Wisconsin Statewide fishing report 8.28.15
Wisconsin continued to receive some additional rainfall in the last week, especially in the north, which has kept northern river systems in good late summer paddling conditions. The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway is running at about normal seasonal levels with plenty of sandbars available.
The variable and almost constantly changing weather patterns, along with some windy conditions, made for some erratic fishing success in the Northwoods. Water temperatures have cooled down a bit, which seemed to spur on musky activity, with musky anglers reporting a lot of sightings and follows, as well as quite a few hook-ups and catches of fish in the 34- to 42-inch size. Bass fishing has been fair and relatively consistent. Action for northern pike has picked up a bit in the last several weeks with the dropping water temperatures. Walleye fishing has shown the most variability in the last week, with some anglers using leeches and crawlers along the weed edges and in weed pockets. Panfish action also continues to be fair.
On Green Bay, walleye were still being caught from Pensaukee down to Oconto, as well as out of the Green Bay metro launch outside of University Bay, and along the east shore off Larson's reef, along the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal and at Little Sturgeon Bay. The yellow perch bite was good from both the shore and boats this week around Sturgeon Bay and at Sawyer Harbor. On Lake Michigan, the chinook salmon and steelhead trout bite remained good this week out on the Bank Reef. Pier fishing was slower this week, although there was the first reports of chinook salmon caught from Algoma's north pier. Although heavy winds at time limited fishing in the last week, those trollers who went out were reporting a mix of chinook, coho, rainbow, and browns.
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - Variable and almost constantly changing weather, along with some windy conditions, have made for some erratic fishing success in the Northwoods in the past week. Water temperatures have cooled down a bit and this seemed to have spurred on musky activity across the area. The musky anglers have been reporting a lot of sightings and follows, as well as quite a few hook-ups and catches of fish in the 34- to 42-inch size. The mid to late afternoon hours have produced the best action, and the favorite lures have been bulldawgs, stick baits and top-water lures fished near the deep weed edges. Bass fishing has been fair and relatively consistent with some sort of action being found on most trips. Largemouth have been found near the thick weed beds and near mid-depth structure such downed logs, stumps and bog edges. Soft plastics and frog imitations have been the lures of choice and the late afternoon period has produced the best action. Smallmouth fishing has shown some consistency on the local rivers and flowages, with the best success coming on finesse plastics fished near rock and woody cover along deeper water areas. Walleye fishing has shown the most variability in the last week, with some anglers using leeches and crawlers along the weed edges and in weed pockets. Some fishermen have also found a few walleye on the deeper gravel and rock bars in 12 to 18 feet of water. Action for northern pike, an often overlooked fish in the summer, has picked up a bit in the last several weeks. The dropping water temperatures seem to have favored this species and action has been good around the near-shore weed beds. Spinner baits and small crank baits have worked the best - but a wire leader should be used to minimize the bite-offs. Panfish action also continues to be fair, with some decent catches of crappie, bluegill and rock bass being reported. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Flambeau River State Forest - Fishing has been a bit slow, but should pick up with the cooler temperatures we've been having.
