Home > Travelogue > Beginners and Advanced Anglers Alike: Book a Trip with a Fishing Guide for an Unforgettable Day on the Water

Beginners and Advanced Anglers Alike: Book a Trip with a Fishing Guide for an Unforgettable Day on the Water

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Considering there are 15,074 documented lakes in Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that fishing is a pretty big deal around here—and a way of life for many. But with so many waterways and species of fish, there is a lot to learn. Whether you are an advanced angler or a complete newbie, hiring a fishing guide and embarking on a guided fishing trip will teach you a ton and give you an unforgettable day Up North.


Eight Reasons to Hire a Fishing Guide

  1. You’re a first-timer looking to learn about equipment, basic techniques, and where to go for your future excursions.
  2. You’re an experienced angler looking to fish a finicky species.
  3. You’re a newcomer Up North and are looking to learn the local best spots.
  4. You have some experience under your belt, but you’re looking to improve your technique.
  5. You want an immersive experience in the Northwoods and want to learn more about this region’s captivating geographical features and wildlife.
  6. You want to gain access to private or difficult to access points.
  7. You’re looking for access to specialty equipment.
  8. You are looking for an unforgettable day in a beautiful location with great people.



So you’ve decided to book your guided fishing trip during your next stay Up North, but you’re not sure whom to call. While deciding on a guide, consider if that guide service specializes in your preferred species, caters to your experience level, is located in proximity to your home base, and offers the type of experience you want (some people prefer large resort lakes; others want a serene, remote experience). Luckily, there are many excellent guides in the Northwoods, and you are sure to find a service that meets your needs and wishes. Here are just some of the reputable guides in our region.


Expert Fishing Guide Services in Northern Wisconsin

Angler’s Choice Guide Service

Create the complete northern Wisconsin vacation experience with John Andrew, who provides guide services in Vilas, Iron, and Oneida counties. Experience a full day of open-water fishing with this fully licensed and insured guide with more than 45 years of experience. He is the holder of two freshwater fishing world records and two outstanding angling achievement awards, documented at the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame!

Bill Sherer’s Northern Adventures Fly Fishing Guide Service

Bill Sherer guides fly anglers in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. He offers boat, wade, and float trips for musky, trout, bass, steelhead, and pike. Bill Sherer’s We Tie It Fly Shop in Boulder Junction also offers fly-casting and fly-tying classes.

Bobber Down Guide Service

Jeff Robl at Bobber Down fishes with locally made St. Croix rods. While he uses an aggressive fishing style, he adapts to his clients’ pace and strives to make fishing trips as fun as possible.

Bob’s Manitowish Guide Service

Bob’s Manitowish Guide Service brings over 35 years of fishing experience in Vilas, Iron, and Oneida county lakes and rivers to your next guided fishing trip. He specializes in family fishing and designs full- or half-day trips for all species of fish.

Doc’s Guide Service

Doc (Mike Sabec) is a fishing expert on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage who specializes in walleye, smallmouth bass, jumbo perch, and crappie. Doc is dedicated to his clients’ success, and you’re sure to have a great day on the water with him.

Errington’s Guide Service

Mike Errington brings over 25 years of guide service experience on more than 260 lakes to your next guided trip. He offers full- and half-day trips—with tackle and fish cleaning included and an optional shore lunch. He’s great with kids and families, too!

Erv Keller Guide Service

Erv Keller has over 30 years experience and offers musky, walleye, and bass trips for the whole family. Fishing tackle and cleaning are included on your trip on a Tuffy boat with the latest electronics.

Figure 8 Fishing Guide Service

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, arranging a family adventure or a corporate outing, Figure 8 Fishing Guide Service will design a great half-day or full-day trip for you. You will be fishing in a 21-foot Lund boat. Bait, tackle, ice, and cleaning services are provided. Figure 8 specializes in walleye, musky, trout, bass, panfish, and northern pike.

