Musky Shop Northwoods Lake of the Month: Star Lake
This month’s lake has a long list of great points that keep it high in the minds of many Northwoods anglers year-round as a fantastic fishing location. Star Lake in Vilas County is an interesting horseshoe-shaped lake that lies about 30 minutes northeast of Minocqua. Unlike many of the other downsized lakes highlighted on our blog, Star Lake offers a good 1200+ acres of water to spread out and fish for several days of action. Star Lake provides a long list of targets such as pike, walleye, bass, and panfish, but it’s the musky that keeps you coming back for more.
Fishing Star Lake is an intimate affair as much of the shoreline remains untouched and surrounded by the Star Lake Nature Trail and large chunks of Nature Reserve. This helps keep the water pristine and the views even lovelier. The history of Star Lake is quite interesting in its own right as the logging industry wiped the landscape barren by the early 1900’s, leaving the area desolate. An experimental reforesting movement in the 1920s led to the planting of thousands of trees that grew to be the surrounding forest today. Despite being a relatively young forested area, its foliage is comparable to much of the Northwoods and is well-maintained with hiking trails and camping spots.
To launch onto Star Lake, there are two boat ramps that remain well-maintained and surrounded by campgrounds. The West Star Lake Campground boasts a nice ramp for its campers but is not available for visitors. The East Star Lake Campground is preferable for the public but also available for campers. Both boat launches require a Wisconsin Parks sticker for your vehicle which can be purchased online. The ramps also insist that you not use power-loading to prevent creating heavy sandbars or damaging the ramps as Star Lake has a notably sandy and gravel bottom, with little to no muck.
Once launched on Star Lake, the world is your oyster! It produces trophy-class muskies in a variety of locations throughout the year. Until recently, there was a loss of weed mass that affected the fishery, but that seems to have worked itself out in the last 2 years. During the cooler months, the deepest weed edges around the lake produce some lovely upper 40’s fish so take your time and work the edge structure. The lower end of Star Lake has some very deep water maxing out at nearly 70 feet, but don’t be afraid to patrol the deep breaks in this area of the lake as muskies don’t mind settling there between bites.
Star Lake provides anglers with great water clarity which guarantees the use of a large range of lure colors. As the clarity makes way for many color choices, the overall depths and structure allow for a wide range of bait choices. From deep running bucktails over weeds to jigging Bondi baits over deep breaks, you really can’t go wrong when experimenting on Star Lake. Provided you arrive with some black, white, and fishy colors, you’ll be able to track down a monster in no time.
While off the water, do take the time to explore what this area of the Northwoods has to offer, from the Star Lake Nature Trail to the Old Star Lake Store, this area of the North of Wisconsin is beautiful and is almost like traveling back in time. The area is small and simple and the people are lovely as well. If you are far from home and need a few more creature comforts then the Star Lake area has to offer Sayner and St. Germain are just a stone's throw away for supply runs and delicious dinners.