From inland lakes and streams to the vast waters of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is home to some of the best fishing spots in Wisconsin for bass, walleye, trout, salmon and panfish.
- Oak Creek – This stream holds a few year-round trout, but the numbers explode with an annual influx of steelhead, brown trout and salmon from lake Michigan. The area below the dam in Grant Park is one of the best spots for fly fishing. Anglers also cast spinners and spawn bags for trout.
- Pewaukee Lake – Just west of Milwaukee, 2,400-acre Pewaukee Lake is one of the best pike and muskie fishing spots in Wisconsin, with excellent fishing around weed beds in spring and summer. Largemouth bass, panfish and walleye are also available. Shore access is a bit limited, but you can launch a boat at three public ramps along the shore.
- Milwaukee River – The Milwaukee River receives one of the largest portions of Lake Michigan’s annual trout and salmon run, but fishing is also available for year-round river residents like largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike and panfish. A significant walleye run also takes place in spring, and you can access the river from several public parks, including Estabrook Park and Kletzsch Park.
- Tichigan Wildlife Area – This 1,500-acre wildlife area is home to Tichigan Lake, a 280-acre body of water on the Fox River with some of the best fishing for largemouth bass in the region. The secluded lake is perfect for fishing from a canoe or float tube, and you can also cast for ample populations of pike, panfish, walleye and catfish. Tichigan Wildlife Area also offers access to Tichigan Creek, an excellent trout stream.
- Lake Michigan – Lake Michigan is one of the best fishing lakes in North America. Look for smallmouth bass around rocky shoals, largemouth bass in weedy bays, perch and panfish around shallow cover and seasonal runs of steelhead, salmon and trout during fall and spring. Top spots include Lakeshore State Park, the McKinley Park breakwall and the jetty at Doctor’s Park.
A current Wisconsin fishing license is required for all fishing spots in the Milwaukee area. You can pick up a license at most bait shops and sporting goods stores across the state, or order yours online through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.