Anglers who cast their reels across the rich waters of Sayner/Star Lake’s fishing lakes are likely to return to shore either with fish-filled live wells or a trophy muskie large enough to mount. And when those anglers tell Sayner/Star Lake fish stories, they’re probably true.
“The combination of Plum Lake, Star Lake and Razorback Lake gives this community the best small-mouth fishing in America,” says Mike Errington, a licensed guide based in Star Lake, Wisconsin. “And if you’re looking to catch a muskie, the population in the Irving, Ballard, and White Birch lake chain is just incredible.
“Chances of catching a muskie in that chain are excellent.”
Errington adds that while Plum Lake’s muskie population is lower than that of other lakes, Plum Lake’s muskies are bigger.
“Plum Lake is the place to go if you’re looking to catch a muskie larger than 50 inches,” he says.
Encompassing 7,554 acres of water, Sayner and Star Lake are located in the headwaters of two drainage basins – the Manitowish River basin flowing to the west and the Wisconsin River basin flowing to the south. The two communities — which comprise The Town of Plum Lake — offer 31 boat landings, as well as 50 named and 95 unnamed lakes. Beneath the surface lies an abundance of small-mouth bass and walleye, crappie, blue gill, perch, northern pike, and of course, muskie. Several smaller streams are managed for trout, with Sayner’s Plum Creek receiving the most attention from trout anglers.
A five-lake area research project offers year-round fishing, including the opportunity to fish for pre-spawn walleye in April. Adding to the area’s fishing appeal is its location, which is off the beaten track.
“We’re not on Highway 51 or 45, so our lakes get a lot less boat traffic than others,” Errington says. “We’re a destination area.”
Teeming with fish
And for good reason. Partly due to the 18-inch minimum required to keep a small-mouthed bass or walleye (a regulation imposed by the Department of Natural Resources to control crayfish populations in the Town of Plum Lake) and partly due to the simple fact that small-mouth bass and walleye thrive in the cold water temperatures of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the fisheries in the Town of Plum Lake are teeming with fish, and the small-mouths are getting “huge,” Errington says.
“This summer, I caught 16 small-mouths over six pounds and two of those were over seven pounds,” he says.
Aside from trophy muskies and small-mouths, which often appeal to more experienced anglers, Plum Lake’s fisheries also offer an abundance of pan fish that most children and beginners can catch easily.
“Sayner/Star Lake is a just great place for a family-fishing getaway,” says Errington.
Now that’s one fish story you can count on.