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Wisconsin Statewide Fishing Report
Wisconsin Statewide fishing report 8.15.14

In the north, fishing for panfish has been very good the past week, with people still finding crappie, bluegill and sunfish in the shallows, with worms and leeches working best for bait. Anglers fishing on the Lower Wisconsin River report good catches of catfish and smallmouth bass.

Anglers were reporting some nice perch catches on the west shore of Green Bay. Green Bay musky action picks up around this time of year and true to form, at least one fisherman reported catching a 46-inch musky.

Bass fishermen out of Sawyer Harbor continue to catch good numbers of fish. Reports along Door County indicate anglers are either catching good numbers of smaller perch or fewer numbers of larger perch. The salmon bite is in full swing out of Kewaunee County with anglers bringing in high numbers of large fish, with some in the mid-20-pound-range. Fishing was generally slower this week out of southern Lake Michigan harbors, except for Racine where fishing picked up somewhat with lake trout, chinook, coho, and steelhead all taken.

Bayfield County - Pan fishing has been very good the past week, with people still finding crappie, bluegill and sunfish in the shallows, with worms and leeches working best for bait. Walleye are still biting well on both the Namekagon Lake and Eau Claire Chain, again leeches appear to be the best bait.

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Oconto County - Anglers fishing the Oconto River are still catching panfish and smallmouth bass using worms and crawlers as well as spoons and plastics. Fishing has slowed some from last week. Kayakers and tubers still dominate the river on the weekends with people taking advantage of the nice weather. Anglers are reporting some nice perch catches from the landing on the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II. The fish are being caught in 9 to 15 feet of water using minnows and crawler pieces, the bite can be hit or miss. Walleye action and bass fishing the bay remains slow with anglers reporting some success in 20 to 30 feet of water fishing large stick baits. Geano Beach: While the bite has been slow most of the summer, area musky anglers say this is around the time it picks up again. True to form, at least one fisherman reported catching Wisconsin's state fish this week; a 46-inch musky on a green and gold bucktail. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Marinette County - Anglers are having success with smallmouth bass and northern pike floating the Peshtigo River from the landing at City Garage to Klingsborn Landing. buzz baits, plastics, stick baits, and surface baits are working well. Catfish are still being caught at the Peshtigo Harbor, with crawlers fished on bottom being the best method. Walleye, pike, sheep head, and small mouth are being on the Menominee River by both boaters and shore anglers. Trolling with stick baits after dark has been best for walleye while live bait and plastics have worked best for bass and sheep head. I have no reports from the salmon or trout anglers for this week. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Walleye anglers launching out of Suamico are having a challenging time. The walleye observed this week were all between 19 and 22 inches. The most common approach has been crawler harnesses. Perch boats have also had a tough time. The largest number of perch reported this week was nine. The average size observed was 9.5 inches, with the largest being 11.2 inches. Minnows seemed to be the favorite bait, but night crawlers have also been landing fish. A few freshwater drum and catfish are also being caught by anglers targeting perch and walleye. Shore anglers at the Suamico launch have been primarily aiming for yellow perch. The preferred method has been either night crawler pieces under a bobber or on a three-way swivel. The ones that have been caught are on the smaller size, averaging 6.16 inches. Freshwater drum are also being caught and kept by shore anglers looking for perch. The average freshwater drum measured off the shore at Suamico this week was 15.34 inches. A few bluegills and gobies were also reported. Shore fishing on the Fox River continues to be tough. Most anglers have been casting for "anything that will bite." Fishing worms off the river bottom using a three-way rig remains a common approach. Freshwater drum and channel catfish are the fish that are being caught in highest numbers. A few fishermen are using tubes and spoons for smallmouth in Voyager Park, but not reporting any catches. One angler mentioned that the crappie bite at the mouth has been real hit-or-miss. Bay Shore Park anglers enjoyed a few days of great fishing near the end of the week; however, the weekend proved a bit more difficult. Fishermen report increasing catches in the mud flats with cranks and crawler harnesses still battling it out. Green and purple cranks are producing the greatest catch rates however when it comes to blades, orange out produced any other. Anglers returning to the ramps throughout the afternoon had much lower catch rates then those returning near dusk. Many of the late evening fishermen reported very slow days until two hours before sundown. Most walleye being caught ranged in the 18-24 inch range with one boat catching and returning two 30-plus inch fish caught right before sundown. Perch anglers continue to mark large schools of fish in depths ranging from 16-30 feet of water. The larger fish seem to be caught near the deeper edge of this range; however, schools are sporadic. Baits suspended near the bottom continue to be the technique of choice with night crawlers and minnows continuing to be the bait of choice for the area. Anglers are also reporting that minnows produce just as well as crawlers with the added benefit of reducing the numbers of goby caught. - Adrian Meseberg and John Taylor, fisheries technicians, Green Bay

