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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - April 27, 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: Very few boats were out this weekend after the hard Northeast wind we had Friday. Boats heading out on the lake reported no fish, but one caught a coho and a brown trout in the harbor casting a jerkbait. Baits of choice for trolling were peanut flies and crankbaits. Water temperatures were reported to be 52F at the bubblers.
- Piers: No anglers were interviewed. The water was very turbid from this weekend's north and east winds. Anglers said a few browns and coho had been caught earlier last week, though. Water temperature was 50F.
- Shoreline: Water clarity was much better inside the harbor than outside the harbor. A few anglers were interviewed, but reported no success. The baits of choice were crankbaits, jerkbaits, small Kastmaster spoons and Little Cleo spoons. Water temperature was 50F.
- Pike River: No anglers were interviewed fishing the Pike River this weekend despite the warm weather. The river itself is very low and clear and only a few suckers could be seen in stretches of Petrifying Springs Park. Water temperature was up to 54F.
- Ramps: After Friday's Northeast wind, the water turned quite dirty. A few anglers tried, but only one landed a coho. Most boats targeted the shoreline area around the water treatment plant. Baits of choice were Flicker Shads, Stickbaits, and peanut flies. Water temperature was 47F.
- Shoreline: No anglers were interviewed this weekend.
- Piers: No anglers were interviewed. The water was very turbid from the Northeast wind on Friday. A few local anglers mentioned that random schools of coho had passed by last week and with them a few had been caught. When the coho are around, anglers have been using shrimp under bobbers, white tube jigs under bobbers, smaller Little Cleo Spoons and Flicker Shad crankbaits. Water temperature was 47F.
- Root River: Fishing pressure on the Root has dropped substantially. Those that went out over the weekend had a mixed bag of success with Steelhead, suckers and even a Smallmouth Bass caught. The water had dropped and cleared up quite a bit with the lack of rain the last two weeks. Baits of choice were spawn sacs, spinners, and streamer flies for the steelhead and nightcrawlers for the suckers. The water temperature was 55F.
- Milwaukee North: The fishing pressure and catch rate decreased during the week. Northeast and southeast winds, with waves up to 4-5 feet on Friday, stirred the sediment off the bottom of the lake and turned the water cloudy/turbid nearly 1/2 mile off shore. Northeast winds pushed a large amount of the turbid water into the harbor on the weekend. The catch rate in the harbor decreased due to the cloudy water. Visibility on the lake side of McKinley Pier was 12-18” on Sunday (April 24). The surface water temperature on the lake side of the pier increased from 43-44F last week to 46F. Only 2 anglers were seen on McKinley Pier Sunday afternoon. The anglers targeted brown trout and coho salmon with small cleos with no reports of fish landed after two hours of casting. Anglers looking for rainbows and browns in the fishing areas around the McKinley Marina are starting to see large 10-15 pound carp. 3-4 anglers on average fished in the harbor behind Summerfest during the week. The catch rate was very low due to the cloudy water. Only one 12” long brown trout was caught in the harbor on Sunday on a fathead minnow. 2-3 anglers were fishing on the lagoons at Lakeshore State Park on Sunday. The anglers were casting gulp, large spoons, and crank baits with no reports of fish landed. A large number of 16-18” northern pike have been swimming along the rocky shoreline in the lagoons, according to one of the anglers. Large flocks of cormorants were seen on the Milwaukee and Kinnickinnic Rivers on Sunday. Activity at the boat ramps tapered off this week with only 3 boat trailers counted in the McKinley parking lot on Sunday afternoon and 2 trailers in the Riverfront lot. The catch rate tapered off as well with the majority boats landing an average of only 1-2 brown trout per boat on the weekend. Most of the boats stayed inside the harbor due to the rough, cloudy water along the lakefront. One boat landed 4 brown trout (up to 20 pounds) while trolling spoons through the north gap on Wednesday (April 21). The majority of the brown trout caught during the week were landed near the mouth of the Milwaukee River. Large schools of bait fish were marked in the harbor and in the Milwaukee River according to the boaters. The fish cleaning station at the McKinley ramp was closed during the week.
