Musky Shop Northwoods Lake of the Month: Brandy Lake

Musky Shop Northwoods Lake of the Month: Brandy Lake

Jodie Paul July 17, 2023

Sometimes you have to think small to find lovely lakes in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and this one takes the cake.  We’d like to point everyone to a little side lake in the town of Arbor Vitae: Brandy Lake.  Brandy Lake isn’t about numbers or bi-catch.  This lake, sitting just North of the main drag of the Minocqua chain, has a little bit of everything in small doses.  Don’t get us wrong, it does have some lunkers, but the overall experience is what you would be after here.

Brandy Lake is a 113-acre bowl-shaped lake with a max depth of 44 feet.  It is the truest representation of a bowl-shaped lake with a dramatic edge-to-center drop.  The edges around the lake can hold good-sized muskies and pike when seasonality calls for shallow fishing.  This lake has a lot of 1-8ft water.  Outside of the edge fishing, which can be done all the way around the lake, there is a great 10-15 ft deep edge that is perfect for trolling passes.  This lake takes the cake for ease of decision-making because there aren’t any great structural features that must be fished or avoided.  It doesn’t serve well to shoot for walleye either because there are no major formations for them to call home.

Brandy is a relatively clear lake with a sandy, rocky bottom.  As stated, don’t confuse Brandy with a numbers lake.  You will not find that most casts are productive, but patience is the key.  There are some lovely Trophy class fish if you have the diligence to keep casting.  Because the lake is clear, it’s recommended to maintain a good casting distance from your target: muskies are spooky here.  Try out some natural colors with minimal flash or all black to get some attention on Brandy.

Brandy Lake also has a well-maintained boat launch on its Southeastern side, conveniently located next to a bustling BP station, so filling up your boat is not an issue.  Also, it’s important to mention that for the young people and ladies in your party, there is a nicely maintained beach on the Southern Shore with restroom facilities that might help extend your time on the water if you need them. 

As it’s so conveniently located to Arbor Vitae, Minocqua and Woodruff, Brandy Lake is a great place to land if you’re from out of town.  There are plenty of grocery stores, gas stations, and mealtime options to keep your vacation from running aground.  We highly recommend Era Pancakes & Café for breakfast (it’s busy so hustle to get a seat) and PJ’s Burger Barn for a greasy spoon dinner.  You won’t regret either choice and the family will be happily fed.

There are several offered accommodations directly on Brandy Lake so that you can fish and enjoy the town without having to go far.  It’s only a few minutes’ drive from the Musky Shop too if you want to pick up some tackle to make sure you catch fish and some top secret spots from our local guides.  Take a chance on Brandy Lake in the Northwoods, it might be your best decision yet.