The talk that I hear these days, from people in all walks of life, is the absurd price of gasoline. This in turn reflects on where people are going on their fishing outings and trips this summer and in the near future. Many anglers are looking for places to fish where they don’t have to drive for hours and spend hundreds of dollars on gas while in pursuit of their favorite species of fish.
With Memorial Day weekend come and gone, I talked to friends, many who are fishing guides and in tourist related businesses owners in northern Wisconsin and their business is down and not all of the decline can be blamed on the cool spring weather. Most people are now affected by fuel costs and even though they still will travel to fish, they are now looking for good fishing waters closer to home. There is no doubt that most of Wisconsin’s summer influx of tourists are from the bordering states of Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. Then, add the near-by states of Indiana and Minnesota and you have a vast majority of the summer visitors who come to Wisconsin to fish.
I was in the Wisconsin River community of Sauk City (a few miles from my river home) recently and the town was jumping with tourists who were there mainly to fish the Wisconsin River, Lake Wisconsin, and the numerous near-by lakes. I talked to many anglers and asked where they were from and why they came to “my” area of south-central Wisconsin. Gas, like I already mentioned, the good fishing, the many attractions away from the water, and the friendly people were why they were here. Again, many of the people that I talked with were from the Chicago and the suburbs, the Milwaukee area, and the Quad Cities. These days, gas has become a determining factor to where many of us go on holiday. The Four Lakes Guide Association that I belong to has had to add a “surcharge” to our normal fee if it entails above normal boat travel. It’s a problem that I don’t like to think about but it will be with us for longer than I want to think of.
If you make Sauk City your destination, then you’re only 2 hours from most of the Milwaukee area and only three hours or less from the Chicago area. The lakes that I’m going to mention and tell you about aren’t that big where you’ll have burn much gas in your fishing boat.
The waters that I’m going to tell you about are all close to Sauk City. They are; the Wisconsin River, Lake Wisconsin, Crystal Lake, and Fish Lake. The Madison Chain of Lakes, Devils Lake, White Mound Lake, Redstone Lake, Blackhawk Lake, Cox Hollow Lake, Twin Valley Lake, Mirror Lake, and Lake Delton are others in the immediate area too, but that will have to wait for another article.