CELEBRITIES, FAMILIES ENJOY FISHING IN WISCONSIN'S NORTHWOODS
Anyone who loves freshwater fishing, or would like to give it a try, needs
to visit Wisconsin's Northwoods. The three northern counties of Vilas,
Oneida and Price, and the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, combine to
offer 2,900 lakes brimming with fish ranging from the almighty muskellunge
to great-tasting panfish.
This region of Wisconsin has historically attracted celebrities ranging from
President Dwight Eisenhower to a young Elizabeth Taylor, who both fished
Oneida County's famed Lake Minocqua several times. The Northwoods region
continues to be popular with vacationing celebrities as well as business
executives and pro athletes who crave great fishing and stepping out of the
limelight. But Wisconsin Northwoods Fishing is also a wonderful escape for
anyone, say members of the Lac du Flambeau Governor's Area Promotion
Committee. This 22-member group includes representatives of Vilas, Price and
Oneida counties, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Indians,
and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Department of
We're seeing people getting closer together, family-wise, since the tragic
events of Sept. 11, said Crystal Lake Johnson of the Rhinelander Area
Chamber of Commerce. We're not seeing as many singles as we used to; people
are realizing that fishing in Wisconsin's Northwoods is a great and
inexpensive family activity. Johnson quickly pointed out that Rhinelander,
the county seat of Oneida County, has 234 lakes within 12 miles of downtown.
These lakes are dotted with resorts of all types, many catering to families
and all available within an easy day's drive of anyone living in Wisconsin
or surrounding states.
Gregg Guthrie, a Lac du Flambeau tribal member and co-chair of the governor'
s committee, said the group emphasizes intercultural cooperation to promote
an underutilized resource.
We have so much to offer, but many people don't know it's here, he said.
We want to share our terrific fishing resources with others. And it can be
really simple; a young boy or girl can take a cane pole, hook and bobber to
any local trout fishing pond and is almost sure to catch some fish. On the
other hand, an experienced angler can choose from 260 lakes (with a total
water surface of nearly 18,000 acres) within the Lac du Flambeau Indian
Reservation, including 10 connected lakes on the Lac du Flambeau Chain of
Nearby Price County is known more for exceptional hunting, but it too offers
excellent fishing. The county's 98 lakes, 45 trout streams and three major
rivers are largely untapped.
In spring, all it takes to land some great panfish is a bobber and a hook
and minnow, said David Kelly, an area guide. Find some shallow water in
the 3-5 foot range and you're in business. Like the entire Wisconsin
Northwoods, Price County offers plentiful smallmouth and largemouth bass,
walleyes, northern pike and muskies.
Vilas County includes the fishing hotbeds of Boulder Junction, Eagle River,
Manitowish Waters and St. Germain. The county's 1,300 lakes and 73 streams
boast some of the state's record catches, including an 18-pound walleye
record that has stood for 69 years, and a 51-pound tiger musky taken in
1919. But you don't have to be an experienced angler, or have the full use
of your body to fill a stringer in Wisconsin's Northwoods.
The Wisconsin DNR requires that all new public access sites on lakes and
streams include parking for disabled anglers, a smooth route to the boat
dock, and a ramp for wheelchair access to the dock itself. As a result,
hundreds of these wheelchair-accessible facilities exist in the Northwoods.
Fishing Has No Boundaries, a non-profit organization dedicated
to the promotion of fishing by those with disabilities, will hold its annual
weekend outing May 31-June 2. That's just one of 49 fishing events scheduled
for May through October in Wisconsin's Northwoods.
The fishing season for most species opens May 4 in Oneida, Vilas and Price
Counties, and the Lac du Flambeau Reservation. A Wisconsin or Reservation
fishing license is valid on all lakes.
Also see: Fishing Tackle
Jeff Elkins contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.chum-bucket.com.
The place to find top quality fishing tackle, lures, reels, rods, gear, supplies & equipment.