Good places to live for Ice Fishing
Wouldn't be right if I didn't toot the Green Bay horn. It's not a little cabin in the woods but.... Once the ice firms up on the Bay, you fish walleyes, whitefish, and perch. If you can't wait you shoot over to Shawano. If you get bored with whitefish you can shoot down to Bago. Equally important is the Fox River before ice out. When things warm up I love to hit the Big Pond for trout and salmonids in Kewaunee. AlI of these places including Oconto are under an hour's drive away. I can't afford to retire anywhere else but I'm not going to complain. I feel pretty good about year round fishing opportunities right here.
Hayward is good for all ages! Plenty of remote lakes with trophy fish that take work to access, and plenty of lakes with extensive road-ways to be able to drive right to a spot. Hard to find a lake you can't catch a fish in, at least from my limited experience of fishing the area a half dozen times a year. Have yet to run into a resort owner or fellow fisherman who wasn't friendly plus you can get paid to keep snot-rockets on the flowage, what's better than that??
Aaah --- but at what age? Guaranteed to get three different answers between the young physically fit studleys, slightly over weight middle agers, and old geezers like me who don't like long winters with deep snow and hard to get at places. Of course this only applies to the cradle to death icers who would dare answer a question like this ... Me included ! --- LOL
If it’s specifically for perch then you move to Idaho. There is nothing on the planet that comes anywhere close to what those lakes are producing right now. Not Devil’s Lake, not any river, nothing. The quirk to it is that these are “new” fisheries that are early in their development so it remains to be seen if they will continue to produce the way they are now once they age.
If you make a trip out there before you make a trip to North Dakota or the Mississippi River it’ll destroy your perception of what a good perch fishery is. The Devils Lake area and the Mississippi River are good but compared to what Idaho has going on right now they are huge disappointments.
Depends what you consider a good panfish area. To me, catching is one thing but solitude is just as important. Mississippi is arguably the best perch factory in the country (so I'm told, never had a burning desire to try it despite living within an hour). If I stayed in WI I would go with Hayward area first (less tourism) and Vilas county second.