Buying a Lake Home in Minocqua? Get to Know the Lakes First!

Minocqua, the Island City

Buying a Lake Home in Minocqua

Minocqua, known as the Island City, is an absolute gem in the Northwoods and it’s no wonder so many visitors dream of owning / buying a Lake Home in Minocqua. It’s important, however, to choose the right lake to match your needs. It may seem unusual to choose the lake you want to live on and, after that, look for a home, but there are several reasons for that.

Our Broker Jim Mulleady wrote in detail about this in his book, Buying Northwoods Properties (available as a free download here:

In it, Jim points out that each lake has its own characteristics and personality.

“Most buyers looking for lake property want it all.  They want to be able to boat, swim and fish.  Most lakes you can do all of these things but many lakes are a bit more use specific.

Some lakes offer:

  • Outstanding fishing but only so-so swimming
  • Great swimming but are not fishing hot spots
  • Have specific species of fish
  • Have a wide range of game fish

Lake characteristics include:

  • Lake depth
  • Lake size
  • Water clarity
  • Topographic characteristics
  • Lake bottom,
  • Trophic status
  • Lake type.

Consequently, some people rate a lake simply by lake size and depth.   I believe that this line of thought may be due to shallow lakes that may have “frozen out”.  The term “frozen out” comes from when the oxygen level becomes so low in a lake where much of the fish population dies.  Rough fish like carp and bullhead can survive low oxygen levels where game fish like walleye, bass and pike may not survive low oxygen levels.  Shallow lakes may maintain adequate oxygen levels should there be enough current going through the lake or they have other oxygen producing sources like springs.  Some local lakes (Muskellunge Lake in the Town of Cloverland and Tambling Lake in the Town of Washington) have installed artificial oxygen sources (in both cases, aerators).  The bottom line is I would not rule out shallow lakes.

Lake size is a big deal.

Due to, lakes under 50 acres are non-motorized in Wisconsin.  If you are looking for quiet lakes, these are excellent choices.  Similarly, I find the best value to be on small quiet lakes.  The Northwoods has over 4000 lakes but very few are larger than 1000 acres.  There is usually cover from storms in lakes under 1000 acres.  If big water is a must on your list, we still have them.  Lac Vieux Desert is in two states and has over 4200 acres.  Trout Lake is over 3800 acres.  Fence Lake is over 3500 acres and Lake Tomahawk is 3392 acres.  We have other big water lakes too.   The Wisconsin DNR lake map website is quite helpful ( ”

The fishing is fantastic!

Passionate about fishing? One of our Minocqua REALTORS®, Jim Cheshire, is a former fishing guide and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Water Chemistry. We frequently post his videos about individual lakes, primarily in the Minocqua area, on our Facebook page:

This week, he visited Bolger Lake in Minocqua which, in warmer months, has incredibly crystal-clear water…and tremendous fishing!

As you can see, before buying a lake home in Minocqua or simply looking for a home on any lake in Minocqua, or anywhere in the Northwoods, it’s best to have a professional, knowledgeable agent to guide you through the territory!