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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - June 17, 2013
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.
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- Ramp: The Coho Classic was held this weekend at the Simmons Island boat ramp. “Phoenix” won the “coho shoot out” on Saturday with a 9.89 lb. coho and “Best Chance” won the “two to a boat” contest on Sunday with 10 fish totaling 81 pounds. The largest fish entered in the contest was a 24 pound king salmon. Sunday was the start of the perch season, and the first boat back to shore Sunday morning caught its limit of 10 perch within two hours. They were fishing on the inside of the breakwater outside the harbor. The average length of the perch was 11.5 inches and the average weight was .9 pounds. Some of the perch had up to 3 alewives in their stomach.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure on the shoreline picked up this week. Some nice size brown trout and a coho were caught while casting cleos and spinner baits between the Pike Creek outlet and the Best Western hotel. A couple of nice size brown trout were caught near the Pike Creek outlet by an angler casting a silver/blue kastmaster. Large schools of alewives were seen near the Pike Creek outlet over the past week. A couple of anglers were landing bluegills while fishing with nightcrawlers from the rail in the small boat harbor. Only 20% of the bluegills were large enough to keep. Sunday was the start of the perch fishing season. Anglers fishing from the rocks between South Pier and Southport Marina landed a few perch Sunday morning. Anglers fishing in Southport Marina reported limited success. The surface temperature at the lakefront averaged 57F over the weekend.
- Piers: Fishing pressure was heavy on the piers Sunday morning, the opening day of perch season. Anglers were showing up at 3:30 AM to stake out their favorite spot. A few anglers caught their limit of five perch early while other anglers struggled to get a bite. The most productive bait on Sunday was a small plastic worm (white or pearl) on a jig head, tipped with a wax worm or a spike. Anglers using a plastic worm without the live bait had a harder time getting the fish to bite. Crappie minnows didn’t seem to work as well according to the anglers that I interviewed. I didn’t see anyone using crab tails or shrimp. Most of the perch were landed on the South Pier near the pines. Anglers fishing from the North Pier landed a few small perch but South Pier produced more fish. Anglers reported that the perch were biting lighter than the gobies. The average length of the perch caught on Sunday was 9.5 inches and the average weight was .6 pounds.
- Ramps: Traffic at the Pershing Park boat ramp was light on Friday and Saturday as strong north winds and thunderstorms rolled through the area. 3-5 foot waves on Friday shortened fishing trips and some boaters decided not to launch at all. Most anglers had a hard time finding the fish on Sunday and said that the recent storms scattered the fish all over the lake. On Sunday, anglers were catching between 2 to 6 coho per boat with a bonus laker or chinook. The cohos have been averaging 4-5 pounds and 24” in length. 5-6 boats looking for perch formed a tight circle around the bubbler in front of the Racine water treatment plant on Sunday. One of the boats at the ramp reported no luck while fishing for perch. The Racine Parks Department installed a new barrier across the Meyer’s Park boat launch this week to prevent motor vehicles from using the ramp. Canoes, kayaks, and small aluminum boats will have to be carried down to the water.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure was light during the week but picked up on Sunday, the opening day of the perch season. Anglers fishing from the rocks below the DeKoven Center reported a few perch taken while fishing with wax worms under a slip bobber. One angler landed a perch and a small brown trout while from the wooden pier in the Pershing Park boat harbor. The water along the lake has been crystal clear lately with visibility down to 10-15 feet. Anglers have been watching schools of bait fish and game fish as they swim along the shoreline. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 57F on Sunday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers picked up this week, but the action has been very slow. Anglers who were targeting cohos and kings have been having a tough time lately as most of the fish have moved out to deeper water. One or two cohos are being landed on the piers on a good day. A few anglers showed up on Sunday to fish for coho, but the majority of the anglers on the piers were fishing for perch. There were no reports of perch being caught from the piers on Sunday. Repair work is slowly progressing on the end of South Pier. Large steel forms have been set in place on the first section of the pier and work has begun on the next section. When all the forms are in place, it will be impossible to fish from the end of South Pier until the concrete work is completed.
