Wisconsin

101 Fishing Charters

Wisconsin Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Wisconsin


Summary

Wisconsin offers the freshwater enthusiast a wide range of species to go after – from various tasty Trouts to monster Muskellunge. There’s something for any angler, be it rivers, lakes, backwaters or wetlands, all wrapped up in stunning views to soak in while angling! With so many waters to choose from, finding the right Wisconsin fishing charter is a must.

Known For

Wisconsin has many fresh waters to pick and choose from – over 15,000 lakes and ponds in fact. There are more than 2,500 Trout streams spread across the state, totalling almost 6000 miles. These generous waters attract a staggering number of anglers; it’s estimated that around 25% of the adult population in Wisconsin goes fishing, with about 500,000 non-residents arriving to get their fish on every year!

Where to fish

Green Bay

Green Bay fishing charters are mostly located in the city of Green Bay, a great point to go after the inner waters. Sturgeon Bay is good to cast off for the mouth of the bay. It’s much shallower and more fertile than the main body of Lake Michigan and you can find many various species splashing around. Walleye, Yellow and White Perch, Freshwater Drum, Northern Pike, Carp, and Channel Catfish all lurk in these waters. During summer months the limestone reefs make for a great Perch fishery. A bit farther to the north from the mouth of Fox River, you can find Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers – premier Trout, Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass waters. The Brown Trout action is red-hot in July – fishing derbies held at Marinette produce winning specimens weighing over 20 lbs!

Mississippi River

The river is very wide in Wisconsin, with most places around 2-3 miles across. La Crosse is one of the best points to fish the river, it lies on Route 90; the drive from Milwaukee is worth it. You can target many different areas: Tailwaters (waters downstream from a dam) are amazing Walleye and Sauger fisheries during late winter. If you’re looking to fish and not have to wear multiple layers, you can look forward to good Flathead Catfish, White Bass, and Freshwater Drum action all summer long. Backwaters, sloughs, side channels, flooded forests, and wetlands all allow for awesome Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Northern Pike fishing. During winter you’ll mainly hook up Bluegill, Crappie, and Yellow Perch. The main channel can be fished in theory, but the heavy boat and commercial traffic make it difficult. Additionally, many unmarked underwater objects hide just beneath the surface and can easily damage your outboard engine props.

Lake Superior

The largest lake in the world by surface, Lake Superior also has a healthy Lake Trout population that has rebounded nicely in the last couple of years. Marquette is a good starting point if you want to go straight into the heart of it. The St. Louis River flows into the lake on the west end, allowing the native Walleye population good spawning waters. And spawn they do, every year about 100,000 Walleye will go upstream, drawn by instinct. To go after them you should seek out a fishing charter at Duluth (Minnesota), they’re the local masters for Walleye. Anglers can also hook up Northern Pike and Yellow Perch at the mouth of the river.

Lake Michigan

Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee have a large number of charter boats that will happily take you fishing on the lake. Fishing with one of Lake Michigan’s fishing charters is essential, as the Salmon change depth based on the weather and other conditions. Having a local pro onboard makes the all the difference. Sheboygan fishing charters will put you on some of the hottest Salmon action around. The lake is home to Chinook Salmon and big Trouts; so much so that there are numerous summer fishing derbies held in towns along the coast. Fishing is great year-round on Lake Michigan, with late March or early April being the start of the open-water fishing. Late spring is also great for migrating Cohos. If you’re a fan of hooking up huge King Salmon, there have been multiple 20 lbs and above Salmon caught off the coast of Racine in the previous years.


Fish Species

Walleye

Lake Winnebago is one of the best spots around to go after Walleye. The entire state is teeming with them, with over 1 million adult Walleye swimming all across Wisconsin.  They’re looking for cool waters and low light levels, so fishing during the mid-day when the sun is brightest will be more challenging.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass is the poster-child of freshwater fishing, with good reason. They’re tremendous biters and if you hook a big one, you’re in for a wild ride! You can find these beasts in almost any lake in Wisconsin.

Smallmouth Bass

You can find Smallmouth Bass in many medium to large rocky streams or large lakes that have clear water. Luckily, Wisconsin is chock-full of gorgeous lakes that the many Smallmouth Bass are happy to live in.

