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Wisconsin Sites (Jon!)

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Rasta Freediver
Mar 4, 2004
Hey Jon, me again. Do you know any areas near Milwaukee that would be better for like 20-25 ft. dives, im not a TRUE diver :) My cousin goes to UWM, so i was thinking if i crash at his apartment for awhile, he could take me out to some sites. Also, if you've gone anywhere around the appleton/green bay area, that would be even better. I know i probably don't belong on these forums because im not a real depth diver, more of a snorkeler/short-depth diver, i stilll love it!
I know i probably don't belong on these forums because im not a real depth diver, more of a snorkeler/short-depth diver, i stilll love it!

Hey Skarz... you belong here as much as the next fellow breathhold diver.. whether you've only been 2" below the surface or 200'. That last bit says it all. And if you do love it then it's just a matter of time.. who knows.. before you're closer to the 200' than the 2"!

I know this post was directed towards Jon the wisonsin guru, but I thought I'd get my 2 cents in.
Thanks Fred. How do you go about working on holding your breathe? I can only get like 30 seconds in :(
IF your going to be visiting your cousin at UWM, one of my alma mater’s by the way, you should stop over to Deep Blue, which is a dive shop just down the street. They have a full line of OMER Freediving gear and I teach for them when I get the chance. They also just started an underwater hockey club that plays there every Tuesday night.

If you get a wetsuit you’ll be in great shape. Just up the street from the campus, by only a couple of blocks, there is Atwater beach. Just off the beach are two shipwrecks that you can freedive on. The smaller one, called the Josephine, is 99’ long and sits in only 5-10’ of water. She dates back to the late 1800’s. A little further out is the Appomattox. She is huge, over 300’, rests in 18-23’ of water is an easy 60’-70’ wide and usually has some fish around her. The last dozen times I have dove her, we use her sometimes for openwater checkout dives, and you could easily see her form the surface. Lake Michigan has gotten incredibly clear in the last decade- thanks to the invasive Zebra Mussel. What used to be 10’ of vis is now and easy 50’ and I have measured over 80’ of vis while diving some of the deeper wrecks in wintertime.

If you head to the south side of the city there are a lot of other wrecks right off shore that you could easily freedive. Some of them date back to the 1850’s and have some interesting history to them. In August we get water temps in the high 60’s to low 70’s in the Southern part of lake Michigan. You really need to watch the winds because it can blow that warm surface water back and forth across the lake. When it comes in form the east for a long time it starts to build up on our side of the lake, causing an upwelling of sorts on the Michigan side. Last year this resulted in 68-degree water down to 110’!

You said you had cottages near Waupaca- which lakes? We spearfish in some of the lakes near Waushura county- by Red granite Quarry. Many of these warm up nicely in the summer and early fall. There are also lots of nice fish and you should be able to reach the depths without to much trouble. A summer of practice and you’ll be all set.

Don’t worry about the age thing. I start Scuba diving when I was 14, and even went to instructor school when I was 17- although I turned 18 before the end of the course. There are plenty of younger divers out there. As a matter of fact, you might have seen the FOX kids show that recently featured a couple of teenagers going wreck diving in Lake Michigan- it aired last month. They filmed it on my father-in-laws boat and I was the crewmember. The instructor was a very good friend of mine and the kids were both under 15.

As far as not having any money, I don’t remember having much when I started out. I had to save up along time to get my first set of scuba gear. Since your Freediving you really don’t need to spend that much. A good mask fins and snorkel, plus a wetsuit and rubber belt, are all you really need. The stuff doesn’t wear out very easily and there are no tanks fills to buy, regulators to overhaul, or tank visual and hydrostatic inspections to pay for. All the way around it’s a MUCH cheaper sport! A good wetsuit will increase you enjoyment and time you can spend in the water. Once you have that it’s just time to have fun.
Originally posted by skarz
Thanks Fred. How do you go about working on holding your breathe? I can only get like 30 seconds in :(