- North Shore: Fishing was consistent for Coho salmon over the weekend. Trollers were still having success fishing in 80-120 feet of water fishing anywhere in the water column from 25 to 50 feet down though more boats to go to 150-200+ to get into more Coho. The best presentations were large or small orange flashers paired with peanut files in variety of colors. Blue and green flies still seemed to produce the most Coho. Additionally a few lake trout were also picked up 20-40 feet down while anglers were targeting the Coho. The number of total fish caught per trip remains about 5 to 6 fish caught per boat on average. Fishermen off of McKinley pier reported only a few Coho caught Sunday morning on alewifes. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline had little success with anglers catching only very few brown trout while casting spoons or other crank baits. Live bait only produced a few extra brown trout. Many hours have to be put in to catch any fish along the shoreline recently. Perch fishing is opened Sunday morning to a big disappointment with reports of only a handful of perch caught among all the anglers Sunday using either minnows or jigs off of McKinley pier.
- South Shore: Fishing remained consistent for Coho over the weekend. Trollers seemed to have their best luck fishing in 70-125 feet of water stretching from outside the south shore yacht club down to the boils. The best depth to catch Coho seemed to be 25-50 feet below the surface. The best baits were large orange flashers with peanut flies of white blue or green in color. There were no reports of people catching fish from underneath the Hoan Bridge. Fishing boats out of Bender Park reported some Coho being caught with about a 3 fish per boat average Sunday night. Oak Creek power plant has produced a few brown trout and Coho salmon in the current and off of the end with the best presentations being minnows under a float. Casting plastics or crank baits off the end of the pier in the early morning hours produced browns and Coho as well. Perch fishing opened Sunday, but the only report was of a few small perch being caught off of the Oak Creek power plant pier with minnows. NOTICE: Bender Park is OPEN for boat launching. The boats that went out of the harbor reported the dredging has now removed enough earth for the channel to be around 5 feet deep.
- Fishing pressure increased through the weekend on the ramp, and has remained at moderate levels on the pier and shore.
- Port Washington Pier: Fishing pressure has increased on North Pier, due to the Perch season opener. Although fishermen tried both sides of the pier with both lures and minnows, most said fish would only look at the bait and then swim away. Anglers continue to use dead alewives on the bottom and cast a spoon, but no catches were reported in the past couple days. Wave action has continued to be light, but water clarity near shore on the lake side is poor, but gets much clearer near the end of the pier. Recent storm activity has pumped a fresh load of sediment into the marina, which has markedly reduced clarity.
- Port Washington Shore: Fishing pressure has remained steady on the shore. Fishermen casting off the rocks reported catching a few small browns; those fishing near the power plant have also been catching many small trout using spawn, worms, and spoons, but one nice Brown (8.5 lbs.) was caught on spawn yesterday (June 16). Recent storm activity has increased the sediment load delivered by Sauk Creek and clarity in the marina has been greatly reduced. The path to Fisherman’s Park is still closed for construction. Anglers can reach the park by walking down Wisconsin Street (north of Sauk Creek) and following the Harborwalk along West Slip.
- Port Washington Ramp: There was relatively light traffic on Friday (June 14), but increased markedly on Saturday (June 15) and Sunday (June 16). Fishermen are bringing in good catches with more of a mixed bag containing mostly Cohos, as well as some Steelhead, Lakers, and Chinooks. However, a few fishermen have reported low catch rates, and few groups have been limiting out in the past couple weeks. On Friday and Saturday, fish were caught between 130 and 200 feet of water, with most catches at around 180 to 195 feet on flies and spoons. On Sunday, fishing pressure was high, but catch rates were quite low; I was only able to interview two groups that morning, and they only caught one Coho between them. I heard secondhand that most anglers were fishing in over 200 feet of water and that it was a slow Father’s Day morning. This may be due in part to the storm front that moved through the area the previous night, as well as the bright, clear day on Sunday.