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - Northern pike and some smallmouth bass are being caught on the Peshtigo River by anglers floating the river from the Peshtigo Municipal Boat Landing to the mouth of the river. Top-water baits and twister tail have been working well. Trout (browns and rainbows) are still being caught by anglers trolling out of Little River and the mouth of the Menominee River, from the Peshtigo Light to Green Island has been producing some nice fish. Anglers also report some catches of salmon in the same waters. Some very large walleye are being caught in the area of Green Island trolling and jigging in about 20 feet of water. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Anglers continue to have success with panfish at the dam at Stiles with a mixed bag of bluegill, crappie, and rock bass. Live bait has been working best with worms and crawler pieces being the most common bait, followed by minnows. Some anglers are finding success using Mighty Mites, being drifted through the deeper water. Walleye are still being caught from the boat landing at Pensaukee to Oconto Park II using crawler harness and large stick baits trolled in 15 to 25 feet of water. Reports of perch being caught have improved when anglers are able to get out on the bay, crawler pieces and minnows work best. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - At the Fox River shore, a few smallmouth bass were caught at the far side of the park from the dam. Casting and retrieving crawlers fished on jigs with different color twister tails produced the most fish throughout the week, while bottom fishing crawlers produced catfish just about anywhere in the park. Anglers at the mouth of the river continue to catch drum and catfish using three-way swivel rigs tipped with night crawlers, with the best catches coming in the early morning hours. With the lower temperatures, an increase in the numbers of smallmouth bass caught was beginning to be seen mid to late week. The locks on the dam continue to stay closed with very low water flow in the area. Water clarity was low. Walleye anglers out of the metro launch are catching good amounts of walleye just outside of University Bay. Cranks trolled in the early morning hours and targeting 8-12 feet of water have produced the greatest amount of catches this week. Silver and purple continue to produce the most fish however daily conditions seem to be the main driving force behind good catch rates. Anglers continue to target and catch perch throughout the area at Duck Creek. Worms and minnows are the most popular bait with either producing equally. The majority of perch average 4-6 inches however anglers are beginning to catch fish closer to 10-inches. Water temperatures are beginning to fall into the mid 60s and clarity remained poor. Walleye anglers heading out of the Suamico launch had mixed results. Trolling crawler harnesses in 20-25 feet of water produced the most fish. Time of day did not seem to make a difference. Fishing pressure was moderate. Water temperatures have dipped to the mid 60s and clarity is moderate to good. Shore anglers are casting worms and minnows for yellow perch. Catch rates are beginning to increase late into the week. Most perch kept were in the 7-inch range; however, more fish pushing the 10-inch mark are being caught this week. Multiple musky anglers were interviewed this week at Geano Beach, with reports of multiple follows; however, no reported fish boated this week. Cranks and double Colorado blades produced all noted follows. - John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay
At the beginning of the week Green Bay had a good amount of wind and rain. This dropped water temperatures considerably. During this time fishing pressure was very low at Bayshore Park. The number of anglers increased with the better weather and increased water temperatures. Prior to the poor weather perch anglers reported good catch rates as a couple of limits were kept. Minnows and crawlers just off of the bottom was the preferred approach. - Adrian Meseberg, fisheries technicians, Green Bay
Door County - Before the heavy winds set in at the end of the week, the Stone Quarry Park Ramp saw heavy use from both walleye and smallmouth bass anglers. These anglers reported a good walleye bite but had difficulty finding smallmouth bass. Anglers that had the best success with walleye focused their attentions on Larson's Reef and trolled in 20 to 30 feet of water with either crawler harnesses or crank baits. Smallmouth anglers said they found the best bite in 4 to 5 feet of water, while using either spinners or plastic tubes. The windy conditions during the latter part of the week greatly impacted where anglers able to fish. Anglers fishing from the shore at the Stone Quarry Park had good success with smallmouth bass during the first part of the week but after the rain on Thursday the bite dramatically decreased. Earlier in the week anglers found success with a wide verity of baits including: night crawlers, minnows, and plastics. The yellow perch bite was good from both the shore and boats this week around Sturgeon Bay, especially in the waters in front of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and Center Point Marina. Anglers reported that yellow perch were taking both night crawlers and live minnows. Bass anglers seemed to have the best success fishing in the western end of the canal. That said shore anglers had good success with smallmouth from the canals wall on the east end of the canal. A few northern pike were taken on boats by anglers targeting both walleye and yellow perch this week. On Lake Michigan, the chinook salmon and steelhead trout bite remained good this week out on the Bank Reef. Anglers that found success with both chinook salmon and steelhead trout were focusing their attentions in 110 to 180 feet of water. These anglers where either running their baits in the top 40 feet of water or