Best Wisconsin Fishing Trips (Best Destinations)

Door County   –   Rating 9.75
Rated as one of the top ten vacation destinations in America, Door County has so much to offer.  With hundreds of miles of scenic shoreline, there are numerous recreational opportunities in this area.  From swimming on the beaches, shopping, dining, hiking, sight-seeing, boating or fishing, Door County has something here for everyone.  Door County is known for having a great salmon and trout fishery as well as being one of the top smallmouth bass destinations in the country.

Hayward   –   Rating 8.75
Hayward, Wisconsin is located in northwestern Wisconsin.  Its small hometown atmosphere and unique setting make it a great vacation destination.  The recreational opportunities are endless with over 55,000 acres of lakes.  Fishing is good for muskie, northern pike, walleye, bass, crappie, perch and other panfish.  Hayward is home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, where world record catches are registered.

Eagle River, WI   –   Rating 8.5
Eagle River, Wisconsin is one of the top places to visit in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Eagle River is very scenic with lots of wildlife.  Numerous fishing lakes combined with miles of trout streams keep visitors coming back every year.  The Eagle River Chain of Lakes is known for its abundant walleye and muskie populations.  The lakes that surround this town are known for their bass, walleye and muskie fishing with some pike available too.

Chequamegon Bay   –   Rating 8.5
The Chequamegon Bay is a popular fishing destination in Wisconsin, although, this area doesn’t draw nearly as many visitors as some of the other popular destinations in Wisconsin.  The scenery is beautiful and the fishing is outstanding for a variety of different fish.  This area might have some of the best smallmouth bass fishing for big bass in the entire state of Wisconsin.  You can also catch lake trout, walleye, salmon, brown trout, northern pike and perch.

Minocqua, WI   –   Rating 8.5
Minocqua is one of the most popular areas to visit in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  This area has one of the largest concentration of freshwater lakes in the country.  There are numerous types of lodging, plenty of restaurants and some excellent outdoor opportunities. The fishing in Minocqua is known for its muskie fishing, although, it has some pretty good fishing for walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish also.  Northern pike are also available in many of the lakes.

St. Germain, WI   –  8.5 Rating
St. Germain, Wisconsin is one of the more popular areas to visit in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  There is so much to do here for the outdoorsman with the area lakes and pristine wilderness. The St. Germain area offers some excellent fishing.  Most people spend their time on Big St. Germain Lake and Little St. Germain Lake.  You can catch largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, crappie, bluegill and perch.  The spring is best for fishing as you can target many species in shallower water.  In the summer, the fishing is still good and the weather is warm enough for a variety of outdoor activities.  This is the perfect time for a family vacation.  If you have some time off in the fall, plan a muskie fishing trip.  The fishing is excellent in the fall for walleye and muskie, but most anglers come up here in the fall to land a trophy muskie.

Boulder Junction, WI   –  8.25 Rating
Boulder Junction is known for its muskie fishing with its 50 plus “Class A” muskie lakes, but it is just as popular for its outdoor appeal.  Thousands of people love spending their vacations in Boulder Junction because of the quiet waterways, crystal clear lakes, numerous trails and other outdoor recreation that the Northwoods of Wisconsin offers.

Green Bay, WI   –   8.25 Rating

Rhinelander, WI   –  8.25 Rating
Rhinelander, Wisconsin is a great place to get away from it all.  Located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, you will enjoy outdoor activities in the vast forests and numerous lakes.  Rhinelander sits on Boom Lake, which is one of the 1,100 lakes in Oneida County.  The Wisconsin River and Pelican River surround Rhinelander which help to give this area a well-rounded fishery.

Three Lakes, WI   –  8.25 Rating
Three Lakes, Wisconsin is a small community located just south of Eagle River in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  The town is nestled in the midst of the Nicolet National Forest which offers some excellent scenery. For the water enthusiasts, the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes consists of 28 lakes.  Fishing is very good on the chain for muskie and walleye.  You can also catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, crappie, perch and other panfish.

Green Lake   –  8.0 Rating
Green Lake is a very large, deep lake that covers 7,346 acres with 75% of the lake deeper than 20 feet and a maximum depth of 236 feet.  Green Lake is a beautiful town with a lot to offer the entire family.  Experience the shopping, dining, outdoor recreation, or just relax around the lake.  Green Lake is known for being a crowd-free, accessible lake.  The lake supports a healthy population of northern pike, smallmouth bass, trout, channel catfish and panfish.  Walleye and largemouth bass are also present.

