Monday, January 14, 2013
22 of the best ice fishing lakes in Wisconsin
The 914-acre Lake Nebagamon in Douglas County, Wisconsin is known to be among the best fisheries in the state. Among the major species found in the lake are largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, perch, and catfish. The lake is also a hotspot for trout, walleye, and bluegills. Lake Nebagamon is easily accessible with several public and private boat ramps along its shoreline. Winter brings out ice anglers to the lake with plenty of ice fishing tournaments held as the water freezes over during the season. Live bait works well with most species while many anglers find evening fishing the most productive.
Big Sand Lake
Located in Burnett County, Wisconsin, Big Sand Lake spreads over 1400 acres. With a maximum depth of 57 feet, the lake is home to a variety of species including largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake is also well stocked with northern pike and walleye while bluegill and crappie are a common catch for most anglers. Most anglers advise to do a figure 8 and never stop the bait for a haul of muskie, also dominant in the lake. With an average depth of 18 feet the lake is excellent for ice fishing. The rock points are excellent for smallies. Spring is the best time for fishing Big Sand Lake for walleye and northern pike.
Webb Lake in Burnett County, Wisconsin is a popular bass fishery with a heavy population of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Whether it is summer or winter the lake is perfect for hours of recreational fun. Muskies and northern pike are also dominant in its waters while walleye, crappie, and bluegill are also in abundance. The lake is a hotspot for fly fishing with plenty of places to cast your fly from the shoreline as well. Webb Lake spreads over 761 acres with a maximum depth of 33 feet with two public boat ramps located off Hwy. 77 on the north shore.
Wisconsin’s Northwoods is home to one of the finest water bodies, Lake Namakagon. Set against the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest, the lake is known for its trophy-sized muskie often weighing more than 40 pounds. While muskie are always up for a challenge, Lake Namakagon also has a healthy population of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Other species include northern pike, crappie, bluegill, and walleye. Ice anglers look forward to a healthy catch every winter with the lake freezing over early during the season. The northwest region of the lake around Funny’s Bay is a hotspot for pike during winter. Frozen smelt works well at 2 – 3 feet under the ice.
Anglers are attracted to Alice Lake in Lincoln County, Wisconsin for its largemouth and small mouth bass, muskies, northern pike, and walleye. The 1369-acre lake has a maximum depth of 32 feet and is a great all year round fishery. The stump fields have plenty of bluegill action, while walleyes and muskie are also found in these areas. Anglers suggest using crawlers, wax worms, and regular worms for a good haul during any season. No matter what time of the year, muskie are always biting. Just make sure you carry a fishing license before you head out to Alice Lake.
Lake Wissota is among the larger man-made reservoirs in Wisconsin. The 6,300 acre lake is a haven for anglers with plenty of access points along its shoreline. Anglers looking to hook onto smallmouth bass can expect an exceptional day at the lake. Muskie, walleye, crappie, and bluegill are also abundant in Lake Wissota. Fishing is permitted from the shoreline as well as by boat. The area around the 25 foot pier within the Lke Wissota State Park is a hotspot for many anglers. Catfish, sturgeon, and yellow perch are also present in the lake with plenty of ice fishing opportunities for anglers as well.
Polk County, Wisconsin is home to Bone Lake, a 1,781 acre lake with a maximum depth of 43 feet. Along with a large population of muskie, the lake is also well stocked with bluegill and largemouth bass. Summer is the most productive time for pike, bass, muskie, and bluegills while ice anglers look forward to a excellent catch of northern pike, bluegills, perch, and crappie as well. Bone Lake is great for bass fishing anytime of the year as well. Muskie fishing is best with jerk baits during overcast conditions. Medium to small perch are in abundance with a daily bag limit of 25.
