11 Best Northern Pike Fishing Lakes in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin is one of the best northern pike fishing states in the country.

The northern pike is a formidable predator known for its voracious appetite and powerful strikes. With its sleek, torpedo-shaped body and distinctive markings, this monster is a prize catch for anglers of all skill levels.

Blessed with over 15,000 lakes and many rivers, this state offers diverse habitats that cater to northern pike and those who want to catch them.

Let’s narrow it down and take a look at only the best northern pike fishing spots in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s Northern Pike Hotspots

These lakes have some fantastic access to this toothy predator. You’ll have a great chance of catching a trophy at any spot on this list.

Long Lake

Long Lake is a haven for northern pike enthusiasts. Several prime fishing spots lure anglers seeking the thrill of landing these formidable predators.

Stretching across 3,300 acres with a maximum depth of 70 feet, Long Lake provides an ideal pike habitat, making it a go-to destination for anglers searching for trophy-sized catches.

The expansive weed beds that dot its underwater landscape are some of the best spots to target. During the warmer months, these weedy areas become a haven for northern pike, attracting schools of baitfish and providing ample cover for the predatory giants.

You should find success casting artificial lures like spoons or spinnerbaits into these weedy areas and along the edges of weed beds. 

Northern pike lurk near drop-offs, points, and submerged structures such as rock piles and fallen timber, all perfect ambush points for these voracious predators. Use live bait, such as large minnows, in deeper, cooler waters.

Spring and fall are productive for northern pike fishing on Long Lake. During the spring, as the water warms and the pike become more active, shallow bays and shorelines are excellent spots to target. 

Hardy fishermen and fisherwomen also flock to the lake in the winter, seeking prime spots for their tip-ups. Northern pike lurk beneath the frozen surface, creating an adrenaline-fueled pursuit for ice anglers.

Set up on the north and western portions of the lake for some of the best hard-water pike fishing action.

Plenty of amenities are around the lake, along with camping and lodging. Resorts on the shores offer fishing packages, including any ice fishing gear you need.

Lake Winnebago

Lake Winnebago, located in east-central Wisconsin, is a massive and renowned destination for northern pike fishing. The lake covers 137,700 acres and offers diverse fishing spots, making it a hotspot for those targeting monster pike.

The expansive shallows and weed beds throughout the lake make the perfect habitat for pike. During the spring and early summer, these areas offer epic fishing as pike prepare for the spawn.

Cast near the emergent vegetation, lily pads, and submerged weed beds, where the pike often hide and ambush their prey. Topwater lures, such as buzzbaits or jerkbaits, can be particularly effective.

The mouth of the Fox River, which flows into Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, is another hot spot for pike. Trolling along the river mouth with crankbaits or spinnerbaits is perfect for covering a larger area and locating active fish.

Ice fishing on Lake Winnebago during the winter months is a tradition deeply rooted in the region, and it also offers excellent opportunities for northern pike enthusiasts.

Drilling holes in the ice near weed beds, drop-offs, or submerged structures can lead to successful catches. Winter anglers often use tip-ups with large minnows or smelt to entice northern pike lurking beneath the frozen surface.

Green Bay/Sturgeon Bay

One of Green Bay’s most popular fishing spots is the Sturgeon Bay area. Sturgeon Bay offers a unique blend of shallow bays, deep channels, and abundant weed beds—ideal conditions for pike to thrive.

Anglers often target Sturgeon Bay’s shallower areas, especially during the spring and early summer when pike gather for spawning. 

The rest of Door County Peninsula, surrounding Sturgeon Bay, is also excellent for pike. The varied underwater topography, including rocky areas and submerged structures, creates diverse habitats that attract pike throughout the year.

This region’s intricate network of islands and bays offers ample opportunities to explore and find your preferred pike fishing spots.

Early spring and late fall are prime seasons for pike in Green Bay. During these periods, pike are more active and often closer to shorelines. The bays and tributaries feeding into Green Bay become particularly productive during these times.

