The lakes of the Chain contain healthy populations of musky, northern pike, walleye, large and small-mouth bass, perch, rock bass, blue gill and crappie.

Cisco Chain > Fishing/Boating

Lake System

The Cisco Chain is a group of 15 interconnected lakes that straddle the Wisconsin and Michigan border. There are over 270 miles of shoreline. The lakes of the Chain are peaceful and relatively less developed than those of other popular Northwoods vacation areas. There is abundant wildlife, wonderful scenery, amazing fall colors and heavy snowfalls.

The Cisco Chain is one of the best fisheries south of the Canadian border, yet remains one of the best kept fishing secrets in the Midwest. The variety of its lakes, broad range of species, and ability to produce trophy fish year after year, make the Chain legendary among those who know the waters of the Northwoods best. For over 100 years, politicians, athletes and celebrities have come here to take advantage of the great fishing. General Dwight D. Eisenhower first visited in 1946, staying at Moody’s Resort on Big Lake. An avid fisherman, “Ike” visited the area many more times both before and after his term of Presidency.

The lakes of the Chain contain healthy populations of musky, northern pike, walleye, large and small-mouth bass, perch, rock bass, blue gill and crappie. Thousand Island Lake also has lake trout. The current state record silver musky was caught on that lake. The fish are present in above average to abundant numbers. The typical size range of most species is impressive, and a good number of trophy fish are available.

The larger lakes of the Chain are deep with clear water. The smaller shallow lakes have many weed beds and less water clarity, especially during the midsummer algae bloom. You will find a variety of structure that holds fish throughout the seasons. There are large weedy bays, shallow and deep rock bars, steep breaks, large gravel/sand flats, connecting river channels and creek inlets, sunken islands and lots of stumpy shorelines and fallen timber.

There is ample open water for boating and jet skiing on the Chain, and the connections between lakes are navigable.

Fishing Guides

Because the lakes of the Chain are so diverse, fishing a day or two with a knowledgeable guide can pay dividends for a long time. Guests of Angler’s Isle have access to some of the areas top licensed guides through our affiliation with the Land O' Lakes Guide Service. These five outstanding guides collectively have over 100 years experience on these lakes.

For more information, visit

Tom Schwanke's Weekly Fishing Report
Wilderness Guide Service

Boat Landings

There are four public boat landings on the Chain: Big Lake, Cisco Lake, Thousand Island Lake and Mamie Lake. The gravel launch at Mamie Lake is only 1.5 miles from Angler’s Isle at the Spring Creek inlet to the lake. The Thousand Island Lake access is a 10 minute drive North along Thousand Island Lake Road. It has a concrete ramp and pier and is better for launching larger boats.


McCormick’s Cisco Chain Marina
7550 Hwy B
Land O'Lakes, WI 54540
(715) 547-3761

This is a full service marina on Big Lake. They have boat and motor sales and service with certified mechanics. Also offers boat and motor rentals. Located 7 miles west of Angler’s Isle on Hwy B, or accessible from Big Lake.

As featured on Illinois Outdoors, with Don Dziedzina

Cisco Chain Smallies with Tom Schwanke - July 2011

Cisco Chain Walleys with Pat Sheahan - July 2011

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