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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - May 16, 2016
In general, fishing reports will be updated once per week, usually on Tuesdays. This may change based on availability of reports and work schedules of field staff.
- Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Green Bay Fishing Report
Ramp: : A few boats were trolling close, but the more consistent bite for the boats this past week has been out in 210 to 260 feet of water (12 miles out) for coho. These boats were fishing 50 to 70 feet down using any sort of flasher/fly combo, with no particular colors standing out. Water temperature was 47F
Piers: No anglers were interviewed this week, but an angler fishing the shoreline said on the nicer days this past week, quite a few coho were being caught. The best baits were alewives on bottom rigs, jigs and white fluke minnows, or casting spoons. Water temperature was 47F.
Shoreline: A few anglers were fishing various spots around the harbor this week. No fish were examined, but one angler had said that a few browns had been caught earlier in the week. Baits of choice were spoons and crankbaits. Water temperature was 50F inside the harbor.
Pike River: No anglers were interviewed fishing the Pike river this weekend despite the warm weather. The river was fairly turbid from the rain this week. Water temperature was up to 58F. This will be the last report for the Pike River until September.
Ramp: A few boats were out this weekend, most of which concentrated their efforts around the water treatment plant to the south. Most of these boats were getting a few coho. The boats were using the standard coho flasher/fly rigs and some also trolling flicker shads. Water temperature was 47F.
Shoreline: No anglers were interviewed this weekend.
Piers: A few anglers have been fishing the piers this weekend, with most success coming off the south pier. Coho were being caught using alewives on the bottom or under bobber, casting little cleo spoons, or casting crankbaits. Water temperature was 47F.
Root River: Fishing pressure on the Root River is way down, with most anglers targeting smallmouth bass or suckers. One angler reported seeing a few steelhead in the river, but the water clarity then went way down with last week's rain. Bait of choice was primarily worms with a split shot and hook. This will be the last report for the Root River until September.
Milwaukee North: The catch rate on the shoreline increased during the week. Large schools of baitfish continue to move into the area with chinook and coho salmon following close behind. Anglers are starting to see schools of alewives on the lake side of McKinley Pier. Nice catches of coho and a couple of chinook were landed on the pier during the week. One angler landed four coho (5-6 pounds) while casting a shad rap crank bait on Monday (May 9). Anglers fishing with alewives had better luck landing trout and salmon on Tuesday than anglers casting spoons and crank baits. An 11 pound chinook was landed on the pier Sunday morning by an angler casting a pink, 3/4 ounce, zip lure. An 18 pound lake trout was landed on the pier the previous week by an angler casting a ko wobbler. 5-6 anglers on average were fishing on the pier during the week and a few more on the weekend. The surface water temperature on the lake side of McKinley Pier decreased from 49F last week to 46F on Sunday (May 15). Anglers landed a few brown trout, coho, and chinook while casting spoons and crank baits and soaking alewives in the harbor behind Summerfest on Tuesday and Wednesday. The anglers could see trout and salmon following their lures. A chunky 26-28” northern pike was caught and released in the Lakeshore State Park lagoons on Wednesday by an angler casting smelt gulp. The surface water temperature in the lagoons was 58F. An angler targeting bluegills with red worms landed a 24 pound carp near the old Coast Guard station on Sunday. 2-3 boat trailers were seen at the McKinley ramp parking lot Wednesday morning, 4-5 trailers on Saturday morning, and 10-12 on Sunday morning. Nice size kings (up to 17 pounds), brown trout, and coho were caught in the harbor Wednesday morning between the south gap and the Milwaukee River on crank baits and small spoons. Boats were marking large amounts of bait near the mouth of the Milwaukee River and in front of Jones Island. Boats that trolled outside the break wall on Sunday landed more fish than the boats in the harbor. One boat landed 6 coho (3-4 pounds) while trolling with flashers & flies along the lake side of the break wall. Another boat landed 4 coho (4-6 pounds) while trolling with spoons in 40 feet of water. Some of the charters reported good luck trolling in 200-250 feet of water at the start of the week but ended up in 100-120 feet of water by the end of the week.
