Eat at any restaurant in the Bayfield area, and you’ll find a fish dish on the menu. From award-winning fish frys and spreads to pickled herring, and whitefish livers, Bayfield knows how to catch and prepare the day’s catch.


The port of Bayfield has a long-standing history of commercial fishing and by 1885, had more fishermen than any other Lake Superior Port.  The shallow waters of the  Apostle Islands in Lake Superior provide the perfect breeding ground for whitefish, trout, and herring. Nearly all the islands have been home to fish camps at some point in history. 


“The Apostle Islands and the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior have more breeding ground than the rest of Lake Superior combined,” said Bill Bodin of Bodin Fisheries. The fishing business has been in his family for four generations.  Bodin Fisheries operates out of the old Otto L. Kuehn Company building on the south commercial fishing docks. Otto L. Kuehn was one of the two largest fish companies in Bayfield in the 1940s. 


“Fishing in this area is a traditional way of life for Native Americans…for most of these fishermen it’s generation, to generation, to generation who fish and have been supplying the community here,” said Daniel Grooms of the Red Cliff Fish Company.  The Red Cliff Fish Company, established in 2020, is the newest commercial wholesale fish house in the area.  You’ll find fresh Lake Superior fish in most regional restaurants and grocery stores. The tribal fishery supplies whitefish to 11 reservations across Wisconsin and the Bayfield School District.  You can also find Lake Superior whitefish in bigger cities like New York, Chicago and parts of Canada at wholesale markets. 


If you prefer to get out on the lake and catch your own, book a fishing tour with an experienced fishing guide such as Willigans Adventures or Beyond the Catch Guide Service. For a uniquely Bayfield experience, watch the sunrise and catch a glimpse of the fishing boats heading towards the Apostle Islands. In the afternoon, you’ll see the boats come back to port to unload the day's catch. Learn more about the area’s rich fishing history by visiting the Bayfield Maritime Museum and the Bayfield Heritage Association.

Bayfield Fisheries

  • 208 Wilson Avenue
  • (715) 779-3301

Wholesale and retail commercial fisheries located right on the south commercial fish docks where the catch arrives daily. Fresh & smoked Lake Superior Trout and Whitefish are our specialties. Seasonal favorites also include Walleye, Smelt, Herring, Chubs and Burbot.