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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - August 2, 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
- Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Green Bay Fishing Report
- Ramp: In Kenosha fishing pressure from the boat ramp has been fairly low since the end of the Salmon-a-Rama fishing tournament. Almost every troller coming back in is still reporting catches under their limit. Anglers have reported success with a variety of species, although the most productive fishing appears to be coming from the boats traveling into deep water and targeting lake trout. Other species have been biting intermittently throughout the day.
- Piers: Fishing inside the Kenosha harbor has been rather hit or miss this week, with decent numbers of fish biting one night, and nothing biting another. Most angler pressure and success has been recorded along the rocks behind Best Western and around Navy Park, where browns and a few rainbows have been biting in the evening. Anglers have reported hits on a variety of bait such as casting spoons, flicker shads, and using tube jigs. Perch fishing has changed little over this past week as most caught fish requiring an angler putting in a few good hours of fishing. The best time for perch has been reported to be around 5AM, just before the sun comes up.
- Ramps: Racine trollers continue to report a wide variety of species caught, with many of the anglers fishing in less than 75 feet of water catching browns, rainbows, coho, and Chinook occasionally. Boats staying close to shore reported the best success early in the morning, and then following the fish out to deeper water as the sun rises higher. Fishing has been best very early in the morning, with bites coming sporadically throughout the rest of the day. Orange spoons have been effective, as well as flies and spoons in blue and silver or green and silver.
- Shoreline: Perch fishing has changed little in Racine with most anglers reporting no perch, and only a few fish biting in the early morning hours. Shore anglers fishing in the harbor off of the wooden pier near the yacht club have been catching a few northern pike.
- Piers: Pier anglers in Racine have reported catching browns, with the majority biting early morning or in the evening. The most success has come on casting artificial baits such as spoons and flicker shads and by soaking alewives, with slightly more fish biting on live bait.
- Milwaukee North: Warm stable weather and winds out of the west kept the cold water close to shore for another week. The baitfish continued to stay close to shore as well. Large numbers of alewives were seen in the gaps and along the walls in Veterans Park. The majority of fishing pressure on the shoreline continues to be on McKinley Pier. 15-20 anglers were seen on the pier for the early morning bite on Monday (July 27). Two large kings (15 pounds), a 16 pound brown trout, and 5-6 coho salmon were landed on the pier between 6:30-8:30 AM. Three perch (up to 10.5” long) were landed as well. The perch were caught by anglers jigging for alewives with sabiki rigs. Most of the trout and salmon on Monday were caught with alewives fished on the bottom. Glow-in-the-dark spoons and kastmasters produced a few of the fish as the morning progressed. 63 anglers were counted on the pier Saturday morning around sunrise. One nice size brown trout and at least 4 kings were caught by 7:00 AM. One angler on the pier had his 30 lb. test line spooled by a large fish. The fishing reel broke off the rod at the base of the stem as the angler fought the fish. The angler grabbed the reel and his fishing partner grabbed the rod and they fought the fish together. The fish eventually broke loose and the angler was able to get his flicker shad back. Approximately 25-30 trout and salmon were landed on the pier per day during the week but the catch rate decreased on the weekend. Most of the fish caught on the pier were chinook salmon. The surface water temperature on the lake side of McKinley Pier was 52F on Sunday. A few nice brown trout were landed in Veterans Park during the week. A 10 pound brown was caught with a green/white glow-in-the-dark ko wobbler Saturday morning. Two browns (5-10 pounds) were caught with alewives fished on the bottom. A couple of anglers were targeting perch with fathead minnows near the old Coast Guard station but landed small brown trout instead. Activity at the McKinley and Riverfront ramps was steady during the week and increased on the weekend. Some of the boats were pre-fishing for the Brew City Salmon Fishing Tournament held on Saturday. 81 boat trailers were counted in the McKinley Ramp parking lot Saturday morning. Fishing pressure along the break walls and at the gaps was heavy all week long. Large numbers of alewives were marked in the gaps. The north, main, and south gaps were crowded with boats jigging for chinook salmon during the week. Large numbers of kings (up to 20 pounds) were landed at the gaps by anglers jigging white gulp, zip lures, hair jigs, and power bait. The “jig bite” was good most of the week but tapered off during the weekend. Boats that trolled closed to shore (50 feet of water or less) landed mostly kings, coho, and browns during the week. Boats that trolled in deeper water landed more lake trout and rainbows. The majority of boats reported that most of their hits came before sunrise. A kayak angler landed 2 nice size kings Sunday morning. The kings were caught in 35-40 feet of water, 25-30 feet down, with a glow-in-the-dark spoon and a clown reef runner.
