With thousands of lakes to choose from, Wisconsin is the place to go for freshwater fishing. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to begin. We've put together a list of five lakes located all over the state to get you started.
Big Green Lake
Long famous for lake and rainbow trout, Big Green Lake also holds trophy walleye, northern pike, channel catfish, muskie, white bass, yellow perch, crappie and smallmouth bass. Fishing doesn’t slow down in the winter either, with cisco offering plenty of action for ice anglers.
The lake is a great vacation destination, with recreational boating becoming heavy on weekends and holidays. The excellent water visibility of Big Green Lake makes it a popular destination for scuba divers.
Eagle River Chain
The nine lakes of the Eagle River Chain comprise nearly 3,600 acres and, when combined with the adjoining Three Lakes Chain, form the largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world. In recent years the chain has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s most productive muskie fisheries. These bodies of water are also dominated by walleye and contain quality perch, crappie and smallmouth bass. Trying to lake hop? A boat hoist at the Burnt Rollways Dam on the Eagle River at Long Lake allows boaters to pass between the Three Lakes and Eagle River chains.
The Minocqua area is known as a top Wisconsin vacation destination, and the Chain continues to support an outstanding fishery that is known for its muskie, walleye and bass populations.
A lot of development has occurred, especially on the Minocqua Chain, to accommodate tourists. With such high interest comes boating traffic from pleasure boaters, jet skis and water skiers. Most fisherman in the area choose to fish at night when boating has calmed down.
Large, shallow and fertile, Shawano Lake has abundant weeds and excellent structure to support quality populations of bass, panfish, pike and walleye.
The lake is a drainage lake located in northeast Wisconsin, about a half-hour drive from Green Bay. The Shawano Lake Owners Association maintains several weed cutters to clear boating lanes in areas that develop heavy submergent weed growth. These boating lanes are marked with buoys.
About two weeks after ice-out in early spring, crappie action starts and is concentrated in the reed beds, boating channels and northern bays. Shawano Lake crappie usually have a shallow, pre-spawn feeding pattern around the last week in April or the beginning of May. After this feeding spree ends, they move back into deeper water and suspend in the 12- to 14-foot depths.
Pewaukee Lake is most productive in spring and fall when boating traffic is down. The western basin is noted for Walleye, muskie and smallmouth, while largemouth and northern pike are the main features in the eastern basin.
The state has recognized Pewaukee Lake as the finest muskie fishery in southern Wisconsin. Pewaukee is popular with Milwaukee area fishermen and receives heavy recreational use throughout the year.
Looking to learn more about these lakes and the thousands of others in Wisconsin? Check out Fishidy for fishing maps, tips and forecasts.