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Popular fishing lakes in Vilas County


  • Article
  • Fishing

Here’s a look at some of Vilas County’s best fishing lakes, whether you’re casting for bass, walleye, or even musky.

Fishing in Sayner-Star Lake Vilas County Wisconsin

The Northwoods of Wisconsin is home to one of the highest concentrations of freshwater lakes on the planet, so there’s always somewhere to cast a line, whether you’re going after hard-fighting bass or elusive musky. Here’s a look at some of Vilas County’s best public-access fishing lakes.

Trout Lake

Size: 3,864 acres

Most abundant fish: Musky, panfish, smallmouth bass, northern pike, trout

Located south of Boulder Junction, this massive lake is home to a rich fishery with healthy populations of musky, bass, pike, walleye, and trout (which aren’t easy to find in a lot of Northwoods lakes).  Public boat landings are located at Ben Bendrick Drive and at campgrounds along County Highway M.

Big St. Germain Lake

Size: 1,622 acres

Most abundant fish: Musky, panfish, northern pike, walleye

Located just west of St. Germain and north of State Highway 70, Big St. Germain Lake is a popular destination for musky and walleye, but pike and panfish are also prolific. Public access is via a boat launch on the north side of the lake. Note that there’s also a Little St. Germain Lake (972 acres) slightly to the east.

Clear Lake

Size: 515 acres

Most abundant fish: Musky, panfish, northern pike, walleye

Anglers enjoy the fishing opportunities for musky, pike, and walleye on this lake just east of Manitowish Waters on the western side of Vilas County. True to its name (and because it’s spring-fed), the water is remarkably clear. Public boat landings can be found at Haskins Road and off Clear Lake Road.

Lac Vieux Desert

Size: 4,017 acres

Most abundant fish: Musky, panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye

Straddling the border of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula east of Land O’ Lakes, this large lake is the headwaters for the mighty Wisconsin River and also offers good fishing opportunities for panfish, bass, and walleye. A boat ramp can be found on the southeastern side of the lake near Thunder Bay Resort and carry-in access is available at Lac Vieux Desert Park on the southwest side of the lake.