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Wisconsin Fishing

All about fishing in the Badger State

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  • Beaver Dam Lake, WI
  • Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, WI
  • Big Green Lake, WI
  • Castle Rock Lake, WI
  • Fence Lake, WI
  • Geneva Lake, WI
  • Gile Flowage Lake, WI
  • Grindstone Lake, WI
  • Holcombe Flowage, WI
  • Lac Courte Oreilles, WI
  • Lac Vieux Desert, WI
  • Lake Butte des Morts, WI
  • Lake Chippewa, WI
  • Lake DuBay, WI
  • Lake Kegonsa, WI
  • Lake Koshkonong, WI
  • Lake Mendota, WI
  • Lake Monona, WI
  • Lake Namekagon, WI
  • Lake Onalaska, WI
  • Lake Pepin, WI
  • Lake Poygan, WI
  • Lake Puckaway, WI
  • Lake Winnebago, WI
  • Lake Winneconne, WI
  • Lake Wisconsin, WI
  • Lake Wissota, WI
  • Long Lake, WI
  • Pelican Lake, WI
  • Petenwell Lake, WI
  • Pewaukee Lake, WI
  • Rainbow Flowage, WI
  • Shawano Lake, WI
  • Shell Lake, WI
  • Tomahawk Lake, WI
  • Trout Lake, WI
  • Turtle Flambeau Flowage, WI
  • Willow Reservoir, WI

The state of Wisconsin offers plenty of bass fishing, walleye, crappie, perch, catfish and some ice fishing in the winter. And, you have all kinds of water to fish including ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and access to both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass, white perch, yellow bass, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon, coho salmon, kokanee salmon, pink salmon, stripers, bowfin, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, sauger, saugeye, sturgeon and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams. Many of these species can be taken in winter while ice fishing.

Major Wisconsin Lakes

Wisconsin major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.

For a detailed list of primary fish species in WI, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Lakes, sizes and locations in the state.

Fishing lake in northern Wisconsin

Beaver Dam Lake is a 6,500-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Beaver Dam.

Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a 6,800-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Stratford.

Castle Rock Lake is a 14,000-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Necedah.

Fence Lake is a 3,500-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Lac du Flambeau.

Geneva Lake is a 5,300-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Lake Geneva.

Gile Flowage is a 3,400-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Montreal.

Green Lake is a 7,300-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Green Lake.

Grindstone Lake is a 3,100-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Hayward.

Holcombe Flowage is a 3,900-acre reservoir in the central part of the state, at Holcombe.

Lac Courte Oreilles is a 5,000-acre lake in the northwest corner of Wisconsin, 10 miles south of Hayward.

Lac Vieux Desert is a 4,300-acre lake on the northeastern border of the state, at Land O Lakes.

Lake Butte des Morts is an 8,800-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Oshkosh.

Lake Chetac is a 1,900-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Birchwood.

Lake Chippewa is a 15,300-acre lake in the north-central part of WI, 10 miles east of Hayward.

Lake du Bay is a 6,700-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Knowlton.

Lake Kegonsa is a 3,200-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Stoughton.

Lake Koshkonong is a 10,500-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Fort Atkinson.

Lake Michigan is a 22,400 square-mile lake running along the eastern border of Wisconsin.

Lake Monona is a 9,800-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Madison.

Lake Mendota is a 10,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Madison.

Lake Onalaska is a 7,600-acre lake on the western border of Wisconsin, at La Crosse.

Lake Pepin is a 25,000-acre lake on the western border of the state, at Stockholm.

Lake Poygan is a 14,000-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Winneconne.

Lake Puckaway is a 5,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Marquette.

Lake Superior is a 31,820 square-mile lake running along the northern western border of WI.

Lake Tomahawk is a 3,400-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Lake Tomahawk.

Lake Winnebago is a 135,000-acre lake in the southeastern part of the state, at Fon Du Lac.

Lake Wisconsin is a 9,500-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Merrimac.

Lake Wissota is a 6,300-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Chippewa Falls.

Long Lake is a 3,300-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Madge.

Namekagon Lake is a 3,200-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Namekagon.

Pelican Lake is a 3,600-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Pelican Lake.

Petenwell Lake is a 23,000-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Necedah.

Pewaukee Lake is a 2,400-acre lake in southeast Wisconsin, 5 miles north of Waukesha.

Rainbow Flowage is a 2,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Germain.

Shawano Lake is a 6,100-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, at Shawano.

Shell Lake is a 2,600-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Shell Lake.

Trout Lake is a 3,900-acre lake in north-central Wisconsin, 10 miles north of Woodruff.

Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a 19,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Mercer.

Willow Reservoir is a 6,400-acre lake in the north-central part of WI, 6 miles southwest of Hazelhurst.

Fish Species & State Records in Wisconsin

Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 3 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 1 oz

Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 44 lbs 0 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 74 lbs 5.1 oz

Crappie

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 13.1 oz

Walleye

Walleye

Walleye

World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 0 oz

Sauger

Sauger

World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 6.7 oz

Saugeye

Saugeye

World record: 15 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 14.7 oz

Trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 12 lbs 3 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 15 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 6 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 35 lbs 4 oz

Panfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 9.8 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.2 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 9 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 3.4 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 15 oz

Warmouth

Warmouth

World record: 2.4 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 1 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 5 lbs 3.8 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 6 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 12 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz

Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 23 lbs 15 oz

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 44 lbs 15 oz

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 26 lbs 1.9 oz

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee salmon

World record: 9 lbs 10 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 8.2 oz

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 1.9 oz

Striped bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

World record: 27 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 14.2 oz

Other species

Bowfin

Bowfin

World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 1 oz

Longnose Gar

Longnose gar

World record: 50 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 21 lbs 4 oz

Muskie

Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 69 lbs 11 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 0 oz

Sturgeon

Sturgeon

Estimated world record: 1,100 lbs

State Record: 170 lbs 10 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 51 lbs 3 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

State of WI Fishing Information

Buy a Wisconsin Fishing License.

For additional information about fishing in WI visit the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources website.

Tow Wisconsin Fisherman fishing at Sunset.

Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Wisconsin and other boating information.

See section dedicated to activities for kids in WI.

Bass fishing book

Fish for big bass

Excellent smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.

 

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