Best Places to Fish in Wisconsin: Devil’s Lake

When fishing gets difficult in the warm water of summer and you make the switch to deep water fishing tactics and techniques, Devil’s Lake in South Central Wisconsin is a great place to go and confidently catch fish.

Devil’s Lake is located in Sauk County’s Devil’s Lake State Park, an extremely popular state park which annually receives over one million visitors. The park is a great place to camp, walk, and hike the rock hills and woods that surround this scenic lake with its magnificent scenery, fauna, and flora. The park and lake are extremely popular, but few visitors fish the lake’s waters, and when they do it’s usually from shore

Devil’s Lake, all 369 acres, doesn’t allow outboard motors which scares away some fisherman with big water boats. Trolling motors are allowed, so make sure that your batteries are charged to the maximum when fishing this lake. This is a perfect lake for fishing from a smaller boat, canoe, fishing tube, or kayak. Before you go, do some research on websites like Fishidy where you can connect with local anglers to find out which species of fish are currently biting.

Brown trout are the most plentiful and sought after gamefish in the lake. Devil’s Lake has good depth, clear water, some rock structure, and an assortment of beautiful green weeds. All of these attributes make this a perfect little lake for a varied and diverse fishery for any angler. Besides, the stocked brown trout, Devil’s Lake has northern pike (some over 20+ pounds), walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and plenty of eating-size bluegills and crappies.

Interactive Lake Map

For more detailed lake maps and up to the minute fishing reports visit Fishidy.

Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Devil’s Lake:

  • The best and easiest way to fish this lake is to drift the main basin with a 3-inch fathead minnow on a #6 or #8 VMC hook with a split shot attached about 2 to 3 feet above the hook.

  • Vary the amount of line that you have out and the size of your split shot till you contact fish and find the depth of the day for the suspended brown trout.

  • Fishing through and over the top of weeds is the best way to catch the 2 to 3 pound largemouth bass that love the lush green surroundings. Buzz baits, spinners, plastics, Gulp products, and shallow running crankbaits work well when retrieved over and through the weeds.

  • Smallmouth bass are deeper and often relate to the many large rocks and boulders that surround the lake’s shoreline. Try casting Rapala Shad Raps to the shoreline rocks and retrieving them over the steep drop-offs. This technique holds true for walleye swimming nearby as well.

  • Panfish (nice, big bluegills) are close to the weed edges and near any downed wood or brush. Small jigs or ice fishing jigs work best when tipped with wax worms and pieces of red worm. Slip floats work well when casted outside the weed edges and around any visible structure.

  • Fish the deeper weeds with large crank baits or drift the main basin with large shiners or sucker minnows 10 to 20 feet down over 40 feet of water for northern pike.
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