** I have changed the format of the site around pretty dramatically. You can now access the full buyers guide HERE.
Lake size is kind of a weird topic. Size is usually thought of in acres, but I've found that usually isn't the most useful way to think about it. The problem with looking at lake size in terms of just acreage is it does not paint the full picture. For instance, a 400 acre lake with a unique shape could have 10 miles of shoreline and an oval shaped lake that is 1,000 acres might only have 6 miles of shoreline. If you plan to take a pontoon boat around the lake every evening, you would have more shoreline on the "small" lake than the "big" lake. That's why I think of size as a combination of the acreage and shape.
As a general rule, if you have a big boat and you are looking to cover some ground fast, you want more than 1000 acres of water. If you use your boat for waterskiing/tubing and just general tooling around you want to be on a lake that is at least 100 acres but preferrably over 300. If you are most concerned with fishing, the acreage of a lake is probably not going to be as important as other aspects such as how good the fishing is and how busy the lake is.
The one thing that size can affect is view. Some people prefer a view of more water. Even in terms of view, the acreage of the lake doesn't always matter much. You also have to consider what you can actually see from your lot. There are numerous lots on big water in Northern Wisconsin that have small views. A house on a 1000 acre lot with a view of 30 acres of water won't be as majestic feeling as a house on a 200 acre lake that stretches for a mile.