By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 17, 2004 at 5:29 AM

Fishing for some crappie tips? How about northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass or yellow perch? Either way, many freshwater lakes and rivers in Southeastern Wisconsin are located just a short drive from wherever your home may be. So, whether you're out for a weekend getaway or a family fishing trip, tackle these tips and reel 'em in.

Lake Mendota Guide Service
Wales, (262) 968-2699

No need to worry about fishing equipment or even fishing knowledge at Lake Mendota. This freshwater lake located in Dane County near Madison is great for reeling in northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and yellow perch. Fishing equipment is included for your convenience. And the fishing crew here can help turn you into a fishing pro. Other freshwater bodies nearby include Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa and Lake Wingra.

Rush River Guide Service
N7936 410th St., Spring Valley, (715) 778-5868

In one year alone, fishermen at Rush River have caught more than 100 trout over 20 inches long. This freshwater river near Menomonie is swimming with brown, rainbow and brook trout, muskie, northern pike and smallmouth bass and is known for its variety, from deep holes to ripples to white water. Accommodations include on-shore lunches, fishing equipment, filet and packing of fish.

Illinois River Guide Service
5114 Nordic Woods, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2312

Enjoy versatile multi-fish days where bass are plentiful in the morning and gills in the afternoon in this Illinois River near Rockford. Both large and smallmouth bass are abundant here. And whether or not you're a fishing pro, the crew will make things convenient. Fishing equipment, filet and packaging of fish are included.

Lake Winnebago, J.H. Pro Guide Service
Oshkosh, (920) 426-4350

Reel in and filet! Lake Winnebago, located near Oshkosh, offers a plethora of freshwater fish: walleye, perch, catfish, large and smallmouth bass and bream. Fishing equipment and pro fishing tips are included. Also featured are the Fox and Wolf Rivers including Poygan and Lake Butte-Des-Morts. The crew claims to offer the cheapest guided fishing trip anywhere in the state.

Wisconsin River Riverguides
Madison, (608) 233-8626

Tackle your rod and catch plenty of crappie fish in the Wisconsin River. Located near Madison, this freshwater river provides lots of smallmouth bass, crappie, muskie and northern pike. The most recent report said the river is low, and some good size smallies and northerns are being snagged in abundance throughout the day. Accommodations include a gourmet riverside lunch, two-person floats, fishing equipment and filet and packaging of fish.

Green Bay, Gary's Guide Service
711 Hickory, Sturgeon Bay, (920) 743-1100

Rest and relax on a floating fishing experience on Green Bay. This freshwater body is known for great catches like smallmouth bass, northern pike, perch and walleye fishing. Located near Door County, Green Bay reels in a great fishing experience for pro and amateur alike. Fishing equipment, filet and packaging of fish are included.

Manotowish Waters Guide Service
567 Sandpebble Drive, Schaumburg, (847) 923-7609

Manotowish Waters, located near Geneva, offers a great fishing experience. This freshwater body is loaded with northern pike, smallmouth bass, muskie, crappie, walleye and perch. You're sure to tackle something here. And if you're not happy with what you catch, you don't have to pay! Fishing equipment, filet and packaging of fish are included.

Lake Geneva Adventure Fishing Company
W5923 Mariner Hills Court, Elkhorn, (262) 742-3090

The Lake Geneva fishing experience offers an abundance of fish including small and largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, catfish and crappie. It's also famous for trophy bass and provides great northern opportunities. Fishing equipment is included.

Nagawicka Lake Fishon Guides
Wales, (414) 968-2699

This fresh water lake located near Milwaukee is great for catching walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, perch and crappie. Fishing here is said to be a beautiful experience at half the price of most guide services. Fishing equipment, filet and packaging of fish are included.

Lake Poygan, Rod-Bender Guide Service
Kaukauna, (920) 766-5412

Lake Poygan offers a larger variety of fish than most lakes in Wisconsin, including walleye, white, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, perch and crappie. There are discount rates for two or more people. Fishing equipment, lessons, filet and packaging of fish are included.

Tichigan Lake, Gone Fishing Guide Service
4302 Riverside Road, Waterford, (262) 534-7928

Enjoy food, fun and fishing on a guided day trip in Tichigan Lake, not far from Milwaukee. Tackle some largemouth bass, northern pike, muskie, walleye, bluegill and crappie. Sandwiches and beverages, fishing equipment, filet and packaging of fish are included in a day trip.

Need a fishing license?

Wisconsin recreational licenses are sold through an automated license issuance system called "ALIS." You may purchase your license by visiting any of over 1,500 license agent locations or order by phone.

Purchase your fishing license by phone by calling 1-877-945-4236 or visit for more information.

For information on some Milwaukee area Lake Michigan charters, click here and stay tuned for a more in-depth guide to Milwaukee-area fishing.