Big Green Lake Sparkling Tales

Green Lake dock
Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Mention Big Green Lake to anyone in the region and stories tumble one over the other as laughter and memories are relived. As the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin, at 237 feet, aficionados proclaim Big Green Lake perfect for fishing, waterskiing, swimming, boating, and a myriad of other water sports. It's among the largest lakes in the region, spanning 7.3 miles long and 2 miles wide.

Whether one is drawn to savor a favorite beverage at the water's edge or indulge in entering the clear waters, Big Green Lake has lured people to the shore for generations. It's time to create a sparkling adventure of your own and let the stories begin.


There are several great locations with public beaches. Three favorites top the list: Dodge Memorial County Park, Hattie Sherwood Park, and Sunset Park.


One of the largest fish caught in Big Green Lake was a lake trout nabbed in June, 1957. It weighed 35 pounds 4 ounces! If you want to try your hand at soaking a line, visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings and beaches. There are a great variety of fish, including panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, trout, walleye, and catfish. A fishing license is required for most of the year, but there are two free fishing weekends: January 21/22 (winter) and June 3/4 (summer).

Generally speaking, fishing seasons are as follows.

  • White bass, catfish, panfish, and cisco seasons are open year-round.
  • Lake trout season is open the first Saturday of January through the end of September.
  • Muskellunge (muskie) season is open the first Saturday of May through December 31.
  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass, brown trout, walleye, and northern pike seasons all open the first Saturday of May through March 1 of the following year.

Thorough information about these seasons can be found online at the Wisconsin DNR website noted at the end of this article.

Boat Rentals and Launches

To be sure of the widest choice in boat rentals, it’s best to reserve your preferred watercraft ahead of time, especially before the busy summer season. When it's time to go boating, seven public boat launches in the Green Lake area provide easy access to the water.


If sailing across the surface of Green Lake is your chosen adventure, you're not alone. Sailing is an area highlight and skimming the waves in a sailboat is a dream come true for visitors and residents alike. Should you want classes, the Green Lake Sailing School has offered training to children and adults since 1960. Certified instructors train everyone from beginners to experienced sailors, guiding them in the rigors of adjusting the sails to glide across the lake. The Green Lake Sailing School is located at the east end of Green Lake. (920) 294-3592. .

Sightseeing Cruises

History buffs of all ages will enjoy listening to the captain tell tales of long ago while leisurely spotting area landmarks and hearing of resilient, local families who built a strong community. Escapade, Heidel House's yacht, is a delightful way to cruise during mornings and afternoons. The open top deck and enclosed lower salon of the vessel allow for all passengers to enjoy the voyage around the lake. Escapade is available for private charters and special events, including dinner cruises and cocktail parties. (920) 294-3344. .

Kris Wood is a freelance writer, retreat facilitator, and a giddy grandma to four darlings. .