The state of Wisconsin is the self-proclaimed Musky Capital of the world and for a good reason. It has the largest concentration of natural lakes in the world, even more than Minnesota as Vilas County alone boasts more than 1,300 lakes.
These lakes have huge populations of muskies that vary in size. They are also considered a hot spot for other fish species including large and smallmouth bass, crappie, northern pike, and walleye.
So, what are the best Muskie lakes in Wisconsin? Some of the best Muskie lakes in Wisconsin include Big Saint Germain Lake, Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Lake Wisconsin, Okauchee and Oconomowoc Lakes, and Delavan Lake. These locations are known to have large populations of muskies that can grow up to reach trophy sizes.
Keep reading to learn more information about the best musky lakes in Wisconsin and how to fish for muskies at lakes.
Top 5 Musky Fishing Lakes in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a large concentration of lakes that are stocked with various fish species
So, let’s take a look at some facts about the best musky fishing lakes this state has to offer:
Big Saint Germain Lake
- The Big Saint Germain Lake spans out 1600 acres which is considered larger than most lakes in its area. The large size of the lake allows more room for the muskies to grow to trophy sizes.
- The best time of the year to target trophy musky on Lake Saint Germain is from mid-August to early September.
- Boat fishing is more popular on Big Saint. Germain Lake than fishing from the shore as it is mostly surrounded by private property.
- If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to hire a guide who knows the area well before taking a boat out on the lake to increase your chances of landing more muskies.
Eau Claire Chain of Lakes
- The Eau Claire Chain of Lakes is a remote chain of waterways located in northwest Wisconsin. It consists of 11 connected lakes and streams that span for about 10,000 acres.
- The largest lakes in the chain are The Upper Eau Claire, The Middle Eau Claire, and The Lower Eau Claire. They are the most popular for having a large population of trophy-sized musky fish.
- The other smaller lakes on the chain can be more difficult to find, but some anglers can hire a guide so they can spend the day navigating through the entire chain.
- When fishing on the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, you’ll have an opportunity to land various fish species other than muskies including large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, perch, crappie, and bluegill.
- Lake Wisconsin spans out 7197 acres. It’s very popular with anglers as it’s considered one of the most convenient fishing locations due to the large number of resorts, campgrounds, and other tourist attractions in its area.
- It’s considered a prime waterway for muskies as well as other fish species such as bass and crappie.
- If you’re specifically targeting muskies, the best time to head there is during spring or late in the summer when the water temperature warms to about 55 degrees.
Okauchee and Oconomowoc Lakes
- Both Okauchee and Oconomowoc lakes are a couple of lakes west of Pewaukee. The Okauchee Lake spans for 1300 acres while the Oconomowoc Lake spans out for 767 acres.
- They offer a good population of musky that can group up to large sizes. According to a survey done by DNR fisheries a few years ago, some of the muskies that were found in Okauchee Lake were about 51 inches in size and weighed almost 41 pounds. A later survey was done on Oconomowoc Lake that showed similar numbers and sizes of muskies.
- Delavan lake spans 2000 acres and it’s located in Walworth County.
- Both ends of the lake are shallow with weedy areas to provide good cover for the fish and it has sharp breaks along both the north and south shores.
- It’s mostly popular for its large population of bass, walleye, and panfish. However, it also contains a decent muskie population as the DNR stocks them there and they grow large on the abundant forage.
How to Fish for Muskies in Lakes?
Musky fish are known by multiple names such as Muskies, Muskellunge, or Muskellunge. They have also been nicknamed “the fish of 10,000 casts” because of how challenging it is to catch Muskies.
In order to successfully target muskies in lakes, you need to know exactly where to target them. You also need to be prepared with the right kind of gear.
Where to Target Muskies in Lakes?
Musky fish generally prefer to stay in one area. In lakes, you can mostly target them near areas with thick weeds where they hunt for food. You can also target them near-shore breaks or structures such as rock piles.
You can learn how to fish for Muskies in lakes in my guide to catching Muskies in Lake Erie here.
What Kind of Gear Is Best for Musky Fishing in Lakes?
It’s usually preferable to go with heavy gear when targeting muskies because of their large size.
Your setup should have stiff fishing rods and strong reels. You can go for an 8 feet rod with fast action and medium-heavy power paired with a bait-casting reel.
When it comes to the fishing line, you need to use a strong line that can withstand the heavy weight of musky fish. It’s recommended to go with a braided line with a line test of 50 to 80 pounds.
It’s also recommended to attach about 12 to 24 inches of fluorocarbon leader to your mainline because muskies have sharp teeth and having a leader will help stop them from biting through your line.
Is There A Population of Muskies in Lake Erie?
There’s a very small population of muskies in Lake Erie which is why anglers rarely try to catch them there. However, there’s a large population of various other fish species in Lake Erie including walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, steelhead trout, yellow perch, and bluegills.
What Do Muskies Feed On?
Muskies are apex predators so they feed on a wide range of fish species at different stages of their life. Young muskies tend to feed on minnows, small shads, and other small baitﬁsh. Adult muskies, on the other hand, tend to feed on yellow perch, suckers, shiners, walleyes, and smallmouth bass.
What Are the Main Species of Muskies?
There are two main species of Muskies which are the Pure Musky and the Tiger Musky. The pure muskies are large and their bodies are light silver, brown, or green in color with dark vertical stripes on them. The tiger muskies, on the other hand, are basically a hybrid of northern pike fish and pure musky fish. They do not grow as large as pure muskies but they tend to grow faster.
- Going Muskie Fishing? Get bigger catches quickly with these dead baits for Muskies and these effective lures for Muskies in all conditions.
- New to Muskie fishing? Learn how to make fishing for Muskies easier here.
- Explore the untapped potential for muskie fishing at night in this guide.
- Learn how to use live bluegill for super Muskies here.
If you like this article, please share it or pin it, you can find the share buttons below. We will really appreciate it ❤️