- Amsterdam Road Ramp: I observed one trailer at the Amsterdam Road Ramp (on Sunday, June 16). This group launched at about 5:30am and was not back by the time I checked in at 9am. I believe they went out pretty far, and judging by catch rates in Port Washington, fishing was slow. The lake has been calm with light wave action near shore, decreasing clarity slightly. There is a school of small Alewives near shore, but not near so many as my other sites.
- Fishing pressure has increased on the ramps and piers, and has remained low on shore.
- Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure has increased. Wind direction has switched several times over the weekend, from Easterly on Friday (June 14), to Southeasterly on Saturday (June 15), to a moderate Westerly yesterday (June 16). Wave action on the lake has remained light over the past few days. Anglers were bringing in a mixed bag on Friday night, with some groups getting skunked, others bringing back a couple Cohos, and others with coolers full of Cohos, Rainbows, and a couple nice Chinooks (16 to 20 lbs.). From secondhand reports, Saturday was much the same, with fish being generally caught in 100 to 180 feet of water and most out of 150 feet on flasher flies, dodgers, and spoons. Catch rates on Sunday dropped, with most coolers only containing one or two Cohos. This may be due in part to the storm front that moved through the area the previous night, as well as the bright, clear day on Sunday. Some fishermen suggested the fish may have been in deeper water. The 8th Street ramp remains closed.
- Sheboygan Piers: Fishing pressure increased this past weekend, but catch rates have remained low. In fact, all of the anglers I spoke to hadn’t even gotten a strike. Water clarity in the marina is still low with a fresh load of sediment from recent storm activity extending well out into the lake. Wave action along North Pier has been minimal and as a result clarity is quite good. There has been constant light wave action along South Pier, which has reduced clarity near shore, but clarity increases away from shore. Alewives in and around the marina appear to be thinning out.
- Sheboygan Shore: I observed two fishermen on the North bank of the Sheboygan River. However, my count time was early in the shift and I didn’t make it back in time to get an interview. I’m quite sure that these were carp fishermen. These anglers usually stay out most of the day, so they either left early because catch rates were low or they had plans for Father’s Day. Water clarity on the river remains low as sediment continues to make its way through the reach. Clarity on the lake shore is good and wave action is minimal.
- Cleveland Ramp: Boat traffic at the Cleveland Ramp continues to be light. The only boat I saw and talked to was out for the Perch season opener, catching a couple 14 inch fish in 11 feet of water with crab tails. Wind direction has switched several times over the weekend, from Easterly on Friday (June 14), to Southeasterly on Saturday (June 15), to Westerly yesterday (June 16). Wave action has remained light over the past few days and water clarity near shore has improved; thick algae was near shore on Friday, but appears to have settled out or been transported elsewhere. Dead Alewives have thinned out, but there are still schools around the dock near shore.
- Lake Michigan: The salmon fishing in this area is still fairly inconsistent, though lake trout and rainbows are being taken with some regularity. Rainbow trout are being caught in the highest numbers followed by coho, kings, and then lake trout. Rainbows have been caught off the highest lines, generally in the upper 40 feet of water. Many trollers have been running two to four colors of lead core behind planer boards and having good success with rainbows and cohos. Most kings are being taken with flies and flashers fished deep using downriggers. Green or blue flies and flashers are working well. Dipsey divers have been utilized in front of spoons from 20 feet down and deeper. Some boats report the dipsey rods are the only ones catching fish; this could be from the more erratic action/vibration that they give to lures. Surface temperature reports are from 48˚F to 52˚F. Most anglers are fishing in water from 60 to 180 feet deep, and fish are reported to be widely scattered. Alewife numbers in shore are still very high. Boat numbers are moderate and increase on the weekends.
- Harbor/Piers: Competing with the high alewife numbers in the area has resulted in few fish caught from pier, harbor, or shore locations. Some diehards are catching a brown and rarely a salmon, but many are waiting for baitfish numbers to lower. The successful anglers are using casting spoons. Few catfish, smallmouth, or northern have been reportedly caught.
