Ballard Lake, part of the Birch-Ballard-Irving chain of lakes, is a 503 acre body of water in Vilas County with a maximum depth of 25 feet. This chain of lakes, including Ballard, is naturally spring-fed and the water here is found to be moderately clear. The fertile water conditions and excellent shoreline structure make for one of the best spots in the Northwoods to land prized game fish, and boasts an especially prolific muskie fishery. Anglers will find many challenges on this waterway, but will also reap the rewards of chasing walleye, largemouth bass, and panfish along the way. Keys to consistently landing fish here involve working the weed pockets and deep weed edges.
Interactive Lake Map
For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports follow the Ballard Lake waterway page on Fishidy.
Here are some tips for locating and catching fish on Ballard Lake:
● Largemouth bass are often overlooked by most fishermen. Bass can be found along the inside and outside weed edges and in the weeds. During stable summer conditions, try working a buzzbait or a tandem spinnerbait across the shallow weed flats. If this does not produce, concentrate on the weed pockets with jig n' pig combos or Texas-rigged plastic worms.
● Slip bobber rigs or light weedless jigs tipped with live bait are the standard walleye offering. Expect the best results in early spring before the weeds become thick. Most summer activity is centered along the deep weed edges.
● Twitch baits and small in-line spinners take spring muskie from the developing weedbeds. During summer switch to top-water baits and large bucktail spinners. Again, the deep weed edge is key.
● The weed edges around deep holes on the southern end of the lake can produce a variety of species. Cast four-inch pre-rigged plastic worms into the weed pockets for largemouth bass. Light jigs tipped with twister tails or small fathead minnows can take crappie and an occasional walleye from the deep weed edge. Low-light periods generally offer the best action.
● The large cabbage bed by the outlet on the west side of the lake holds spring and summer walleye and crappie. If the weather is stable, hit the weed points and shallow weed pockets. During cold front conditions, inside turns can often be more productive. Slip bobber rigs or light weedless jigs tipped with live bait can be effective on both species.