Searching for vacation lake
Ok I'll stick to what you asked for in southern to central Wisconsin. Southern: Lake Geneva will provide great fishing, Boating and shopping for the ladies. Central: Lake Wisconsin and Castle Rock are both great fisheries that are within a 30 minute drive to the Dells again shopping also water parks for the kids. 1 last good choice would be lake Winnebago.
Here's a link to resorts in Central Wi. Lake Winnebago and the Wisconsin River (as well as Lake Dubay) are very good for fishing.
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Minocqua, Eagle River, St. Germain....these are the places I would start looking. Plenty of resorts, cabins, rentals in these areas and much more relaxing.
Go the extra 2 hours north you won't regret it.
A previous poster mentioned Bluetop on the Winnebago system. Bluetop is a great suggestion as are many places on the Wolf. If you want more info feel free to shoot me a PM.
The Wolf (Winnebago) is really a unique waterway - you can go 80 miles in either direction and don't have to worry about "big water" unless you want too. If you go up river toward New London you get the backwoods feel with great scenery, if you go down river toward Fremont you get houseboats, Donzi's, and everything in between. I think the coolest part is all the river beaches to bum around on.
For me the Wolf is one of the better waterways in the State. Always fun things to do. I could recommend some spots in the Southern part of the State too, but in the end I think you'd be disappointed.
If your looking for the "Canada" feel you need to venture North to Vilas County. In Vilas there are a 100 places you'd feel at home. Crystal clear water, tall pines, crisp air - just great.
It is all in what you are looking for... Feel free to shoot me a PM