Muskellunge

The official state fish of Wisconsin, Musky is endemic to North America. Wisconsin is the heartland of this fish, arguably the best place in the world to catch them. You should go to smaller and shallower lakes with plenty of vegetation. It’s a very popular fish to go after, with estimates going as high as 100,000 caught per year.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike can be found all over Wisconsin but it’s especially numerous in the South. These large fish are sight hunters, so targeting them during daylight hours is the way to go, just make sure to keep the bait moving. If you’re a fan of ice fishing, this is probably your top target.

Trout

You can find Brook Trout all over the state, normally on the outside of bends in streams, undercut banks, or areas with surface turbulence. They like living around underwater structures like large rocks or sunken trees. Brown Trout are longer-lived, larger, and spookier than Brook Trout; a real treat for any freshwater angler. They like living in warmer waters than their cousins. They can be targeted year-round, but the best fishing is during the spring, especially on light tackle.

Salmon

The aptly named King Salmon is a hardy fighting fish that will put your fishing muscles to the test. During the spring, you can target them closer to the shore as they love chasing baitfish there. Silver Salmon is one of the most delicious fish you can catch in Wisconsin, though that’s only true during the spring months, when the fish are young and tasty. During fall they’re much larger, but as they near the end of their life cycle the meat just doesn’t taste as good.

Other fish

The fishing doesn’t end with the species listed above. Kokanee and Pink Salmon can also be found in various lakes around Wisconsin. Rainbow Trout isn’t as numerous as Brown or Brook Trout, but you might reel one in. Channel and Flathead Catfish, as well as Lake Sturgeon stalk many of the state waters.

Need to know before you go

You need a valid Wisconsin fishing license before you begin your epic fishing adventure. There are several options to choose from, depending on what your plan for fishing is. You can check the details online. Chumming isn’t allowed in the state, unless you can reliably pick all of the chum up before you leave. The weather on the Great Lakes can turn quickly, dress adequately.

Wisconsin
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.33
Based on 23663 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Walleye action is hot enough to keep you warm through the cold month of January! Ice fishing is a great way to catch these fish. A tough fight will produce a tasty catch, a perfect treat after a day spent in the freezing outdoors.

February

Hitting the Big Green Lake allows you to hook up a lot of lake-dwelling fish like Brown Trout.  Using heavy spoons, jigging raps, and white jigs will allow you to fish the deeper waters where active fish are swimming around.

March

Sauger is the hot topic in March. They are usually found at twice the depths Walleyes prefer. Try using vertical jigs or pull crankbaits upstream with a heavy line. Perch and Catfish action also picks up around this time of year.

April

As ice pulls from the Fox River, anglers swarm the area going after Walleye. This is the perfect time to go after trophy-sized fish, as the females will migrate up the Fox River. You can also go after White Bass.

May

Sight fishing enthusiasts have been waiting for this one: Smallmouth Bass is the prime target during May. The waters of the Green Bay start teeming with them. Other fish that bite hard are Bluegill and Crappie

June

The Salmon fishery picks in June, Coho Salmon is especially good Trolling planer boards and stickbaits in shallow waters (less than 20’ deep) produces good results. Make sure to keep one eye on the weather, as it can turn very quickly.

July

The state favorite, Muskie, can be reliably targeted – you should use topwater lures and bucktails when chasing them. They’ll almost always start jumping when they bite, so keep your rod tip close to the surface.

August

Walleye makes another comeback as one of the most popular targets, with a good number of them being in the mid-20’’ range. Trolling with spinner rigs behind planer boards along the shoreline is a productive technique.

September

This is prime time for wrestling with massive Northern Pike on the Mississippi River. The river is abundant with various fish species, so expect to see quite a few fish you haven’t targeted before on the end of your line.

October

As the weather cools down, the Muskie action heats back up. The lower Green Bay area has the potential to produce a record-breaking specimen. If you’re in the mood for smaller fish, Smallmouth Bass and Crappie are in good numbers.

November

Walleye starts voraciously feeding during November. Productive techniques and locations vary greatly, based on the speed of the water and the flow. An experienced guide can put you on the bite in the double digits!

December

Ice-fishing for Panfish is popular during the freezing month of December. You can also go after Bluegill, measuring up to 10’’ in size under the first ice. Northern Pike can be targeted as well in waters such as Lake Onalaska.