- Milwaukee South: Fishing pressure on the shoreline picked up a little this week with the majority of anglers targeting perch. Winds out of the west over the past 2 weeks have drawn colder water closer to shore. The water temperature in the South Shore boat harbor was 58F on Sunday. Small schools of baitfish (alewives) are starting to show up at more areas along the shoreline. Fishing pressure on the Cupertino Park fishing pier has been steady since opening day of perch season but the catch rate continues to be low. No perch were landed between 5 anglers interviewed Monday morning and only a few perch were landed on the pier all week. The water around the Cupertino Park fishing pier has been cloudy the majority of days this summer. The gate to the long fishing pier at the Coast Guard Station has been locked for the past week. One of the fences along the narrow pathway to the pier was damaged during a storm 2 weeks ago and the gate has been closed ever since. The fishing pressure and the catch rate picked up a little on the Grant Park shoreline. Five perch anglers were seen at the South Milwaukee Yacht Club boat harbor Monday morning. One of the anglers landed 9-10 perch but they were too small to keep (5-8” long). Larger perch (10-12” long) were caught towards the end of the week. Fathead minnows were the most productive bait. A few small perch were caught by anglers fishing with nightcrawlers at the mouth of the Oak Creek. Anglers targeting kings and coho on the south end of the South Milwaukee Yacht Club harbor reported no fish landed this week. The fishing pressure and catch rate on the South Metro fishing pier continues to be low. Anglers targeting perch have been fishing with crab tails and minnows with no reports of fish landed over the past 2-3 weeks. According to one of the anglers on the South Metro pier, fishermen were standing shoulder to shoulder on the pier five years ago while landing nice catches of perch. Fishing pressure on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier increased slightly but the catch rate remains low. A couple of rainbows (up to 24” long) were landed by anglers casting spoons from a boat anchored near the end of the pier. Perch anglers on the pier landed small rainbows and brown trout while fishing with fathead minnows. Cold water along the lakefront drew a large number of alewives into the discharge chute for a couple of days but they moved out of the chute before the weekend. A few coho and brown trout were seen in the chute as well but they followed the bait fish. Boats out of Bender targeted kings and coho in 30-60 feet of water from the Green Can Reef to Wind Point. The majority of boats trolled during the early morning bite and were off the water by 10:00 AM. 3-4 fish on average were landed per boat during the week but the catch rate decreased to 1-2 fish by the weekend. The morning bite was over around sunrise according to most of the boaters interviewed. Very few boats at Bender fished for perch during the week. Perch fishing on boils at the South Milwaukee Water Treatment Plant has been unproductive for the past two weeks. Boats out of South Shore had good luck targeting kings in the gaps during the week. Approximately 20-25 boats were jigging for kings in the Main Gap around 10:00PM Thursday night. White gulp, power bait, hair jigs, and zip lures worked well for a few of the anglers. One boat (4 anglers) landed 8 kings (up to 17 pounds), one brown trout, and a rainbow within 5 ½ hours on Friday night. A couple of pleasure boats reported that the large number of boats jigging for kings in the Main Gap blocked traffic going in and out of the Milwaukee River at times during the week.
- Port Washington Shore and Piers: A mix of chinook, cohos, and rainbows were reported from the breakwall this past week. The catch rate remained fairly high, as it was last week. Chinook were most common, followed by rainbows, and then cohos. All fish were caught on the lake side using alewives, and there are still plenty of alewives on both the harbor and lake sides of the pier. A few fish were caught in the early morning, but the afternoon continued to be the best time to go. Again, cohos were only seen close to shore, and none were reported beyond the midway point of the pier. Very few fishermen targeted perch this week, and only a few very small ones were reported. Elsewhere inside the harbor, the fishing improved a little bit off of the south wall and near rotary park. Only browns were reported, and the early morning was the best time of day to go for them. These fish were caught using a variety of methods, including alewives, gulp minnows, and flicker shads. Again, small trout around ten inches could be caught easily near the utility discharge. Surface water temperature inside the harbor was down to 50F on Sunday, eight degrees colder than last week. Surface water temperature off of the breakwall on the lake side was 42F, eleven degrees colder than last week.