Birchwood, WI   –   8.0 Rating
The Birchwood, Wisconsin area has so many different lakes to fish.  Long Lake and Lake Chetac get the most attention.  They are good lakes known for good walleye fishing and you can also catch northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish.  Many of the area lakes will have good fishing for walleye, pike, bass and panfish.

Manitowish Waters   –   8.0 Rating
Manitowish Waters is located northwest of Minocqua and close to the border of Wisconsin and the upper peninsula in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Manitowish Waters is a lovely area with pristine lakes and plenty of scenery. The Manitowish Waters chain of lakes includes ten lakes with over 4,200 acres of connected waters to enjoy. Boating, fishing and swimming are very popular on the chain. The chain provides some excellent fishing forwalleye, muskie and northern pike. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and other panfish are also caught in the chain.

Mercer   –   7.75 Rating
Mercer is home to several smaller lakes and a huge lake called the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.  In the smaller lakes in the area, anglers target bass, walleye, panfish, pike and even muskie in some of the lakes.  The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is what stands out in this area though.  The Flowage consists of nine lakes, three rivers and several creeks.  The flowage offers some beautiful surroundings and plenty of water for the outdoor enthusiasts.  Boating and fishing are very popular on the flowage.  Water skiing and jet skiing are permitted in some areas, but very limited, which makes it nice for the fisherman looking to find some peaceful surroundings.   The Flowage supports a diversity of fish species including walleye, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, sturgeon, and a variety of panfish.

Tomahawk, WI   –   7.75 Rating
The Tomahawk, Wisconsin area is home to a variety of waters to fish with numerous lakes, flowages and rivers. Anglers come here to catch walleye, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, trout and panfish.

Lake Winnebago   –   7.5 Rating
Lake Winnebago is the nation’s second largest inland freshwater lake.  It is 28 miles long, 11 miles wide and covers 137,700 acres.  It is so big that it takes up space in 3 different counties including Winnebago, Fond du Lac and Calumet.  The lake covers 85 miles of shoreline and you can find plenty of lighthouses, launch ramps, harbors, parks and restaurants around the water.  The lake is very popular for a variety of outdoor activities.  There is plenty of room on the lake for everyone.  The fishing on Lake Winnebago is excellent.  It is a large lake, but it is not as overwhelming as some would think.

Lac du Flambeau, WI   –   7.5 Rating

Land o’ Lakes, WI   –   7.5 Rating
Land O’ Lakes & Watersmeet are located about 8.5 miles away from each other. You will find dozens of lakes in this part of Northern Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. There are a variety of accommodations nestled amidst the natural beauty of the lakes and forests here. There are so many lakes to fish to go along with some rivers and streams as well. In this area, the most popular lakes to fish are part of the famous Cisco Chain of Lakes, which are 15 interconnected lakes with over 270 miles of scenic shoreline. Walleye and muskie are targeted by most anglers in this area, but you can also catch northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and panfish.

Madison, WI   –   7.25 Rating

Lake Pepin   –   7.25 Rating
Lake Pepin is a 24,550 acre lake that is located on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is a popular lake among anglers. Most fishermen target walleye and sauger here, but you can also catch northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish. There are numerous public boat launches, fishing guide services, marinas and plenty of lodging options to accommodate you on your trip here. Ice fishing is also very popular here during the winter.

Cable, WI   –   7.25 Rating

Chippewa Falls, WI   –   7.25 Rating
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin is located in the northwest part of Wisconsin about 90 miles east of St. Paul, Minnesota.  It’s small town atmosphere, beautiful scenery and numerous lakes in Chippewa County make the Chippewa Falls area a great place for a vacation.  Chippewa County has hundreds of lakes and numerous trout streams.  The county has 21,037 acres of lakes and streams and over 310 miles of rivers and streams.   The fishing in the Chippewa Falls area is very good.  Whether you are targeting a trophy muskie, bass, northern pike, trout or panfish, it’s all here in the Chippewa Falls area lakes and streams.

Manitowish Waters, WI   –   7.25 Rating
Manitowish Waters is located northwest of Minocqua and close to the border of Wisconsin and the upper peninsula in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  Manitowish Waters is a lovely area with pristine lakes and plenty of scenery.  The Manitowish Waters chain of lakes includes ten lakes with over 4,200 acres of connected waters to enjoy.  Boating, fishing and swimming are very popular on the chain.   The chain provides some excellent fishing forwalleye, muskie and northern pike.  Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and other panfish are also caught in the chain.

