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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - October 27, 2014
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.
Recorded versions of this information are also available. For Northern Lake Michigan and Green Bay, call 920-746-2873. For Southern Lake Michigan, call 414-382-7920.
- Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Green Bay Fishing Report
- Ramp: Boat traffic at the Simmons Island boat launch continues to taper off. 1-2 boats on average have been going out on the week days and 5-6 boats on the weekend. Only one boat trailer was seen in the parking lot Saturday morning. The average catch rate was 1-2 fish per trip over the past 2 weeks. One of the charter boats trolled on the “hill” this week and returned with 3 fish in the cooler. The charter boats are almost done for the season. 50-60% of the boat slips were vacant on Saturday. A steady line of boats were being pulled out of the lake for the season this weekend. The piers at the Simmons Island boat ramp are coming out of the water next week.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure at the mouth of the Pike River was low during the week but picked up on the weekend. Almost ¼” of rain fell on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, anglers at the mouth of the river reported that trout and salmon were active and swimming in and out of the river all morning long. Two 8-9 pound coho salmon and two 6-8 pound rainbows were caught on red and white prism colored spoons. Another angler had a big one on but lost it when his brand new graphite rod broke in half. That’s the 2nd broken fishing rod on the Pike River this month. The Simmons Island boat harbor continues to see the most fishing pressure. A large number of brown trout have been stacked up in the harbor over the past 4-5 weeks but the numbers are starting to taper off. Two anglers caught 12-15 brown trout on Wednesday and released all but 4 of the fish. The anglers had good luck fishing with spawn sacks filled with brown trout eggs. A few browns were also landed with white tube jigs under slip bobbers. The catch rate in the boat harbor was low on the weekend. 3-4 anglers fished the shoreline between the 50th Street Bridge and the Navy Memorial on Wednesday and all the anglers reported no luck after 1-2 hours of fishing. The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 52-53F on Saturday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers continues to taper off. Only 3-4 anglers on average have been showing up for the early morning and late evening bite. There were a few fish jumping in the harbor on Wednesday but the anglers on South Pier had a hard time getting them to bite. Only a handful of anglers showed up on South Pier Saturday morning with no reports of fish landed. A couple of kings were landed recently on the west end of South Pier. A firetiger oslo spinner worked well for one of the anglers. Only a few coho have been caught from the piers over the past 3-4 weeks. Anglers who have fished from the piers for the past 30-40 years reported this week that this was one of the toughest fishing seasons that they’ve ever seen.
- Pike River: The water level at Petrifying Springs Park decreased from 1.87 feet last week to 1.71 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 22 cfs to 11 cfs. The water temperature increased from 47F to 55F. There has been very little precipitation over the past 12 days. There was a brief spike in the flow rate and water level after .2” of rain fell on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, anglers at the mouth of the river reported that trout and salmon were swimming in and out of the river all morning long. An 11 pound king was caught Saturday morning upstream from the Hwy A Bridge near Hwy G and another angler had 3 fish on the stringer. A 4” long purple deer hair fly with a small yellow head took one of the chinook. Only 6-7 anglers were seen Saturday morning from Petrifying Springs Park downstream to the Hwy 32 Bridge. The last dam on the Pike River was removed in 2012. Trout and salmon are now able to swim upstream without any barriers to Spring Street in Racine County, the headwaters of the Pike River.
- Ramps: Boat traffic at the Pershing Park boat launch continues to taper off. There were no boat trailers seen in the Pershing Park parking lot Wednesday evening. Only 3 boats launched Saturday morning. A few boaters have been trolling the lakefront in 30-40 feet of water for brown trout. One angler reported that most of the browns he landed recently were small ones around 12-15” in length. Some of the regular boaters at the ramp have parked their boats for the season and have been fishing from the shoreline in ReefPoint Marina and on the Root River. The fish cleaning station at the boat launch is still open but it’s seeing more use by shoreline anglers and from anglers fishing on the Root River.
