Hunting, fishing, trapping and other 2015-2016 license and harvest permits for fish and wildlife activities in Wisconsin will go on sale in early 2015. Visit the DNR website for more information. Licenses and permits for 2014-2015 will expire in March 2015.
Recreational Safety Education Classes are now being offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Check out the ATV, boating, hunting and snowmobile safety classes being offered in the area.
Shortly after the ice melts on area lakes, fishermen head to St. Germain for panfishing. Crappies, bluegill and perch are all common in St. Germain’s lakes. In spring, look for shallow, warm water, particularly in protected bays, and fish with small jigs and baits. As spring moves on, catch & release bass fishing becomes popular. For the earliest bass action, target shallow, structure-rich lakes with stained waters and dark bottoms.
Summer is the quintessential Northwoods fishing seasons for many anglers. Panfishing gets increasingly better as the year progresses. Muskies become active shortly after their spawn in late spring. Early in the season, target areas just off prominent points and mid-lake humps adjacent to deeper water and fish smaller baits. As the summer progresses, increase the speed of your retrieves and the size of your baits.
St. Germain’s lakes are full of walleyes. Your chances of locating walleyes are greatly increased when you keep an eye on weather conditions, water temperatures and light conditions. Walleye tend to be shallower in low-light periods—such as sunrise, sunset and under cloudy skies—and move deeper during the day. Target mid-lake humps and deep weedlines.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass action is excellent on St. Germain’s lakes. Largemouth bass tend to hold tight to thick weed cover and structure for most of the summer and provide excellent action. Smallmouth are found deeper, generally around deep rocks and deep weedlines. Often when the walleye aren't cooperating, there’s great bass fishing to be had, so be prepared for both species and you'll improve your chances of getting into some great fishing action.
As the days grow shorter towards fall, many of St. Germain's fish species increase their feeding—which makes for great angling. Fall is the best time of year for catching behemoth trophy musky in St. Germain, with really tremendous-sized fish being caught right up until the lakes freeze over. Walleye action often increases as well, as does smallmouth fishing in the early part of fall.
For many fishermen, the real fishing starts when the lakes freeze over. St. Germain is a favorite destination for ice fishermen. Some of the best walleye and northern pike fishing can be had through the ice. The most popular technique for winter walleyes is jigging or using tip-ups with small to medium sized minnows. By far the most popular technique in St. Germain for winter pike is using a tip-up baited with large shiners or other live minnows. Crappies, bluegill and perch are also ice fishing favorites. If you’re looking for a great ice fishing getaway, check out the St. Germain resorts that specially cater to ice fishermen, with shanties and amenities ready when you arrive.
Rob Manthei Report ~ Updated 12/10/2014
Ice fishing is in full swing right now. I've been finding 6 to 10 inches of good ice almost everywhere I've fished. The walleye bite is hot right now. I am getting fish all day long, shallow and deep. Almost all is tip up action, we are getting a few jigging, but fast and furious tip up action is limiting the time to jig. I am targeting weed edges and flats (7' to 12'), along with adjacent mud flats (14'-20') for my walleye action. 12 to 30 fish days have been the norm since last Thursday.
Rob Manthei's Fishing Guide Service
Wisconsin Outdoor Report - Weekly report is updated every Thursday at noon.
- Click here for Wisconsin Boat Registration & Titling Information.
- Click here for online recreational vehicle registration.
- Click here to purchase your fishing license online.
St. Germain Area Fishing Guides
- Buck's Guide Service
- Erv Keller Guide Service
- Lakeside Guide Service
- Rob Manthei's Fishing Guide Service
Interesting Fishing Related Information & Articles
- EEK! Environmental Education for Kids - Electronic magazine for kids. Learn about the great outdoors!
- Find a Lake - Searchable database by location, fish type or with landings, beaches or public lands/parks provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- Fish Identification Database - Search this database to identify all fish species in Wisconsin.
- Ice Fishing in Wisconsin - Early season forecast for ice fishing provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- Invasive Species in Wisconsin - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Lake Maps - Oneida County
- Lake Maps - Vilas County
- Lake Turnover - The seasonal process of mother nature cleansing and oxygenating our lakes.
- Musky Fishing - Info, publications and regulations for musky fishing in Wisconsin.
- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Recreational Overview Map - Recreation & facilities map in the NHAL State Forest (PDF).
- St. Germain Waters - Tips & info about fishing the lakes around St. Germain.
- Take Me Fishing.org - Website features lists of places to boat & fish and other resources.
- Things to See & Do in Vilas County (PDF) - Fun spots to visit in Vilas County.
- Vilas County Lake Directory (PDF) - Online directory of useful information about Vilas County lakes.
- Wisconsin Angler Education Classes - Courses offered by the Department of Natural Resources.
- Wisconsin Boating Laws & Responsibilities (PDF) - Department of Natural Resources online publication.
- Wisconsin Fishing Regulations - Department of Natural Resources information.
- Wisconsin Fishing Report - From January to December, there's always a place to fish, fish to catch and fishing fun to be had!
- Wisconsin Lake Information - Important questions & answers on Wisconsin lakes.
The Department of Natural Resources has detected a virus affecting fish in the Lake Winnebago system called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS for short.
The DNR reported that this virus is not harmful to humans and that it is completely safe to handle and eat fish caught in Wisconsin waters. It is important to note that VHS is a deadly virus to fish and spreads easily among a variety of fish populations. The DNR is actively responding to contain this threat and has issued the following recommendations that should be practiced on all Wisconsin waterways:
- Put your catch on ice and do not move live fish and unused bait minnows away from the landing or shore.
- Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells and other containers when leaving the landing or shore.
- Use live minnows purchased only from registered bait dealers in Wisconsin or catch it yourself in the same water you fish.
- Clean plants and debris from your boat before leaving the landing.
Below are some PDF files & links pertaining to VHS:
- Anglers, Bait & VHS Frequently Asked Questions
- Dead Bait Preservation Methods
- What is VHS?
- Species Affected by VHS (PDF)
- VHS Distribution in Wisconsin
- VHS Poster - General Prevention Steps (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Use Reminder (PDF)
- VHS Poster - Minnow Harvest Prohibition (PDF)