- Port Washington Ramp: Catch rates decreased to around three fish per boat, compared to nine last weekend. Chinook were most common, followed by lakers, rainbows and cohos. Most fishermen reported fishing in water from 100-120 feet in depth. Many fishermen reported trying a variety of lures with no single technique standing out. Last week, brightly colored spoons produced the majority of fish, as orange, white, and silver were all said to catch fish. For rainbows in particular, brightly colored dodgers and flies were successful.
- Sheboygan Ramps: Catch rates improved slightly to around three fish per boat, compared to two last week. There was some disparity though, with some boats coming in with nine or ten fish, while others came in with nothing. Chinook and rainbows were equally most common, followed by lakers, and then browns and cohos. The most successful boats reported fishing in shallow water, anywhere from 40-70 feet. Similar to last week, many boats fished at these depths before sunrise for chinook, but after the sun came up it was common to fish 100-150 feet of water for rainbows. J Plugs were the best lures for chinook, while spoons were most common for rainbows.
- Sheboygan Piers and Shore: Similar to last week, fishermen continued to do well off of both piers. Chinook were most common on north pier, caught mostly using alewives on the lake side. These chinook were caught at all times of the day, and most alewives were taken by jigging on the harbor side. Unlike last week, no rainbows or browns were reported off of north pier. South pier saw an increase in rainbows caught, but browns were caught as well. The majority of these fish were caught on the lake side casting kastmasters and cleos. The surface water temperature was significantly colder than last week.
- (The Manitowoc and Two Rivers report is current as of August 2.) Fishing activity was far better Saturday than Sunday. A small craft advisory and the threat of thunderstorms kept most boaters off the water on Sunday. The water was reported to have a significantly cooler temperature out on the lake after a period of shifting winds this week.
- Manitowoc Shore: The piers were packed on Saturday morning in Manitowoc. The south pier is still far more popular than the north. People were catching Kings and Browns on both Saturday and Sunday. Several of the fish caught on Sunday were on the river side of the pier. Most fish were caught casting, but a few were caught using alewives.
- Manitowoc Ramps: The Manitowoc Ramp was busy this weekend with the Lakeshore Festival underway in the harbor. Anglers who launched from here reported marking fish tight on the bottom on Saturday.
- Two Rivers Shore: Many anglers seemed to have migrated to the Manitowoc Piers from Two Rivers. People are still having success in Two Rivers; one angler caught 2 nice Kings and a Rainbow before sunrise on Saturday. Most success seems to be from fishing with alewives. This may be due to the fact many baitfish can be seen swimming around the rocks right next to the piers. The temperature in the harbor is 65F.
- Two Rivers Ramps: The ramps in Two Rivers had over 50 boat trailers parked on Saturday. One boat recorded a water temperature on the lake of 46.8 F. Boats that were leaving the water early caught about 2 to 4 Chinooks on average. Saturday's activity stood in stark contrast to Sunday when there were fewer than a half a dozen boats launched from the ramps. Windy conditions on Sunday and storms that rolled through pretty much finished fishing for the weekend.
- Algoma and Kewaunee Ramp: Anglers have been doing well catching mostly chinook salmon, although rainbows and the occasional lake trout have been caught. Most of the catches have been coming from 60 to 120 feet of water and throughout the water column. Anglers have been using both flies and spoons to great effect, although spoons seem to be slightly more productive. A few anglers reported catching fish on j-plugs as well. The bite has been best in the early morning and at or just after dusk although fish have been caught through the day.
- Kewaunee Shore and Pier: Anglers have been doing well off of the pier fishing for Chinook salmon and Rainbow trout. Anglers have been catching mostly rainbow using both cleos and alewives, although alewife have been slightly more productive. Catches have been coming throughout the day.
