Wisconsin Statewide fishing report 9.2.14
Fishing activity in the north has been variable. Musky have still been the focus for many anglers in the area and action was inconsistent with the changing weather. Walleye success has remained fair, with many anglers still making decent catches and panfish activity has continued to be fair as well, with some catches of crappie, perch and bluegill.
Some very good musky action was reported on Green Bay this week with anglers catching multiple fish with the largest coming in at 55 inches. Perch and walleye action was also good along both west and east shores. On Lake Michigan action picked up with trollers getting some of the best catches of the summer with many boats getting limits out of Sheboygan, Port Washington and Milwaukee.
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - With the continued erratic weather of the past week, fishing activity has been quite variable across the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Musky have still been the focus for many anglers in the area and action was inconsistent with the changing weather. Most of the anglers were reporting quite a few sightings, follows and short strikes, though catches were a bit tough to come by. Most of the musky that have been caught were in the 30 to 38-inch size, but a few in the mid-40 inch range were also reported. Artificial baits are still providing most of the action and some of the favorite lures have included large bucktails, jerk baits and top waters. With water temperatures holding in the low 70s on most waters, musky have been found in a variety of locations - including the shallow break lines, mid-depth weed beds, and the deeper weed edges. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has started to get quite variable; some days have provided good action while others found bites hard to come by. Smallmouth success has been fair to good on the local flowages and larger rivers, with fish being found near cover around deeper water areas. The best baits have been spinner baits and small plastic finesse lures. Largemouth action probably showed the most consistency in the past week, with most of the fish being found in the mid-depth areas around cover. The top-water/frog bite never seemed to develop this summer and largemouth have been holding around cover in 3 to 6 feet of water, with jig/craw combinations and soft plastics being the more successful baits. Walleye success has remained fair, with many anglers still making decent catches on the weed edges with crawlers and leeches. Panfish activity has continued to be fair as well, with some decent crappie, perch and bluegill being found suspended around deeper water cover. Water levels in the area lakes and flowages remain at relatively high levels for the late summer period, with the rivers and streams varying a bit with recent rainfall. Weed densities have been generally low, as the high water levels throughout the summer seem have hindered full development of many weed beds. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled by David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Marinette County - Anglers fishing the Peshtigo River proper are reporting good catches of smallmouth bass and northern pike throughout the course of the entire river. Some anglers are putting smaller boats in at the City Garage Landing and floating to the Klingsborns Landing casting spinner baits and top water baits. Anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo are reporting the same kind of success. Perch are being caught out of Little River landing; fish are running small. The walleye bite in the Menominee River remains good with most being caught in the evening trolling with stick baits. Shore anglers on the Menominee River are catching some pan fish, bass, and walleye fishing live bait on the bottom. I have no reports on the salmon and trout bite this week. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Panfish and some small bass are being caught below the Dam at Stiles using live bait suspended a foot off bottom using slip bobbers, or casting small spinners or using wet fly's. Perch fishing on the Bay from the Pensaukee landing to Oconto Park II remains fair to good with fish being caught in 9 to 14 feet of water using both minnows and crawler chunks fished near or on the bottom. Most anglers are reporting fish between 7 1/2 to 14 inches being caught. Anglers also report an up tick in the walleye bite fishing in 14 to 25 feet of water trolling large stick baits or crawler harness. Bass fishing around the mouth of the Oconto River and the Bay remains good once you find where the fish are holding. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