Kenosha, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Kenosha offers anglers some excellent salmon and trout fishing in Lake Michigan.  This port has many fishing charters that are available to troll for salmon and trout from spring through fall.  There is some good shore fishing available in the Pike River and in the harbor. The fall is the best time to fish from shore because the salmon and trout will move into the harbor and up in the river to spawn.

Milwaukee, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Milwaukee is a great port for fishing.  The salmon and trout fishing is very good out of this port and there are a bunch of fishing charters that are available.  This port is a little unique because at times, there are so many fish stacked up in the harbor that anglers will cast lures for salmon and trout instead of trolling.  Still fishing is also very popular in the harbor with spawn sac.  This harbor has become one of the best cold water destinations to fish for brown trout in the midwest and as it has grown in popularity, it still is putting out some impressive catches year after year.  For the shore anglers, you can fish the harbor or the Milwaukee River.

Racine, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Racine, WI is a port along Lake Michigan.  This port is a popular area to fish for a variety of salmon and trout.  Many fishing charters are available throughout the fishing season.
This isn’t really a vacation destination, but you can definitely have a lot of fun planning a day or weekend fishing trip here.  For more fishing information, take a look at our fishing tips page above.

Chetek, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Chetek, Wisconsin is not a very popular fishing destination compared to some of the other places to visit in Wisconsin, but there is some good fishing in this area and there are enough fishing resorts and other businesses here to offer you some of the conveniences that you would like to have on your fishing vacation.  Whether you fish some of the popular lakes in town or head east to fish some of the less-pressured lakes of Rusk County, you will have a lot of options for fishing.

Crandon, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Crandon is a small town located southeast of Eagle River in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The people are friendly and there is plenty of water here to enjoy.  Boating, Fishing and swimming are very popular on the 4 lakes within the city.  There are other lakes just outside of town as well.  The area lakes provide some good fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike and more.

Iron River, WI   –   7.0 Rating
The Iron River area is a popular vacation destination.  People come here to enjoy the beautiful lakes and streams that provide excellent fishing and other recreational activities.  The 96 area lakes provide excellent fishing for northern pike, muskie, bass, walleye, and panfish.   The top 12 lakes that anglers target are Deep Lake, Delta Lake, Eagle Lake, Half Moon, Iron Lake, Iron River Flowage, Lake Wanoka, Long Lake, Peterson Lake, Pike Chain of Lakes, Pine Lake, and Ruth Lake.   You can find excellent fishing in the other lakes and you might just stumble upon an area that nobody knows about.  That is what’s great about the Iron River area.  There are so many places to fish.  With Lake Superior only 17 miles north of Iron River, you have the option of fishing the lake and its tributaries.  The area rivers provide some excellent fishing during the spawning runs.  Brule River offers an excellent steelhead run through the month of April and Flag River also heats up for steelhead around the second week of April.

Phelps, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Phelps is located in Vilas County about 15 miles northeast of Eagle River, Wisconsin.  75% of the land in the Phelps township is Nicolet National Forest lands.  This area has many popular lakes to fish and it is famous for North Twin Lake, which is one of the better lakes for targeting big muskie in all of Northern Wisconsin.

Presque Isle, WI   –   7.0 Rating
Presque Isle is a quiet town that has been nicknamed “The Last Wilderness.”  Located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, there is plenty to do here for those of you that like being on the water.  This area has many lakes, streams, pristine forests and plenty of wildlife to help you get away from the daily grind.  The fishing is excellent in Presque Isle.  The lakes don’t get nearly as much fishing pressure up here as some of the other areas in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  Muskie, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch and other panfish are available.

Lake Geneva   –   6.75 Rating
Lake Geneva attracts thousands of people each year. Located just north of the Illinois – Wisconsin border, it is known as one of the top fisheries in Wisconsin. The lake is large and deep with crystal clear water. There are endless amounts of activities in Lake Geneva. From golfing to horseback riding to boating and fishing, there is plenty to do here for the entire family. While Lake Geneva can be a tough lake to fish, it is easily one of the top trophy fishing lakes for big smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike in the southern part of Wisconsin. For more fishing information, visit our fishing tips page above.

Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI   –   6.75 Rating
The Manitowoc & Two Rivers area is home to several fishing charters and some very good fishing for salmon and trout on Lake Michigan.  The area rivers will also hold fish in the spring and fall as they migrate up the rivers.  The fall run will be bigger as many species of salmon and trout will move up the rivers to spawn.