- Shoreline: A few crappies are still being caught with minnows under slip bobbers on the banks of the Root River. The average catch rate for one angler was 3 crappies per fishing trip but it’s been slowing down lately. A crappie angler at the Main Street Bridge caught and released a 10-12 pound chinook Saturday morning. The largest amount of fishing pressure on the shoreline continues to be at ReefPoint Marina. 5-6 anglers on average have been fishing in the marina for the early morning and late evening bite. 3-4 brown trout and one steelhead were landed Wednesday evening by anglers fishing with skein, spawn sacks, and white tube jigs under slip bobbers. The catch rate in the marina was low Saturday morning but the fish were very active. A 37” long northern pike and a 10 pound brown trout were landed on the Reichert Court fishing pier during the week on a small, orange/silver kastmaster. The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 52F on Saturday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers was low again this week. 3-4 anglers were seen on the piers Wednesday evening and 6-7 anglers on Saturday morning. The water along the lakefront was cloudy up to a mile offshore all week long with visibility less than 12”. The catch rate has been very low for the past few weeks. There were no fish landed Wednesday evening. The only fish that was landed Saturday morning was a smelt that hit skein on the bottom. Anglers on North Pier reported that the season for brown trout and rainbows usually starts around the first week in November. Some anglers are waiting on the sidelines until the first few fish are caught. The fish cleaning station on South Pier has been shut down for the season. The water supply for rest rooms has been turned off and the doors are locked.
- Root River: Water Conditions: The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.73 feet last week to 2.48 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 65 cfs to 33 cfs. The water temperature increased from 46F to 53F. The water was relatively clear with visibility at 12-18” from the Horlick Dam downstream to Island Park. Less than .2” of rain has fallen over the past twelve days and the water level at the dam has dropped nearly 12”. The water flowing over the Horlick Dam was down to a trickle on Sunday. Many areas of the river have become shallow once again. A large number of trout and salmon are staging at the mouth of the river and they’re waiting for an increase in the flow rate and water level before moving upstream. The weather forecast calls for .25” rain on Monday and a 30% chance of rain and snow on Friday. Daytime high temperatures over the next seven days will range between 45-71F. Upstream of the Weir: 198 Chinook salmon, 726 coho, and 63 brown trout were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility on Monday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 23. Eight rainbow trout have been captured and released upstream since the Steelhead Facility opened on September 15. Fishing pressure above the weir decreased slightly this week and the catch rate tapered off as well. 40-50 anglers fished at the Horlick Dam Sunday morning. Anglers reported that many of the fish caught were foul hooked and had to be released. Most anglers walked off the river with at least one fish. There were more coho landed at the dam on Sunday than chinook salmon. A few coho, browns, and chinook were landed at Quarry Lake Park during the week but the catch rate was much lower than last week. Black wooly worms, salmon egg flies, and orange egg patterns worked well for a few anglers. Around 20-25 anglers fished at Colonial Park Sunday morning. 6 anglers had good luck landing two 7-12 pound brown trout and two rainbows while casting dark green nymphs. The number of fish captured at the Steelhead Facility decreased this week due to the recent dry weather. Downstream of the Weir: The number of fish moving upstream decreased during the week due to 12 consecutive days with very little rain. The catch rate tapered off as the water level and flow rate decreased. Lincoln Park saw the majority of fishing pressure during the week. 15-20 anglers on average fished in the park on the week days and 30-40 on the weekend. Two 5-6 pound brown trout and a 13 pound king were landed with red and orange yarn flies early in the week. Anglers landed mostly coho and brown trout on the weekend with an average catch rate of one fish per angler. Anglers looking for steelhead trout had little luck fishing with spawn sacks and skein. The spawning run for Chambers Creek steelhead usually starts in November. The fishing pressure decreased in Island Park this week as well. A 6 pound coho was landed on a black wooly bugger and a 19 pound king was taken on red play-doh early in the week. A couple of anglers were seen in Washington Park Monday morning but they didn’t get their lines wet. According to the anglers, the water in Washington Park has been too high and some of the best fishing structure in the park is no longer available.
- No new fishing reports from the shoreline areas.
