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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - March 24, 2015

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: March 23, 2015

Kenosha Co.

  • Ramp: The ramps are still frozen over and boats have no access. Some anglers have been fishing inside the harbor with kayaks, although no catches were reported.
  • Piers and Shoreline: Anglers were out in decent numbers over the weekend fishing around the harbor, although no fish were recorded as caught. Most anglers were soaking minnows with some others trying crank baits, however little action was reported on any kind of bait.
  • Pike River: All of the Pike River is now free of ice, but nobody was out fishing it yet.

Racine Co.

  • Ramps: Most of the Racine harbor was still frozen on Sunday, making boat traffic through the harbor quite difficult.
  • Piers: Anglers have been out in decent numbers early in the morning, when they report having the best success getting bites. Parties have landed a few brown and rainbow trout along the north pier, getting bites on a variety of cleos and spinners.
  • Root River: The steelhead run is just starting, and large numbers of anglers were out over the weekend trying to land themselves a trout. Despite high fishing pressure, low numbers of fish were landed over the past week, as many steelhead are just beginning to move into the river mouth, and those already upstream don't seem very keen on biting. The small number of anglers that did catch fish over the weekend reported some success with small spinners in fast moving water, and the best action on spawn sacks, casting through deeper pockets of water. The action appeared to slow down towards the end of the week, with Sundays colder temperatures producing very little bites, possibly indicating that fishing may be less productive until the weather warms back up again, and we get a good rain to raise both the water level and temperature of the river. The Root River Steelhead Facility has been up and running since Thursday, March 19. The first processing day is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 30.

Milwaukee Co.

