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Wisconsin Statewide Fishing Report
Wisconsin Statewide fishing report 9.19.14

Water levels have started to drop on the lakes, rivers and streams, but they still remain high for this time of year. With high water levels and cool temperatures, fishing pressure has shown a sharp decline on most waters across the Northwoods. Bass fishing continues to be especially erratic and both largemouth and smallmouth have been tough to find. There have still been a fair number of musky anglers getting out and for the last few days, they have been enjoying some decent weather conditions and pretty good success. In the south, there have been some good catches of walleyes in the Rock River.

Poor weather also kept fishing pressure down on Green Bay, but there was some good musky fishing along the west shore with multiple catches reported by some boats. Along Lake Michigan, salmon and trout continue to move in along shore and fishing pressure was heavy on some piers and harbors, but there have only been a few reports of fish moving upstream on the Kewaunee and Ahnapee rivers.

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - With nearly all of the major hunting seasons open, and combined with the high water levels and cool temperatures, fishing pressure has shown a sharp decline on most waters across the Northwoods. Water levels have started to drop on the lakes, rivers and streams, but they still remain high for this time of year. There have still been a fair number of musky anglers getting out and for the last few days, they have been enjoying some decent weather conditions and pretty good success. Artificial baits such as bucktails, top-waters and plastic swim baits continue to be the lures of choice, and have produced a fair amount of action along the deeper weed edges. This is generally the time of year when many musky anglers begin dragging suckers around - but there seems to be a shortage of musky suckers in the north this year. As such, anglers may have to adjust their fall fishing tactics and use more slow-moving artificial lures as the fall progresses. Pressure for walleye has been light, but action has been steadily improving with greater numbers of fish have been showing up in the shallows as the weeds are beginning to die back. Jig and minnow combinations worked on the deep edges and crank baits in the shallows near dark have produced the best success. With the high water levels, bass fishing continues to be especially erratic and both largemouth and smallmouth have been tough to find. Some modest largemouth success has occurred in the late afternoon hours after the water has warmed up over the course of the day. Soft plastics and finesse techniques have been used to entice the fish. Very few panfish anglers have been out and reports of success have been scant. Anglers are reminded that the general trout season closes on Sept. 30 with most streams, rivers, and spring ponds closed to trout fishing. Many stocked trout lakes do remain open and those can be found in the Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide pamphlet. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled by David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay

Marinette County - No anglers were seen on the Peshtigo River this past week due to high water, rain, and windy conditions. Anglers were targeting smallmouth bass on the Menominee River, fishing the structure around the mouth of the river. Jigging with plastics and casting large cranks were producing some very nice fish. Most shore anglers were at the Hattie Street dam catching and releasing sturgeon. The number of salmon fishermen was low with nothing to report yet. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - High water from the Stiles Dam down river kept fishermen away. Walleye were still being caught on the Bay with anglers targeting under water structure and jigging with Zip lures and jigging Rap's. Perch fishermen were few and far between. Smallmouth bass were being caught in and around the mouth of the Oconto River casting crank baits and jigging. Musky anglers out of Geano Beach reported good results this week including multiple catches in some boats. Bucktails were the most common lure with the fire-tiger color patterns working well. Ten feet of water and less was the range. - Kevin King, fisheries technician,