Ice fishing is also a popular pursuit in Green Bay during the winter months. As the bay freezes to a safe thickness, anglers take to the ice, drilling holes and setting up tip-ups to catch pike.

Areas with submerged structures, drop-offs, and weed beds under the ice continue to attract these predatory fish, providing an entirely different and thrilling experience for anglers.

Green Bay has all the amenities you could ask for. Smaller communities in the Sturgeon Bay area have lodging, bait, and dining.

Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay also are renowned walleye fisheries in Wisconsin.

Lake Chippewa/Chippewa Flowage

Lake Chippewa, also known as Chippewa Flowage, is in northwestern Wisconsin. The East Fork Chippewa River and the West Fork Chippewa River feed it.

One prime northern pike fishing spot on Lake Chippewa is the Chippewa Flowage Dam area. The dam creates a unique environment that attracts pike, offering anglers a promising location to test their skills.

The waters around the dam provide a mix of depths, submerged structures, and plenty of vegetation. Cast your line near the submerged rock piles, fallen timber, and weed beds that dot the area.

The narrows and channels connecting different sections of Lake Chippewa are worth your time. These narrow passages concentrate fish movement, making them quite productive. Troll with larger crankbaits or use live bait rigs along these channels. 

Another notable hotspot is the Chief Lake area. Chief Lake, one of the interconnected bodies on the west side of the Lake Chippewa system, has perfect shallow bays, weed beds, and sunken islands that serve as prime feeding grounds for pike.

During the spring and early summer, when pike are actively feeding, try casting with spoons, spinnerbaits, or live bait rigs around Chief Lake’s many structures.

Ice fishing for pike can be exceptional on Lake Chippewa. Deploy tip-ups rigged with large minnows, strategically placing them near submerged structures and drop-offs where pike lurk in winter. Drilling multiple holes along these key areas increases the chances of success.

Using flasher fish finders aids in locating schools of baitfish and potential predator hotspots. Aggressive jigging with flashy lures like spoons or rattle baits can trigger the bite.

The Chippewa Flowage also harbors some very good largemouth bass fishing, and some bucketmouths may just decide to take on that oversized pike lure.

Plenty of resorts, hotels, and campgrounds dot the area. You shouldn’t have any issues finding what you need.

Lake Wisconsin

Lake Wisconsin, situated in the heart of the Badger State, has some of its best pike fishing.

One of the most coveted fishing spots on Lake Wisconsin is the stretch of water around Pine Bluff. Northern pike frequent the shallower waters here, especially during the spring and fall.

Try casting spoons, spinnerbaits, and live bait rigs around submerged structures and weed beds near this peninsula, which can lead to epic catches.

The Lake Wisconsin Railroad Bridge (Merrimac Bridge) creates a unique underwater structure that attracts pike to this central part of the lake Trolling techniques with large crankbaits or live bait rigs work well here.

The deeper waters around the bridge provide opportunities for trophy-sized catches, making it a go-to destination for those pursuing a record-breaking northern pike.

Ice fishing Lake Wisconsin can provide fast action.

Target shallow, weedy areas where pike seek refuge and ambush prey. Using tip-ups with large baitfish like suckers or shiners proves effective, as pike are voracious predators looking for a hearty meal.

Drill holes strategically, exploring varying depths to locate active fish. Aggressive jigging with flashy, oversized lures can entice strikes, mimicking wounded prey.

Lake Namekagon

Lake Namekagon, nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, is a premier destination for anglers seeking epic pike fishing.

This pristine, 3,227-acre lake is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and offers an idyllic setting for chasing trophy pike.

The lake’s structure, characterized by numerous bays, points, and expansive weed beds, creates the perfect habitat for these aggressive predators.

Shallow, weedy areas are especially productive during spring and early summer as pike spawn and cruise these areas in search of prey.

