Best Places to Fish in Wisconsin: Chetac and Birch Lakes


Sawyer County's Chetac and Birch Lakes near Hayward offer anglers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. With numerous lodges along the shoreline of Chetac, this lake is a great destination for people seeking a fishing retreat.

Anglers looking for a quiet lake to cast a hook should be aware of the heavy fishing pressure that this lake receives. Motor trolling on Chetac Lake is both legal and popular for walleye and northern pike. A number of bass tournaments are held on the lake during summer.

But fishing pressure aside, anglers looking for a trophy-sized northern or stringer of large bluegill should give this lake a try.

There is no shortage of fish holding cover on either lake. Weed line depths vary, but during clearer years with less algae, weeds can be found as deep as 8 feet. During years with a heavy algae bloom, the weed line only comes out to depths of 3 to 4 feet. Cribs were placed in the main lake basin to provide additional cover, and the edges of the shoreline have a lot of natural deadfalls that provide quality cover for many species of fish.

Interactive Lake Map

For a more detailed lake map and up-to-the-minute fishing reports, follow the Chetac and Birch lakes waterway page on Fishidy.

Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Chetac and Birch lakes:

  • Later in the season around July, crappie will suspend three to five feet down in depths of 10 to 14 feet of water. Weed edges or cribs are a good place to start looking with a slip bobber and live bait.
  • As summer progresses, largemouth bass will relate to shallow structure and weeds. A heavy algae bloom will help cloud the water and make fish less spooky in these areas. Look for largemouth bass to be in similar spots as in spring. Flashy spinnerbaits or darker colored soft plastics are top choices in the green water.
  • During the summer months look for northern to move to deeper water or where the water has colder temperatures. At this time trolling large spinnerbaits will produce quality fish until fall. Don't be afraid to use the algae bloom to your advantage and focus in on shallow water structure for aggressive pike.
  • "The Islands" are the largest concentration of rock in either lake. Smallmouth and walleye can be found nearby throughout the year. Fish move around the islands all year long. Keep moving until fish are located.
  • Thomas's Bay gets fished hard and for a good reason. Panfish and bass will spawn in the back of the bay in the spring and can be found throughout this area all year long. Try small jigs tipped with Gulp! waxies for panfish action.


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This entry was posted in Fishing