The 10 Best Fishing Spots in Wisconsin This Summer

Written by Crystal
Updated: June 11, 2023
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Wisconsin is the perfect place for summertime bed fishing.

As the bass or panfish move towards shallow water, they’ll start to build nests and spawn. You can usually see the nest from the surface of the water. But sometimes it’ll be a little more challenging, with the fish making beds underneath a structure, deeper in the water.

Bed fishing for bass and panfish is available across the entire state of Wisconsin! But some spots are better than others.

Keep reading as we discuss the 10 best fishing spots in Wisconsin this summer.

1. Big St Germain Lake


The northern pike can be caught in Big St Germain Lake.


It’s not Wisconsin’s biggest lake, but it’s one of the most beautiful ones; Big St Germain Lake. This location is one of the prettiest on our list of the best fishing spots in Wisconsin this summer.

Picture the wide-open summer waters, surrounded by lush tree lines. The lake is 1,622 acres in size and sits right in Villas county. The maximum depth is 42 ft. You’ll have full access to the lake from a public boat landing. Some of the fish you’ll be able to catch here include panfish, large and smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, and northern pike. Sight fishing won’t be available here since the water clarity is low. Along with the public boat ramp at Big St Germain Lake, you can access the lake from Fawn Lake or Mud Creek.

2. Black Earth Creek

Black Earth Creek is a world-renowned stream. It’s famous for being full of class 1 trout, and it attracts fly fishers from all over the world. The waters are closely managed to prevent nonpoint source contamination (one of the biggest problems for water quality).

Flowing through the quaint village of cross plains, you’ll find the creek’s headwaters. The spring-fed creek is cool, crisp, and clear. Banked by gorgeous bluffs that created the Black Earth Creek valley, the area is full of forage fish. The abundance of hatches throughout the trout season makes regular catches easy. Along with fishing while you’re there, enjoy hunting, hiking, berry picking, and bird watching. Just watch out for snakes along the trail sunning themselves.

3. Jack Lake

Get ready for a day of fun that everyone can enjoy. Jack Lake is one of the best fishing spots in Wisconsin this summer for the whole family. It’s an excellent spot for beginners; you’re guaranteed to catch something exciting! Jack lake is only 85 acres in size and has a maximum depth of 38 ft. However, anglers regularly catch panfish, trout, and small and largemouth bass. You’ll also find walleye, bluegill, and yellow perch. There’s a public boat landing as well as a public beach.

4. Kickapoo River

Trout in Montana

You can keep the trout you catch in Kickapoo River, Wisconsin.

© Oliveira

Kickapoo River offers put-and-take fishing. Unlike catch and release, you’ll be able to keep all the stocked fish you catch. Kickapoo is regularly stocked with hatchery trout. As you travel up the river, get ready to encounter a mix of underbrush, hardwoods, and pine. The shorelines provide the perfect opportunity for finding foraging fish. Some of the best angling opportunities come from using a small boat for carrying fishing. However, you can also fish from the shore or wade into the water a bit.

5. Puckaway Lake

Get ready for some of the best shallow water fishing at Puckaway Lake. It is 5,013 acres in size and has a maximum depth of 5 ft. You’ll be able to access the lake from public boat landings. Some fish you’ll be able to catch here include catfish, northern pike, musky, panfish, largemouth bass, and walleye. This lake is most famous for its northern pike fishery.

Puckaway is the perfect location for anyone looking to get out of this city and enjoy a day trip. Just avoid visiting the lake on a super windy day. You should also check for the nearby sheltered areas so you can move to safety at short notice.

6. Lake Geneva

When you’re looking for a wide variety of fish to catch, head to Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva has healthy populations of smallmouth bass, northern pike, lake trout, crappie, bluegill, and even cisco’s. There is a ton of different trout too. You’ll have a chance to catch lake, brown, and rainbow trout here. Lake Geneva’s best-covered areas are Black Point and William’s bay. An artificial cover makes it easy for you to target largemouth bass during the summertime. Make sure you hit up the weed beds by the docks too.

7. Altoona Lake

Musky or Muskellunge

Lake Altoona in Wisconsin plays host to muskellunge.


Small but mighty, Altoona lake is only 720 acres with a maximum depth of 25 ft. You’ll be able to access the lake from a public boat landing and a public beach. This is a great lake to fish in since it’s full of smallmouth bass, walleye, musky, and panfish. The lake is an artificial reservoir, and it was drained and refilled just a few years ago. The fish are abundant and active!

8. Pelican Lake

Pelican Lake is in Oneida county, and it’s 3,545 acres in size. The lake has a maximum depth of 39 ft. Here you’ll be able to catch northern pike, walleye, panfish, and musky. There are also small and largemouth bass. This lake made our list of the 10 best fishing spots in Wisconsin this summer because of the variety of environments. It’s one of the largest lakes in Oneida county, with varying water levels, structures, and cover. The shore length is 13 miles long; the bottom of the water is about 40% sand and 20% gravel. The bottom of the water is about 40% sand, 30% muck, 10% rock, and 20% gravel. The shoreline is 13 miles long and provides a variety of fish populations.

9. Hope Lake

Hope Lake is 108 acres in size and sits in Jefferson county. The lake has a maximum depth of 24 ft. Here you’ll be able to fish for panfish, pike, and largemouth bass. You’ll have access to the lake from public boat landings. However, there aren’t any motorized motorboats allowed. Grab a kayak or canoe, your favorite fishing friend, and get ready for a peaceful day on the lake. The water clarity is low, but the fish are active. If you forget something at home or need more bait, don’t worry. During the summertime, the Sandy Beach bait shack in Lake Mills is open.

10. Eagle River


Walleyes are very common in Eagle River.


You owe yourself to fish the famous Eagle River for walleye. Anglers are getting the most luck with leeches and crawlers on a jig. You’ll find that morning and evening times work best for making regular catches. Fish the deep rocks and weed lines.

Along with walleye, the river is also home to bass, bluegills, perch, muskie, and more. The waters are clear, and you’ll be surrounded by the great outdoors. While fishing, you might be lucky to spot whitetail deer roaming the forest.

Summary of the 10 Best Fishing Spots in Wisconsin

Here are the 10 Best Fishing Spots in Wisconsin:

RankFishing Spots
1Big St Germain Lake
2Black Earth Creek
3Jack Lake
4Kickapoo River
5Puckaway Lake
6Lake Geneva
7Altoona Lake
8Pelican Lake
9Hope Lake
10Eagle River

The photo featured at the top of this post is © bekirevren/

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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