about 60 feet down. One group of anglers managed to find a few lake trout by trolling in 280 feet of water with their baits about 60 feet down. Anglers reported the best success with spoons this week. Earlier in the week anglers reported that the surface temperature was hovering around 50 degrees and the water temperature 40 feet down was around 40 degrees. High winds kept many boats off of the water in Northern Door County. However, reports indicate that the walleye and smallmouth bite is still doing well off of the islands. Shore anglers have also been doing well with smallmouth around the Peninsula State Park area, using mostly worms. Shore anglers have also been doing well with smallmouth and rock bass off of the Egg Harbor Pier. Anglers have also been doing well off of the Ellison Bay and Gills Rock bluffs as well as Washington Island over the past week. A mix of rainbow trout, chinook salmon and the occasional lake trout have caught fishing in 60 to 100 feet of water and 30 to 60 feet down using a mix of flies, spoons, and j-plugs. There have been no reports from Rowley's Bay or Bailey's Harbor. Early in the week, Sawyer Harbor's water temperatures dropped from the low-mid 70 degree range to the low to mid 50s. Water clarity went several feet down. During this time anglers reported very low catch numbers. As temperatures rose, catch rates increased. Fishing pressure has remained relatively low. Perch catch numbers have been good but, anglers have to sort through the smaller ones. Minnows and crawlers, near the water bottom, is the most common method. Anglers casting off of the Potawatomi Park piers caught decent numbers of perch, although most fish were not over 6 inches. Smallmouth bass anglers reported mixed results. Casting tube jigs and stick baits in 12 feet of water were the most productive. Using mostly stick baits and spinners, northern pike anglers caught a few fish. On Little Sturgeon Bay windy and rainy conditions, coupled with very low water temperatures, kept early week fishing pressure and catch rates low. By the weekend, water temperatures had risen into the mid to high 60 degree area. Overall, late week walleye anglers had good catch numbers. Several boats landed 10 or more. Many walleye being caught are larger in size. Trolling crawler harnesses are the most used method. Smallmouth bass fishing was hit or miss. Multiple boats reported catching ten or more while others did not land any. During the early week cold water period one boat landed fifteen. Casting plastics and jerk baits is a popular approach. Perch catch numbers were low for boaters launching onto Little Sturgeon. Perch anglers fishing from the Carmody Park pier and shore reported catching around a dozen fish. Crawlers and minnows are the favored baits. Northern pike anglers caught a few fish. - Daniel Olson, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Kewaunee County - Poor weather kept many anglers off the lake and the ramp in Kewaunee over the week; however, many boats were seen leaving the harbor in the evening. Though angler pressure was high on the Kewaunee pier this week anglers unfortunately did not see a return on their efforts. Regardless of the baits used by anglers the salmon and trout remained uninterested. There was only a small number of bait fish seen in the waters around the pier, and anglers dip netting for bait fish only managed to catch a few small gizzard shad. After the rains and heavy winds during the week the water temperature dropped dramatically into low 50s. The Algoma city ramp saw light use this week and the one returning group of anglers interviewed reported no success with either chinook salmon or steelhead trout. The windy conditions during the latter part of the week made it difficult for anglers to head out on the water. Algoma's Northern pier saw moderate use by anglers during the latter part of the week, with anglers reporting success with lake trout and brown trout. Glow in the dark Cleo seemed to be the preferred bait of Lake trout this week, while the brown trout seemed to have preferred a wider variety of spoons. This week also saw the first chinook salmon caught from Algoma's north pier. At the end of the week the water temperature averaged dropped dramatically into low 50s.-
Manitowoc County - Fishing off of the piers has been slow over the past week. Of the anglers interviewed, few had caught fish. The water temperature in the harbor is 61 degrees. Boats near the ramps reported on Saturday they had caught mostly ones and twos of Chinooks, Lakers, and Rainbows. The water temperatures were reported to be in the high 40 and lower 50 degree range. Anglers were having good luck this week at the ramps in Two Rivers. Anglers were reporting a good mix of chinook, coho, rainbow, and browns. A lot of alewife have been seen in and near the piers and with their appearance, anglers have been having luck catching brown trout and chinook. The browns have been coming on spoons while the kings have been coming on spawn sacs and alewives. The best fishing times were between 4 and 7 a.m., but people caught a few fish throughout the day. - Jason Ruckel, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan trollers averaged a couple of fish per boat over the weekend. Chinook, rainbows, and lakers were reported in similar numbers, with the most success coming from water 70 to 90 feet deep. The fishing has been better during the early morning, as most boats reported little to no action after 10 a.m. Small spoons in a variety of bright colors were reported to work better than other lures. Pier fishing has been slow overall, but a few chinook and rainbow trout were taken off the north pier near the lighthouse. All fish were caught by soaking alewives, and early morning hours produced the best. One or two browns and a sheepshead were reported off of the south pier, and they were taken on spoons. The lake temperature was 48 degrees outside the Sheboygan harbor on Monday.