Milwaukee South: Fishing pressure on the shoreline was low at the start of the week due to strong winds off the lake, 4-6 foot waves, fog, and rain. The water along the shoreline was cloudy/turbid over 1/2 mile offshore. Small craft advisories were in effect on Monday and Tuesday. The wind chill dropped to 29F on the weekend with snow flurries on Saturday. Only 4 anglers were interviewed on the shoreline from Jones Island to South Shore Park during the week. The anglers targeted brown trout, smallmouth bass, and panfish but caught only gobies and a couple of carp. Anglers on the Grant Park shoreline have been targeting brown trout and coho with spawn sacks, crank baits, and spoons but the catch rate has been low due to the cloudy turbid water along the shoreline. The majority of the fishing pressure on the Oak Creek was at the pool below the dam. Most of the fish caught in the pool recently have been carp. Very few anglers have been seen on the creek over the past two weeks with the rainbow spawning run coming to an end. The water temperature in the creek decreased from 62F last week to 56F on Sunday (May 15). Nice catches of trout and salmon were landed on the Oak Creek Power plant fishing pier. Most of the fish were caught by anglers drifting crank baits in the current on the lake side of the pier. A few nice size carp (up to 15 pounds) were landed in the discharge chute by anglers fishing with bread dough. Some of the carp landed over the past few weeks have been in the 30 pound range. The water temperature in the discharge chute was 62F on Sunday. Activity at the Bender and South Shore ramps was low during the week due to the strong winds, large waves, and cloudy/tubid water. Only 2-3 boat trailers were seen at the Bender and South Shore ramp parking lots on Wednesday and Sunday. Boats out of Bender Park have been targeting coho salmon with crank baits, spoons, and peanut flies from Wind Point to the South Shore water treatment plant. The Bender boats averaged 1-2 fish per trip (browns and coho). One boat (3 anglers) out of South Shore Park landed 9 coho (3-4 pound average) while trolling peanut flies in 80 feet of water on Sunday (May 14). The anglers had good luck landing coho in 200-250 feet of water earlier in the week.
Milwaukee River: The flow rate at Estabrook Park increased from 494 cfs last week to 952 cfs on Sunday (May 15). The flow rate spiked to 1400 cfs after 1.35” of rain fell on Tuesday (May 10). Over 1.5” of precipitation fell during the week. The water level increased from 2.43 feet to 3.01 feet. The water temperature decreased from 62F last week to 49F Saturday morning. The water was cloudy from Kletzsch Park downstream to North Avenue with visibility around 12”. The fishing pressure at Kletzsch Park continues to be low due to road construction. The road, the curbs, and the sidewalks are being torn out and replaced but the park is still open for vehicles and anglers. Only 2-3 anglers on average have been fishing at Kletzsch since the start of the construction. Anglers at Kletzsch landed smallmouth bass and rock bass on tube jigs, twister tails, crank baits, and beetle spin grub tails. Most of the fishing pressure during the week was at Estabrook Park. Smallmouth bass, bluegills, and rock bass are being caught on wax worms, twister tails, tube jigs, and nightcrawlers. Most of the anglers have been showing up for the evening bite. 11-12 anglers were counted at Estabrook Thursday evening. One of the Estabrook anglers caught and released 9 smallmouth bass within one hour on Saturday morning. The angler had good luck casting a 3.5" long, brown craw, Gitzit tube jig. Anglers casting twister tails and crank baits at the former North Avenue dam have been landing mostly smallmouth bass but the catch rate has been spotty. A 7-8 brown trout was caught and released in Caesars Park last week by an angler casting a tandem bladed spinner bait with a plastic skirt. 2-3 anglers on average have been fishing along the red railing behind Summerfest. The anglers are landing mostly brown trout and coho salmon on fathead minnows, spawn sacks, zip lures, and crankbaits but the catch rate has been low. One of the anglers has been averaging one coho per week while fishing with rosy red minnows.