One of the most exceptional fisheries in Polk County in northwest Wisconsin is Balsam Lake. The lake is reputed for its largemouth bass population along with healthy populations of northern pike, muskie, crappie, and bluegill as well. There is plenty of fishing action on Balsam Lake in winter as well. Walleye fishing on the lake is controlled with regular stocking by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The 2,056 acre lake has a maximum depth of 39 feet. Access to the lake is from several points on the west shore off Hwy. 46 and off CO. Rd. I on the northeast shore.
Get the perfect easy to set up ice fishing shelter Pickerel Lake
Pickerel Lake in Forest County and Langlade County, Wisconsin is a popular all year round fishing destination. Spread over 1,250 acres, the lake has a maximum depth of 19 feet and provides excellent habitat for bass and a variety of pan fish. Northern pike, walleye, crappie, and bluegill are also an easy catch for anglers. However, there is plenty of smallmouth and largemouth bass action throughout the year. Anglers have access to public boat ramps on the northern and southern shores of the lake. Pickerel Lake forms many streams that are excellent fisheries for brook, brown, and rainbow trout, and muskies as well.
Spread over 835 acres, Arbutus Lake provides anglers with excellent opportunities for bass and pike fishing. The lake is located in Clark and Jackson counties and attracts anglers all throughout the year. Apart from smallmouth and largemouth bass, and northern pike, there are also healthy populations of muskie, walleye, bluegill, and crappie in Arbutus Lake. There are plenty of public boat ramps on the northwest shore with picnic areas and campgrounds as well. The lake is ideal for winter fishing with pike being most active under the ice. Arbutus Lake is an ideal weekend getaway since it is conveniently located to several major cities.
One of the largest lakes in the Central Sands Prairie Region is Lake Puckaway in Green Lake County. The lake spreads over 5,000 acres with plenty of fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers in search of trophy sized northern pike ought to head out to Lake Puckaway, which holds the State record for northern pike. The shallow lake has an average depth of three feet but still produces an amazing number of fish species in winter as well. Walleye, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch are among the dominant species on the lake along with large and smallmouth bass. Anglers will be surprised to hook onto to lake sturgeon on Lake Puckaway as well.
Lake Maria, also known as Mary Lake in Kenosha County is a 297 square acre lake with an average depth of 9 feet and maximum depth of 33 feet. Like many lakes in Wisconsin, Lake Maria provides excellent habitat for bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye. There are two boat ramps and parking facilities for up to 10 trailers. Summer brings out bluegills in large numbers while bass fishing is productive in spring as well. Daily bag limits apply while you will also need to procure a fishing permit which is available at the local bait and tackle shop before casting your line in the lake.
One of the prime fisheries in Wisconsin is Lake Winneconne, which is fed by the Wolf River. The lake is part of the Winnebago Pool and is home to a healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Ice fishing action is great in winter while anglers look forward to lake sturgeon every five years. Spear fishing for lake sturgeon is permitted on Lake Winneconne every five years. The season begins from February each year on one of the five lakes in the Winnebago Pool. With a maximum depth of only 9 feet, the shallow lake freezes over quickly, attracting anglers from all over early in the season.
Lake Poygan is an angler’s paradise in the Central Sands Region of Wisconsin. The lake is part of the Winnebago Pool and is reputed to be the best fishery out of the five lakes in the Pool. The lake is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, walleye, and healthy populations of northern pike as well. Winter brings out ice anglers in large numbers with plenty of shacks dotting the lake early in the season. Lake Poygan is known for lake sturgeon, where anglers have the opportunity for spear fishing once in every five years. Then shallow lake spreads across 14,000 acres of Winnebago County with a maximum depth of only 11 feet.
Walworth County in southeastern Wisconsin is home to Lake Geneva, one of the popular fisheries in the region. In addition, the lake is a popular resort community. The lake has an abundant population of a variety of fish species with outstanding populations of walleye, lake trout, and northern pike. Bluegills, brown trout, and rainbow trout are also dominant in the lake. Lake Geneva is excellent for bass fishing with largemouth, smallmouth, brown, and white bass always ready for a bite. Trophy walleyes in the region of 10 pounds and northern pike up to 30 pounds are not uncommon on the lake.