Lake Namekagon is known for its accessible and well-maintained fishing spots. The lake boasts several public boat ramps, providing easy entry points for those exploring its prime pike fishing locations. 

The Garden Lake area on the southeastern side is known for its submerged rock formations and abundant weed beds, which attract sizeable northern pike year-round. It’s a popular ice fishing spot.

The northwest end of the lake, where Lake Namekagon connects to Jackson Lake, forces pike to concentrate in the narrow channel. This fact makes it an ideal location for you to capitalize on the predatory instincts of pike.

During winter, ice-fishing enthusiasts can still pursue pike with great success. The area near Phipps Flowage is a great spot. Set your tip-ups at varying depths for the best coverage.

Lake Namekagon’s shoreline is dotted with resorts, cabins, and fishing lodges, catering to the needs of anglers. Many provide boat rentals, fishing guides, and valuable local knowledge to help get you on the fish.

Lake Namekagon also offers great panfishing, including excellent yellow perch fishing and top-notch crappie catching.

Nelson Lake

Nelson Lake offers exceptional structure. A mix of deep holes, submerged rock formations, and expansive weed beds provide the perfect pike habitat.

The deep holes in the central parts of the lake are prime locations during different seasons, while the weed beds along the shoreline provide excellent cover for ambushing prey.

Early spring sees northern pike congregating in shallower areas as they prepare for the spawning season. Target these shallow waters using jerkbaits, spoons, or live bait.

As the temperatures rise, pike move to deeper areas, and trolling along drop-offs and submerged structures is a go-to strategy. Spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and large crankbaits are popular during this time.

Summer on Nelson Lake brings an abundance of vegetation, and the northern pike are drawn to the cooler spots provided by the lake’s structure.

Deeper weed lines become key summer hotspots, with topwater lures, weedless spoons, and plastic frogs proving effective. The challenge lies in navigating the dense vegetation, but the rewards are possible trophy pike.

Come fall, as temperatures begin to drop, northern pike become more active, putting on the feedbag in preparation for winter. Autumn is an excellent time for anglers to target shallower areas again, focusing on the transition zones between deep and shallow waters.

Casting large swimbaits, jerkbaits, and live suckers can be particularly productive during this season.

During winter, Nelson Lake transforms into one of Wisconsin’s top ice fishing spots. Anglers often find success by targeting shallow weedy areas where pike congregate.

Using tip-ups baited with large shiners or suckers can be effective in attracting these voracious predators under ice. Drill multiple holes in strategic locations to increase your chances of locating active fish.

Namekagon has several resorts, cabins, camping, and RV spots available. Most resorts have bait shops, and they all cater to anglers.

Bone Lake

Bone Lake is a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities area across the state line. It’s a serene and rewarding experience for anglers seeking the thrill of pike fishing in Wisconsin. Bone Lake spans approximately 1,800 acres, providing plenty of lake to explore.

One of the key attractions of Bone Lake is its diverse underwater topography, ranging from shallow, weedy bays to deeper channels and flats. Pike thrive in these varied environments, making the lake an ideal habitat for this sought-after species.

The lake’s extensive weed beds serve as prime ambush points for pike. Anglers can target these weedy areas, especially during the spring and early summer, when pike are actively spawning and seeking cover.

The lake’s northern section, with its points, rocky structure, and submerged timber, is another popular area to target pike. Casting large spoons, jerkbaits, or trolling with flashy, noisy lures can yield great results in these spots.

Ice-fishing anglers opt for tip-ups baited with large shiners or smelt, strategically placed in varying depths to cover the pike’s preferred zones.

Drilling holes near submerged weed beds or drop-offs increases the likelihood of encountering these predatory fish. Using flashy lures, such as spoons or jigs, can attract pike from a distance.

Anglers can find camping, lodging, and food around the lake. Bait and tackle are available in the town of Bone Lake or other nearby communities.

Lake Wissota

This sprawling reservoir, built on the Chippewa River, covers approximately 6,300 acres and offers an abundance of prime fishing spots for those pursuing the elusive northern pike.

