You MUST have a parking permit displayed in your front window or you will get a hefty ticket. To avoid this go to Kwik Trip or BP and get one, check the picture of the sign above for other locations to buy them including Cabela’s. If you plan on bass fishing from the “Washington Street Ramp” more than three times, get a season parking pass, it’s cheaper that way.
Overflow parking is in the field straight out from the ramp and past the big trees and map of the river. When exiting the ramp area pull straight into the field facing south. This allows you drive directly to the south ramp entrance area as these are one way in and one way out roads. When leaving to go home stay to the left and don’t accidently drive on the paved bike path.
Bass fishing from Prairie du Chien has plenty of options. Just north of the Washington Street ramp is a popular clear water lake called Greymore. Loaded with vegetation, a marina and depth changes, this area sees a lot of action year round. Just north is Bass Lake and some spider feeder channels that reach the main channel and provide current to the area. Spring Lake is even further north in this back water bonanza but the waters can get a bit shallow up there. Along the journey north there are plenty of rock walls and islands to pick apart if you’re searching for smallmouth bass. Locals will wear a top water frog out looking for a 20 pound bag up here so bring your frogging gear.
Directly across from the ramp on the Iowa side Marquette, Iowa is directly on the main channel. The casino is within sight of McGregor Lake. This lake seems to be liked by few but fished by many, so an area definitely worth checking out. The channel near Prairie that leads back to the western bank of the river is called the East channel. Stay within the navigation markers while traveling the east channel or risk buying a new lower unit. If you’re smallmouth hunting look closely at current breaks and current runs that feed the isolated lakes down stream.
Up river from Prairie du Chien is the Harpers Ferry area. While boating up to Harpers Ferry you’ll travel by Off Slough, Mud Hen Lake, Japan Slough, Murry Island and more. These are all examples if you travel the west banks of the river, if not, you’ll be following the main channel much of the way north which winds down the Wisconsin side of the river. All of these areas need to be fished to see what best suits your style of fishing or more importantly what the fish are doing at that time. Remember you’ll have more success if you’re fishing clearer water. The calmer the recent weather, the clearer the water. The more active rain and wind, the further north in the coves, lakes and back water you’ll need to go. Unless of course you’re targeting specific structure with current, then clear water is less an issue if you’ve got the pattern down. When fishing these longer banks heading north give a bladed jig a try. With waters being murky the bass need the signal to feed, and with the current and vegetation along banks, a bladed jig is a nice scouting bait.
For more information check Bass-Cafe.com section for Harpers Ferry
Traveling south of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on the Mississippi river via the East channel you’ll come to the Wisconsin river. If the river level is high enough you’ll be able to explore some unmapped backwater. These areas can be excellent if fished at the right time and water levels. Both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass can be plentiful in these areas. Many tournaments have been won when this area is navigated just right and water levels allow it.
Garnet Lake is just north of the Wisconsin river. It has some clear water and nice sloughs with current that are local bass anglers favorites. Start from down river and make your way up to take advantage of current breaks in these sloughs.
Further south of the Wisconsin river provides plenty of ledge and wing dam fishing. Across from Wyalusing are some nice backwater lakes, sloughs and current made points. Be careful as the annual current and seasonal changes extend these sandy points. Just north of Clayton, the Wyalusing slough hosts many a bass boat. Johnson slough and the backwater lakes that connect can have great fishing. There have been plenty of tournaments won in this vast area too. There’s plenty of water to cover in this back water maze, so give yourself plenty of pre-fishing time to explore it.
The areas south of Clayton are covered on Bass-Cafe.com via the Guttenberg section.
Tournament bass fishing in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on the Mississippi river can be a very rewarding experience if you pre-fish and identify your targets. There is so much water and structure to pick from you’ll do ok casually fishing too, but those who spend the time on the water prior to tournament day will likely always finish much better.
Tight lines from your friends at Bass-Cafe.com.
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