Door County - Anglers at the Stone Quarry targeting smallmouth bass were quite successful, both from shore and boat. Night crawlers were the most successful bait; however spinners and tube jigs were also a popular lure. Rock bass and gobies were also incidentally being caught. Boat anglers targeting walleye with spinners at the Stone Quarry were also seeing some success. While the perch bite was slow, anglers have had some success using night crawlers out of Sawyer Park in Sturgeon Bay. At Chaudoir's Dock, anglers in the area are still struggling to catch larger perch in good numbers. Reports continue to speak to the fact that anglers are either catching good numbers of smaller perch or fewer numbers of larger perch. One angler was able to return with 12 perch all ranging in the 10 to 14 inch range. Catching one or two perch of good size would happen quickly; however, anglers would then have to move in order to catch more. Some anglers believe this was due to them being widespread, while others thought that schools were constantly on the move throughout the weekend. Minnows are by far the bait of choice out of this area. Suspended hooks near the bottom continue to be the technique of choice with the best fishing coming in 22 to 26 feet of water. Walleye in the area continue to be elusive. Reports near midweek of good catch numbers, failed to pan out for the weekend. The few walleye that were reported happened to be accidental catches by anglers fishing for perch. Drum and catfish continue to be caught by pier fishermen with the best catches coming near dusk and dawn. Schools of young of the year catfish are being spotted within the pier, along with a large number of gar ranging in the 10-14 inch range. Musky continue to be elusive in the Little Sturgeon Bay area. Anglers have been able to entice the fish to follow however no catches were reported during interviewing. Anglers targeting other fish also reported seeing a number of musky cruising the shoreline across the bay from Carmody Park. Perch fishermen in the area have yet to report many fish over 7 inches. Catching them here doesn't seem to prove difficult; however, finding keeper size fish has been far from easy. Minnows continue to be the bait of choice due to the fact that by-catches of goby are reduced when compared to night crawlers. The majority of anglers reported the best numbers of perch were caught in 16-18 feet of water with larger fish being spread throughout the area. Smallmouth bass continue to be abundant with the best catch rates coming on tubes and plastic worms. Colors of choice vary widely between anglers but green comes out on top. Increasing amounts of weeds have made fishing a bit more difficult but have also allowed a few anglers the opportunity to enjoy seeing bass attack top water baits. Frogs fished near or through lily pads have produced the most hits. Sawyer Harbor fishermen continue to catch increasing numbers of perch; however, sizes have been small. Average fish continue to hover in the 5 to 7 inch range. Many anglers are reporting large schools of perch in the channel; however, catching them has proved difficult. Night crawlers and minnows are the bait of choice but larger fish are being caught with soft shell baits. Bass fishermen continue to catch good numbers of fish utilizing green and hot pink tubes. "Anywhere you can find weeds, you can find bass" stated on angler. Another fisherman reported catching 3 bass over 5 pounds while fishing out of Potawatomi Park. Water temps continue to be steady near the 70-degree mark.