  • McKinley Pier: As of last week, over 70% of the pier was ice free with a layer of sand covering the surface of the walkway. The pier was busy with pedestrian traffic but no anglers were seen on the pier. The water clarity along the pier was very clear.
  • McKinely Ramp: Pockets of open water started to appear in McKinley Marina last week.
  • North City Shoreline: A few small brown trout were being caught on shiners and spawn sacks along the lakefront in Veterans Park, but the fishing pressure was low. Most of the fishing pressure has been along the lakefront behind the Summerfest grounds. 10-15 anglers on average fish the area with minnows and spawn sacks under slip bobbers, but only a couple of small brown trout (1-2 pounds) have been landed recently.
  • Riverfront Ramp: The area inside the break wall near Veteran’s Park produced 10-15 brown trout (2-3 pounds) for a group of anglers trolling small crank baits, shad raps, and rapalas. Jigging Swedish pimples and gulp near Jones Island produced a mix of brown trout (2-5 pounds) and rainbows for a couple of other boaters. Jigging gulp and casting crank baits around the gaps produced nice catches of brown trout and an occasional lake trout recently.
  • South City Shoreline: Anglers fished various sites along the shoreline with minnows, spoons, and nightcrawlers but the catch rate remained very low. The surface water temperature along the lakefront was around 38 degrees. The area under the Hoan Bridge at Jones Island will be off limits for fishing for the entire season due to construction on the northbound lane.
  • South Shore Ramp: The ramp and parking lot are free of ice and snow. The water inside the break wall was ice free as well.
  • Oak Creek: All areas of the creek have open water. Fishing pressure has increased with some areas near the dam becoming crowded at times. Anglers have been landing mostly rainbow trout between 1-2 pounds in weight with an occasional rainbow up to 30” in length. Small tube jigs tipped with wax worms under slip bobbers have been working very well.
  • Grant Park Shoreline: A few small browns and rainbows were landed recently on spawn sacks and minnows.
  • Bender Park: Boats out of Bender Park have been targeting brown trout near the warm water discharge at the Oak Creek Power Plant. Crank baits, shad raps, and small spoons on planer boards worked well for most anglers. A few boats were long line trolling with cranks and stick baits. A group of first time Lake Michigan anglers used a standard walleye trolling setup and they landed some nice size brown trout.
  • Oak Creek Power Plant Pier: The fisherman’s pier at the Oak Creek Power Plant has not opened for the season. The new tentative opening date is April 1.
  • Milwaukee River: There was a good run of steelhead up the river when the snow melted off during the spring thaw but the catch rate has tapered off ever since. Less than an inch of snow has fallen in the area over the past 2 months and the river banks are starting to dry out. A few anglers reported that fish are staging at the mouth of the river and they’re waiting for rain (or snow) to increase the water level and flow rate before they make another run. Fishing pressure on the Milwaukee River was steady during the week with most anglers targeting brown trout and rainbows. 25-30 anglers on average fished the mouth of the river along Erie Street. Small browns and rainbows were landed by anglers fishing with spawn sacks and minnows but the catch rate was low. Anglers fishing with fathead minnows put a few perch in the basket (8-10” long on average). The fishing pressure and the catch rate were low at North Avenue and at Hubbard Park. Anglers casting flies and small spinner baits were targeting rainbows and browns with no reports of fish landed. A few northern pike were taken by anglers casting small plastics and twister tails near Caesars Park. Anglers drifting spawn sacks in Estabrook Park caught and released some nice catches of rainbows during the week. Anglers casting flies at Estabrook reported that the fish weren’t cooperating. Nice catches of rainbows were reported at Kletzsch Park as well by anglers drifting spawn sacks with fly fishermen reporting limited success. Anglers targeting walleye reported no luck during the week. The weather forecast calls for a wintery mix of rain and snow during the week with up to .5” of rain and 2” of snow possible. The flow rate at Estabrook Park was 454 cfs on Sunday with the water level at 2.39 feet.
  • Menomonee River: A few northern pike (26-28” long), smallmouth bass up to 17” long, and bluegills were caught and released at the MMSD site during the week. Most anglers have been fishing with minnows under slip bobbers. Anglers targeting larger northern pike were casting jointed rapalas and large crank baits. A few anglers were targeting walleyes but reported no luck so far this season. Water temperature at MMSD was 55F on Saturday. The fishing pressure and the catch rate were low at the 11th and Bruce and Virginia Street fishing areas. The water was cloudy with visibility less than 6”. A 20” northern was caught and released at the Virginia St. site during the weekend. Fishing pressure at 13th & Canal was low as well with only 3 anglers interviewed over the weekend. A young angler and her father landed a 2 pound brown trout while casting a small red/white daredevil. The water clarity was cloudy with visibility less than 6”. Fishing pressure was steady but not crowded at Miller Park with 7-8 anglers on average fishing this stretch of the river. A few rainbows (up to 30” long) were landed during the week by anglers casting flies and drifting spawn sacks. Most anglers were sight fishing for rainbows and small groups of rainbows were seen resting in pockets of calm water. The Menomonee River at 45th & State Street has lots of good looking fishing structure and a large deep pool but the fishing pressure has been low so far this year. Access to the river can be found on the east end of the site at a kayak launch area. Water clarity at the site was good with visibility over 24”. The water temperature was 39-41F over the weekend. The mean flow rate at 16th and Canal Street was 290 cfs on Sunday with the water level at 13.14 feet.

Ozaukee Co.

  • Port Washington Utility: Around 1 or 2 substantial browns or rainbows have been caught per day. The fishing remains slow, as these 1 or 2 fish total the effort of multiple anglers, but the chance is there. The most popular bait remains spawn fished on the bottom.
  • Port Washington Shore and Piers: A few browns have been reported closer to the utility, but also on the south pier. Anglers have had success using shiners.
  • Port Washington Ramp: The harbor has been fished with some success by boat. Trolling spoons and rapalas has produced a few browns and rainbows.
  • Sauk Creek: Sauk Creek is open and fishable, but the number of steelhead occupying it is small if any.

Sheboygan Co.

