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Ice Fishing Opportunities Abound in Florence County, Wisconsin

Ice fishing in Florence County, Wisconsin

Locals in the great Northwoods of Wisconsin don’t hibernate in winter. Rather, they enjoy many outdoor pursuits such as skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, skating, and ice fishing.

Ice Fishing in Florence County

Our penchant for ice fishing puts us smack dab in the middle of our favorite frozen lake in Florence County, Wisconsin. There are plenty of choices. Over 265 lakes are scattered throughout this northeastern Wisconsin county. And now the wait is over: hard ice is here, and they’re biting!

Unlike grandpa, who had to walk to school uphill both ways and shiver over a spud-cut fishing hole, today’s ice warriors can fish in comfort, wearing much warmer clothing and hunkering inside fish shanties. Nor do they have to trudge hundreds of yards through deep snow, thanks to snowmobiles and ATVs/UTVs. Power augers make quick work of the drilling, and fish finders let you know what’s underneath.

Wild River Interpretive Center & Tourism’s Suggestions for Fine Ice Fishing

If you’re new to the area, the number of lakes can be daunting. To help you sort out the possibilities, the Wild River Interpretive Center & Tourism in Florence offers these high-value lake suggestions:

  • The best lakes in Florence County to catch northern pike through the ice are Patten Lake, Twin Falls Flowage, Fay Lake, Seidel Lake, and Sea Lion Lake.  For trophy pike, give Lake Ellwood or the Brule River Flowage a try. There aren’t as many fish per acre in these two lakes, but the fish are monsters.
  • If you are looking to jig for panfish, the better waters are the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes, Sea Lion Lake, Twin Falls Flowage, and Halsey Lake. Or if you prefer the prized walleye, Lake Emily, Patten Lake, and the Brule River Flowage are the hot spots through the ice.

Ice Fishing Derby Scheduled for January 2021

If you’re up for some friendly competition, consider one of the ice fishing derbies in the area. You could bring home some cash and other prizes, along with your catch of the day to enjoy later that night. (Please check the Explore Florence County website or call 888-889-0049 for updates on these tournaments, as the COVID-19 pandemic may result in cancellation of one or more of them.)

The Roadhouse 139 Ice Fishing Derby on Long Lake is in early January. Long Lake is known for nice northern pike and panfish. Leff’s Sports Bar Ice Fishing Derby is in February. This derby allows fishermen to fish on any lake. The Homestead and Aurora Conservation Club sponsor the Pete “Toad” Church Memorial Ice Fishing Derby generally in January, but it could take place later, depending on ice conditions.  This derby takes place on the Pine River Flowage, an excellent smallmouth bass fishery.

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