Wisconsin Fishing Calendar

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Getting a guide is definitely an advantage to not have to learn new water makes fishing so much more enjoyable
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Getting a guide is definitely an advantage to not have to learn new water makes fishing so much more enjoyable
Andrew  S.
Andrew S. United States
August is not the best month to fish Green Lake. Better in June or September.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
August is not the best month to fish Green Lake. Better in June or September.
George  P.
George P. Kenosha, WI
Prepare for an amazing Guide and an amazing fishing experience. John is very interesting. Pay great attention to his adventures. You won't meet many like him. Don't miss the opportunity.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Prepare for an amazing Guide and an amazing fishing experience. John is very interesting. Pay great attention to his adventures. You won't meet many like him. Don't miss the opportunity.
SHERIDAN  O.
SHERIDAN O. Walworth, WI
Lake Geneva is a large body of water with great depth and submerged structure. You need an experienced guide to navigate these waters for the first time.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Lake Geneva is a large body of water with great depth and submerged structure. You need an experienced guide to navigate these waters for the first time.
Robert  S.
Robert S. Chicago, IL
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
Kathy  R.
Kathy R. Lake Mills, WI
Dress warm and be ready to have a great time! Keep your eye out for the beautiful bald eagles!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Dress warm and be ready to have a great time! Keep your eye out for the beautiful bald eagles!
Andrae  N.
Andrae N. Racine, WI
Just taking the experience if the fish are biting great and if not remember you're not working
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Just taking the experience if the fish are biting great and if not remember you're not working
Charles  G.
Charles G. United States
Definitely book a trip with Captain Bobby who is Extremely knowledgeable of the entire lake
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Definitely book a trip with Captain Bobby who is Extremely knowledgeable of the entire lake
Candace  B.
Candace B. Hinsdale, IL
Find a charter boat and from talking to others who had been fishing the same day as us, I would recommend going out either early morning (if you can find a sunrise charter out there) or do one that will keep you out til sunset because the fish really seemed to come alive as evening set in.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Find a charter boat and from talking to others who had been fishing the same day as us, I would recommend going out either early morning (if you can find a sunrise charter out there) or do one that will keep you out til sunset because the fish really seemed to come alive as evening set in.
Matt  W.
Matt W. Ralston, NE
*** my review was for fishing in Milwaukee. Fishing booker initially was Racine but fishing captain Ken had moved with the fish to Milwaukee.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
*** my review was for fishing in Milwaukee. Fishing booker initially was Racine but fishing captain Ken had moved with the fish to Milwaukee.
Gary  H.
Gary H. Corydon, IA
Book Captain Steve Mortenson. He is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I learned a wealth of great fishing information from him. Highly recommend him!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book Captain Steve Mortenson. He is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I learned a wealth of great fishing information from him. Highly recommend him!
Gary  H.
Gary H. Cicero, IL
Follow the recommendations for dressing for the trip and taking food and supplies. You'll have a great time.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Follow the recommendations for dressing for the trip and taking food and supplies. You'll have a great time.
Brett  V.
Brett V. Manitowoc, WI
Great restaurants and lodging. Watch the weather forecasts and fishing reports and you should have a Great time.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Great restaurants and lodging. Watch the weather forecasts and fishing reports and you should have a Great time.
Douglas  S.
Douglas S. Delavan, WI
Water ways and fishing opportunities galore! Green Bay is such a great little town, easy to get around and super friendly people. Affordable places to stay and eat.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Water ways and fishing opportunities galore! Green Bay is such a great little town, easy to get around and super friendly people. Affordable places to stay and eat.
Michael  B.
Michael B. Peoria, Illinois
I would recommend trying to go earlier if you can due to the inconsistent weather and wind.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
I would recommend trying to go earlier if you can due to the inconsistent weather and wind.
Kevin  M.
Kevin M. Cottage Grove, WI
We fish the weed beds on the north side of the lake and the drop offs, depending on what we are fishing for. Lots of pike, landed a 36", in 2015.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We fish the weed beds on the north side of the lake and the drop offs, depending on what we are fishing for. Lots of pike, landed a 36", in 2015.
Frank  K.
Frank K. Bloomington, Indiana
Bring some bug spray to combat the flies on the boat. They were the only bad part of the trip.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring some bug spray to combat the flies on the boat. They were the only bad part of the trip.
Alan  R.
Alan R. Fond Du Lac, WI
Find the cold water! As soon as we hit below 60 degrees they fish went crazy with hits!
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Find the cold water! As soon as we hit below 60 degrees they fish went crazy with hits!
Nicole  J.
Nicole J. Milwaukee, WI
GO OUT ANY TIME THE MONTH OF JUNE, OR UP TO MID JULY TO CATCH "MORE" FISH...
4.0 Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good
GO OUT ANY TIME THE MONTH OF JUNE, OR UP TO MID JULY TO CATCH "MORE" FISH...
Scott  H.
Scott H. Manitowoc, WI
To understand the fishery and the sport go out with Captain Jim. Very knowledgeable!!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
To understand the fishery and the sport go out with Captain Jim. Very knowledgeable!!
Tom  K.
Tom K. Milwaukee, WI

