Fisherman can cast from boats or on the banks in the summer and ice fish in the winter for walleye, muskie, northern pike, perch and crappie in the waters of Petenwell Flowage. Largemouth, smallmouth and white bass are abundant as well. The hydroelectric dam built in the 1940s backs up 23,000 acres of water that provide a combination of river and lake fishing structures.
Many of the locally known hot spots, including Strong's Prairie, Barnum Bay, the Devil's Elbow and the mouth of Fourteen-Mile Creek, produce fish in all seasons. The lake has long been known as an excellent walleye and white bass fishery, but many of the other species are growing in popularity. The lake hosts bow fishing tournaments for rough fish as well. Stumps, shallow water and submerged timber can make some of the lake difficult to navigate, but almost all of the shoreline is open for fishing.
Ice fishermen fish the shallower edges of the river channel at the beginning of winter and move into the deeper water as the winter progresses. The timber along the channel drop-offs holds walleye throughout the season. Jigging lures can be effective, but typically live bait such as shiners or minnows works best for most species.