Big Bass Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Bass Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Big Bass Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Big Bass Lake

Big Bass Lake is a shimmering 203-acre lake in Washburn County, Wisconsin. Surrounded by the dense hardwood and pine forests of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the lake offers rest and recreation to those who visit its shoreline. A public beach, boat launch, and nearby trails for hiking, biking and snowmobiling make this lake a four season recreational area and superb vacation destination.

Like many lakes in the area, Big Bass Lake is a seepage lake which means the lake relies on groundwater and precipitation to maintain its water supply. Because there are no inlets or outlets, the water level may fluctuate with the seasons. On average, the crystal, clear water of Big Bass Lake runs at a depth of 15 feet with a maximum depth of 27 feet. The sandy soil surrounding the lake acts as a filter and purifies the groundwater before it enters the lake.

Vacation rentals on Big Bass Lake can be found in the form of seasonal and private residences. The three miles of shoreline are mostly developed with summer and permanent homes. Lodges, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and hotels are within a short drive of the lake in the village of Minong and around nearby lakes. Those looking for a retirement home, second home, or piece of land for hunting or fishing will find all kinds of real estate for sale in the area.

A boat ramp maintained by Washburn County’s Forestry Department is located on the southern shore of the lake. Visitors will also find a public beach which gradually slopes into the lake which is great for swimming. Like all lakes within Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Northwoods Tourism Region, Big Bass has an excellent selection of fish for anglers of all ages and abilities. Northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill can all be found in the sparkling, clear water. Water skiing, sailing, tubing, snorkeling and pretty much any water-related activity takes place on the lake. With over 1,000 pristine lakes in Washburn County, lake fishing is a popular activity any time of year.

Just south of Big Bass Lake, the Namekagan River, part of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, is known for its excellent fishing. The river’s cold water is great for brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike. The Namekagan River flows northwest and eventually meets with the Saint Croix River. Canoeing and camping along the shores and many river islands is a popular pastime. Most of the Namekagon River is undeveloped, offering canoeists a genuine wilderness experience. Campsite amenities are basic, but include primitive toilets, fire-rings, drinking water in some areas, and picnic tables. Designated camping areas can be identified from the river by signs with brown and white tent symbols. The National Park Service maintains maps and guides that will aid paddlers in enjoying the pristine river. A leisurely float down the river during fall color time is an experience not to be missed. For those who would rather stay on land, the Riverway offers trails for hiking, biking, snowmobling, cross country skiing, and horseback riding. There are also designated hunting areas and plenty of chances to observe wildlife. Eagles, loons, geese, blue heron, osprey, deer, muskrat, beaver, turtle and an occasional bear are common residents of Washburn County.

Big Bass Lake is located near several golf courses for those who never leave their clubs at home. Within an hour’s drive of the lake, visitors can enjoy a number of local attractions to include: the Birchwood Log Museum, displaying a collection of logging memorabilia; the village of Minong with its friendly people, parks, and small town charm; the Museum of Woodcarving at Shell Lake which holds over 400 miniatures and 100 life-size carvings by Joseph T. Barta. In downtown Spooner you will find the Railroad Memories Museum and the Wisconsin Canoe Museum. Spooner is also home to the Governor Tommy G. Thompson Fish Hatchery, the largest muskie hatchery in the world. At the southern end of Washburn County, the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary offers 400 acres of forests, meadows and lakes for hiking, paddling and bird watching. Great swimming, fishing and boating opportunities can also be found on magnificent Lake Superior, just 45 minutes away.

The Wild Rivers State Trail runs just east of Big Bass Lake. The multiuse trail follows a former railroad corridor and passes through the communities of Solon Springs, Gordon, Minong, Trego, Spooner and Haugen, ending at Rice Lake. The 104 mile trail stretches through some of the most scenic land in the area and is used by walkers, joggers, bikers, horseback riders and bird watchers. In the wintertime, snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers are the main occupants of the trail.

The outdoor enthusiast will never lack for something to do at Big Bass Lake. Whether you fish and water ski in the summer or ice fish and cross-country ski in the winter, the lake and surrounding area can more than accommodate any activity. Beautiful woodlands, clean, clear waterways and the peaceful rural lifestyle of Wisconsin’s Northwoods all work to create the perfect vacation spot or place to call home.

Things to Do at Big Bass Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Snorkeling
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Big Bass Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Big Bass Lake

If you’re considering a Big Bass Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Big Bass Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Big Bass Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Big Bass Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 203 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,010 feet

Average Depth: 15 feet

Maximum Depth: 27 feet

Water Volume: 3,015 acre-feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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