Crazy4chrome Guide Service
Crazy4chrome Guide Service
Fishing charter in Sheboygan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 3 reviews
EXCELLENT FISHING TRIP! Captain Bailey has the equipment and extensive knowledge to have an absolute Blast on the river. Highly Recommended! My son and I not only each caught beautiful fish, but Captain Bailey taught us new techniques and really knows how to navigate the river with his raft. We had a full day of FUN on the river and will definitely be back!!!
Nick  R.
Nick R. Little Chute, WI
Fish Minocqua
Fish Minocqua
Fishing charter in Minocqua
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 31 reviews
Had a great morning on the water with Dave, he us knowledgeable and very experienced. Will definitely be back!
SHANE  M.  K.
SHANE M. K. Rosemount, MN
Monasark Guide Service
Monasark Guide Service
Fishing charter in Elkhorn
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 30 reviews
Little cold but the caption was great. Friendly and very informative. I love that he was very patient with my husband and I. I'd definitely recommend him to others as well. Can't wait to get out there again.
Elizabeth  K.
Elizabeth K. Chicago, IL
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Great time with Capt. Jim , he put us on some big Fish! Big THANK YOU to CAPT. JIM @BLUEMAX CHARTERS!!
Paul  J.
Paul J. Cedar Rapids, IA
Monasark Guide Service
Monasark Guide Service
Fishing charter in Elkhorn
4.3 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 30 reviews
Weather was changing for the worse after several days of rain. We didn't catch much, but Jory was trying just about every trick in the book. So, not for lack of trying, we caught a decent sized fish and a bunch of little guys. We plan on using him again.
Gary  V.
Gary V. Janesville, WI
Dahl Charters
Dahl Charters
Fishing charter in Sheboygan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 17 reviews
We had a great fishing trip with Captain Mike over the weekend. He loves fishing and loved to share his knowledge which was very helpful since we are new to salmon fishing. He is very personable and is great with kids, even when they wanted to use Cheez-Its for bait. 😂. He also cleaned and bagged our fish. Great experience.
Theresa  D.
Theresa D. Springboro, OH
Fisherman Jim's Great Lakes Fishing
Fisherman Jim's Great Lakes Fishing
Fishing charter in Kenosha
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 37 reviews
Captain Jim delivered on everything you could expect from a charter. Great attitude the entire time, and he works hard to get you the fish! Tons of fun, will be booking with him again next year!
Jeffrey  K.
Jeffrey K. Marshall, WI
Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures
Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures
Fishing charter in Minocqua
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 45 reviews
The day weather was perfect! I had a fun time taking my son and friends to tag along with Capt. Pat. Best time no doubt!
Arthur  O.
Arthur O. Bolingbrook, IL
Last Resort Guide Service
Last Resort Guide Service
Fishing charter in Boulder Junction
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 10 reviews
Tough day of fishing. Didn't see many people catching fish. But Steve managed to get us on some walleye! Great conversation with Steve who is very open with sharing information. Thank you Steve!
Mike  P.
Mike P. Avoca, WI
Lure-In Fishing Guide – Oshkosh
Lure-In Fishing Guide – Oshkosh
Fishing charter in Oshkosh
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4 reviews
Dennis was very friendly and made meeting up for our charter very easy. He was very knowledgeable in all things fishing, especially around the Wisconsin area. We caught 3 different kind of fish, Sheepshead, Walleyes and Perch. It was a great time by all!
Meghan  H.
Meghan H. Everson, WA
Epic Guide Service
Epic Guide Service
Fishing charter in Green Bay
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 11 reviews
Captain Alex was great guide! He was very helpful by showing us the technique to use to catch the walleyes and he was very friendly!
Niles  B.
Niles B. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Fish Minocqua
Fish Minocqua
Fishing charter in Minocqua
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 31 reviews
Caught a fish on the first cast... ended up with close to 14-16 fish. Too many to count. Great conversation. Ended the day, on the way back to the car... seeing a bald eagle eating a fresh kill..... amazing day!