Menomonee River: The water level and flow rate increased with over 1.5” of rain falling at the start of the week. The water temperature at Miller Park was the same as last week at 56F. The water temperature at MMSD was 62F. Most of the fishing pressure continues to be downstream from Miller and Three Bridges Park. The fishing pressure increased at the MMSD fishing site. 6-7 anglers targeted bluegills and crappies at MMSD on Thursday afternoon. A few hand size bluegills were caught with fathead minnows and wax worms. The catch rate for crappies has tapered off with only 1-2 occasionally being landed. Anglers at the 11th & Bruce Bridge landed mostly bluegills and rock bass while fishing with nightcrawlers and wax worms under a bobber. Weed beds near the river bank held most of the panfish. The river restoration project above Miller Park is almost finished. There’s about a 1/8 mile stretch where the concrete liner has not been removed from the river bed. The brush, buckthorn, and large vines along the shoreline at the 45th & State Street fishing area will be removed this summer (in July and August). All of the trees will be removed except for the smaller willows. This will be the last fishing report for the Menomonee River until the chinook salmon begin their spawning run in Fall (around Labor Day).
Sauk Creek is high and very rapid after rains this week, it measured at 46 degrees on Saturday. There were many alewives around the lakeshore this week, some anglers targeting them to use as bait fish were successful near the power plant. Some brown trout and a few rainbow trout were caught from the south pier or nearby shoreline this weekend with alewives and spawn sacs. There was very high boating pressure on Sunday; boat anglers had high success catching coho. An occasional chinook and lake trout were also caught. Spoons and a wide variety of flies were the boaters baits of choice. The Army Corps of Engineers has started repairs on the breakwall of the north pier in Port Washington, and access to the pier is prohibited. Construction is projected to last until July 3rd.
- The Pigeon River was 50 degrees on Saturday, it is higher than last week. Many alewives remain around South pier in Sheboygan. Fishing pressure was relatively low this weekend with cold weather and occasional snow fall on Saturday. Earlier in the week there were a few brown trout and a coho caught from South pier, most success was seen further out on the pier. Anglers used alewives, minnows, and spoons.
Fishing in Manitowoc County has been very slow as a whole. The wind and temps are still making fishing difficult, keeping most fishermen at home. Boats have been fishing near shore and around the harbors but have not found any browns. Pier anglers have not done any better. Even catfish action in Manitowoc has slowed with the cool weather. Most fishermen are holding out for better weather.
- Algoma: Fishing pressure in Algoma this past week was very low. Boats launching from Algoma have been marking fish in 5-12 feet of water while trolling for Brown Trout.
- Kewaunee: Fishing pressure on the piers has been low, but anglers lined the shorelines in town this past weekend for for the 2016 Kewaunee International Carp Championship. The largest fish caught weighed just shy of 30 pounds. Due to windy conditions early this past week there was little fishing pressure from boats. Later in the week boats reported catching Brown Trout, Lake Trout, and Chinook Salmon trolling along the shoreline.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
Fishing pressure was far below average this past weekend due to poor weather conditions and extremely rough waters on both the bay side and lake side of the Door County Peninsula. Very few anglers ventured out with little to no success and those fishing from the shores reported nothing biting at all. The rivers in Door County (Heins, Hibbards, Shivering Sands, Whitefish Bay Creek) continue to have good flow and water clarity, but the water levels are down from earlier in the year. A few steelhead were seen in the deeper pools at Heins Creek but they were all small in size according to the only angler I spoke with.
Harbors: Fishing pressure in Rowleys Bay has been very high from both wading and boat anglers. Anglers wading the shallow weedy shorelines are having success catching Smallmouth Bass and a few small Northern Pike. Boats have been concentrating their efforts in the Mink River and out into the bay near the warmer water from the river.
Sturgeon Bay: Anglers launching at the Stone Quarry had success later in the week catching Walleyes and Whitefish while trolling and vertical jigging. Boats returning to the Sunset Park ramp reported catching a few Smallmouth Bass that were from 4-5 pounds. Anglers fishing from boats and from shore around Sturgeon Bay have reported catching Walleyes mainly after dark.