- Milwaukee South: The fishing pressure and catch rate decreased due to steady northeast and southeast winds off the lake. The water along the lakefront was cloudy/turbid up to 1/4 mile offshore on the weekend. Visibility was less than 18” on Sunday (April 24). Anglers under the Hoan Bridge near Jones Island have been targeting brown trout, rainbows, and coho salmon with fathead minnows, shiners, and spawn sacks but the catch rate has been low. 8-9 anglers were counted under the Hoan Bridge Sunday morning with no reports of fish landed. The water level and flow rate on the Oak Creek continues to recede. Gravel bars were exposed above water on many areas of the creek. The water was cloudy/muddy with visibility at 12-18”. The water temperature increased from 41F last week to 52F on Sunday. Only 3-4 anglers were seen on the creek Sunday afternoon. Most of the fishing pressure was at the pool below the dam. A couple of 2-3 pound rainbows were landed at the pool on Sunday afternoon by anglers casting small mepps spinners. 14-15 anglers were counted on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier on Sunday afternoon. A couple of anglers caught their limit of trout and salmon (5 fish) on the pier while drifting white tube jigs tipped with shrimp in the current. One of the anglers landed two coho salmon (2-6 pounds), two brown trout, and a 5 pound rainbow. Traffic at the boat ramps tapered off during the week due to strong winds off the lake, waves up to 4-5 feet, and cloudy/turbid water. Only one boat trailer was seen in the Bender ramp parking lot on Sunday (April 24) and 3 boat trailers in the South Shore ramp parking lot. Boats out of Bender Park landed nice catches of coho and browns in 15-30 feet of water over the past 2 weeks, from Cudahy down to the Oak Creek Power Plant. The Bender Park boat did not return in time for an interview on Sunday. Boats out of South Shore Park have been targeting brown trout with flicker shad and thunderstick crank baits inside the Milwaukee harbor. The catch rate for brown trout tapered off this week according to a couple of the boaters interviewed on the lake. The fish cleaning station at South Shore Park was not open during the week.
- Milwaukee River: The water level and flow rate on the river continue to fall. Less than .5” of precipitation has fallen over the past 21 days. The fishing pressure and catch rate have increased as the water conditions and weather conditions continue to improve. The flow rate at Estabrook Park decreased from 975 cfs last week to 650 cfs on Sunday (April 24). The water level decreased from 3.04 feet to 2.65 feet. The water temperature increased from 46F last week to 58F on Saturday. The water was slightly cloudy from Kletzsch Park downstream to North Avenue with visibility at 18-24”. Anglers at Kletzsch Park have been targeting walleyes, crappies, rock bass, and rainbow trout. Nice catches of rock bass were landed below the waterfall at Kletzsch Park on nightcrawlers during the week. One angler had approximately 30 rock bass in a bucket on Tuesday. A large number of 14-15” smallmouth bass were caught and released at Kletzsch by anglers casting twister tails for walleyes. The season for smallmouth bass is closed until May 7. A few rainbow trout were caught on twister tails and crank baits as well. One angler caught and released two 7-8 pound chrome colored rainbows and three smallmouth bass while casting a green rebel minnow crank bait on Wednesday (April 20). Two anglers landed chrome colored rainbows while drifting spawn sacks at Kletzsch on Friday. An angler lost a large northern pike while casting twister tails in Lincoln Park. Anglers targeting walleyes in Estabrook Park caught and released a large number of 14-15” smallmouth bass and a few 15-20” northern pike. 7-8 anglers on average were seen below the Estabrook Falls on most days during the week. A fly fisherman caught and released a 23-24” rainbow and a smallmouth bass at Hubbard Park on Monday (April 18) while casting a green intruder fly. 8-9 anglers were casting for walleye and northern pike below the former North Avenue dam on Saturday but only a few smallmouth bass and carp were caught and released. A couple of perch and crappies were caught in Caesars Park the previous week on fathead minnows. 3-4 anglers on average have been targeting perch and brown trout along the red railing behind Summerfest. Only 1-2 perch are occasionally being caught. The season for perch will be closed from May 1 through June 15.