Ozaukee County - In Port Washington trollers have been averaging about five fish each. Rainbows were the most common, followed closely by chinook. Most fish were taken by trollers working in 80 to 100 feet of water, and watermelon, white, and glow spoons all produced. Chinook and coho have been taken by shore anglers fishing off of the break wall in Port, but fishing has been generally slow. Almost all fish have been taken by soaking alewives. A few browns have been caught along the south wall of the harbor. Spawn and plastic Gulp minnows have taken the majority of fish. The water temperature outside the Port Washington harbor was 46 degrees on Monday.
Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee cold water has returned near shore, and temperatures in the mid-40s were reported on Monday. A large number of boats and kayaks were targeting chinook in the gaps over the weekend. A few were caught, but the majority of boats reported no luck. Others working 60 to 70 feet of water near the Green Can Reef averaged five to six fish, with most of them being lake trout. Boats out of Bender Park were coming in with lake trout and brown trout on the weekend, with some near limits reported. A few of the boats trolled in 50 to 70 feet of water on the north side of Wind Point while others trolled close to shore. Nice catches of chinook and an occasional lake trout have been landed on McKinley Pier once again. Glow in the dark spoons have taken fish in the pre-dawn hours, and jigging Gulp has also produced a few. Alewives were stacked up close to the shoreline on Sunday, and anglers had no problems catching them in the shallow water but they were hard to find by the end of the pier. A few browns, rainbows, and sheepshead were caught in the Milwaukee harbor behind Summerfest but the catch rate was spotty. Most of the fish were landed at night between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. on spoons, spinner baits, and crank baits. Anglers in the Lakeshore State Park lagoon were targeting bluegills and largemouth bass with night crawlers under slip bobbers. On the south side of Milwaukee, the Cupertino Park fishing pier has been somewhat busy with young anglers targeting panfish, and bluegills and rock bass were caught from the weed beds along the shoreline with night crawlers under bobbers. Large sheepshead and small northern pike were caught and released by anglers casting spinner baits and spoons in Cupertino Park near the Coast Guard station. Anglers on the Grant Park shoreline landed a couple of lake trout and a chinook over the weekend, and spoons were most effective. A few nice size lake trout have been landed on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier on glow spoons or crank baits.
Racine County - In Racine, relatively few trollers ventured out on the lake over the weekend. The lake was a little choppy on Saturday, and the majority of boats had short trips. On Sunday, morning rain kept fishing effort low. Those that went out averaged two to three fish with brown trout and chinook caught the most. One boat was also seen trolling in the Pershing Park boat harbor and reported marking lots of fish but only catching a sheepshead. When water temperatures along the Racine shoreline have been cool, south pier anglers have been catching browns and chinook on tube jigs. Schools of alewives have been seen off of the south pier right at sunset.
Kenosha County - A few Kenosha trollers had success early in the morning in 60 to 80 feet of water. Coho and rainbows were the most caught species, with a couple of Chinooks and lake trout also caught. Most fish were caught at first light. The south pier in Kenosha was a very popular spot for brown trout over the weekend. At least four browns were caught Sunday morning, and the biggest was a 9-pound male. Tube jigs in pearl and green were productive, and a few browns were also caught on small alewives fished on the bottom. Anglers reported large schools of gizzard shad and alewives in the area Saturday afternoon, and multiple brown trout could be seen surfacing. A few anglers tried their luck at the mouth of the Pike River over the weekend. Anglers reported that one Chinook was caught on Saturday morning. Shoreline fishing in Kenosha should begin to heat up in the coming weeks.
Minocqua area fishing report
Lake Michigan Fishing Report and tips
Information compiled from the WDNR Outdoor report and private sources