By John Carlson -
Looking for some good fishing and true northern experience? The small North Woods town of Phillips, Wisconsin offers plenty of both with a
friendly surroundings where you truly escape from commercialized vacations. Small family-owned resorts with rustic cabins still dot the shorelines of area lakes, and small town diners and stores bring you to a good old-fashion place where people are friendly and actually care about you.
One of the most popular Phillips area waters is the Phillips Chain of Lakes. The “Chain” is made up of four lakes held up by a small dam on Long Lake. Sitting right in downtown Phillips is Lake Duroy and Elk Lake with Long and Wilson Lakes wrapping around the city to the West. Together they hold over 1,200 acres of dark stained water.
The lakes on either end, Duroy and Wilson, are shallow and weedy. Wilson Lake has a great panfish population and is known for spring crappie and bluegill all season long. There’s also a good northern, largemouth bass, and musky population on Wilson and it can be a sleeper for Walleye in the 18 to 24-inch range.
Lake Duroy is known for its big crappie with sizes reaching 14” to 15”. Duroy also has an abundant walleye population but it’s mostly made up of smaller sized fish. Smallmouth bass are abundant with some nice 14” to 20” catches to be made. When the musky tourneys are held on the Chain over half of the field is usually fishing Lake Duroy.
The area also hosts Elk Lake and Long Lake, both deeper bodies of water with very little weed growth. Elk is the smallest lake on the Chain and is usually overlooked for fishing because of the lakes small size and boat traffic. Walleye, crappie, and smallies are abundant in Elk and anglers should make an effort to give the little lake a try. Long Lake has an average depth of over 20’ and max depth of 52’.
If you’re after walleye this is the lake on the Chain to fish. Long has an abundant walleye population that’ made up of mostly 12 to 15 inch fish. There is also a great crappie , bluegill and perch population that offers anglers some nice mixed bag catches. Don’t overlook smallmouth and musky fishing on Long Lake. They might be a little harder to find than in the other lakes on the Chain but there’s good trophy potential.
Because of our dark stained water, bright colors lures and baits should be used. Orange, chartreuse, lime and white are some of the local favorites. It’s advised to seek out fish in the shallows of the Chain than you would in other lakes. Our dark water cuts the light penetration down so you still have a chance to fish walleyes even midday.
For more info contact fishing guide John Carlson at Ross’s Sport Shop in Phillips WI at 715-339-3625 or email us at email@example.com. Also look for our weekly fishing reports and area Photos and Fishing Tips on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RosssSportShop.