By Jon Giacalone
Referred to by many as the Walleye Capital of Wisconsin, it's no surprise that Long Lake in Washburn County is a favorite fishing destination not only for walleye anglers, but for those targeting a variety of fish species including northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and bluegill.
True to its name, Long Lake spans the length of 19 miles and offers 99 total miles of pristine, undeveloped shoreline that surrounds clear, spring-fed waters. The quality of its year-round fishery is evident by the diversity of underwater habitat available including deep, cool bays, gravel bars and shallow coves.
Besides fishing, Long Lake also is a popular destination for many other outdoor activities, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, biking and ATVing, as well as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in the winter.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports follow the Long Lake waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Long Lake:
- In early May and June, when water temperatures reach about 55 degrees, pre spawn largemouth bass move into the shallow bays where stumps and submerged trees will concentrate fish within weedbeds. When bass are shallow, use a quiet approach, light line and delicate presentations.
- As weed growth thickens in the bays, bass can become difficult to locate. If the action is slow in the shallows, bass often relate to the deep weedline, especially inside turns and points. Long Lake’s excellent water clarity allows weed growth to depths of about 15 feet. Cast jig worms, deep diving crankbaits and pre rigged plastic worms to the vegetation.
- Early season walleye relate to both shallow rock/gravel shorelines and areas with developing weed growth. In particular, good catches have been reported by anglers working the windswept, rocky shorelines of the main basin. Jigs or bottom rigs tipped with minnows are popular during early spring.
- Long Lake is noted for its quality fall walleye fishing. Many anglers concentrate on the steep rock/gravel drop offs, and slowly backtroll Lindy or Roach rigs tipped with 4 or 6-inch redtail chubs.
- During the ice fishing season, trophy northern pike are taken from the weedbeds north of Kunz Island and Gruenhagen Bay. Tip ups baited with large golden shiners and redtail chubs are the standard winter presentation.