Wisconsin is home to some of the best fishing in the world. With 150 species of fish, over 15,000 lakes, and 1,000 miles of shoreline, it’s difficult to not find a great spot to fish. However, finding a stretch of lake or shore that you’re not sharing with ten other people is a bit trickier. Whether you’re fishing with your family, friends, or by yourself, knowing some of the hidden local spots is a must. Especially if you want to catch fish and peace and quiet.
Here are the Best Hidden Fishing Spots in Wisconsin:
Eau Claire Chain of Lakes
11 connected lakes and streams span the 10,000 acre chain of waterways known as Eau Claire Chain of Lakes. The Upper Eau Claire, Middle Eau Claire, and Lower Eau Claire are the largest lakes in the chain and are massively popular fishing destinations. All three are absolutely spectacular and provide a terrific opportunity to catch northern pike, musky, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill, and perch. The spring fed, clear water is what helps these trophy-sized fish to thrive.
While every fishing guide talks about the three main lakes, it’s a secret spot due north that provides a perfect, serene fishing experience. Sweet Lake is a smaller body of water that connects to Upper Eau Claire Lake by way of Shunenberg and Smith Lakes respectively. Sweet Lake is far less trafficked, but is still habited by many of the fish species that Upper, Middle, and Lower Eau Claire boast. The crystalline water makes for ideal fishing.
Sweet Lake is an all day adventure. Getting to the lake bright and early is highly recommended as the fish are most active during sunrise. Sweet Lake is a prime destination for those looking to indulge in the best that nature has to offer.
Jute Lake is a local treasure nestled in the Pine and Spruce forests of Vilas County. Professional guide, Marty Clauson, said of the lake, “bass are plentiful and willing to take most baits. The solitude is what the northwoods is all about.”
Anglers should plan on catching a variety of species including, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and Panfish.
The shade provided along the shoreline provides plenty of great spots to set out a chair, crack open a beer, and cast a line. If you’d like to get out on the water, there is a launch lane on the west end.
This lake is absolutely gorgeous and well preserved. So, make sure to do your part by caring for the wildlife and leaving your surroundings as pristine as you found them. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are restricted to catch and release unless otherwise noted at the guest center.
There is a one hook, bait, or lure per angler maximum on land or boat (Three hook, bait, or lure maximum per boat). With a mean depth of 16 feet, smaller, more intimate boats are recommended.
Known for world-class fly-fishing, this 24-mile, trout anglers paradise is an absolute stunner. Flowing through magnificent cliffside, there are countless small crooks and shorelines to cast from. Plus, if getting in the water is your bag, get ready for the freshest, coolest spring water you’ve ever experienced.
One of the less trafficked branches of the Kickapoo River is the West Fork. This Driftless Area stream in Vernon County, holds 12 miles of fishable trout water. Most months, you can expect to catch Brook and Brown Trout. During July and August you’ll want to plan for Bass fishing.
This branch of the river is broken into three sections of near equal length. Keep to the upper and middle areas for a great angler experience. The upper section is perfect for beginners and those wanting to take it easy. Find a spot along the middle of the West Fork if you’re looking for a challenging fishing experience. In either section you’ll find yourself captivated by the natural landscape of hills and beautiful green grass that drifts along the river.
Black Earth Creek
Just west of Madison, this spectacular creek makes its way through woods and prairie. A wonderful spot for trout anglers, the 27-mile creek has a few marked entry points. If you take a stroll from any of the starting signs, you’ll find great, secluded areas to cast from. In these waters, you’ll often find large, brown, rainbow, and brook trout populations.
The aster, reed canary grass, jewelweed, and sloping agricultural valley provide a serene backdrop to the exceptionally clear water you’ll be fishing. Conservation groups work tirelessly to sustain this quality habitat. Ensuring that Black Earth Creek remains one of the best spots in the world for trout fishing.