Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in Northwest Wisconsin

Minnesota may be known as the land of 10,000 lakes but Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes, and they are prime for catching a fish or two… or a whole pail full! It’s no surprise that the Northwoods of Wisconsin has some of the best lakes in the entire state; but as any seasoned angler knows, you don’t go around sharing your best ice fishing spots. However, we don’t want to hold back our best kept secrets, so check out our list of the best lakes for ice fishing and plan your next adventure out on the lake today! 

Ashland County

Find yourself next to the water, or in this case on the water ice fishing. Winter brings anglers out in droves for ice fishing on Chequamegon Bay where they can take their pick of excellent fishing for walleye, northern pike, or any of the three major panfish – perch, bluegill and crappie. The beauty of ice fishing in Ashland is that you don’t have to venture far from shore to catch the big one. Always check Ashland’s fishing reports at visitashland.com for the most up-to-date report and ice conditions. You can also order a free fishing guide to ensure you’re setting up your shack in the perfect spot. Whatever you’re ice fishing for it’s always a treat in Ashland, WI.  

Sawyer County 

Sawyer County offers several lake options for ice fishing and there are many species of fish available to pull through the ice. Panfish, northern pike, walleye are just some of the kinds of fish you can catch in the area. Check out our weekly fishing report at www.haywardlakes.com for weather reports, tips on where to catch the big one and what bait works best for the current conditions. Make sure to pack a lot of cold beverages and snacks when you go ice fishing in Sawyer County cause you’ll be out all day long catching the big ones! 

Price County 

With over 18,000 acres of water, ice fishing opportunities are abundant in Price County! The Phillips Chain of Lakes winds through the city of Phillips and offers some great trophy fishing. That’s right, you’ve come to the right place if you’re tossing your line out to ice fish for the BIG ones! Join the ice fishing fun during the Phillips WinterFest ice fishing tournament on Saturday, January 28. Great cash prizes are up for grabs! 

Burnett County:
With 500 lakes and 14 rivers, ice fishing is one of the most popular winter hobbies for many people in Burnett County. Since we have some of the best lakes in all of Wisconsin for ice fishing we tend to be hesitant when it comes to sharing our ice fishing secrets. We conducted a recent unofficial survey, asking our local Burnett County anglers which lakes were the best to promote for fishing in Burnett County, WI and here are their answers, in no particular order: 

  1. Lakes in Minnesota 😅
  2. Wood Lake in Grantsburg, WI 
  3. Yellow Lake in Webster, WI 
  4. Clam Lake in Siren, WI
  5. Webb Lake in Danbury, WI 

Washburn County

Lake Superior, Chequamegon Bay and our many lakes make Washington County an ice fisherman’s paradise. Large and smallmouth bass, walleye, northern and perch are just some of the fish you’ll be after when out on the ice. We’re not shy to share all our fishing spots (unlike our neighbors to the west) and the best lakes to enjoy your ice fishing experience on. 

  • Sarona is the home of the 3478-acre Long Lake. Long Lake has a max depth of 74 feet. Visitors can access the lake for ice fishing from the public boat landings. Fish in this lake include: panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Access the lake easily by snowmobile on one of the many connecting trails. With several restaurants along the lake it’s convenient and quick to get a meal while out ice fishing. Pick up all your ice fishing necessities before hitting the ice at Long Lake Bait and Tackle that’s located near the public boat landing. 
  • Spooner Lake, located just Northeast of Spooner, is a 1132-acre lake with a max depth of 17 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings. Fish in this lake include: panfish, largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Spooner Lake is a few minutes outside of town making it easy to get a bite to eat and a warm beverage at one of the many coffee shops or restaurants in downtown Spooner. Forgot to pack your bait? Restock your gear and bait at the Spooner Outlet before spending the day on the ice. 
  • Lake Nancy in Minong is a 757-acre lake with a max depth of 39 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public landings. Fish include panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Nancy Lake is a very clear lake. On Lake Nancy is Gruzy’s Italian Restaurant, which is the perfect place to warm up with a hot pizza, sandwich and beverage.

Polk County 

Polk County is filled with 435 lakes that are full of a variety of fish, including bass, walleye and panfish. Load your shack and head out on any of the follow lakes for a great time ice fishing in Polk County: Balsam Lake, Big Lake, Lake Wapogasset, Twin Lake, Bone Lake, Deer Lake, Half Moon Lake, Little Butternut Lake, Long Lake and White Ash Lake. 

The ice fishing fun doesn’t stop there! Many of these lakes have ice fishing contests that all are invited to participate in. For details regarding the ice fishing contests contact the Polk County Information Center at 715-483-1410. Here’s of list of the upcoming ice fishing contents: 

  • January 21: Frederic Ice Fishing Contest on Coon Lake; 715-327-4294
  • January 21- 22: FREE fishing weekend – Statewide
  • January 22: Susie Q’s Annual Fishing Tournament – Atlas;  715-648-5223
  • January 29: St. Joe’s Annual Ice Fishing Tournament at North Twin Lake 715-268-7717
  • February 4: Wandaroos Lions Club Ice Fishing Contest on Lake Wapo
  • February 1: Centuria Ice Fishing Contest on Long Lake
  • February 18: Clam Falls Winter Carnival/Ice Fishing Contest
  • February 18: Osceola Ice Fishing Contest on Big Lake
  • February 19: Clayton Ice Fishing Contest on Lake Magnor

There’s no such thing as a bad day when you’re ice fishing. Enjoy your ice fishing adventure out on the lakes of Northwest Wisconsin this winter. Wishing you good luck and a good haul. 

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