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Updated February 24, 2019

  • This season marks our 21st of owning and managing Rainbow Bay Resort.  Thank you to our loyal guests!
  • We've gotten about 30 inches of snow in the past 2 weeks.  Snowmobile and ski trails in our area have lots of snow!  We had some extremely cold temperatures at the end of January.  One morning the wind chill temperature was 50 below!  On another morning the actual temperature was 33 below! (Feb 24, 2019)
    Feb 13, 2019
    Feb 13, 2019
    Feb 13, 2019
    Feb 13, 2019
    Feb 13, 2019
  • Ice fishing had been fair to good.  When we had the really cold temperatures, mostly I did not fish.  Now there is so much snow on the ice, very few anglers are venturing out onto the lakes. (Feb 24, 2019)
    Bryan and I got these gills on a nearby lake in about 9 feet of water, February 2, 2019.
    I got these panfish on a nearby lake, January 16, 2019.
    Scott F. and I had some good panfish action on a nearby lake, Jan 18, 2019.
  • Eric, Matt, and Jake came up for ice fishing before the snow came.  Eric and Matt had never caught a fish through the ice.  We had lots of panfish action and good times inside my new pop-up shack! (Feb 24, 2019)
    Jake and Eric celebrate a nice gill, January 20, 2019.
    The guys got this nice bass on a tip-up, Jan 20, 2019.
    This catch made for a nice fish fry for us the next day. Jan 20, 2019.
  • We've had a flock of turkeys come to our bird feed most days this winter.  Here is the flock during one of our recent snow storms. (Feb 24, 2019)
    Wild turkeys scratching up some bird seed at Rainbow Bay Resort, February, 2019.
  • Ice fishing is in full swing.  Anglers are driving on some of the lakes.  I've caught some panfish and northern pike on nearby lakes.  I caught and released this 31-inch pike on a shiner minnow on December 31.  I had the tip-up set up over weeds in water about 9 feet deep.

                I caught and released this 31-inch pike on a nearby lake, December 31, 2018.

  • We have only a modest amount of snow on the ground.  Some of the cross country ski trails are open, but needing some fresh snow.  We had fresh snow on December 28, but this has mostly melted.  If you are coming to the area to snowmobile, I encourage you to call the Washburn County Tourism Office for an update on trail conditions.  Their phone number is 800-367-3306.
                                We had beautiful snow on December 28, 2018.
  • I observed NO zebra mussels on the sampling device I had suspended under one of our docks for the summer.
  • Fall colors are peaking now!  We've had a damp September and October lending to spectacular fall colors. This photo was across our bay on the morning of October 4.  Colors should be brilliant for at least another week. (Oct 6)
    Fall colors on Rainbow Bay of Benoit Lake, Oct 4, 2018.
  • Dave R. caught and released this 34.5-inch pike on Benoit Lake.  The fished was chunky and weighed over 10 pounds.  Good job Dave! (October 5)
    Dave R. with a 34.5 inch, 10 pound northern pike he caught and released at Benoit Lake, Burnett County, Wisconsin.  Rainbow Bay Resort, October 5, 2018.
  • Fall fishing has been good, with some nice catches.  I caught and released this 47-inch musky on a crank bait. (September 29)
    Dave Caithamer with a 47-inch musky he caught and released on Benoit Lake, Burnett County, Wisconsin, September 29, 2018.
  • Don M. caught and released this beautiful largemouth on Benoit.  (September 29)

  • Dave R. caught a handsome musky that I believe is a hybrid tiger musky.  He released this 33-incher.
    Dave R. with a 33-inch tiger musky that he caught and released on Benoit Lake, Burnett County, Wisconsin, September 22, 2018.
  • Jake and I had some good fishing on Benoit Lake over Labor Day weekend.  Jake caught and released this 18-inch bass on a plastic worm.  We also had this pair of nice bass; also on plastic baits. (September 2)
    Jake C. with an 18-inch bass he caught and released on Benoit Lake, Burnett County, Wisconsin, September 2, 2018.
    Benoit Lake largemouth bass, Rainbow Bay Resort near Spooner, Wisconsin, September 2, 2018.
  • There was a distinctive thermocline in Benoit Lake this summer. (August 14)

  • Our prairie restorations were showy this summer.  This bumblebee and Cope's tree frog found the plants inviting. (August 6)
    Bumble bee feeds on a wild bergamot flower at Rainbow Bay Resort, near Spooner, Wisconsin, August 6, 2018.

    Cope's tree frog rests on the leaves of a wild sunflower, Rainbow Bay Resort near Spooner, Wisconsin, August 6, 2018.
  • A new resort-record was established when Stephanie C. caught this massive 14-inch crappie!  She was using a minnow.  Unfortunately the fish could not be revived and ended up in the frying pan.  Very nice catch Stephanie!  Congratulations! (July 22)
    Stephanie C. with a new resort-record crappie.  The fish was 14-inches long!  Congrats Steph!  July 22, 2018.
  •  I caught and released this 35-inch northern pike on a nearby lake.  It took a crank bait near the deep weed line. (August 10)

    Dave with a 35 inch pike he caught and released from a nearby lake, August 10, 2018.
  • Ron C. caught and released this 33.5-inch pike on Benoit Lake.  Nice job Ron! (late-June)
    Ron C. caught and released this 33.5-inch pike on Benoit Lake in June 2018.  Rainbow Bay Resort near Spooner, Wisconsin.
  • Our spring rapidly advanced and turned to summer.  The bluegill spawn was widespread and obvious on Benoit Lake.  Bass and crappies have been active too.  Musky fishing has been a bit slow, although guests have caught a few small ones.  (June 26)

    Doug took this 42-incher from Benoit.  While it looks impressive, don't let Doug fool you.  The fish was unfortunately found floating.  It had no apparent hook marks so we don't think fishing caused its mortality. 