 - Adrian Meseberg and John Taylor, fisheries technicians, Green Bay

Manitowoc County - It was another tough week for Lake Michigan anglers in Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Most anglers, whether trolling or fishing off of piers, reported spotty results throughout the week. While steelhead and chinook could periodically be seen surfacing and chasing baitfish, convincing them to hit a lure was a challenge. The south pier in Manitowoc saw good numbers of anglers throughout the week, although few went home with fish most days. A handful of anglers did catch some nice kings, several of which were of impressive size, including at least one that tipped the scales at 31.5 pounds and 42 inches in length. That fish was reportedly caught on a green glow spoon. Both angler and catch numbers dwindled a bit on Two Rivers piers but enough fish are still being caught to keep anglers motivated through some long fishing hours. Steelhead, a few kings and brown trout, an occasional carp and smallmouth bass have been brought to nets by anglers throwing spoons or fishing small live alewife near the bottom. One fisherman caught a beautiful and hard-fighting 20-pound carp that hit a spoon on the south pier. Many anglers also noted that alewife populations close to shore have diminished significantly in recent days. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. Manitowoc and Two Rivers trolling anglers have had a tough go of it lately as well, with many getting skunked in spite of putting in long hours on the water. There were, however, several trollers who returned to port with coolers heavy with kings, steelhead and lake trout. Most fish are still being caught in less than 90 feet of water, with 40 to 75 feet being a hot zone, but weeds have also caused some frustration by fouling lines and lures. Surface water temperature are presently in the mid-60s. Early morning, between 5 and 7 a.m., has also proven to be the golden hour for successful anglers. A few die-hard anglers continue to pursue perch in both harbors (Manitowoc and Two Rivers) by jigging or using worms and crawlers, but their success has also been scanty. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - The salmon bite is in full swing with anglers bringing in high numbers of large, healthy fish. Some fish being landed were in the mid-20-pound-range. Anglers were more successful the farther north they traveled, with Sturgeon Bay producing the highest numbers of fish. While some limits were being reached in Sturgeon Bay, anglers in Kewaunee and Algoma were averaging 2-5 fish per boat. Water temps in Sturgeon Bay at 80 feet were 50 degrees, and slightly cooler in Kewaunee with 47 degrees at 75 feet. While rainbows were being caught fishing the top 30 feet in anything from 50-430 feet of water, kings were found most often in 80-120 feet of water, about 60-80 feet down. While anglers were trying all types of lures, flasher flies seemed to be the most successful. Anglers fishing with spoons reported that bloody nose spoons and green spoons saw the most success. Many anglers also reported orange spoons to be producing plenty of results. A 30-pound king was reportedly landed in Kewaunee. - Aaron Suehring, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Shawano County - Fishing is very good with mainly panfish being targeted and kept. Die hard musky fishermen are doing well with some nice being caught and released. Cooler water temps are helping with the fishing. As the water cools so has boating. Even though it is only the middle of August, boating has slowed down as the water temps have dipped.

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - East winds and warm water has slowed fishing some in Sheboygan, wavy and stormy conditions this week kept most anglers at the dock, those few that did venture out found a few fish in 60-100 feet of water chinooks and rainbows were caught on spoons and jplugs fished off of leadcore or dipsy divers in the top 50-60 feet of water. Wire dipsy divers fished with flashers and flys also took some fish. Shore anglers casting off of the north and south piers early in the morning had limited success with only a handful of brown trout being caught, best baits have been spoons jigged off bottom or a live alewife fished off a three-way rig off bottom. Cooler water and calm weather will be needed to improve pier fishing in the coming weeks.