Sheboygan, WI   –   6.75 Rating
Sheboygan is a popular port for fishing Lake Michigan.  Salmon & trout fishing is very good and there are many fishing charters that can help put you on some fish.  The Sheboygan River gets a good run of fish in the spring and the fall, so shore anglers can experience some good fishing in the river.

Conover, WI   –   6.75 Rating
Conover, Wisconsin is located about 10.5 miles north of Eagle River, Wisconsin.  Conover is a small town, but there are some very good fishing  lakes in the area with North Twin Lake getting the most attention.  Anglers target muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, panfish and even trout in this area.

Spooner, WI   –   6.75 Rating
The Spooner, Wisconsin area is a great place for fishing.  There are so many lakes up here and the fishing is good for northern pike, walleye and largemouth bass on many of the lakes.  Muskie and smallmouth bass are also possible on some of the area lakes to go along with some good fishing for panfish too.  There aren’t a ton of fishing resorts in the Spooner area, but there are enough places to stay that you should be able to find some lodging that works for you.

Butternut & Park Falls, WI   –   6.5 Rating
Butternut LakeNorth Fork Flambeau River and the South Fork Flambeau River offer anglers some good fishing for a variety of different fish.  Walleye and muskie get the most attention from area anglers, but northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and panfish are also available.  There are some other smaller lakes in this area that offer some good fishing, but your best bet for targeting bigger fish will come on Butternut Lake.

Sayner, WI   –   6.5 Rating
Sayner and Star Lake are two communities that make up the the Township of Plum Lake.  These communities are located just north of St. Germain in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. This area is located at the headwaters of two drainage basins known as the Manitowish River and the Wisconsin River.   With over 7,500 acres of water, about 50 named, 95 unnamed lakes, and 31 boat landings in the town of Plum Lake, there is plenty of room for a day on the water.  Fishing is excellent for a number of species such as muskie, walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike.  Don’t forget about the largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, perch and other panfish.

Algoma, WI   –   6.25 Rating
The Algoma port is known for its excellent fishing for salmon and trout.  This port isn’t as popular as some of the other destinations in Wisconsin, but there are several fishing charters available and the fishing is very good here.

Castle Rock Lake   –   6.0 Rating
Castle Rock Lake is Wisconsin’s fourth largest lake.  It covers sixteen thousand acres, and has approximately sixty miles of shoreline.  The lake’s depth ranges from 8 to 20 feet in most places, with some areas as deep as 30 feet.  The structure created from the river beds makes Castle Rock a very productive and consistent fishing lake.

Petenwell Lake   –   6.0 Rating
Lake Petenwell is Wisconsin’s second largest lake with 23,040 acres and a maximum depth of 42 feet. The lake offers excellent walleye fishing along with bass, panfish and many other species. Petenwell Lake is also producing significant catches of musky. Most of the lake shoreline is controlled by the Wisconsin River Power Company and will remain the way it is. The lots that are available have a 100 foot setback providing a more natural look for the lake. This sand bottom lake is great for swimming, sailing, boating and fishing. Because of the lake’s size, there is plenty of room on the water for pleasure boaters and fishing boats.

Kewaunee, WI   –   6.0 Rating
The Kewaunee area isn’t as popular of a port as some of the other destinations in Wisconsin, but there are several fishing charters here and the fishing is good for salmon and trout.  The Kewaunee River also offers some good fishing during the annual spawning runs.

Rusk County, WI   –   6.0 Rating
Rusk County is a nice destination to get away from the crowds and fish for a variety of different fish.  There are so many lakes to fish in this area that hold walleye, muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and a variety of panfish.  There are also some rivers here that offer some very good fishing.

Wolf River (Fremont, WI)   –   5.5 Rating
The Fremont area is well known as the “White Bass Capitol of the World.”  The village of Fremont has a small population of around 750 people, but the visitors number in the thousands during the spring months for the White Bass runs.  Although fishing is the most popular reason why people visit, there are other things to do here as well.  The downtown district has many restaurants and quaint shops.  The river is also popular for boating, water skiing and swimming.

Delavan Lake   –   4.25 Rating
Delavan Lake is a 2,072-acre lake located in Walworth County, Wisconsin.  The lake has an average depth of 21 feet with a maximum depth of 57 feet.  Lake Delavan is close to the very popular Lake Geneva.  There are a lot of people who visit Lake Geneva that don’t even know about Delavan Lake.  They are truly missing out. This lake supports a variety of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating in the summer as well as snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter.  For fishing information, take a look at the fishing tips page above.

How we Rank our Destinations