Best Ice Fishing Spots in Wisconsin

September 8, 2020

Ice fishing in Wisconsin may be what you’re looking for this winter. Wisconsin has thousands of great fishing lakes and rivers to choose from, but here are a few of the best ice fishing spots in Wisconsin that should be on everyone’s bucket list. 

Green Bay

Green Bay is a basin of Lake Michigan and is a large body of water that covers 2,000,000 acres and has some of the best ice fishing on the planet. But be careful, Green Bay can be dangerous, huge pressure cracks shifting ice is something to watch out for. Big water means big fish, and Green Bay has some of the biggest walleyes in the state. Spots like the Fox River in Depere, Sturgeon Bay, and Oconto are just a few of the top ice fishing spots holding big walleyes. Targeting 20 to 30 feet of water is generally the normal depth walleye’s live in during the winter. A 38-inch medium heavy action rod with a good ice fishing reel and jigging with a number seven jigging rap is a good bet to ice a trophy walleye. Don’t forget about whitefish, these finicky biters and fighters are great table fair and fun to catch. A good tip is to find a 12-24 foot shallow rocky shoreline break or a deep offshore break 60-80 feet using a Green Bay whitefish rig and tipping it with a wax worm. Hang on tight because a Green Bay whitefish can’t resist a gold spoon tapping the bottom. Still not having any luck? At trophy ice fish you’ll get the experience of an ice fishing guide who knows the waters of Green Bay better than anyone.

Lake Winnebago

Ice fishing Lake Winnebago for walleye, perch, white bass and sturgeon is a popular ice fishing spot with anglers throughout the nation. Shallow unmarked reefs and sandbars can be hazardous. Rapidly changing weather should also be observed. Early ice up in the bays and channels on the west shore provide great opportunities to bag some nice early season panfish. Concentrate in and along weed edges where some “green” weeds still exist. As ice builds the panfish will begin to roam the deeper basin areas of these same bays. Use your flasher to locate schools of fish roaming the basin. Activity likely will come in spurts, moving a couple hundred yards can make a huge difference in putting some fish on the ice. As winter progresses many Winnebago fish begin to roam the main lake basin. The fisherman willing to put in the effort of drilling holes and moving to stay on the roaming schools of fish will be rewarded with nice bags of perch, walleye, crappie and white bass. These big schools tend to stick together and when you get on a school you will catch several species out of the same hole. Jigging spoons/jigging raps are the bait of choice with copper and gold being some of the popular colors. Feel free to tip with waxies or a minnow head, but when the fish are active no tipping is needed. Don’t be afraid to stay away from the large groups that will form on the lake in the winter. Moving a half mile away from the big groups can bring big rewards. The main lake basin is huge and many large schools of fish exist. 2-3 miles off either the east or west shore are good places to start. 

Black Oak Lake

The clearest lake in Wisconsin, Land O’ Lakes in Vilas County 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.The 564-acre lake that’s amazingly clear has 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.

Dairyland Reservoir

One of the best ice fishing lakes is technically part of a river—the 1,870-acre Dairyland Reservoir on the Flambeau River in Rusk County in beautiful northwestern Wisconsin is a land of rivers—the Flambeau, Chippewa, Thornapple and Jump. The Flambeau is especially prized by ice fishermen; these are productive waters that offer a lot of options. The Dairyland Reservoir is filled with panfish, bass, pike and walleye. Learn more about fishing in Rusk County.

Boom Lake

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. In the heart of Rhinelander, you’ll find Boom Lake, a flowage on the Wisconsin River that offers reliably productive fishing For walleye, bass, panfish, northern pike, musky.

You might disagree with some of our favorite ice fishing spots in Wisconsin, but what can be agreed upon is that Wisconsin is one of the top ice fishing destinations in the world. At trophy ice fish, our expert ice fishing guides can make sure your ice fishing trip to Green Bay is both fun and successful.

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