- Algoma Shore and Piers: Anglers have been doing with catching brown trout and the occasional rainbow and chinook throughout the day. The best baits have been cleos.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Lake side of peninsula: The Rowleys Bay and Baileys Harbor boat ramps saw an influx of salmon anglers this weekend because of the Kewaunee Door County Salmon Tournament. Anglers returning to Rowleys Bay reported good success with Chinook salmon. Anglers had the best success with Chinook in 100 to 120ft of water and were running their baits about 40 to 50ft down from the surface. Anglers reported that the Baileys Harbor Chinook salmon bite slowed during the week. Anglers are still having marginal success in 80 to 130ft, while running their baits in the top 60ft of the water column. The steelhead bite has begun to slow, that said anglers are still catching a few individuals in shallower waters on their Chinook setup. Though anglers were having success with a variety of baits, it appears this week that Chinook salmon were preferring spoons. Anglers reported that there is not a consistent thermocline developing, and that water temperatures were inconsistent. They reported subsurface water temperatures ranging from 60F to 47F.
- Bay side of peninsula: Though the ramps all along the Green Bay side of the peninsula saw heavy use this week, many of the users were pleasure boaters. The few smallmouth bass anglers interviewed this week reported consistent success. Fishing with the standard baits (plastic grubs, worms, and small rapalas) in 6 to 12ft of water produced good success. The Kewaunee Door County Salmon Tournament begun on Saturday the 25th, which meant that the Ellison Bay and Gills Rock boat ramps saw heavy use this weekend. Chinook salmon seemed to be preferring spoons and were consistently found in 80 to 100ft of water. Considering the fine weather this week there was surprisingly few shore anglers. All along the Green Bay shore smallmouth anglers met with good success. The piers in Rowleys Bay and Ephraim continued to have the best consistent smallmouth bass bite. Smallmouth were taken on a wide variety of baits, that said, live worms, brightly colored plastic grubs, and especially gulp minnows seemed to have the best success. Unfortunately there is no information available for rock bass this week because of a lack of interviews from anglers targeting this species.
- Sturgeon Bay: Anglers targeting smallmouth bass have had decent success over the past week. Best results have been seen fishing a variety of depths from 8 to 20 feet of water using primarily plastics and crank baits. There hasn’t been a best area as anglers have been producing from the flats, the canal, and rock drop offs. From shore, anglers have been doing well on smallmouth at the old stone quarry using worms and minnows. Perch anglers have been having luck fishing the weed lines along the canal using worms and minnows, although anglers report having to sort through the smaller ones. Shore anglers are also having luck with perch along the city shore and at the old stone quarry. Salmon anglers have been doing well over the past week. Catches consisted most of king salmon, but there were also some rainbow and lake trout mixed in. Anglers were fishing anywhere from 60 to 200 feet of water with most fish coming in the top 50 feet, although some came deeper. Spoons and flies have been working equally well.
- Suamico: Walleye anglers launching from the Suamico boat launch had mixed results. Catch numbers were best in 8-15 feet of water, early in the morning. Crawler harnesses were used at a higher rate than crank baits. Strong midweek West winds led to water temperatures in the high 50s. Water clarity was low. Fishing pressure was moderate during the week and high on the weekend.
- Long Tail Point: No anglers were interviewed this week.
- Duck Creek: Yellow perch anglers are starting to show up on Duck Creek.
- Fox River Shore: Fishing pressure was light on the Fox River this week. Most anglers were casting for catfish. Nightcrawlers, liver and cutbait were the most common bait. Catch rates were down. Freshwater drum were side catches. Fox River water levels were normal. The locks on the DePere dam were closed, so flow rates were down. Water clarity was less than a foot.
- Green Bay Ramps: Fishing pressure was light at the Metro Ramp this week.