Castle Rock Lake
An abundance of fish is what anglers find in Castle Rock Lake that stretches through Juneau and Adam counties in Wisconsin. Located in the Central Sands Prairie Region, the lake covers over 16,600 acres with plenty of hotspots for fishing along its undeveloped shoreline as well. There are several boat launch facilities and campgrounds around the lake. Spotted and tiger muskie are common on the lake while northern pike, walleye, striped bass, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass also find the lake to be excellent habitat. Anglers can expect a good haul of black and white crappie, yellow perch, yellow bullhead, and more.
Rush Lake has over the years become excellent waters for fishing. The lake is located near Oskosh in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Northern pike, crappie, and bluegill are all game for a bite in the lake that is also inhabited by largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake covers over 3,000 acres with a maximum depth of 8 feet. Walleye action is also fair in Rush Lake. There are boat ramps and boat rentals available at the marina. Motor trolling is permitted on the lake. Fishing the sunken islands is the best way to hook onto crappie in Rush Lake, especially in summer.
Located in the Southern Savanna Region, Lake Wisconsin covers over 9,000 acres through Columbia and Sauk Counties. There are several public and private boat ramps situated around the lake. The lake is abundant in walleye often up to 18 inches long, muskie, and bluegill. Many anglers get lucky with a large haul of northern pike while the occasional lake sturgeon is also willing to bite the bait. Whether it is spring, summer, winter or fall, Lake Wisconsin is a haven for anglers. Along with the river, several creeks and streaks feed the lake. Fishing the stumps near Merrimac can be most productive. There is plenty of bass fishing action with largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass.
Located in Dane County near Madison, Wisconsin, Lake Kegonsa is part of the Yahara Chain, fed by the Yahara River. Anglers can cast their lines for a variety of pan fish including crappie, bluegill, and perch. The lake is also known for its walleye and largemouth bass population as well. Redworms and wax worms work well with size 12 jigs, especially for perch and bluegills that can also be caught on weedline. Trolling works best for white bass. Lake Kegonsa covers over 3,000 acres with an average depth of 30 feet. There are several access points to the lake with the main access from Interstate 90 onto Door Creek Road.
Lake Koshkonong is an excellent place for fishing in the Southern Savanna Region of Wisconsin. The lake runs through Jefferson, Dane, and Rock counties and is well stocked by the Wisconsin DNR. Among the predominant species are perch, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish. Anglers will find heavy populations of largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass as well. Ice fishing for walleye is a popular sport with anglers. The shallow lake freezes over sooner in winter, with anglers setting up shacks early in the season. Boating is permitted on Lake Koshkonong where many anglers prefer trolling. The water quality is constantly monitored, which makes the lake perfect for a fishing vacation.
Lake Tichigan in Racing County, Wisconsin, is known for a variety of sport fish and pan fish including bluegill, brook and brown trout, and northern pike. Largemouth and smallmouth bass and walleye are also found in abundance on the lake. Lake Tichigan’s water covers over 1,100 square acres with an average depth of 6 feet and maximum depth of 65 feet. There is a public boat ramp and campground with parking for up to 17 trailers. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch and release at the lake. The pier near the public launch is a good place to cast off. Row boats and pontoons can be rented at the marina.
Located in Racine County, Wisconsin, Wind Lake is a reservoir that spreads over 936 square acres. With a maximum depth of 50 feet the lake provides a variety of pan fish and sport fish for anglers. The lake is a great habitat for bluegill, channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and northern pike. Walleye fishing is most popular with anglers at the lake with many trophy sized ready game for a bite at a depth of around 8 feet. 10 inch perch are also found in abundance. The lake has excellent weed growth that provides cover and food for the fish. 17 inch largemouth bass are also common.