Fox River : Voyager Park in De Pere continues to see high fishing pressure with more of the anglers throwing live bait or soft plastics trying to catch “anything that will bite.” The anglers are catching Freshwater Drum and White Bass with the occasional Walleye and Smallmouth Bass mixed in. Anglers that have been trying there luck out in the bay have seen little to no success trolling and jigging for Walleyes. They have been reporting high numbers of Freshwater Drum but can’t seem to get any of the targeted species.
Duck Creek: Duck Creek fishing pressure continues to remain low with only one interview attained. From the interview it was reported that the Common Carp and Northern Pike have been biting fairly well. Baits being thrown were twister tails and crankbaits.
Metro and Suamico Launches: The Suamico River boat launch saw heavy boating traffic this past week. No report on fishing due to no interviews being taken.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
Bayshore Park (Brown County): Walleye anglers launching from Bayshore Park had modest catch rates. Several fish are being marked, but getting them to bite has been a bit tricky. Early mornings and late evenings produced the most fish. Crank baits are being trolled at higher rates than crawler harnesses. Walleye measured this week ranged from 16.2 – 24 inches and averaged 19.8 inches. Fishing pressure was high on the weekend and moderate during the week days. Incidental catches included freshwater drum, channel catfish, northern pike, white perch and brown trout. Pier anglers at Bayshore Park where primarily casting night crawlers under a bobber or off the bottom with gobies being the predominate catch.
Red River (Kewaunee County): The peak white sucker run on the Red River is done.
Sugar Creek (Door County): The peak white sucker run on the Sugar Creek is done.
Chaudoir’s Dock (Door County): Walleye catch rates were hit or miss for boaters launching from Chaudoir’s Dock. A few boaters were fishing for smallmouth bass. Using primarily plastics, their catch rates were low. A few brown trout were caught by Chaudoir’s Dock boaters trolling north of the launch. Water clarity was several feet down. Fishing pressure was relatively light.
Little Sturgeon Bay (Door County): With the spring Sturgeon Bay Open on the weekend of May 13th thru the 15th, fishing pressure for smallmouth bass on Little Sturgeon Bay was high all week. Boaters filled the lower parking lot every day and those who arrived late were left to park in the over flow lot across the street. Smallmouth bass catch rates were high. Plastics were the most common lures. The walleye bite has been best in the evenings and into the night. Large walleye, including 30+ inchers, were being caught by trolling boaters. Side catches included freshwater drum, northern pike, musky and brown trout. Water clarity was more than 6 feet.
Sawyer Harbor (Door County): Northern pike catch rates were fairly high on Sawyer Harbor this week. Pike harvested and measured were in the low to mid 20 inch range. Spinner baits and minnows both landed fish. Smallmouth bass catch rates were good this week as well. Anglers using plastics and suckers caught fish. Smallmouth harvested and measured this week ranged from 14.7 to 20.1 inches, and weighed 3.4 to just under 7 pounds. Fishing pressure was light throughout the week. Water clarity was high.
Anglers at the Dam at Stiles are catching blue gill and a few crappie using worms, minnows, and wax worms. Most of the action has been close to the dam or by the pilings. The walleye bite from Oconto Park II to Pensaukee Landing has been spotty at times and anglers report catching a few fish shallow using stick baits or crawler/harness. The best walleye success has been south of Oconto Park II down to Pensaukee with fish now showing up in 17 to 19 feet of water. Early morning and late afternoon have been the best times to fish. Pike are being caught from the breakwater using large shiner minnows fished with a 3 way swivel. Some very large walleye are being caught off the end of the Breakwater casting stick baits after dark with the best bites coming around midnight.
A few small mouth are being caught by the Dam at Peshtigo using crank baits or floating crawlers in the current seams. Carp, sheep head, and a few cat fish are being caught on the lower Peshtigo River using live baits fished on bottom. A few browns and walleye are being caught out of little river trolling sticks and crawler/harness. Musky anglers were the majority of anglers on the Menominee River for the opener on Sunday, I observed 1 fish being caught in the vicinity of Stephenson Island.