- No report yet; check back later this week.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- No report yet; check back later this week.
- Fox River: Metro Ramp: Fishing pressure declined throughout the week. Fishermen were mainly targeting Walleye using various kinds of baits, night crawlers, cranks (green, white), flicker shads (purple/white and chartreuse/white, and yellow), shad raps (various colors), and crawler harnesses (various colors). Fishermen were fishing at various depths, anywhere from 4 to 20 feet deep. Other species caught were Sheepshead, White Bass, White Perch, a Whitefish, a Sucker, and Catfish. Shoreline: Fishing pressure was not as high, but fishermen were targeting Catfish and Walleye. Numbers were low across the board, but they were using leeches and night crawlers for bait.
- Geano's Beach: Only a few trailers were parked, fishing activity was much lower than the previous week.
- Suamico River: Fishing pressure has dropped a little bit, but there were still plenty of fishermen out fishing.
- Sawyer Harbor: : Fishing pressure was light this week with a few anglers mainly targeting Small and Largemouth Bass with some success. Both species of Bass were caught in an average of 3 feet of water by using grubs (pearl, white), night crawlers and leeches. Other species reportedly caught in the area were Rock Bass and Gobies. Water temperatures in the Harbor ranged from 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Fishing pressure in the area was moderate this week. Anglers were mainly targeting both Small and Largemouth Bass, with a few looking for Muskellunge. Fisherman reported seeing bass nesting near shore, and therefore, found great success by fishing shallow, at an average depth of 2-3 feet. Anglers used a variety of baits: night crawlers, tubes and grubs (pearl, white), spinners (brown, gold), jigs, and leeches. Water temperatures in the area ranged from 63 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit this week. Other fish species being caught were Rock Bass, Catfish, and Gobies.
- Rites Cove: No fishing activity was reported or observed this week. Access to this launch ramp continues to be at the operator's own risk.
- Sugar Creek: No fishing activity was reported or observed this week. Low levels of water in the Bay continue to make this launch ramp difficult to access.
- Chaudoirs Dock: Fishing pressure was light this week, due partly to a thunderstorm delivering an inch of rain to the area by week's end. Anglers targeted both Walleye and Yellow Perch with little success this week. Anglers reported fishing at depths of 20-25 feet of water. Water temperature in the area was reported to be 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A few Gobies were reportedly caught in the area.
- Red River: No fishing activity was reported or observed this week, due partly to low water levels in the Bay making the boat launch ramp difficult to access.
- Bay Shore Park: Fishing pressure was high this week with the majority of anglers targeting Walleye. Reported catch rates were moderate with each party averaging 4 Walleye. Walleyes were caught this week in an average depth of 18 feet of water by using crawler harnesses of various colors. Anglers reported catching quite a few Sheephead in pursuit of Walleye this week, while very few anglers reported catching Yellow Perch. Anglers targeting Yellow Perch reportedly caught an average of 1 per party. Those that did have success catching Yellow Perch caught them in an average depth of 20 feet of water by using night crawlers and minnows. The average length of Yellow Perch caught was 10 inches. Water temperatures in the area ranged from 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fishing catch rates have slowed from the Dam at Stiles to the mouth of the Oconto River. Anglers are reporting catching some smallmouth in the upper reaches of the river using mainly spinners and live bait. The lower portion of the river is producing some nice catfish and rock bass; live bait and slip bobbers are the methods of choice. Walleye action has also slowed on the Bay from the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II. Trolling with crawler/harness in 8 to 20 feet of water has been producing some fish. Perch action on the Bay has been poor.
- Anglers are reporting some smallmouth action on the Peshtigo River along its entire length; tube jigs and crank baits are working well. At the Peshtigo River Harbor the catfish bite is starting to heat up. Crawlers fished on bottom have been working well. Fishermen on the Menominee River have been catching small walleye, catfish, and sheepshead from the dam to the mouth of the river. Crank baits and live bait are being trolled from Stephenson Island to the mouth of the river. No reports of salmon have come in yet.