Last Resort Guide Service

Last Resort Guide Service will take you fishing for musky, walleye, and bass in Vilas, Oneida, or Iron County. This service offers full- or half-day trips and will supply you with equipment if you need it.

Marty Clauson Fishing Adventures

This fishing guide with over 30 years of experience will design a full- or half-day trip fishing for walleye, large- and smallmouth bass, musky, and panfish.

Mercer Muskies and More Guide Service

In May through October, the fully insured and licensed guide of Mercer Muskies and More Guide Service fishes the waters of Iron and Vilas counties for musky, walleye, and crappie in fully rigged, comfortable boats and using the best fishing equipment available.

Musky Moon Guide Service

Todd Schulz of Musky Moon Guide Service is a Wisconsin-licensed guide that is committed to providing an unforgettable and educational trip in northern or north-central Wisconsin. Musky Moon Guide Services provides trips for youth and adults, whether you are just beginning or experienced.

Phelps Outdoors

Phelps Outdoors’ licensed guide and Wisconsin DNR Angler Instructor Colin Crawford offers full- and half-day fishing guide services. Book a trip with Colin to enhance your Northwoods fishing experience and make your time Up North memorable and enjoyable.

Rick McClellan Guide Service

As a second-generation fishing guide raised in Manitowish Waters, Rick McClellan brings his passion and extensive knowledge of local waters to your full- or half-day guided trip on the beautiful lakes of Vilas and Iron counties. Book a trip with Rick to catch walleye, panfish, bass, and musky, and enjoy a shore lunch, too!

Rollie & Helen’s Musky Shop

Rollie & Helen’s Musky Shop is not only “the world’s premier musky fishing outfitter”; they also provide expert guides to increase your knowledge, insights, and skills as a musky hunter. Regardless of your previous experience, the guides at Rollie & Helen’s Musky Shop will take you on a fishing adventure of a lifetime. The staff specializes in walleye, bass, northern pike, panfish, and, of course, musky. Complimentary use of equipment, transportation, a professional guide, a high-tech fishing boat with top-notch equipment, and a full day on the water will be provided, as well as assistance with lodging reservations, fish cleaning and freezing, photos, and taxidermy, as desired.

Tom Whitman Guide Service

This full-time licensed and insured guide with more than 20 years of experience fishing Vilas County lakes specializes in walleye and musky. Fishing tackle, cleaning, and a fun and relaxing time on the water are provided when you book a guided trip with Tom Whitman.

Turtle River Trading Company

This bait and tackle shop in Mercer offers a comprehensive fishing guide service. Turtle River Trading Company’s guides have decades of experience fishing the Turtle Flambeau Flowage as well as many other lakes in the area.


Some Tips to Make the Most of Your Day with Your Guide

  • Don’t forget: you’ll need a Wisconsin fishing license.
  • When consulting with the guide service and arranging the trip, be honest about your previous experience and ability level. Your guide will use what you tell him or her to inform the plans of the day. The guide wants you to have a positive experience and successful fishing.
  • If you have specific goals for the trip, communicate them with your guide. Also discuss reasonable expectations for the trip.
  • Listen to and follow the guide’s recommendations and advice. Again, the guide wants you to be successful and have fun! Very experienced anglers might approach a situation differently than their guide, but bring an open mind. There’s always something new to learn!
  • Expect and come prepared for the unexpected. Bring a hat, extra sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, some warm layers, a rain jacket, and a snack to make sure you are comfortable for the duration of your trip. Discuss the particulars of equipment with your guide so you come technically prepared for the task on hand, too.
  • Be respectful of the boat, the wildlife, and the environment. Carry a bag for any garbage. This goes without saying, but don’t throw your trash overboard.
  • Come prepared to offer gratuities to your guide for his or her time and services.
  • Remember to take a look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery and the relaxing, incredible experience on Northwoods waters.
  • Don’t forget your camera! Although some guides provide photography, with scenery this spectacular, you’re going to want to make sure you have keepsake photos of your memorable trip.

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