Adventure: Ice Fishing

Learn more about Ice Fishing


New to the ice? Welcome to some of the best ice fishing on the planet. There’s a reason why so many head to the ice every winter in Vilas County – this sport is a ton of fun, and Vilas County is the perfect place to drill a hole. There are more than 1,300 lakes, so there are plenty of fishing opportunities for everyone. To get started, consider hiring a guide. Going out with a guide on your first trip is a great idea. Not only will you learn all about how to get started ice fishing, the guides will share tips and secrets that you’ll be able to carry with you the rest of your life. When you’re fishing, try to remain quiet – fish are easily spooked and quiet anglers often have the best luck. Just take in the fresh air, winter scenery and enjoy your time on the lake. A couple of lakes with an abundance of panfish include Pioneer Lake in Conover and Big Sand Lake in Phelps. North and South Turtle Lakes in Winchester are good for walleye and smallmouth bass fishing.


If you have some experience on the ice, Vilas County is the place to take your fishing to a new level. Consider heading onto the ice in the afternoon. Sometimes the best fishing is late in the day, into the evening. If you haven’t used one of the latest fish finders, you might want to stop by a Vilas County sporting retailer to see what’s available. There’s nothing wrong with going old school, but this gear can make a big difference out on the ice. If you haven’t fished southwestern Vilas County, consider making a trip. There are some good-sized lakes in the Lac du Flambeau area with big populations of panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Check out Fence Lake, Little Crawling Stone Lake and Flambeau Lake.


You’re coming to Vilas County for more than the scenery. You’re coming here because this is one of the best places to do what you love best. The ice fishing in Vilas County is nearly unparalleled ­ – fishermen who come here with experience and patience can largely leave the luck at home. You may already have your favorite fishing spots, and we won’t ask­ ­– they will always be your secrets. If you’re new to Vilas County and are looking for a place to start prospecting, consider the waters near Land O’ Lakes, up near the Michigan border. While you’re up there, check out Black Oak Lake. Consider entering one of Vilas County’s fishing tournaments. You can find tournaments in Phelps, St. Germain, Conover, Sayner/Star Lake, Land O’ Lakes, Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters.


Want more fishing info?

See all Vilas County public-access lakes.
For a full list of Vilas County fishing events, click here.