm using slip bobbers and Glow striper special ice jigs set 10' down....Our first and second visits accommodated 45 deg surface temps. and a 38 deg air temperature......our last, 43.5 surface temp. Gills still hit the spoon if you allowed it to fall on a 14 count, and violently snap the spoon up a few feet, and let it fall back a 3 count and violently snap again....NO hits were detected, fish would become hooked on the snap.....Strange, but effective presentation in some of the coldest water. I told myself that I need to put my boat into storage, and prepare for first ice that will certainly be here in a week, but I'm torn......due to its size and depth, LG does not freeze until the second week of Jan. A small window of good weather has opened up for me this Sunday, and I may just go for the 4 for 4.
I am certain that BBG members 2lb gill, and Rob Garner are familiar with LG, and have both enjoyed some of the fabulous fishing that Geneva offers.......hopefully some of you will get a chance to experience this body of water if you ever venture this way.