Lakes & Waterways


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Vilas County is home to one of the largest concentrations of freshwater lakes on earth. The county boasts some of the best smallmouth bass, walleye and musky fishing in North America. In addition, Vilas County lakes have exceptional fishing for crappie, bluegill, northern pike and more. More than 1,300 lakes and 73 rivers and streams provide a fishing variety you’ll find nowhere else.

While Vilas County lakes range in size from pristine woodland trout ponds to endless chains of lakes, crystal clear water and wooded shorelines are the rule. For more than a century, Vilas County has been the fishing destination of choice for anglers from around the Midwest. Spring, summer, fall and winter, Vilas County is the place to fish.

You’ll need a fishing license, unless you’re under the age of 16, born before 1927 or are a Wisconsin resident who is on break from active military duty. Find a sales location here.

This lake grid details all public-access lakes and boat landings.

Find a list of upcoming Vilas County fishing events.

See Vilas County fishing reports:

Plan your Vilas County fishing adventure today!

See spring fishing itinerary.
See summer fishing itinerary.
See fall fishing itinerary.
See winter ice fishing itinerary.