Recreation > Fishing
Let Fishing Reel You In! You arrived in St. Germain ready to start your vacation. You made a trip to the local bait store and stocked up on the best baits and lures to reel in that catch of a lifetime. You headed to the lake, cast your line and felt that first tug of a bite. What did you reel in? St. Germain just might offer the best multi-species, freshwater fishing in Vilas County! With an amazing variety of fish in a diversity of lakes, rivers, and streams, St. Germain is a top-rated fishing destination for anglers of any experience level. Whether you want to spend a quiet day by yourself on the water, rent a pontoon and take the entire family, or hire a guide to help you land the best catch, you will find it all in St. Germain.
The king of freshwater fish. They are the top predator and least populated fish in our lakes. Catch and release is the common practice these days. It’s known as the fish of 10,000 casts, but hiring a guide will cut those odds.
Wisconsin’s second largest predator fish, second only to their relative the Musky. Pike are typically very aggressive and will feed anytime the opportunity allows. They prefer weed flats and other ambush points.
The walleye is the largest member of the perch family and is often targeted for its table fare. Walleyes can be tough to find, but when they are located, they typically cooperate and bite. Bait secret: minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches, and back to minnows as the season starts and finishes.
A small fish that most anglers seek more for the taste than the tug. Adults average 7 to 10 inches which make it a good fish for all ages to catch. Perch have a tendency to congregate in large schools making it a one-stop spot to catch your dinner.
Large and smallmouth bass are brothers, but like family they do take separate paths. We have several small backwoods lakes that offer untapped largemouth fishing, and several area lakes that offer numbers to trophy fishing for smallmouth. NOTE: the season for smallmouth isn’t open to harvest until the 3rd Saturday of June. Regulations for harvest of largemouth are different from lake to lake.
These fish are probably one of the most popular sport and eating fish in Wisconsin. Crappies, bluegills, and sunfish are our most common “panfish”. Probably the most targeted fish in the spring, and often over harvested. Remember to take only enough for a meal and leave some for another day.
St. Germain Area Fishing Guides
- The Anglers Choice Guide Service
715.892.3020 or 715.686.2012
- Buck’s Northwoods Guide Service
715.277.2568 or 608.335.0321
- Dewey, Catchem & How
715.439.3974 or 715.892.2751
- Erv Keller Guide Service
715.385.2265 or 262.639.8491
- Jackson’s Boat Guide Service
- Rob Manthei Fishing Guide Service
715.477.2042 or 715.891.0049
- White’s Woods & Water
Hunting, fishing, trapping and other 2017-2018 license and harvest permits for fish and wildlife activities in Wisconsin will go on sale in early 2017. Visit the DNR website for more information. Licenses and permits for 2016-2017 expire in March 2017.
Recreational Safety Education Classes are now being offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Check out the ATV, boating, hunting and snowmobile safety classes being offered in the area.
Wisconsin Outdoor Report - Weekly report is updated every Thursday at noon.
- Click here for Wisconsin Boat Registration & Titling Information.
- Click here for online recreational vehicle registration.
- Click here to purchase your fishing license online.
Interesting Fishing Related Information & Articles
- EEK! Environmental Education for Kids - Electronic magazine for kids. Learn about the great outdoors!
- Find a Lake - Searchable database by location, fish type or with landings, beaches or public lands/parks provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- Fish Identification Database - Search this database to identify all fish species in Wisconsin.
- Ice Fishing in Wisconsin - Early season forecast for ice fishing provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- Invasive Species in Wisconsin - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Know Your Game Fish! (PDF) - Poster download from Department of Natural Resources.
- Lake Maps - Oneida County
- Lake Maps - Vilas County
- Lake Turnover - The seasonal process of mother nature cleansing and oxygenating our lakes.
- Musky Fishing - Info, publications and regulations for musky fishing in Wisconsin.
- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Recreational Overview Map - Recreation & facilities map in the NHAL State Forest (PDF).
- Take Me Fishing.org - Website features lists of places to boat & fish and other resources.
- Vilas County Lake Directory (PDF) - Online directory of useful information about Vilas County lakes.
- Wisconsin Angler Education Classes - Courses offered by the Department of Natural Resources.
- Wisconsin Boating Laws & Responsibilities (PDF) - Department of Natural Resources online publication.
- Wisconsin Fish, Fishing & Habitat Protection - Articles from the Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine.
- Wisconsin Fishing Regulations - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Wisconsin Fishing Report - From January to December, there’s always a place to fish, fish to catch and fishing fun to be had!
- Wisconsin Lake Information - Important questions & answers on Wisconsin lakes.
The Department of Natural Resources has detected a virus affecting fish in the Lake Winnebago system called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS for short.
The DNR reported that this virus is not harmful to humans and that it is completely safe to handle and eat fish caught in Wisconsin waters. It is important to note that VHS is a deadly virus to fish and spreads easily among a variety of fish populations. The DNR is actively responding to contain this threat and has issued the following recommendations that should be practiced on all Wisconsin waterways:
- Put your catch on ice and do not move live fish and unused bait minnows away from the landing or shore.
- Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells and other containers when leaving the landing or shore.
- Use live minnows purchased only from registered bait dealers in Wisconsin or catch it yourself in the same water you fish.
- Clean plants and debris from your boat before leaving the landing.
Below are some PDF files & links pertaining to VHS:
- Anglers, Bait & VHS Frequently Asked Questions
- Dead Bait Preservation Methods
- What is VHS?
- Species Affected by VHS (PDF)
- VHS Distribution in Wisconsin
- VHS Poster - General Prevention Steps (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Use Reminder (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Harvest Prohibition (PDF)