- Milwaukee River: Catch rates have slowed down over the past week as many of the salmon are in full spawn and aren't biting any bait. Anglers are still showing up in large numbers in Estabrook and Kletzsch Park, and fish are still being caught, although it seems the prime has passed. The fish that are still biting are showing the most interest in bright orange or green yarn or flies, and are biting the most at Kletzsch Park underneath the railroad tracks and in Estabrook Park beneath the falls. Some anglers have also had success by the UWM park and ride and North Ave. Perch fishing further downstream by the Summerfest grounds has been slow for the past week, with a few small perch biting early in the morning. If the harbor has a good west wind in this next week we should experience an increase in the amount of fish biting over the following day or so.
- Menomonee River: Salmon are running through the river by Miller Park, and at least 4 or 5 anglers are usually present trying for a catch. Despite the large amount of fish visible running up the river, most anglers are having a difficult time scoring a fair catch. Most anglers have had better luck trying the Milwaukee River, although a few fish have been landed on Mepps spinners and flies. Further downstream pan fishing has been just as poor, with many anglers reporting very few bites over the week by MMSD and 11th and Bruce. The few bites reported have been on live bait such as minnows and worms, with leeches and jigs showing no success.
- Port Washington Piers: Public access to the north pier is not allowed. There are signs that have been posted at the entrance to pier to remind the public that no one is allowed on the pier for their own safety. Very few anglers had success fishing the south pier over the weekend. Anglers were casting spoons, crank baits, and soaking spawn sacs with minimal luck.
- Port Washington Utility: Anglers were fishing along the west slip wall near the power plant. These anglers had success catching smaller brown trout and some larger brown trout. Over the weekend the anglers had some success catching rainbow, mature brown trout and chinook salmon. The anglers were using either chinook spawn or skein. There were also chinook salmon and brown trout caught near the WE energies discharge. The chinook and browns were also caught on a three way rig hooked with skein or spawn sacs.
- Port Washington Shore: There were numerous anglers fishing in the north slip through the weekend. The best spot to catch the mature chinook is in the north east corner of the north slip. These anglers were using a bobber rig hooked with skein. In the north slip small blue/red crank baits were also successful catching mature chinook salmon along the west side of the north slip.
- Port Washington Ramp: The fish cleaning station that is near the north slip is closed for the season. There is a cleaning station open behind Ewig’s. The fish cleaning station is located over the bridge and on the right side of the road across from the Coal Dock Park. No fishing data to report.
- Sauk Creek: With the recent rainfall last week the water has risen high enough for the salmon and trout to head upstream. Anglers were having very good success catching chinook with yarn balls with a small hook. The colors that were most ideal were: orange, chartreuse, and red. Anglers have been fishing near the mouth of the creek having some success. The anglers are using fly rods and casting rods. Bait that has been ideal is small spinner baits that are orange in color. Also some anglers have had success using skein and a bobber that has been productive catching mature chinook salmon.
- Sheboygan Ramps: The south pier cleaning station is now closed. Last week there were some anglers that headed straight east of the ramp in 90-275’ of water and had success catching rainbow trout and lake trout. The rainbow and lake trout were best caught using planer boards and down riggers. These anglers had the best luck using orange, watermelon, and silver iridescent spoons.
- Sheboygan Piers: The south pier cleaning station is now closed. The cleaning station at the public boat ramp is still open. On the north pier anglers were fishing with weighted plastic minnows that were allowed to sink to the bottom of the harbor. The plastic minnow is then jigged along the bottom and is successful catching sizable smallmouth bass. The south pier was not fished during the weekend. There are numerous fish that are jumping out of the water but strong winds deterred anglers.
- Sheboygan Shore: Anglers have been fishing off of the docks at the boat ramp near Deland Marina. The anglers have been having some luck picking up a few chinook and coho salmon. The anglers are having success catching these fish with a three inch plastic minnow that is jigged along the bottom. Anglers have also had success fishing along the rocks in the marina near the gas station. The anglers are using small crank baits that are blue/red/white; these crank baits have been successful catching some rainbow trout off the rocks. The anglers that are fishing along the rocks have also been using bobbers hooked with skein and have been successful catching a few chinook and coho salmon.
