Vilas County has more than 1,300 lakes, 73 rivers, and streams, and anglers have recorded four state fishing records in its waters. But there’s more to fishing in the Northwoods than just impressive numbers. Northern Wisconsin is a place where fishing is simply extraordinary, and this is the season when anglers hunt trophies against a backdrop of spectacular fall color. Here’s a guide to some of the county’s finest fall fishing lakes.
Panfish are abundant in Vilas County. Some great places to cast include Upper Buckatabon Lake in Conover, Big Sand Lake in Phelps and Little Horsehead Lake in Presque Isle. Fishing from shore? Find shoreline spots and piers to cast at Mud Lake (south of Presque Isle), Van Vliet Lake (southeast of Presque Isle) and the pier at Wilderness Park on Presque Isle Lake.
Musky hunting? Consider Boulder Lake in Boulder Junction, the Eagle River Chain near Eagle River and Big St. Germain Lake near St. Germain. And of course, for musky fishing, you can’t beat a lake with a name like this: Big Muskellunge Lake. It’s located south of Boulder Junction and west of Sayner-Star Lake.
If you’re looking for expansive waters, you’ll find them in Vilas County. Some great larger lakes to explore include Lac Vieux Desert near Land O’ Lakes, North Twin Lake near Phelps and Fence Lake near Lac du Flambeau. Vilas County is also home to the Wisconsin River, which begins here and runs 420 miles southwest to the Mississippi River.
These waters represent a fraction of the lakes and rivers that offer productive and rewarding fall fishing—explore our site to learn more.