The perfect balance between unspoiled nature and city life

Thompson Lake

Lake Name: Thompson Lake


  • Location: Oneida County / Southeast of Rhinelander on Highway C
  • Accessibility: Boat landing off of North Shore Drive
  • Accommodations: Resorts, Campground
  • Surface Water Area: 411 Acres
  • Shoreline: 6.7 Miles
  • Maximum Depth: 30 Feet
  • Water Color: Stained
  • Lake Type: Drainage
  • Littoral Bottom Structure: 55% Sand 25% Muck 15% Gravel 5% Rubble
  • Primary Game Fish Species: Musky, Walleye, Northern Pike, Panfish (Crappie, Perch, Bluegill )
  • Secondary Game Fish Species:  Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass

Fishing Tips:

Multi Specie tips from Scott Biscobing of Hodag Guide Service

Lake Thompson is a popular vacation spot with several resorts on the water.

Panfish are abundant here but run small. It is a great place to introduce kids to fishing. Just hook up some red worms on a hook with a bobber and find some weeds and the panfish will show up.

Thompson has a nice mix of rocks, weeds, and cribs. I would concentrate on the rocks for walleye, especially the main reef that has weeds on top. Start deep and move shallower I the evening. Jigs and live bait work well here. The cribs with slip bobbers will also produce walleye as well as some of the larger panfish.

Musky are here in good numbers with some quality fish in the upper 40’s available. Bucktails and jerkbaits work well here in a perch pattern. In the summer, a good top water bite takes place in the morning and just before and after dark.

The pike here are not as abundant but tend to run a bit larger that the average. Small bucktails and spine baits are the ticket.

Work the slop with top water and the docks with jigs for largemouth. The bays all have nice weed beds in them. The rock are marked but use caution when running this lake.

This lake does see a fair amount of recreational traffic so early and late are your best bet.

Musky tips from John Stellflue of Oneida Esox Guide Service

Lake Thompson is another stained water lake that has a LOT of fish in it and some bigger fish. This is one lake that I like to fish the shallow weeds. I have found fish in this lake as shallow as 18-24 inches of water. Normally I tend to stay away from the weeds if at all possible, but this lake has a really good weed bite and I always start with the weeds when fishing here.

I like slow moving topwaters like Hawg Wobblers out here. Bucktails and dive and rise jerkbaits also work out here. You really can’t go wrong with any lure that is Black and Orange.  One of my favorite is the black and orange Mepps Magnum.

If the fish are really slow try a spinner bait in the weeds. A lift and fall retrieve can usually get them to go out here if the fishing is tough. There is a good amount of lily pads on this lake and the muskies will indeed hide in the pads. Casting a spinner bait up into the pads can produce some good action.

One thing to remember is that Lake Thompson is a VERY popular lake with some very nice resorts on it so the fishing pressure and boating pressure can be pretty heavy during the summer peak.