Jeffrey  S.
Jeffrey S. Greenville, SC
Bry The Fish Guy Guide – Bayfield
Bry The Fish Guy Guide – Bayfield
Fishing charter in Bayfield
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 31 reviews
Very friendly and knowledgeable captain, did everything he could to make our trip enjoyable and successful.
Edward  T.
Edward T. Woodville, WI
Twenty Four VII Charters – Kenosha
Twenty Four VII Charters – Kenosha
Fishing charter in Kenosha
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 46 reviews
Captain Frank is very experienced and on top of everything. He made contact numerous times before the trip helping adjust our time to maximize the weather for our best opportunity to catch fish. I have never seen one man set a dozen lines and run the boat so well. If you want an experience to remember and catch fish request Captain Frank soon as he is highly requested.
Terry  B.
Terry B. Rochester, MN
Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures
Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures
Fishing charter in Minocqua
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 45 reviews
Enjoyable day on beautiful lake. Bite was not on but that did not lower the quality outing.
Peter  M.
Peter M. Wausau, WI
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
All my coworkers had a fantastic time with Captain Jim & his crew. I would most definitely recommend Captain Jim & his first mate for any charters in the future. Thank you again everyone had a great time .
Robert  R.
Robert R. Milwaukee, WI
Outcast Sport Fishing LLC
Outcast Sport Fishing LLC
Fishing charter in Algoma
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 2 reviews
Chris was great to communicate with and work with, unfortunately he was not able to make the trip but he set us up with Mason and Cassie, they both were a joy and pleasure to be around and delivered fish as promised (we credit Cassie). It was a great experience and will book again with them and recommend any others to as well.
Mitch  M.
Mitch M. Vernal, UT
Dead Reckon Charters
Dead Reckon Charters
Fishing charter in Sheboygan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 17 reviews
We had a great time. The captain and crew were great to be with and did a great job. Very conscious of our needs. Wanting to plan a trip with them next year.
Fred  R.
Fred R. Newton, IA
Chillin The Most Charters LLC
Chillin The Most Charters LLC
Fishing charter in Port Washington
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
Captain was very laid back and chill. He was also on it when there was a fish on the line. Would definitely recommend him and his charter
Jarrett  B.
Jarrett B. Indianapolis, IN
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
Another great run with captain rob! He found a sweet spot and we had 11 on all bang bang bang. Best captain around.
Cordel  W.
Cordel W. Naperville, IL

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Wisconsin

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Wisconsin costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $467, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $624. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Wisconsin is 27 ft and the most common vessel type is a Offshore sport fishing.

According to customer reviews, Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures, Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, and Musky & Pike Dreamers – Lake Geneva are some of the most popular fishing charters in Wisconsin. Full list of top fishing charters in Wisconsin.

Captain Hooks Fishing Adventures, Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, and Musky & Pike Dreamers – Lake Geneva all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Wisconsin.

The best way to experience fishing in Wisconsin is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Wisconsin.

The most popular fish species you can target are Rainbow Trout (Steelhead), Salmon (Coho), and Salmon (Chinook). Top fishing techniques include trolling, light tackle, and heavy tackle. Lake fishing, offshore fishing, and river fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Ice-fishing for Panfish is popular during the freezing month of December. You can also go after Bluegill, measuring up to 10’’ in size under the first ice. Northern Pike can be targeted as well in waters such as Lake Onalaska. Check availability for local fishing charters in Wisconsin.