At Geano Beach, musky fishermen continue to dominate the area. Reports of many fish being caught last week brought an increase in pressure to the area with mixed success. Anglers fishing the beginning of the week reported catching multiple fish with the largest coming in at 55 inches. Unfortunately the second half of the week saw very few fish, and none reported boated. Plugs were the dominate bait with attempts spread along the entire shoreline north and south of the launch. A mix of trolling and casting showed no favored winner, however both did produce catches of northern pike. Water temps ranged from 67-71 degrees. -John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Brown County - Duck Creek continues to build vegetation hampering angler's attempts to fish. The anglers spotted in the creek area stated they went out with the intention to fish but decided against it after failing to find open areas. Walleye fishermen out of the Suamico launch have been returning with mixed success. Anglers pulling cranks have continued to produce decent numbers of fish, while crawler harnesses have been bringing in the size. 16-20 feet of water has seen the most action with daybreak being the most productive. Green and purple have been the colors of choice when using cranks, while orange has been productive with harnesses. Some perch continue to be caught while trolling however no perch anglers were interviewed this week. -John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - Anglers in search of smallmouth bass are having success between Egg Harbor and Sister Bay in 12-20 feet of water using worms, tubes, and plastics. Shore anglers had success using worms in 12-20 feet of water as well. Perch anglers had success from Egg Harbor to Sister Bay along the shore in the weed beds, several limits reported using worms and minnows. Walleye anglers have had success off of Hat Reef fishing just off the bottom in 20 feet of water using crawler harnesses. Smallmouth bass anglers were successful in Rowleys Bay in 10 feet of water using worms. Salmon anglers have had success around Cana Island and straight out of Baileys Harbor in 80-140 feet of water, 60-120 feet down for Kings and less than 50 feet down for Steelhead. Anglers have had success using spoons and flasher flies. At Sawyer Harbor, the combination of abundant bait fish and lots of cover has made summer walleye fishing out of Potawatomi Park rather challenging. Using cranks and crawler harnesses, few walleye were reported caught this week. Anglers here are still waiting for the fall walleye bite to begin. Perch fishing in Sawyer Harbor has been tough as well. Fortune perch fishermen have had to first find the schools, then pick through the smaller fish in search of the ones 7-8 inches and up. Minnows, crawlers, and leeches continue to be the favorite bait. Anglers choosing crawlers have had to sort through good numbers of round gobies as well (one group of anglers swore they had caught 60+). Several perch anglers here remain confident that mid-fall will bring in the larger perch. Smallmouth fishermen have not reported the high catch numbers of a few weeks ago. It seems the best time this week was early morning. Crawlers, tubes, and leeches have been some of the most used baits. Other fish caught out of Sawyer Harbor this week included freshwater drum, channel catfish, and rock bass. Salmon anglers launching from Sturgeon Bay have had success this week fishing the banks, using lead core and flies. Anglers have reported a few hits with flies on the dipsy diver as well. Catches have been large in size. Anglers launching from Stone Quarry have had high success for smallmouth bass out on the bay using cranks and flicker shads fishing the weeds. Anglers in search of walleye are still having low success, but the farther south you go on the Bay the better the bite gets. Anglers fishing from shore at Stone Quarry have had success for smallmouth bass using artificial worms and cranks, although size has been small. Perch anglers fishing in the canal have had the best luck when fishing around structures using night crawler pieces. Smallmouth bass fishing out of Little Sturgeon this week has been almost as unpredictable as one could imagine. While some anglers seemed to have trouble catching a handful, others were landing 30-60 fish. Several smallmouths were reported caught in 6-10 feet of water, others reported getting lucky in 15-18 feet, and a group of walleye anglers said they got two dozen trolling cranks around 1.5 mph in close to 30 feet. Most smallmouth anglers said an early week cold front made it so you had to be patient with your bait. Early morning has been the best time to catch these fish. Tubes, crawlers, leeches, drop-shots (w/ 4-inch worms) and even cranks have landed smallmouths this week. Despite semi-turbid waters with a little chop and cloudy skies late in the week, it was a tough week for most walleye anglers. The luckiest ones were using crawler harnesses in 18-23 feet of water. While most perch anglers had a tough week, others have said they are having very good luck. It seems that once you have located a school, you need to stay with it. A lot of times anglers would have to pick through smaller sized perch until getting to decent ones. Minnows, leeches and crawlers are the favored bait. A number of northern pike are starting to be landed. Most of them have been in areas with decent amounts of vegetation. Many northern anglers got lucky this week on spinner baits. Other fish caught out of Little Sturgeon this week included several freshwater drum and gobies, as well as large