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Fishing the Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin

The Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin is located in Brown County. It is the bay of Green Bay’s largest tributary. It is a popular angling destination for walleye fishing during the months of March and April because it is used as spawning grounds.

Each spring season, the Fox River is a trophy walleye water because many of Lake Michigan’s fish migrate up the river to spawn. The primary fishing locations is from the De Pere lock and dam to the Bay of Green Bay, which is about 7 miles worth of water. Most anglers will launch from an area known as De Pere Voyager Park. This is located just north of the Hwy 32 Bridge on Highway 57.

Anglers can expect heavy boat traffic here during the months of March and April. The annual Fox River walleye spawning runs starts as early as mid-March and runs to as late as the end of April each year. The fish migrate up to the De Pere dam seeking warmer water to spawn.

Although March and April are prime walleye months, the river is open all season long for walleyes, and the fishing remains good year-round.

A common fish size during the spring run is in the 22 to 27 inch range, and it’s not uncommon to catch fish larger than 28 inches, and even surpassing 30 inches. On the river, fishing boundaries have been established during the run. There is a set of power lines spanning across the river near the dam which acts as a reference point to prohibit any fishing beyond that point. Between these power lines and the dam is a walleye spawning refuge managed by the Wisconsin DNR.

Most conventional fishing methods will produce fish. Common presentations include drift jigging, casting crankbaits and minnow plugs, or vertical jigging. Bulking up the jig with a 3-4” plastic grub can be very productive.

Despite the abundance of walleyes, the Fox River is not the place to fill up a freezer with eater size fish. Anglers typically visit this area for trophy action and catch and release. Due to low water quality, Wisconsin DNR does not recommend the consumption of these spawning walleyes.

Wisconsin DNR regulations: 1 Walleye over 28”

Primary Fish Species of Interest

  • Walleye
  • Sauger
  • Muskellunge
  • White Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Sturgeon

 

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