- Bay Shore Park: Walleye anglers continue to produce good numbers of fish through the week. With the increase of wind mid-week, water temperatures began to vary day to day with a low of 63 degrees and a high of 82. The hot color right now is white, with cranks and crawler harnesses producing equal numbers. Most anglers are reporting finding fish in 30-35 feet of water and hooking up with suspended walleye at 8-10 feet down. Wave action played a huge role this week with the majority of boated fish being caught in moderate wave action and almost no reported boated fish during calm periods. Perch are beginning to be caught just out of the launch area with anglers working 20-24 feet of water through the morning hours. Minnows provided the greatest action and best catch rates into the weekend. Water clarity also varied day to day with anglers reporting poor to moderate visibility into the weekend.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: The area anglers continue to target perch, and decent numbers are continuing to come in. Minnows, suspended over structure, in 20-30 feet of water have produced the largest size and numbers of fish with early mornings hours producing nearly all boated fish. Walleye action has also begun to heat up in the area, and like Bayshore, anglers are reporting locating schools in 30-35 feet of water but suspending in the 8-10 foot range. Black and white cranks trolled at short length and moderate speed have produced the most fish; however just about any setup that included white out fished anything else. Water temps dropped to the mid to low 60’s during the middle of the week, but have returned to the low to mid 70’s by week’s end. Water clarity varied from poor near the shoreline to moderate at a half mile out.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Walleye anglers have begun producing larger numbers and sizes of fish towards the end of the week. Henderson Point and Larsons Reef are producing both the largest and greatest numbers. Most boats have reported average sizes near 26 inches with a half dozen over 28 and one fish measuring 32 ¼ inches. Trolling bottom bouncers of any color during the daytime and cranks at night, have been the go-to choices of many successful anglers this week. Water temperatures varied slightly through the week with readings between 81 and 74 degrees, and water clarity remains moderate.
- Sawyer Harbor: Anglers in the area continue to catch larger perch and with greater frequency. Perch in all size ranges are being caught however finding fish in the 8-10 inch range has proved easier than weeks past. Minnows suspended under a bobber and fished above structure have brought in the most fish this week. Smallmouth bass continue to be caught in the shallows with anglers reporting pearl colored tubes producing the most fish. Water temperatures in the area varied though the week starting in the high 70’s and bottoming out in the low 60’s toward midweek before returning to the low 70’s at the weeks end. Water clarity is moderate throughout the area.
- Warm humid weather dominated the week with very windy weather at the week's end. Once again tubers and rafters took to the waters of the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers to escape the heat. Fishing pressure was relatively light through out the week and weekend. Anglers at the Dam at Stiles are still catching bluegill and a few crappie using crawler pieces and minnows fished dead drift or in conjunction with slip bobbers fished in the current seams. The mouth of the Oconto River has been producing some nice smallmouth, catfish, sheepshead and a few small perch; live baits are working well along with spinners and crank baits. Walleye anglers are having some success from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II trolling crawler/harness or large stick baits. The fish are spread out with the bigger fish holding in 20 + feet of water. Perch fishing reports are still few and far between with some anglers catching fish in 10 feet of water adjacent to weed beds; minnows and crawler chunks are the baits of choice.
- Geano's Beach: Walleye anglers did moderately well launching from Geano’s Beach. Crawler harnesses landed the most fish. One boat caught 16 walleye. The size range of walleye kept ranged from 19 – 25 inches and 2.4 – 4.4 pounds. Incidental catches included catfish, freshwater drum and a 45 inch musky. Musky anglers are coming out in increasing numbers. Catch rates were low. Large spinnerbaits were the most popular method. Fishing pressure was high on weekends and low on weekdays. Water temperatures were around 58 degrees. Water clarity was low.
- Warm humid weather dominated the week with very windy weather at the week's end. Once again tubers and rafters took to the waters of the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers to escape the heat. Fishing pressure was relatively light through out the week and weekend. Anglers at the Peshtigo Harbor are catching a few smallmouth and catfish using live bait; the fishing has been a bit slow. The brown trout bite out of Little River and the Menominee River remains good with early morning and evenings being the best times to fish. Most anglers are keying on the area from the Peshtigo Light to the Trout Bar; greens have been working well. Some reports of perch being caught in 4 to 6 feet of water out of Little River have been confirmed, but many fish are small. Those who spend the time are getting some nicer fish; minnows have been the most productive bait and most anglers are using larger minnows to dissuade smaller fish from biting. Walleye, sheepshead, bass, and catfish are being caught in the Menominee River trolling with crawler/harness and stick baits with most of the action coming in the evenings.