Spring, Summer & Fall Fishing On The Wolf River

The Wolf River runs 225 miles from Northern Wisconsin through Shawano, Winnebago, Waupaca and Outagamie counties eventually ending in Oshkosh on Lake Butte Des Morts where it meets up with the Fox River which flows North into Lake Michigan.  The Lake Winnebago system is very unique in the way the Wolf River feeds a series of lakes.  It is known for the excellent walleye and whitebass fishing during the spring and fall runs and provides excellent smallmouth, northern pike and panfish action all season long.

The spring walleye run typically kicks off as the ice melts sometime in late March and really gets going through April.  As the walleyes head north through some of the popular areas such as Winneconne, Fremont, Hortonville, New London and Shiocton, fisherman from all over the Midwest hit the river in search of Wisconsin’s favorite game fish.  Walleyes migrate north to their spawning habitat in the areas north of Fremont and typically spawn in the flooded marshes around the New London and Shiocton areas.  However on low water years, the walleye will make the run all the way to the Shawano Dam; over a 100 mile run, 1 way.  The walleyes will start spawning as the temperatures reach the low to mid 40’s which typically orrcurs during the 2nd week in April.  While the walleyes are finishing up their spawning run, the whitebass begin theirs filling the river with a mix of fish for anglers.  The peak time period is usually the first two weeks in May or around Mother’s day.  After that, the walleyes and whitebass migrate back into the lakes typically stopping in Lake Poygan first and eventually making their way back to Lake Winnebago by the end of May into June.


During the summer months fisherman will find resident walleyes, catfish, smallmouth and northern pike along the downed trees and deeper holes scattered throughout the river but the majority of fish are found in the lakes during this time period. 

As fall approaches and baitfish fill the rivers, walleyes and whitebass will again make a run up the river in search of food preparing for winter.  The months of October and November can be just as good if not better than the spring run.  This time of year also sees less boat traffic making for a more peaceful day on the water.


Wolf River Lodging and Bait Shops