Ozaukee County - In Port Washington its much of the same story as most other ports trollers are having a tough time finding any pattern with sporadic action for both chinooks and rainbows anywhere from 90-140 feet of water fishing from 40-60 feet down flashers and flys seemed to be the most productive lure with magnum sized spoons taking a few fish as well. Warm water has slowed shore fishing off of the south pier and the area surrounding Rotary Park and the power-plant discharge, only an occasional brown has been caught on a spawn sac floated off bottom or casting and jigging a spoon near bottom early mornings have been best.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee fishing remains rather slow, high winds and rain have warmed near shore waters and shore fishing has shut down. Boat trollers continue to find some fish mostly chinooks and rainbows anywhere from 90-110 feet of water, best lures have been spoons or white flasher and fly combinations fished from 50-60 feet down. 5-7 color leadcores off of boards, wire dipsys, and downriggers have all caught fish, some calm stable weather this weekend should help improve fishing
Racine County - Racine fishing has actually picked up somewhat this past week with some good catches of all species lake trout, chinook, coho, and steelhead have all been taken in decent numbers when anglers were able to get out. 70-100 feet of water has been best with fish coming in at 30-40 feet down spoons off of leadcores and flashers and flys fished off down-riggers have taken the most fish, white and green seem to be the best flasher/fly combination. Medium to magnum sized spoons are also taken fish, silver and blue or green and silver seem to be the best colors, spoons have been best fished off of 7-8 color leadcores and planer boards. Wire dipsy-diver rods have also been productive, early mornings remain best with the bite slowing down by 7 a.m. Warm water and stormy weather has shore fishing to a halt, little to no action for perch or browns was reported this week off of any of the piers or harbor area. The only action reported was for an occasional brown trout or northern pike off of the fishing pier in the Pugh Marina area. There spoons and crank baits have worked best early or late in the day. Fishing out of Kenosha has also been slow with only a few browns biting off of the south pier early in the day.
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Point Beach State Forest - The beach is open and in fair condition. Expect a smaller beach area this year due to the higher water levels in Lake Michigan. There have also been about a dozen pelicans that have been calling the beach at Point Beach State Forest their home for the last month or so. Their primary location has been near the indoor group cabins. Please visit www.wibeaches.usfor the most up-to-date information. For the most updated water temperature, please visit www.coastwatch.msu.edu/twomichigans.html (both links exit DNR). - Melanie Kozlowski, Visitor Services Associate

Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Good viewing opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl and marsh birds are available from the Hwy 28 road shoulders just west of Hwy 41. This week we reinstalled one row of stop logs in the Theresa Marsh dam this to start slowly bringing water level back up on the main flowage above the dam. Gradual reflooding will continue during August and September to allow smartweed, bidens and other moist soil plants to mature on mudflat areas to provide high quality feeding habitat for migrating birds later in the season. For that reason, hunters on Theresa Marsh in September should expect water levels to be somewhat low during that time period. Contract helicopter spraying to kill 150 acres of cattail and phragmites on Theresa Marsh will begin later this week and may be occurring at some point during next three weeks depending on weather and scheduling dates. Spraying may occur on weekdays or on weekends. Access sites to the marsh will be posted closed during spraying and the two days following spraying. Local Canada goose flocks are congregating into larger flocks and have begun establishing feeding flights to and from crop fields and other feeding grounds. Early season goose hunters should begin scouting and seeking hunting permission on the feeding and roosting areas. Wildlife commonly seen on Theresa Marsh right now include blue-winged teal, wood ducks, Canada geese, cormorants, green herons, American bitterns, great egrets, belted kingfishers, coots, sora rails, sandhill cranes, and many other bird species. Prairie fields are still near peak viewing conditions with coneflowers, black-eyed susan and other forbs still in bloom. Sponsors considering hosting a fall "Learn to Hunt Pheasant" workshops should submit their applications to local DNR staff as soon as possible. Learn to Hunt Information and applications are available on the Learn to Hunt section of the DNR website. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford

Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - The water levels on August 14, at the Prairie Du Sac dam was 5,493 cubic feet per second. Please call 1-800-242-1077 for current river flow at the Prairie Du Sac dam. The fishing reports on the Riverway indicate good catches of catfish and smallmouth bass. The secret is finding the deep holes or areas where cold water streams enter the riverway.


Minocqua area fishing report
http://www.wisconsinoutdoor.com/minocquafishingreport.htm

Lake Michigan Fishing Report and tips
http://www.wisconsinoutdoor.com/lmfishingtips.htm

Price Co. Fishing report
http://wisconsinoutdoor.com/smf/index.php?topic=6225.0

Information compiled from the WDNR Outdoor report and private sources