- Menomonee River: The water level and flow rate rose slightly when nearly .2” of rain fell on Thursday (April 21). The water was clear from 45th & State Street downstream to Three Bridges Park. Visibility was 2-3 feet and the water had a copper colored stain. The water was crystal clear on the flats at Miller and Three Bridges Park. Some of the gravel bars were exposed above water at Miller Park. The water temperature increased from 48F last week to 56F on Saturday (April 23). The water temperature at MMSD was 61F. Fishing pressure on the river continues to taper off. Only 2-3 anglers on average were seen on the river on the week days and on the weekend. The majority of the fish caught between Miller and Three Bridges Park over the past 2-3 weeks have been small northern pike and suckers. Very few anglers have been targeting rainbows at Miller Park and Three Bridges Park. As the water temperature continues to rise, anglers have been targeting warm water fish like crappies, bluegills, and rock bass. Anglers continue to land crappies and bluegills on fathead minnows and gulp minnows at the MMSD fishing site. A few smallmouth bass and a couple of small brown trout were caught at the MMSD site as well. The season for smallmouth and largemouth bass is closed until May 7. One of the MMSD anglers reported seeing large pods of baitfish in the river during the week along with couple of large brown trout. Anglers at the 11th & Bruce Street Bridge landed a few bluegills and a couple of large carp during the week. The fishing area at 13th & Canal Street is a popular spot for bluegill anglers but there were no reports of panfish landed there this week.
- Sauk Creek is very clear and the water temperature is 48 degrees. Only one angler was interviewed over the weekend and didn't catch anything, but reported seeing a few suckers and one steelhead. Many very small trout are being caught near the power plant discharge on a wide variety of bait. There were also a few anglers targeting carp and having success with both worms and corn. The fish cleaning station and bathrooms next to Ewig's are now open. 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 Sheboygan and Pigeon Rivers are clear and low. Both rivers were in the lower 50s over the weekend. Not many anglers were interviewed on the Pigeon River. Anglers on the Sheboygan River were catching a lot of very small brown and rainbow trout, and a few people reported catching some Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass. The South pier in Sheboygan had high fishing pressure on Sunday. A large lake trout was reported being caught earlier in the day. Later in the evening there were a few browns caught on shiners and crankbaits. The 8th street boat launch is now accessible to boats, as the docks have been moved to the side of the parking lot.
- In the past week some anglers have done well catching browns by trolling in shallow water. Action off the piers and harbors has been inconsistent with few browns being caught. Steelhead are still being seen upstream in the East and West Twin Rivers but have been difficult to catch. Water levels upstream are relatively low in Mishicot and Shoto with water temps in the low 50’s. The amount of suckers near the dams has decreased in the past week but many are still present.
- Algoma: The majority of Brown Trout being caught have been averaging anywhere from 14-18 inches. Anglers have been doing well trolling close to shore with a few Browns being reported each day, but action seemed to vary throughout the week. Not many anglers were fishing the Ahnapee River this week, but many anglers are still fishing at Stoney Creek concentrating their efforts at the Hwy U crossing. A few anglers have been catching Steelhead on their migration back to Lake Michigan using streamers and egg patterns.
- Kewaunee: Anglers fishing along the Kewaunee River concentrated their efforts at Bruemmer Park along the riffles and bends with limited success reported. The Steelhead run is winding down with a few still being seen and caught in the river. Those fishing off the pier for Salmon and Trout species reported little success, but one Brown Trout was reported caught late in the week. The anglers coming in off of the lake reported moderate success for Brown Trout in the shallow waters close to shore. Those that were out deeper trying their luck for Chinook reported no success. Anglers also reported catching Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout while trolling for Browns late last week and over the weekend.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Fishing pressure was above average this past weekend due to the Brown Trout derby out of Baileys Harbor. Many anglers were out trolling in most of the bays in Door County with more success reported along the East shoreline. Those fishing from shore at Stone Quarry reported catching Walleye and Brown Trout from the wall and the break wall using spoons or rapalas. Shore anglers have also been doing well in Ephraim and Sister Bay fishing from the piers and have been catching Walleye, Northern Pike, and some Smallmouth Bass. Walleye anglers have reported their best success on overcast days fishing near shore. The rivers in Door County (Heins, Hibbards, Shivering Sands, Whitefish Bay Creek) continue to have a good flow and good water clarity. A few Steelhead were still seen in the deeper pools on Heins Creek late this past weekend, but no anglers were seen fishing.