  • Sheboygan Ramps: A few boats have fished the harbor area with little success.
  • Sheboygan Piers and Shore: South pier continues to see the most pressure, with some anglers reporting catches of brown trout. The fishing is slow, but they have been caught mostly casting small spoons, with some being caught on shiners as well.
  • Sheboygan River: The Sheboygan River is mostly open as well, with some ice remaining from 8th street to Pennsylvania Ave. Some success has been reported catching browns and steelhead using spawn or casting small spoons.
  • Pigeon River: The Pigeon River is mostly open and fishable, but some ice remains between the LS bridge and the mouth.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: March 23, 2015

Manitowoc Co.

  • The Branch River is running low. The fishing at the Manitowoc piers fell off this week. Manitou Park ramp is still frozen. On the West Twin River some fish movement has been spotted. The Rainbow Trout are reluctant to bite, but some anglers have caught Rainbows with spawn sacs (approximately 4). These fish were caught at the Shoto Dam and Shoto Sportsman's Club. Veteran's Park ramp and the Manitowoc Marina are still closed. The East Twin River and the West Twin River are lower in water levels than usual. The consensus is that we need a good rain. There has been little fishing pressure in Manitowoc County due to the cold weather. Water is clear in all the rivers, except at the mouth of the Manitowoc River, which is very dark.

Kewaunee Co.

  • Kewaunee County report will return after the start of the creel survey season in early April.

Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)

  • Northern Door report will return after the start of the creel survey season in early April.

Green Bay Fishing Report: March 23, 2015

East Shore

  • DNR does not verify or guarantee the reported ice conditions, and anglers should proceed at their own risk.
  • Brown/Kewaunee County: As the weather continues to stay nice the ice continues to recede in the Bay. The Dyckesville access continues to be closed because of open water at the shore and dangerous ice conditions. At Red River Park the ice has melted near shore allowing no access to the remaining ice that is left. At Volk’s Landing there was no open water that could be seen close to shore, but that doesn’t mean that the ice is safe. Take caution if you choose to access the ice here. The road to the boat launch at Bayshore Park is now open. The ice is still holding close to shore, but many patches of open water and many cracks close to shore can be seen. One angler was fishing just off the beach out about 40 feet over the weekend. There is open water that starts at shore near Rites Cove and goes south through Sugar Creek and can still be seen further from shore at Chaudoirs Dock. Also other patches of open water and a few cracks could be seen from shore at Sugar Creek and Chaudoirs Dock. No interviews were conducted this week.
  • Door County: The canal, for the most part, in town is open water and a few anglers braved the cold this weekend and could be seen fishing from boats. At Stone Quarry the ice was very slushy with open water patches and cracks that started near shore and headed out deep. There is some remaining ice in and around the docks at the Yacht Club in town, but no anglers have been seen fishing there. At Bullhead Point the ice to the east seems to be breaking up and there are open water patches, but the ice to the west still had a few anglers using tip-ups over the weekend. Anglers at Potawatomi Park are heading out just before dusk and are accessing the ice from the road just before the parking area for the boat launch. The ice to the west out of the boat ramp area is open. A few anglers have been also seen off of Cabot’s Point and Cliff View Road heading out in the hours before dusk as well. No interviews were conducted this week.

West Shore

  • Winter's grip still has all the landings on the Bay covered in ice. The Fox River landings at Fox Point and Metro are open. Fishing pressure was heavy on the Fox with both boaters and shore anglers. I only saw a couple walleye caught while I was there, they were around 20+ inches. What was amazing was the number of whitefish being caught and released, most were snagged but some bit. Anglers were using everything in their arsenal from live bait to jigs and Rapalas. The few interviews I obtained were from anglers who spent at least an hour fishing. Almost all the boats were fishing in the vicinity of Voyageur, and in the time I spent there I only saw a few fish boated. Surface water temperatures were around 37 degrees according to anglers. 2 docks are in at Fox Point; boaters are also launching from the Fair grounds. Metro had 12 anglers with no walleye, but anglers were catching crappie using jigs and minnows, with fishing being best in the early morning and late afternoons. The landing at Metro seems to be under some kind of construction covering half the landing. No dams were open on the Fox.
  • Oconto County: Report will be updated next week.
  • Marinette County: Report will be updated next week.

Last revised: Tuesday, March 24, 2015