Musky Shop Northwoods Lake of the Month: Gunlock Lake

Musky Shop Northwoods Lake of the Month: Gunlock Lake

Jodie Paul September 18, 2023

If you’re headed up to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for some beautiful vistas and trophy muskies chomping at the bit, then look no further than Gunlock Lake in beautiful Vilas County.  Gunlock Lake is only about 20 minutes Northwest of the Musky Shop so you won’t miss out on an opportunity to stock up on lures before setting off on your musky hunt.  Though Gunlock is sometimes overshadowed by its sister lake, Shishebogama, it has plenty of trophies of its own to keep an angler on edge for a day or two.

Gunlock Lake is a small and easy-to-navigate area of only 264 acres with 4.6 miles of shoreline.  The water is semi-clear, though not crystal, so it’s a bit easier to score a musky boatside.  This lake is spring-fed with a nice sandy bottom.  The muskies in Gunlock are a mix of both natural reproduction and stocking efforts.  Fortunately, we have a very recent lake survey that identifies the health of Gunlock to some degree from the DNR which notates that shocking efforts did surface a 47” fish just last year. 

The muskies located in Gunlock really have their pick of the litter as far as dining.  Gunlock holds bass, walleye, shiner, pumpkinseed, white suckers, etc. to keep a fat musky fed.  If I was up for a day of casting on Gunlock, I would take a look at procuring a Mepps in Firetiger/Gold and maybe a Big Fork Twitch or 6” Phantom in Walleye.  These lures might give you the upper hand when it comes to enticing a musky to eat. 

Gunlock is not super deep, only reaching depths of about 26’, but much of the musky encounters might take place over some of the glanced-over features of this small lake.  Gunlock will show you some unmistakable humps on your mapping unit, and those places would be great to start and end your day.  Follow that with a casting effort around all the mid and shallow edges and you’re halfway there.  This lake is an easy one-day lake if you play your cards right with the possibility of great rewards.

Though Gunlock is a great small lake to fish.  It does only have one boat ramp which is far from perfect.  It is a public launch on the West side of the lake, but I wouldn’t try my yacht out on it.  It might take a little finagling but a well-versed angler should be able to get launched without too much issue.  There are plenty of cabin rentals and resorts in the area of Gunlock so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be an issue, even if you have to settle for the Best Western, because it’s still just minutes away.

Gunlock is another lake for our Northwoods diary, so if you have time this fall or next year, give it a look.  You might be surprised by what you find and it’s really close to town so you can easily find your way back.