Fishing At Lake Mendota
AKA: Mendota Reservoir
What to fish for...
Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white bass, yellow perch, musky and northern pike at Lake Mendota in Wisconsin.
Bragging size smallmouth, walleye and northern pike attract anglers to Lake Mendota for traditional fishing in warm months and ice fishing during the really cold months. Additionally, this 10,000-acre lake has populations of largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, muskie, white bass, perch and sunfish.
Lake Mendota is located in the southern part of Wisconsin and is one of the state's largest and most popular lakes for fishing. It offers a wide range of angling opportunities and is known for its diverse fish population.
Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are highly sought-after species in Lake Mendota. Anglers can target largemouth bass in the lake's shallow areas, such as weed beds, submerged vegetation, and near structure. Smallmouth bass, on the other hand, can be found along rocky shorelines, points, and drop-offs. Both species provide exciting action and can be caught using a variety of lures and techniques.
Channel catfish are another popular species in Lake Mendota. Anglers can target them by fishing with cut bait, stink bait, or live bait in areas with deeper water, such as channels, holes, or near submerged structures. Catfish can provide a thrilling fight and are highly regarded for their delicious flesh.
Walleye fishing in Lake Mendota can be productive, especially during low-light conditions or at night. Anglers often use trolling techniques with crankbaits or live bait rigs, or jigging with minnows or artificial jigs. Key areas to target walleye include drop-offs, points, and areas with structure or submerged vegetation.
Both black crappie and white crappie can be found in Lake Mendota. Anglers can target crappie by using small jigs, minnows, or live bait under bobbers near weed beds, submerged structures, or docks. Crappie provide excellent table fare and are a favorite among anglers.
White bass, northern pike, yellow perch, and bluegill are also popular species in Lake Mendota. White bass can be caught using spinners, spoons, or small crankbaits near schools of baitfish. Northern pike can be targeted with larger lures or live bait near weed edges, points, or areas with structure. Yellow perch and bluegill can be caught using small jigs, worms, or live bait near weed beds, drop-offs, or submerged structures.
Lake Mendota is not only a great fishing destination but also offers opportunities for boating and camping. With its size and scenic beauty, it provides ample space for boaters to explore and enjoy various water-based activities. Camping facilities around the lake offer a convenient option for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to extend their stay and make the most of their experience.
Lake Mendota in Wisconsin's southern region offers abundant fishing opportunities for species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, black crappie, white crappie, white bass, northern pike, yellow perch, and bluegill. With its diverse fishery, ample recreational activities, and camping facilities, Lake Mendota is a popular destination for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking a memorable and enjoyable experience on the water.
Mendota Lake is conveniently located in the south-central part of the state, at Madison. For anglers and outdoor enthusiasts there is over 21 miles of shoreline to explore and fish. Access to the shore for bank fishing is via a dozen or so parks and boat landings around the lake. Boat rentals, including fishing boats, pleasure boats, pontoons, canoes, kayaks and jet skis are available at a half dozen places. Marinas, stores, lodging, restaurants, camping and most amenities are available at or near the lake.
Primary fish species residing in Lake Mendota
Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.
Lake Mendota Amenities
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Today's Weather & Forecast
Fishing Boat Rentals
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings
Marshall Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Allen Blvd, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Mendota Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, northwest side, off County Park Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Spring Harbor Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Lake Mendota Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and no parking.
Tenney Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Sherman Avenue, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Warner Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Woodward Drive, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
5320 Blue Bill Park Dr S
Madison, WI 53704
Click here for a Wisconsin Fishing License.
Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby
Mendota County Park Campground - 608 224-3730
Lake Mendota WI Map - Fishing & Camping Areas
Mendota County Park Campground
5133 Co Hwy M
Middleton, WI 53562
Fishing lakes in each state.
Lake Mendota in Wisconsin.
General Fishing Info
Information about fishing lakes in WI
Visit Lake Mendota in south-central Wisconsin to fish for walleye, bass, catfish, crappie, muskie, white bass, perch, sunfish and northern pike.