Brown County - Shore fishermen on Duck Creek continue to catch good numbers of yellow perch by floating worm pieces under a bobber or off of the bottom with a river rig. Most of the perch caught are in the 5 inch range, but a few 7 inchers and up are also being hooked. Some anglers are going through as many as 40 only to find a couple worth keeping. Shore anglers in Voyager Park stated that they are still waiting for the fall walleye to come in. The bait of choice was worms floated off the bottom with a sinker. Other anglers stated that they are still catching fair numbers of smallmouth bass. Channel catfish were also pulled in by those fishing on or near the bottom with live bait. A fairly high percentage of Suamico River musky boats continued to land fish this week. It was mentioned that last Saturday's musky tournament had about 20 boats and more than a half-dozen land the choice fish (the winner landed two). Big bucktails continue to be a favorite lure. Ten feet of water and less is the target zone. Perch anglers this week were more frustrated than excited. The best luck was a couple of handfuls between two fishermen. The average yellow perch measured this week was about 9.4 inches. Heavy wind and large waves kept the majority of anglers away from Bayshore Park this week. Perch fishermen had some success during the early part of the week using minnows fished one foot off bottom in 20-22 feet of water. Luck played a huge role this week with anglers reporting being forced to not only find schools of fish but having to find them in clear water. Almost no perch were reported caught when turbid water was passing through the area. Most sizes hovered in the 5-7 inch range with very few fish over 10 inches. Walleye fishermen were also few and far between. The only reported catches this week came on trolling cranks in 12-16 feet of water. As with the perch fishermen, walleye anglers were not catching fish while passing though the more turbid areas. The few fish that were brought in averaged around 26 inches. - John Taylor, Adrian Meseberg, fisheries technicians,

Green Bay

Door County - Poor weather and high winds have made fishing difficult over the past week and kept many anglers off the water. There have been scattered reports of smallmouth bass being caught around the peninsula from the piers and out on the water. Most reports from piers have been coming from between Egg Harbor and Sister Bay catching bass of variable size typically using worms. Those out on the water have been catching bass of variable size fishing at a variety of depths using tubes, drop-shots, and crank baits with varying success. Trout and salmon anglers out of Sturgeon Bay were still catching rainbow trout and chinook salmon offshore and also catching a few chinook off or piers and trolling in the canal. In northern Door County there have been reports of salmon running up some of the streams. The streams throughout the county continue to have good clarity, high flow, water levels of about 2 to 3 feet, and temperatures in the 50s. - Dan Olson, fisheries technician,

Sturgeon Bay

Very little pressure was seen in Little Sturgeon Bay this week. Cranks and night crawlers were the only used techniques recorded this week and all that was produced was freshwater drum. The end of the week continued to see higher winds; however, wave action was low due to wind direction. Water temps ranged between 64 and 68 degrees. And the bay remained very clear. The drastic increase in wind, coupled with poor weather, kept fishermen away from Sawyer Harbor this week. The few that braved the weather had mixed success. Few smallmouth bass were reported with the majority of catches coming on pumpkin colored tubes. 14-18 feet of water with underlying structure was the only producing areas. Perch anglers also had a hard time this week with anglers reporting difficulty detecting bites in the choppy waters. Only a handful of perch were brought in and that was utilizing minnows fished just off bottom. 22-25 feet of water was said to be the only location schools were found and sizes continued to be in the 5-7 inch range. One angler was interviewed toward the end of the week that had great success in catching northern pike along the Potawatomi park shoreline. Cranks baits tolled just off shore in 5-7 feet of water was their key to success, netting them multiple fish over 30 inches. - John Taylor, Adrian Meseberg, fisheries technicians,

Green Bay

Kewaunee County - Pier anglers in Algoma have been out in high numbers this past week. Some anglers interviewed were using spawn and others spoons with mixed results. Anglers were successful on both piers mostly at dawn but reports of fish being caught throughout the day. Some anglers fishing on the lake stayed in shallow around 25 feet and others were out in up to 220 feet of water fishing 40-60 feet down, reporting that they were biting on everything. As the salmon are moving up the Ahnapee River more anglers are trying their luck. Some anglers had success in Forestville using spawn sacks, others tried along the river with no reports of catches. Pier anglers in Kewaunee were out in high numbers over the weekend as well, with a few of them catching fish. Anglers were throwing all different lures from spoons and spawn, to stick baits to try to get a bite. Anglers fishing the lake are having mixed success. Some boats chose to stay shallow and fish the mouth of the river for salmon and others chose to go out up 230 feet catching king salmon, coho and steelhead. Anglers fishing the Kewaunee River have had moderate success this week for king salmon and brown trout. Anglers were using spoons, spawn sacks, worms and fly fishing. The Kewaunee is 53 degrees, good flow, normal height and moderate clarity. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians,

Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan over the weekend numerous boats were fishing near the gap of the harbor, the boats were picking up some chinook while trolling around the piers and gap. Most anglers had some success catching chinook on spoons ran off of planer boards. Shore anglers fishing off of the piers had action off of both piers over the weekend some anglers reported having the best luck catching chinooks and a few browns early in the morning on the harbor side of the south pier. There was numerous anglers fishing on the south side of the Sheboygan River over the weekend, most of the anglers were casting spoons, spinner baits, and crank baits. Some fishermen were also catching chinooks using a small chunk of a white twister tail or spawn fished off of bottom on a slip sinker or 3-way rig. Anglers were also catching large chinook by the 14th street ramp, crank baits and inline spinners were the best lures.
Ozaukee County - In Port Washington access to the north pier is not allowed. There are signs that have been posted at the entrance to the pier to remind the public that no one is allowed on the pier for their own safety. Fishing slowed some over the weekend but there was still some action for both chinook salmon and brown trout early in the morning. The WE energies discharge and the Rotary Park rocks were the most productive areas with the south pier along the coal dock giving up several fish as well. The north and west slips had some activity but overall fishing was slower than previous weeks. Best presentations were a little bit of everything from spoons, to crank-baits, and spawn fished below a bobber or near bottom. The water has cooled and fish seem to be near bottom and deep diving lures or spoons jigged off of bottom have been the most productive. Boat trollers were still heading out to 140-170 feet of water and having action catching a mixed bag of trout and salmon, flashers and flys and spoons ran off of lead core or dipsy divers worked shallow in the top 30-40 feet of water was best.

Milwaukee County - Fishing in Milwaukee was slower over the weekend, most shore anglers caught a few fish from the Mckinley Pier or the Summerfest grounds early in the morning some chinooks and primarily browns were biting on spoons, crankbaits, and spawn fished off bottom. Fishing should improve as more and more fish move into the harbor and river in the coming weeks. Many boat trollers were out over the weekend and were having success getting mostly browns with an occasional chinook. Most boats were fishing the gaps and the inner harbor up into the mouth of the Milwaukee River, the most productive lures have been bright colored spoons or j-plugs fished shallow off of dipsy divers or leadcore and planer boards. A few fish have also been taken by anglers drifting and casting jigs and plastics or jigging spoons in the harbor and marina area. The area rivers are still running low and warm and no fish have been observed beyond the mouths of the streams, with some rain and cooler river temperatures more and more fish will begin to head up stream on their spawning migration in the up-coming weeks.

Racine County - In Racine traffic at the Pershing Park boat launch was heavy over the weekend with 27 trailers counted in the parking lot on Sunday most boats were fishing the mouth of the Root River over the weekend. Overall fishing was slow with only a few fish being caught trolling crank and stick baits in the Root River up to the Main Street Bridge early or late in the day. Fishing pressure on the piers has been steady with the majority of anglers showing up for the early morning and late evening bite. The south pier has been the best with most anglers getting a fish or two in a few hours, best lures have been spoons in silver and blue or silver and orange, jigging spoons off bottom has been the most successful method. Some fish have also been taken off of the north pier but overall action has been hit or miss, and the bite changes daily from one pier to the other. Shore fishing pressure was low during the week but increased on the weekend. The Reichert Court fishing pier and the shoreline along the mouth of the Root River received most of the pressure. Some anglers on the Reichert Court pier tried fishing for perch on Tuesday with minnows under slip bobbers but reported no luck; some fishermen were getting a few chinooks casting spoons at the mouth of the river and also up river as far as the Fifth Street boat club. The best fishing seems to be in the lower sections of the root out into the harbor area. The Root River is running low and clear and no fish were seen or reported being caught over the weekend, some rain will be needed to increase flow and draw fish further up river. In Kenosha fishing has been slow, with the best luck coming from the beach at the mouth of the Pike River, there anglers were catching chinooks and browns on spoons or spawn sacs fished off bottom.

Minocqua area fishing report

Lake Michigan Fishing Report and tips

Price Co. Fishing report

Information compiled from the WDNR Outdoor report and private sources