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Most Overrated Lakes in Wisconsin

10/20/21 @ 2:30 PM
USER SINCE 9/14/21

What lakes in Wisconsin do you consider to be overrated/never live up to the hype?


10/29/21 @ 7:34 PM

Fish where you want it's all perspective. I've fished all over, N WI, MN, big southern US  reservoirs, etc. If you know what your doing you can catch quality fish in all of them. That being said, I will say without a doubt MN has far better management/regs than the rest. That will no doubt lead to better opportunities on more bodies of water. I've fished the lakes and flowages of the southern half of the state, including the Mississippi, all my life. To me, aside from maybe trophy musky, there isnt a species I feel I would need to drive more than an hour to fish for where I had good chances of catching good #s of quality fish. Then again, everyone's definition of a successful outing is different too. Im to the point where I hate driving, I'd rather spend more time on the water closer to home vs driving hours on end to fish somewhere else, unless it was for a long trip. I know guys who do northern MN or WI for a 3 day trip. That amount of driving seems exhausting to me for that short a time. Again, all perspective. Enjoy your time on the water, wherever you spend it.

10/29/21 @ 7:03 PM
USER SINCE 1/12/14

One mans trash is another’s  treasure. I love the Chippewa.  

10/29/21 @ 6:38 PM
USER SINCE 5/12/16

Nope MFC is right Vilas county lakes and most of Wi.lakes are overrated.It would be a good idea if everyone just went to MN.and Canada.

10/29/21 @ 6:21 PM

A guy catches a big musky on Leech or Vermillion and it’s no problem advertising it because the lakes are huge. A different guy catches a big fish in Vilas County and has learned to keep his mouth shut because the lakes aren’t big and he doesn’t want to draw extra attention to a 500 acre lake. There a bigger fish in the bigger waters of Minnesota for sure but plenty of big fish are being caught in Vilas that guys keep to themselves or share with just a few friends. 

10/29/21 @ 4:39 PM
Brent Hess

Interesting that you assume the pics are a result of many different years combined…

They are all relatively recent, one of them was two weeks ago.  The rest are from this summer as well as the previous summer 2020.

The folks who I know that fish Vilas, routinely catch quality fish. 

I can repost them showing the date on my iPhone if you like. 

Here are a few more that I didn’t edit out the date (all this year) Please note my intent is not any sort of competition, just being honest here. Just as you do well in Minnesota, lots of folks do well in Vilas too. 

You say you call a spade a spade, I would argue you don’t have the whole deck of cards in your hand when it comes to Vilas County.

Unless of course you’ve fished all 1,500 lakes, then I stand corrected. 

I know lots of really good fisherman who choose to fish Vilas, many are on Lake-Link.  Suspended Musky and Bass Whacker are certainly two that are on the list.  Those guys kill it!

At the end of the day I’ve said my peace - you think Vilas County lakes are not a good fishery, so more power to you - it’s all good.

Have a nice evening and enjoy Minnesota. 

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10/29/21 @ 4:28 PM
USER SINCE 3/23/20

Vilas does have nice scenery as does the Hayward area but they don't produce like northern Minnesota. Over years I've caught nice fish in Vilas and Hayward but few but the lakes are overfished and overrated compared to just about any lake I have fished between leech and the lotw in Minnesota. We are retiring in 6 years and we could of bought property anywhere but bought a lake property just outside Bemidji on a 600 acre lake that will easily out produce any Vilas or Hayward area lakes by far plus 6 walleye on most lakes compared to 3 in Wisconsin they recently dropped the bluegill limit to 5 a day on the lake were on But it just shows great management by the end we still catch gills up to 11" pretty common . And northern are 10 a day yes 10 with a slot and it's working like size is getting better every year. But for me I'll honestly fish anywhere just rather make good use of my time and money and fish Minnesota and the Mississippi river. And Brent yah nice fish but I am sure it's not in one day or even one season. I mean I could post 100's of photos from this past summer that prove my point but it's not gonna prove anything 2 guys did catch state record pike and musky this summer in Minnesota don't hear that in Wisconsin cause most fish are small but there there. If you like northern Wisconsin enjoy just showing you there better fishing over the border or the Mississippi on the border. Minnesota try it you'll like it. 

10/29/21 @ 3:56 PM
USER SINCE 11/29/01

I hardly care anyone . If I catch a few fish for the pan, I am happy, however, I am not a trophy  fisher like many here.  What I need more and more in my life is peace and quiet. I have found myself going to Upper Michigan more and more over the years. We fished Little and Big Bay De Noc. We have yet to  "kill " them, of the half dozen times we went. We dont even do very well, however, the peace and solitude is what I need.. I fish Winnebago. It is not as good as it was 5 yrs . ago  neither 

10/29/21 @ 11:43 AM

I felt Whitewater is over rated.

Some National publications used to mention this lake that could pop the next state record LMB.

10/29/21 @ 11:02 AM

Still stand by my comments, especially the stick shaking.

I'm not arguing the experience or value of Vilas County, just the fishing.  The fishing is overrated in Vilas, and our crown jewels Petenwell, Winnebago, Chippewa, Turtle Flambeau, Madison Chain.  

It's okay to disagree, that is the point of every single thread here. Taking some time off due to certain mandates.  I chose to fly over all of WI, I would encourage others who enjoy catching eaters along with trophies to do the same.  

I have no problem calling a spade a spade.  Your collection of random fish pics likely spread out over months/years.  I call that a Thursday in the iron range.  A very cold, rainy, windy poor fishing conditions Thursday at end of October to be exact.

10/29/21 @ 10:43 AM
Gill 1774
Gill 1774
USER SINCE 6/17/03

I could name a few like Pewaukee. Other than muskie it's tough. Regarding Brent and Vilas county I have to agree with Brent the whole area of Vilas county is underrated. I stayed at plum Lake which Brent has cottages on and I didn't get a lot of fish cuz I didn't know the lake . but it's a beautiful Lake beautiful scenery and top notch resort that I would recommend anyone to go there or that whole area because it's a little slice of heaven. You spend a little bit of time up there you won't want to come back.

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