Fishing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of the top fishing destinations in the country. Our waters are teeming with freshwater fish — walleye, trout, bass, crappies, perch, pike and the big trophy fish like muskies and lake sturgeon. With over 15,000 lakes and 43,000 miles of river, Wisconsin has the makings for the most memorable angling.

World-Class Fishing

You’ll find water — and fish — anywhere you go in Wisconsin.

Like many Wisconsin lakes, Big St. Germain Lake is home to walleye, bass and the iconic musky. The Hayward Lakes area is another great destination for fishing, and after reeling in your catch of the day, take a family photo with the giant musky landmark at the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. Wisconsin also has some of the best trout fishing in the country — try casting in the Kickapoo River near La Crosse or Black Earth Creek not far from Madison. Or have an ocean-esque experience by chartering a fishing boat along the Lake Michigan Shoreline.

Because of Wisconsin’s world-class fishing, national tournaments and events often frequent our state’s lakes and rivers. The National Walleye Tour often holds tournaments in Wisconsin, while Major League Fishing has hosted stops in their Bass Pro Tour and their Pro Circuit Championship in our waters.

Anywhere you go in Wisconsin, you’re not far from a hidden fishing spot of your own — it’ll be just you and the fish (plus whoever you like to bring along).

Ice Fishing

Winter in Wisconsin unlocks a whole new dimension of fishing — ice fishing. Whether you ice fish in shanties or adventure in the open air, bring your best fishing buddies to spend days making memories on the frozen lakes here.

Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin’s largest inland lake, has prime ice fishing for walleye, bass and even sturgeon. For the competitive-spirited, join the Battle on Bago, Wisconsin’s largest ice fishing tournament. The proceeds of the event go to youth charities. The lake is also home to one of the continent’s largest lake sturgeon populations, and sturgeon spearing season comes every February. Spear fishers, both new and experienced, try their hand at landing these giant, prehistoric creatures. In true Wisconsin fashion, we celebrate the sturgeon and the spearfishing season each year at the 3-day Sturgeon Spectacular in Fond du Lac.

Whenever fishing in Wisconsin, be sure to stay up-to-date with the DNR’s rules, regulations and licenses.