30 seconds is a start for a first breath hold in a series... just give it more time, don't be discouraged, and don't worry so much about the clock and the fantastic breath hold times you see here on deeperblue. Increasing breath hold times is probably the easiest of all the disciplines to improve rapidly at the beginning of training. There is way to much info here on deeperblue for me to go into all the techniques, but just for starters, in a series of say 3 or 4 breath holds with several minutes of rest between, you will find that your last breath holds are the longest. Several slow, deep breaths and full exhales prior to holding will help increase your times. Do more homework here in the threads of deeperblue, I think you'll be surprised at your improvements.
I started doing them today, My longest is 55 seconds, but that was forcing it. I would have felt comfortable at about 45 seconds if i was underwater.
Jon, the lake properties we have are on Pearl Lake, Long Lake, and Bailey Lake. Pearl is family owned, with really good visibility usually, but we rarely go there. Long Lake is family too, it's about 80' deep, i think. It's been getting shallower every year, and i dont' really like diving there, since i can't go deep enough to see anything great. The only good part is there's a high dive/low dive anchored in the middle of the lake. If i jump off of there i can get some pretty good depth. Bailey lake is a TINY lake where we have a cottage we rent out. We go up there a ton, and it's pretty good. It's pretty dark, so vis is only like 15' maybe? Maybe a little less. That's where 90% of my diving has taken place. Not too much to see, except HUGE fish :) It's a no wake lake, because it's so small (i can swim across it!)..... It's really good for fishing, im not sure what spearing would be like, since i never have done it. We have huge bass everywhere, turtles, panfish you can literally catch with your hands (when we feed them, there's easily 50 fighting for the food)! I think there's some perch, walleye, stuff like that. I'm not a big fisherman, and i dont really know much about the species. I've been practicing on our lake by throwing those colored pool weights into about 10-20 feet of water and going out, locating them, and diving for them. I've already lost a couple :)
Oh yea, i forgot something. Bailey lake is across the lake from a crystal blue lake, called Spencer Lake. I think it's connected to the chain'o'lakes too.... not positive. I havent' been swimming in it yet, but the visibility looks pretty good. You can search for "Spencer Lake Christian Center" and probably find some shots of the lakes.

I think I might ahve dove Pearl lake before, but there are a bunch of them in hte state- you run out of names when you have almost 15,000 lakes in your state.;)

One site that my buddy, Ted, and I check before diving is:


This is a water clarity map of the state. by using it we can decide if a lake is worth taking a look at or not. If it comes up dark blue we know it has vis and then we go look for the fish.:cool:

You need to check the Wisconsin state fishing regualtions to se about your lake. Each county is different, but most of the southern part of the state will allow you to spear pan fish and rough fish. We aim for crappies and perch because you can get a nice fillet off of them. Carp are only taken once in a while for smoking. A 'smoked' carp will last a long time and there isn't a need to get a bunch of them.

I was all set to go freediving on Lake Michigan today, but we got blown off by 60 mph winds and sleet in Milwaukee. :( It's still a little early for the regular dive season out there.

Thanks for the site! Yea they're like 100 pearl and long lakes in wisconsin! I'm going to look up that lake where the a-palooza is going to be :) I stayed at my friends house friday night and told him all about freediving. He's really interested and said he'll be my dive buddy. Best part is, his dads a huge outdoorsman, so we could probably hit him up for a ride to the "festival" :). We just need to learn what we're doing now........
Hey Jon, who's the other wisconsin diver on this site? And where do you guys go diving?
His name is Ted, but his sceen name is UNIRDNA.

We dive all ofthe lakes around Madison, some of the lakes up in the Waupaca area. Lake Wazze in jackson county, and I have had him out on Lake Michigan a few times to dive the wrecks with me.

He also has some research lake in the northern part of the state where he gets to dive, as part of his job! We also check out other promising lakes that we find on LAKESAT.org
WHAT JOB IS THAT!! LoL i'd love to be in the water all day. Waupaca is nice, cause everything is pretty much fair game for fishing.
Greeting from Indiana

Hi everybody!!

I just found out this board and you guys are talking about diving around mid-west. This is great!

I'm living in Lafayette, IN for my degree, but originally from Japan.
I've been diving, mainly freediving and spearfishing with pole spear (http://higedura.cool.ne.jp/) since i was a little child.

I've never imagined to dive in lake, but reading your information, really wishing "I want to try!!"

It's about 4 hours drive from here to Milwaukee. Not so far away!

When you go out and if you need body, please talk to me and let me in!


Hi Indy,

I've got some cousins who live by you and htey make the trek up here a few times a year.

You should really try and make it up to Freedive-A-Palooza this summer. It's a weeknd camping freediving event that some of us are putting together.

I get to Milwaukee to freedive the wrecks throughout the summer.

There are a few freedivers, that I know of, in the Chicago-land area who might be a bit closer for you to hook up with.

Hey jon, could you or ted or someone that knows whats going on post a link to the DNR spearfishing rules? I know gamefish are illegal, but i need to know what's the limits and stuff, and i could use a freshwater ID card...... i know nothing about fish!
Jon, i was looking at the "cecchi depth" website, and i looked up all the lakes we have property on. All four are in the 4-8m range, i was wondering if that's any good. I was wondering what secchi depth meant.
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