catfish and some rock bass. -John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Kewaunee County - Anglers on the piers in both Algoma and Kewaunee have been have little to no success fishing with spoons of all colors and live bait. There have been many sightings of steelhead and kings surfacing at the entrance of both the Kewaunee and the Ahnapee rivers. There have also been many sightings of kings in the rivers already as well. Anglers launching from both Kewaunee and Algoma this week have had a tough week. Catches have been low to none, although many of the fish being caught are large. In Kewaunee anglers are fishing 40-170 feet and 20-70 feet down having the best of luck on lead core lines and flasher flies this week. In Algoma anglers are fishing in 100-200 feet and 40-90 feet down, again the best luck has been on the 10 color lead core line and flies. Many anglers reported having success in the overnight hours this past week as well. Surface water temperature in Kewaunee and Algoma on the lake is hovering around 70 degrees. Shore anglers are trying their luck in Kewaunee all around the harbor. Some have reported catching channel cats and carp but no luck for Salmon. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - Salmon anglers are having low success in 70-200 feet of water, a couple limits reported. Successful anglers are using flasher flies and green/silver and green/gold spoons. Fishing pressure has been low. Pier and shore anglers have had low success throwing spoons of all colors. Smallmouth bass and northerns are being caught in both Manitowoc and Two Rivers harbors using soft plastics for smallies and bucktail spinners for northerns. - Emily Kurszewski, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan fishing has really improved most boats heading out are catching better numbers than most of the season, best depths have been all over from 30 feet of water out to 140 feet of water the most consistent bite seems to be from 80-120 feet of water fishing in the top 50 feet. Dipsy divers and leadcores have been hot best lures have been magnum spoons and jplugs in pearl or silver. The fishing should only get better as more and more salmon head near-shore on their annual spawning migration. Unfortunately there is still very warm water near-shore and most pier fishermen struggled with little to no activity, colder water will be needed to improve pier fishing.
Ozaukee County - In Port Washington fishing has also picked up with boat trollers getting some of the best catches of the summer with many boats getting limits, best depths seem to be a little deeper off of port in 130-150 feet of water fishing anywhere from 30 to 60 feet down. There has also been an early morning bite in some-what shallower water in 50-60 feet of water but that bite window is short and the most consistent action has been coming from the deeper water through the day. Best lures have been just about everything white flashers and flys, spoons, and jplugs all seem to be taking fish, fished off of leadcore, dipsys, or downriggers. Shore anglers fishing off of the south pier and the power plant discharge area are beginning to catch a few salmon early in the morning along with a few smaller browns and an occasional smallmouth. Best baits for the salmon and trout have been a spawn sac fished near bottom or drifted in the current on a 3 way rig, night crawlers fished off of a jig has worked for the smallmouth.
Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee fishing has improved as well for boat trollers, limit catches have been reported many times this week and most boats are doing very well fishing in 80-100 feet of water best times have been early morning of right at dark. All lures have been taking fish but spoons and jplugs have been taking some of the larger chinooks fished down deep. Downriggers and dipsys seem to be the hottest presentations with 100-300 foot copper rods taking some fish as well. Fishing should only get better in the coming weeks. Shore and pier fishermen are still struggling with the warm water but a few chinooks have been taken through the night off of the Mckinley pier, glow spoons worked near bottom seem to be the best lures, shore fishing should improve nears shore with some rain and cooler weather in the coming weeks.
Racine County - Activity at the Pershing Park boat launch was low this week. The few boats did that venture out had decent success fishing in 70-8- feet of water any were from 30-50 feet down, jplugs and magnum spoons fished off of downriggers or dipsy divers seem to be the best methods. Pier fishing remains slow but there was some reports of a few chinooks and coho biting very early in the morning off of the south pier, best lures have been glow in the dark spoons have been the most productive spoons jigged off bottom. A few browns have also been taken on crank baits and jigs and plastics. Pier fishing will improve in the coming weeks for all species with some colder water and rain expected.
Minocqua area fishing report
Lake Michigan Fishing Report and tips
Price Co. Fishing report
Information compiled from the WDNR Outdoor report and private sources