Hayward is a major center for fishing, lumbering, and cross-country skiing. It’s only fitting that this town hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. It’s Hayward’s largest attraction (100,000 visitors per year) and the “international headquarters for education, recognition, and promotion of freshwater sport fishing” (their words from their website.)
This Hall of Fame is noted for having the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, which is also the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist??
It’s more than the big muskie, though. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)
We have a whole gallery of photos here.
You’ll find the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)