- Sheboygan River: There are also many chinook salmon being caught upstream of Esslingen Park. The best way to fish the skein is cast the bait into a deep pocket of the river and allow the bait to drift downstream. Anglers are also using fly rods that are rigged with beads that imitate salmon eggs. The beads have been successful catching chinook salmon and brown trout. There have been many chinook caught using this method. Anglers were also fishing below the Kohler dam and had some success catching mature chinook. One angler had success catching a large chinook salmon on a lime green yarn ball. Most of the fish caught were spawning or spawned out.
- Manitowoc Harbor: The only angler activity we've seen in the harbor over the past week has been in the inner marina pond, which continues to draw a handful of anglers targeting browns, steelhead, kings and occasionally northern pike and smallmouth. Action has been slow, as it has been all over the county right now, but each day at least one or two nice fish are being reported. Many anglers set one rod with a suspended spawn sac while casting cleos and other spoons with another. Steelhead and browns have been the prominent species caught, but the numbers have been very low. But sometimes being in the right spot at the right tiome pays off, as one young angler caught a nice brown of around 6 or 7 lbs. on Sunday, on only his 5th cast.
- Manitowoc Piers: Pier activity has slowed to barely a crawl, with only two or three anglers observed all week. Two anglers returning from fishing the north pier for a couple hours reporting hooking what they said was a beautiful steelhead, which unfortunately broke their line after a short but spectacular battle.
- Manitowoc Ramps: The recent bout of pleasant weather has not done much to increase boater activity at the Manitowoc ramp. Throughout the week scant few boats have been heading out from the marina ramp, and the weekend saw as many pleasure boaters as anglers. The only fish reported from boating anglers was a single lake trout brought in by a group of four Minnesota anglers who trolled the lake all morning on Sunday. They did also report losing one large king and marking several groups of fish and trolling through them with no success.
- Manitowoc River: A small number of anglers continue to scatter themselves at random points along the river, as late run kings can still occasionally be seen and targeted in the river. Cato Falls, Manitou Park, and the shores near the 10th street bridge and the Budweiser tower continue to draw an angler or two, but catch rates have dwindled significantly.
- Branch River: Little to no activity.
- Silver Creek: No activity.
- Two Rivers Harbor: No activity.
- Two Rivers Piers: No activity.
- Two Rivers Ramps: Little to no activity.
- Shoto Ramps: Boats launched from the Shoto ramp appear to be duck hunters.
- East Twin River: The East Twin in Mishicot is the only location on the river still seeing any activity, and anglers fishing the foot of the dam to the Main Street bridge have plenty of elbow room. Kings and browns are being caught, and the color of some of those fish has been surprisingly good for this late in the run. An angler cleaning two nice kings at the Manitowoc cleaning station, reported that he caught them on the East Twin in Mishicot and that other anglers were also catching numbers of suckers in the river there as well.
- West Twin River: The West Twin in Shoto also continues to draw at least a half-dozen anglers regularly, as kings are being caught from the dam to a couple hundred yards downstream. Last week's high water mark has receded a bit and spawning chinook can be seen and targeted. While catch rates are down, as they are everywhere right now, fish are being caught by wading anglers throwing spoons or yarn flies and by bank fishermen drifting spawn. Generally speaking, the salmon on the West Twin appear to be in a more advanced stage of decine, in both color and physical condition, than those on the East Twin.
- A few anglers are still fishing the lake for Brown Trout and Lake Trout in 5-15 feet of water using Rapalas and shallow cranks with a slow presentation. Remember lake trout season closes October 31st.
- A few shore anglers fishing in both Algoma and Kewaunee have been out for Brown Trout, Lake Trout and Rainbow Trout using spawn sacs, rapalas and fly fishing. Fishing has been and is typically slow action so do not expect large catches, but cold water in the fall brings the opportunity for trout and salmon nearshore and off the piers for those anglers who do not have a boat.