- Suamico: Fishing pressure was light at the Suamico launch this week. Walleye catch rates were modest with successful anglers trolling crank baits early in the morning and late in the evening. Water temperatures rose from the mid-30s last week to the low to mid-40s this week.
- Duck Creek: Carp bow fishermen are landing fish at high rates.
- Fox River: Walleye catch rates were lower than in recent weeks as most fish have spawned and moved into the bay. Anglers were able to land a few using crank baits and jigs in the early morning and late evenings. Carp are spawning now and bow fishermen were able to land several fish. Catfish are being caught fishing live bait off the river bottom off the shore on Main Street.
- Bay Shore Park: Has been the hot bite since last Sunday. Fishing pressure has been high all week and so have the catch rates for Walleyes. Boaters are reporting water temperatures hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which seems to have switched the fish into feeding mode. Most anglers are trolling Planar boards running Flicker Shads over rocky substrate which seems to be the trick of late. It should be noted that with the latest rain the water clarity has decreased substantially in the first 100 yards from shore, due to runoff.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Red River: Fishing pressure on the Red River has been pretty moderate with people looking for White Suckers. The White Suckers are making their annual spawning run in the Red River and anglers have noticed. Whether it be netting, by hand or using rod and reel many people have taken advantage of the abundant numbers of White Suckers running in the Red River.
- Chaudoirs Dock: Fishing pressure has been moderate with more anglers trying to find the fish further north as the water temperatures continue to rise. While fishing pressure has been moderate, the catch rates do not hold the same trend with anglers finding it difficult to find Walleyes in the northern stretch of the eastern side of the Bay of Green Bay.
- Sugar Creek: There has not been any recorded numbers of trailers or shore fishermen out from Sugar Creek.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Fishing pressure in Little Sturgeon bay has been relatively low. From interviews taken anglers are just not seeing the number of Walleyes this far north yet while water temperatures stay just a bit colder than the more southward boat launches. The weather has also played a part in the low number of people fishing, with winds out of the Northeast making it unsafe for many anglers to fish.
- Sawyer Harbor: Fishing pressure in Sawyer Harbor has been very low, with only one interviewed angler.
- Fishing pressure was low to moderate this past week, with anglers reporting water temperatures in the low 50's. Walleye spawning is pretty much over and has been replaced with suckers and sturgeon. During the past week angling success was low. By the weekend, however, anglers were reporting nice catches of walleye, pike, and brown trout while fishing in 4 to 6 feet of water trolling stick baits and spoons, with success from the landing at Pensaukee to Oconto Park II. Shore anglers are also enjoying success fishing pike on the lower Oconto River and Oconto Park II using spoons and live baits. One angler reporting catching some very large smallmouth nearshore north of Oconto Breakwater Park.
- Geano's Beach: Fishing pressure was very light at the Geano Beach launch this week.
- Fishing pressure was low to moderate this past week, with anglers reporting water temperatures in the low 50's. Walleye spawning is pretty much over and has been replaced with suckers and sturgeon. Below the Dam at Peshtigo, on the Power House side, has been a good spot for people to observe Sturgeon on their spawning run. Most anglers have left the Peshtigo Dam Area and relocated to Klingsborn's Landing and the Peshtigo River Mouth where the walleye bite has started to pick up. Jigging and trolling has worked the best. Some very nice pike and the occasional browns are also being caught by boaters and shore anglers alike. Brown trout fishing has slowed some out of Little River in the past week, but anglers expect it to pick back up. Some walleye are being caught at the Hattie Street Dam in Menominee along with a few trout.