The narrows between the main lake and the Chippewa River channel are the go-to location here. This area is full of underwater structures, including submerged weed beds, rocky points, and drop-offs.

Northern pike patrol the edges of structures along the channel. Casting or trolling near these underwater features with large spoons, spinnerbaits, or live bait can yield impressive results.

The bays and backwaters of Lake Wissota are also renowned hotspots for northern pike. They offer shallower areas where pike spawn and feed.

Shallow bays combining lily pads and submerged structures become prime locations for casting lures or presenting live bait. Target Echo Bay, Drywood Bay, and Pine Harbor for epic pike action.

Near the dam and the power station is another productive fishing ground for pike. The current created by the dam can attract schools of baitfish, drawing in predatory pike. Casting along current breaks and underwater structures can be particularly fruitful. 

Ice fishing at Lake Wissota is on another level. Set up your tip-ups in varying depths, especially along the edges of weed beds. Once you find the weeds, you’re ready to catch trophy fish.

There are plenty of resorts, cabins, and restaurants in the area for your stay.

Lake Mendota

Lake Mendota borders Madison, so finding places to stay and eat will be no problem. Even with such easy access, the lake is one of the best pike waters in Wisconsin.

One of the prime spots on Lake Mendota is Governor Nelson State Park on the northwestern shore. This park provides access to a variety of pike-friendly habitats, including weed beds, submerged structures, and drop-offs. 

The University Bay, located on the south side of the lake not far from downtown Madison, is another hotspot. With its vast stretches of vegetation and submerged structures, University Bay provides ample hiding spots for these predatory fish.

Casting large spoons, jerk baits, or using live bait rigs near the underwater structures can yield impressive results.

Moreover, the bay’s proximity to the deeper parts of the lake makes it an ideal location for targeting larger fish. Picnic Point marks the bay’s northern end and is a go-to ice fishing destination.

The Mendota Narrows is a great spot where the lake narrows down before connecting to Lake Monona. Casting along the weed lines and drop-offs can yield impressive catches, particularly during the early morning and late afternoon hours.

For those who prefer ice fishing, Lake Mendota offers excellent opportunities during the winter months.

Head to Picnic Point, a peninsula extending into the lake. Northern pike tend to cruise the shallower waters near the drop-offs and weed edges, making it an ideal spot for setting up an ice shelter and drilling a few holes.

Tip-ups rigged with large shiners or sucker minnows are popular choices for ice anglers targeting northern pike.

At least when it’s warm, if you can’t get the pike to cooperate, downsize your lures a bit, find some rocky structure, and you’re almost certain to connect with some of Lake Mendota’s abundant smallmouth bass.

Amber Lake

Amber Lake (also known as Squaw Lake) covers 736 acres of pike goodness in the Northwoods.

The smallest lake on our list, Amber Lake still features ample submerged weed beds, rocky shorelines, and expansive shallows, creating an environment that northern pike find irresistible.

These structures serve as both hunting grounds and hiding spots where you can find pike.

The lake’s clear waters add another layer to the fishing experience. You can spot them swimming in the depths, making sight-fishing possible. 

Seasonality plays a crucial role in northern pike fishing on Amber Lake. Spring and summer are perfect times to target these predators as they move into shallower waters for spawning. Casting near weed beds and rocky structures can yield excellent results.

As the temperatures rise, northern pike become more active, making them more likely to strike at lures or bait.

Casting spoons, jerkbaits, and swimbaits are popular for enticing northern pike, especially around the lake’s submerged structures. Live bait, such as large minnows or suckers, can be effective in attracting these aggressive predators.

Ice fishing can be fantastic here. Locals swear by tip-ups armed with large shiners or smelt suspended at varying depths, placed near drop-offs and weed edges.

Cabins, vacation rentals, and a resort line the lake, and plenty of dining options are available in the nearby communities.