- Anglers fishing the Ahnapee and Kewaunee Rivers are fishing for Cohos, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout as the Chinook Salmon are pretty much done with their run and those, if any that are still in the river, are very black. Anglers in Kewaunee are catching a few Coho and moderate numbers of Brown Trout using spawn sacs, spoons and rapalas. Anglers on the Ahnapee River are catching a few fish using spoons and spawn sacs as well. A good technique this time of the year is to use fresh spawn sacs or pieces of preserved skein spawn floated under clear bobbers in holes, drifted near bottom or drifting using a piece of marshmallow with an egg sac or an egg sacs with floaters inside. If you can find nesting fish, they'll often reach out and take on the first drift if not spooked.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- No report.
- Suamico River: No interviews took place on the Suamico River this week.
- Duck Creek: Duck Creek shore anglers looking for yellow perch enjoyed very high catch rates. While most fishermen were using minnows or crawler pieces on a hook twelve inches or so above a sinker, others were using the same setup but with an extra hook eight inches or so above the first hook. Those with the double hook set were able to occasionally catch two perch at a time. A couple anglers reported catching close to 60 perch within 3 hours. The overall sizes continue to be on the smaller side forcing people to be patient while waiting for decent sizes. A few anglers were able to go home with a limit. Average size of perch measured from Duck Creek shore anglers this week was seven inches. One Duck Creek boater was interviewed. Like the shore anglers, he too was looking for yellow perch. In shortly over one hour the gentleman came back with his limit, including one very nice fish that was just over eleven inches.
- Fox River (Mouth): No interviews took place at the Green Bay ramps this week.
- Fox River (Shore): Two anglers were interviewed on the Fox River at Voyager Park. They were trying for walleye. One individual caught one fish in around two and a half hours. The other caught two in close to three hours. Both found luck using chartreuse plastics on the same colored jigs. The average size of their fish was 17.8 inches and two and a half pounds. One walleye angler was interviewed at the mouth of the Fox River. Using cranks he had no luck, although it has been mentioned that fishing the mouth in the evening has been fruitful to a few anglers.
- Bay Shore Park: Off and on high winds continued to dominate the weather in the area. Water clarity is holding at moderate to poor. Perch anglers have begun to catch sizeable fish, however numbers are low. Minnows suspended just off bottom, in 20-24 feet of water, have produced the largest number and size of fish, with the majority of keepers in the 9-10 inch range. Multiple fish greater then 13 inches have been caught and one boat reported a 15-½ inch catch. 2-2 ½ inch minnows have been the best producing baits while reducing the number of gobies being caught. Walleye anglers have seen reduced catches though the week. Crank baits trolled at increasingly slower speeds have been able to produce some fish however size and numbers continue to drop. Water temps in the area ranged from 50-54 degrees.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: Like the rest of the east shore, higher winds continued to dominate the weather pattern, and the water clarity in the area continued to be poor. Water temperatures in the area range from 51-53 degrees. No anglers were interviewed this week. *Door County will begin dredging in the Chaudoirs area on the 29th of October restricting all access to the pier. *
- Little Sturgeon Bay: No visits were made to the area this week.
- Sawyer Harbor: No visits were made to the area this week.
- Fishing pressure was low to moderate this past week with water temperatures in the mid to upper 40's. Few anglers were observed on the Oconto River from Stiles Dam to the Oconto Municipal Landing; water was high, stained, and debris laden. Most of the boat traffic proved to be waterfowlers. Perch are being caught at the Municipal Landing, Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II. Some sorting is required, but limits of 8 inch fish or bigger are being seen. Minnows fished with crappie rigs or slip bobbers have been the most productive bait.
- Geano's Beach: No fishing boats were interviewed at Geano Beach this week.
- Fishing pressure was low to moderate this past week with water temperatures in the mid to upper 40's. No interviews were taken from the Peshtigo River or Little River. Anglers were enjoying good success on the Menominee River fishing for walleye and browns. Rapalas and husky jerks fished in the current seams from the Hattie Street Walkway has worked the best. Some fish are being caught by the Dam using jig heads and minnows. The best times to catch these fish has been after dark. Brown trout have been chasing mainly spoons like Cleos from the Hattie Street Bridge down to Stephenson Island. A few salmon were being caught in and around the foot bridge by the Stephenson Library using spawn and also casting spoons.