Musky Shop Lake of the Month: Tom Doyle Lake

Musky Shop Lake of the Month: Tom Doyle Lake

Jodie Paul January 20, 2023

Starting the new year off with another small lake with a big heart, Tom Doyle Lake, of Oneida County Wisconsin joins our Lake of the Month chosen few.  Tom Doyle Lake is nestled near a slew of big and small lakes that dot the wilderness just 20 minutes North of Rhinelander.  Because of its close proximity to Rhinelander, there are a billion places to stay as far as cabins or hotels, so it’s quite convenient for travelers.  Despite its convenience, however, Tom Doyle lake is a definitely a step off  the beaten path.

This 108-acre lake is small with mostly year-round community members that remains quite calm and peaceful for nature lovers.  Some of the larger lakes nearby get most of the boat traffic, while Tom Doyle gets overlooked likely due to its size.  Tom Doyle Lake is bowl shaped despite its odd outline.  Its deepest point is in the middle with slow sloping shores.  Bottom is a mixed bag of sand, gravel and muck and the water is for the most part quite clear, preferred by most Northern anglers.

Venturing out to Tom Doyle lake is easy, as many highways crisscross this area providing good roads.  The boat launch is on the South Western Corner but is not attractive for larger boats.  It is best to leave this launch for smaller crafts as it is gravel and not superbly maintained.  This area is however also great for kayak anglers as the lake is fully navigable and fishable by a kayak in one day.

Tom Doyle Lake has most of the species you expect to find in the Northwoods: walleye, panfish, pike, panfish and musky.  Homeowners on the shoreline will tell you they’ve never been skunked on their home turf and the fish on Tom Doyle are plentiful.  Small Casting cranks and bucktails will put you in front of plenty of nice lunkers, and for multispecies, why not relax with a slip bobber and waxies. 

As you relax at Tom Doyle Lake, you might run into plenty of wild life as this Lake is noted to have some local bald eagles, cranes, and furry friends to make it really feel like the wilderness.   If you are from out of town, leave your hot foot at home because Tom Doyle is not equipped for the party life.  This lake is where you go to disappear for a day and enjoy the quiet.

While you are in the area, take a moment to stop by some local eateries in the nearby town, notably Lizzy T’s Tamarack Tap on WI-47 who boasts some great burgers and Friday fish fry, or Backwaters Bar and Grill for a fun Green Bay Packers game day or just a nice meal with friend and family. 

So, take the time to get over to Tom Doyle Lake for a little slice of heaven you’ll be sure to recommend.  It’s great for fishing and even better for finding a place to relax and slow life down.