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Great Trout Fishing In Wisconsin

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, brook, brown and lake trout in local lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Trout fishing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers excellent opportunities for trout fishing, with a variety of trout species found in its lakes and rivers. The four main trout species targeted by anglers in Wisconsin are rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and brook trout. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state.

Rainbow trout, known for their vibrant colors and strong fighting ability, can be found in several lakes and rivers across the state. Some popular destinations for rainbow trout fishing include the Brule River, Black Earth Creek, and the Bois Brule River.

Brown trout, known for their wily behavior and large size, are highly sought after by anglers. They thrive in Wisconsin's cold-water streams and rivers, particularly in areas like the Driftless Region. The Rush River, Root River, and Kinnickinnic River are known for their brown trout populations.

Brook trout, Wisconsin's only native trout species, can be found in the state's cold, clear streams and remote lakes. These beautiful fish are typically found in remote areas such as the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and the Northwoods region.

Wisconsin holds several state records for trout catches, showcasing the impressive potential for trophy-sized fish. The current state record for rainbow trout is an impressive catch, while the record for brown trout is equally notable. These records highlight the quality of trout fishing available in Wisconsin's waters.

Anglers can pursue trout using a variety of methods including fly fishing, spin fishing, and bait fishing. Fly fishing is especially popular for trout in Wisconsin, with many anglers enjoying the challenge of presenting artificial flies to these selective fish.

It's important for anglers to familiarize themselves with trout fishing regulations, such as catch limits and special regulations for specific waters. Additionally, respecting catch-and-release practices helps preserve trout populations and ensures sustainable fishing opportunities for future generations.

Overall, Wisconsin's diverse trout fisheries offer something for anglers of all skill levels, whether they seek the thrill of landing trophy-sized fish or the peaceful serenity of fishing in scenic, trout-rich waters.

Trout Fishing Waters

Most trout fishing in Wisconsin is conducted on the banks of rivers and streams. Some ponds, parks and small lakes have natural or stocked populations of trout. A few of the major lakes in the state have significant trout populations - they are Beaver Dam Lake, Big Green Lake, Green Lake, Lake Geneva, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Some of the major lakes, as well as smaller lakes and ponds, are stocked with trout, and many of these offer ice fishing in winter.

Fishing Boats For Rent In WI

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 12 lbs 3 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 15 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 6 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 35 lbs 4 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

Wisconsin Trout Records

The state record rainbow trout was caught from Elbow Lake.

The state record brook trout was taken out of the Prairie River.

The state record brown trout came from Lake Geneva.

The state record lake trout was caught in Green Lake.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for schedules and details regarding trout stocking in Wisconsin.

Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Additional trout information

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

AK Trout Fishing AL Trout Fishing AR Trout Fishing AZ Trout Fishing CA Trout Fishing CO Trout Fishing CT Trout Fishing DE Trout Fishing GA Trout Fishing HI Trout Fishing IA Trout Fishing ID Trout Fishing
IL Trout Fishing IN Trout Fishing KS Trout Fishing KY Trout Fishing MA Trout Fishing MD Trout Fishing ME Trout Fishing MI Trout Fishing MN Trout Fishing MO Trout Fishing MS Trout Fishing MT Trout Fishing
NC Trout Fishing ND Trout Fishing NE Trout Fishing NH Trout Fishing NJ Trout Fishing NM Trout Fishing NV Trout Fishing NY Trout Fishing OH Trout Fishing OK Trout Fishing OR Trout Fishing PA Trout Fishing
RI Trout Fishing SC Trout Fishing SD Trout Fishing TN Trout Fishing TX Trout Fishing UT Trout Fishing VA Trout Fishing VT Trout Fishing WA Trout Fishing WI Trout Fishing WV Trout Fishing WY Trout Fishing

The habits of trout.

Trout are considered some of the most difficult fish to fool. Once you locate Wisconsin waters with a population of trout, the challenge becomes identifying trout flies and lures that will trigger strikes. Visit the trout fishing page to learn more about the habitat each of the trouts prefer.