Ice Fishing on the Lakes
© TNT Creative Studios


Nestled between lakes Mendota and Monona, our capital city is surrounded by more than 15,000 acres of beautiful lakes that boast activities on the water--and in it--from canoeing and kayaking to swimming and sailing.

Beyond Madison, there's even more to explore! Visit the surrounding areas for activities on Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Wingra. Read on to discover how you can add aquatic adventure to your itinerary when you visit Madison!



Lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa contain a variety of different fish species such as perch, crappie, bluegill, walleye, bass and northern pike.

Enjoy fishing on Madison lakes for a variety of fish with Captain Joe Okada at Madison Fishing Charters.
If you choose to hit the lakes by yourself, be sure to obtain a fishing license from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources before you cast your line!



Bring your boat and take advantage of Madison's plentiful lakes! A complete list of boat landings, along with detailed information about Lake Access Permits from the City of Madison Parks Department, will help you get started. More information on Lake Access Permits can also be found through the Dane County Parks Division.

If you'd like to sit back and relax while taking a tour of Lake Monona or Lake Mendota, check out Betty Lou Cruises or enjoy a pontoon ride courtesy of the Madison School & Community Recreation Boat Program.



Try Brittingham Boats, and Wingra Boats when you'd like to rent a canoe, kayak, row boat, paddle boat, stand-up paddle board or sail boat. Visit Marshall Boats to rent a pontoon boat, if that's more your style. Sailing and windsurfing lessons are also available on peaceful Lake Wingra.



The Madison area has 12 beaches to be enjoyed throughout the summer months. Get information about beach amenities, including which beaches have lifeguards, swim ropes, concessions and more.

In addition to the beaches, Madison is also home to Goodman Pool, a large public swimming pool, complete with two water slides and several play areas for children.

Madison Spotlight