    Tina and Mike D. had fun catching crappies and gills in early-June.  They caught lots of them in our bay.
  • We had a strong storm on Fathers Day that knocked the tops off of a couple of oak trees.  Fortunately there was no damage to structures.  The storm dumped about 5 inches of rain and the lake level is up. (June 26)
  • I collected data on temperature and dissolved oxygen at different depths of Benoit Lake.  Stratification has already occurred and the thermocline (zone of rapidly declining temperatures) is at about 15-20 feet deep. (June 26)

  • Dennis R. and I fished a nearby lake and caught some nice bass on soft plastic baits. (June 26)

    Dennis R. with a 17-incher that he caught and released, on a nearby lake.
  • During my family reunion in mid-June, we caught some nice fish on Benoit Lake.  We released the best fish and had a fish fry with some of the panfish and eater-sized bass. (June 26)

    Dad and cousin Jack have caught lots of fish together over the years.  This healthy bass took a plastic worm.

    Cousin George N, myself, and Dad added these Benoit bass to our fish fry for the week.
  • At 91 years young, Dad still knows how to catch fish!  Somehow he managed to catch 2 bass on a wacky worm rigged with only single-hook (not a treble hook).  When he reeled in the pair of fish, the line passed through the lip of the first fish like it was on a stringer.  The hook was then stuck into the flesh of the second fish.  I've never heard, nor seen anything like this. (June 26)

    These are the 2 bass that somehow Dad caught simultaneously on a single hook.

    Dad caught and released this little musky.  It was likely one that was stocked by the DNR in fall, 2017.
  • I ventured to a couple of area lakes in early-June and caught a mixed bag of pike, bass, and perch. (June 26)

    The fish came from 2 nearby lakes in early-June.
  • Ben has painted the decking on the main dock.  We've also replaced about 15 of the boards that were showing signs of decay. (June 26)
  • Robins have nested, fledged babies, and are nesting again.  Phoebes are also actively nesting.  There is a pair of loons on the lake and they are acting like they have a nest in one of the bays. (June 26)
  • Our prairie patches are looking good.  Lupines had a fair bloom and coreopsis are in full bloom now.  Orange milkweed has just started to blossom.  We've found several monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plants. (June 26)
  • Leaves are coming out on trees.  Bass and panfish have been in the shallows on warm afternoons.  So far it has been a dry and beautiful May.  (May 13)

    I took the kayak into the shallow bays in mid-May and caught some nice bass and gills on small plastics.
  • Benoit Lake became completely free of ice on May 2.  This almost marks the latest (May 3, 2013) that ice has departed since we have owned the resort.  Loons returned to the lake on April 26th this year.  The leaves are not yet out on trees, but that will happen soon. (May 4)

    This was our bay 2 days before the ice left.
  • We had new windows installed on the lake-side of units 1 and 2.
  • We had lots of snow this past April, but it has been dry the last couple of weeks and we have a high danger of wild fires now, with burning bans in place.  (May 4)

    On April 16 we got 13 inches of snow.  This was the last time I needed to shovel for the season.
  • I enjoyed some excellent ice fishing on area lakes.  Ice got up to 35 inches thick on some lakes. 

    I caught and released this 18-inch bass on a nearby lake while crappie fishing in late-March.

    With some friends, we caught some nice fish on a nearby lake in mid-January.
  • Zebra mussels were discovered in Big McKenzie Lake in October, 2016 and then in Middle McKenzie in 2017.  Both of these lakes are only a few miles from Benoit Lake but are not directly connected to Benoit Lake.  Zebra mussels are an invasive species that can harm lake ecosystems.  We are concerned that these invaders are so close to our lake.  We encourage all boaters and anglers to be cautious when trailering boats between waters.  These boaters should always completely drain live wells, bait buckets, and lower units when departing a lake to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.  It is typically impossible to rid a lake of an invasive species once it becomes established.  The DNR will continue to monitor Big McKenzie and Middle McKenzie lakes for zebra mussels in 2018.  I hung a sampling device from our main dock in May 2018.  The device is a series of flat plates layered horizontally.  Larval zebra mussels are free floating and will attach to a hard surface.  When I pull the dock ashore in fall, I'll inspect the sampling device for evidence of zebra mussels.  I'm told that they would feel gritty on the undersurface of the plates.  Hopefully I never find any. If you take your boat to other lakes, especially Middle McKenzie and Big McKenzie, please be especially careful before launching your boat into Benoit Lake.  Thank you in advance for being extra careful!
  • State law prohibits smoking in motel and tourism rooms statewide.  The law went into effect on July 5, 2010.  Smoking is still permitted outside.  We ask that our guests please respect this new law and also properly dispose of their butts.