Summer is really starting off with a hot mess, but at least it is summer.

I am in the process of getting ready for our family summer vacation in northern Minnesota, where we will be fishing, relaxing on the deck, fishing, checking out the local eateries – and did I mention fishing?

I thought I would share a few of the smaller, off-the-beaten-path locations in Wisconsin you all might think about when you decide it’s time to get away for a while.

Altoona Lake is located just east of Eau Claire, Wis., on a beautiful, quiet lake that has largemouth bass, panfish, northern pike and muskies for a great fishery. There are a lot of campgrounds and budget motels in the area.

Kettle Moraine North – Campbellsport is located about 20 minutes north of Milwaukee off U.S. 45. The area has several good lakes, outstanding State Park campgrounds and great access to hiking, biking and walking trails.

Wisconsin makes it easy to camp and fish. The camping sticker to get into the State Park will as double as the launch/parking permit on any of the lakes you decide to fish.

Kickapoo River is located between the Wisconsin Dells and the Mississippi River south of La Crosse. It is considered the “most crooked river in America.” That distinction makes it a great place for canoes and kayaks. The smallmouth bass fishing is pretty good as well from shore or from a boat.

Fox Lake – Dodge County is just south and west of Fond du Lac in Central Wisconsin. Located near a town of 1,500 people it is still an outstanding fishing lake with muskies, walleye, panfish and largemouth bass for everyone to enjoy.

All of these locations are ideal for fishing and fishermen, but they all also offer an outstanding location for family fun and activities outside of fishing.

Get away this summer with the family, enjoy the fishing and enjoy each other. Until next time…keep a tight line.