Best Places to Fish in Wisconsin: Pelican Lake

Pelican Lake covers 3,545 acres - making it the largest in Oneida County - with a maximum depth of 39 feet. It is a productive, diverse fishery, best known for walleye and muskie action, yet panfish anglers are kept busy with perch, crappie and bluegill. This lake can also be a sleeper for large and smallmouth bass.

The variety of structure and habitat for fish including numerous humps, bars, shallow reed flats, midlake structure, extensive weedbeds and deep weedlines makes Pelican Lake an outstanding setting for top-notch angling. Along with the appeal comes intense fishing pressure, making this one of the toughest lakes in the area for anglers to consistently have success. Pelican Lake is also a popular recreational area, so expect to see even heavier boating and fishing pressure on weekends and holidays.

Interactive Lake Map

For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports follow the Pelican Lake waterway page on Fishidy.


Here are some tips for locating and catching walleye in Pelican Lake:

  • Early season walleye relate to both shallow rock/gravel areas and flats with developing weed growth. Slip bobber rigs and small jigs tipped with minnows are suggested during this cool-water period. A majority of the action occurs in the 5- to 10-foot depths.

  • The weed flat east of Mekanac Point holds walleye during spring. Drift the area around the sunken island with small jigs, tipped with live bait. The best bite comes early or late in the day.

  • During summer, walleye can be found in the 15-foot depths along weedlines, mid-lake bars and deep-water flats. Jigs tipped with leeches or nightcrawlers, worked tight to the weed edges are productive. Inside turns in the weedline often produce the best results.

  • In fall, walleye can be found relating to the same structure as during the summer, but in deeper water, along the drop-offs. Depths of 15- to 20-feet are key at this time. Large redtail chubs on slip sinker rigs are recommended, especially when targeting larger fish.

  • During the ice-fishing season, weed flats and weedy drop-offs are the key to locating fish. Many anglers use tip-ups baited with large golden shiners. It is recommended to use heavier monofilament line or a light wire leader to avoid bite-offs from northern pike. Late afternoon and evening are the most productive times.

Fishidy is the premier map-based, social network for anglers. The online community gives anglers the ability to record and track their on-water experiences and view detailed fishing maps on over 17,000 bodies of water, including some of the most popular in Wisconsin.
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