January 1, 2018

Top-Notch Ice Fishing Lakes

Update: Outdoorswoman Krysten Potega recently explored Rusk County. See her photos and tips.



These lakes are among Wisconsin’s best for ice fishing

Nearly a quarter of the fish caught each year in Wisconsin come through the ice. And no wonder—ice fishing allows anglers to access any part of a lake they choose and gives them an ability to pinpoint the fish in a way that’s nearly impossible in a boat.

Wisconsin is home to thousands of lakes, and nearly all freeze solid each winter. Here are some of the best ice fishing lakes in Wisconsin.

Ice FishingBlack Oak Lake – the clearest in Wisconsin

This special lake is located in beautiful Vilas County.

Land O’ Lakes is surrounded by hundreds of glacial lakes and wild rivers that are home to trophy musky and walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, lake and stream trout, northern pike and panfish. In the winter, you’ll see familiar shanties dot the lakes as devoted ice fishermen brave the elements for their next big catch.

Black Oak Lake is a 564-acre that’s impossibly clear – tests have shown visibility regularly exceeding 30 feet. There’s access via a boat landing on County Highway B – which is one of the state’s more scenic stretches of road. The lake is teeming with panfish, bass and northern pike. Learn more about fishing in Vilas County.

Ice Fishing in Onalaska, WIDairyland Reservoir – Got Fish?

One of the best ice fishing lakes is technically part of a river – the 1,870-acre Dairyland Reservoir on the Flambeau River. See directions and a map here. Rusk County in beautiful northwestern Wisconsin is a land of rivers – the Flambeau, Chippewa, Thornapple and Jump. The Flambeau is prized by ice fisherman – these are productive waters that offer a lot of options. You’ll find a lot more than panfish here.  The Dairyland Reservoir is filled with bass, pike and walleye. It’s a fishing hot spot throughout the year, and you’ll also encounter catfish and sturgeon in the Dairyland. Learn more about fishing in Rusk County.

Boom Lake – drop a line in Hodag Country

Rhinelander has some great ice fishing lakes. Hodag Country is known as the Ice Fishing Capital of the World for good reason–we have iconic fishing lakes, we’re home to popular, long-running tournaments and you’ll find great lodging and amenities to make an ice fishing getaway comfortable and affordable. Here’s a quick guide to experiencing world-class ice fishing in Rhinelander.In the heart of Rhinelander, you’ll find Boom Lake, a flowage on the Wisconsin River that offers reliably productive fishing.


Get the latest articles

Learn about the best things see and do in Wisconsin right now! Provide your email address below to sign up for the FREE Wisconsin Travel Best Bets e-newsletter.