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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - October 22, 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 was low again this week. Only 2 boat trailers were seen at the launch on Friday. Both of the boats stayed inside the harbor with the anglers casting spoons and crank baits for kings and browns. A 10-12 pound king was landed on a thunderstick crank bait Friday afternoon. Some of the charter boats are still taking anglers out on the lake. The catch rate has started to pick up just as the season is winding down. One of the charter boats trolled in 90-100 feet of water during the week and came in with 9 fish with an average weight of 5-6 pounds.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure at the mouth of the Pike River was low again this week. 6-7 anglers fished at the mouth of the Pike River on Friday but only one fish was landed between them. 3 anglers from Minnesota landed a 6-7 pound female coho Friday morning on an orange blue fox spinner bait. Anglers were hoping to land kings, browns, and coho after 3 days of rain but the catch rate was low during the week. The catch rate for brown trout in the Simmons Island boat harbor tapered off this week. Some nice catches of brown trout were landed from the boat harbor over the past 4-5 weeks but the number of fish seen in the harbor has been tapering off. White tube jigs tipped with a wax worm under a slip bobber has been the most productive bait for the browns. There were no anglers seen on the shoreline between the 50th Street Bridge and the Navy Memorial Friday morning.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers has been tapering off over the past 3-4 weeks. Only 3 anglers were seen on the piers Friday morning. The catch rate on the piers has been declining as well. There were no fish landed on the piers on Friday. A few trout and salmon are still jumping in the harbor but according to the anglers, they’re not biting. The number of chinook salmon landed on the piers this year has been much lower compared to last year. Some of the anglers reported that the chinook salmon fishing season on the piers might be over. It’s been a very slow year for fishing in the harbor according to most of the anglers.
- Pike River: The water level at Petrifying Springs Park increased from 1.54 feet last week to 1.87 feet on Sunday. The flow rate increased from 4.8 cfs to 22 cfs. The water temperature decreased from 51F to 47F. Nearly 1.75” of rain fell during the week. The water was cloudy on Friday with visibility less than 12”. Around 7-8 anglers were on the river Friday morning from Petrifying Springs Park downstream to the Hwy 32 Bridge. Fly fishermen reported using bright colored flies in the cloudy water. An angler at Petrifying Springs Park landed a 12-15 pound brown trout on a bright pink fly. A couple of kings were landed Saturday morning by the 22nd Avenue Bridge near the Kenosha Country Club. A large number of chinook salmon moved upstream over the past 3-4 weeks but the fishing pressure has been very low compared to the Root River.
- Ramps: Boat traffic at the Pershing Park boat launch was low during the week. There were no boat trailers at the Pershing Park boat launch Friday morning. A small number of boaters have been landing brown trout recently in 30-40 feet of water and a few coho, kings, and rainbows were taken in 120-140 feet of water. Brown trout can be caught year round in 30-40 feet of water and according to one of the charter boat captains, 2-3 year old chinook salmon can be caught until the lake freezes over. One angler reported that he’s still trolling inside the mouth of the Root River for kings, browns, and coho.
- Shoreline: There are still good numbers of trout and salmon in fishing areas along the shoreline. ReefPoint Marina has an opening to Lake Michigan and another opening to the Root River and it holds large numbers of fish year round including northern pike, smallmouth bass, chinook salmon, rainbows, and brown trout. Anglers have been landing chinook, coho, and brown trout from the marina over the past 3-4 weeks. An angler fishing for brown trout on the Reichert Court fishing pier landed a 10 pound 30” northern pike on a small, orange kastmaster on Friday. The boats in ReefPoint Marina must vacate their slips by October 31, 2014. According to a few anglers, that’s the unofficial start of the rainbow and brown trout fishing season in the marina. The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 56F on Friday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers was low during the week and the catch rate has been tapering off. 2-3 anglers were seen on South Pier and no anglers on North Pier Friday morning. The water was cloudy nearly 3 miles offshore from the recent high wind and rain. Water visibility was less than 12”. A few trout and salmon were caught on South Pier over the past 2 weeks including an 8 pound coho and a 12 pound coho on a moonshine spoon. Some of the regular anglers haven’t caught a fish from the pier in over 3 weeks. Fishing pressure on North Pier was low due to high winds and rough water.
- Root River: Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, October 20. It was the first coho spawning day of the season, and nearly 295,000 eggs were collected. A total of 555 fish were passed upriver, including 175 Chinooks, 333 coho, 2 rainbows, and 45 browns. The next processing days will be Thursday, October 23 and Monday, October 27. Water Conditions: The water level at the Horlick Dam increased from 2.22 feet last week to 2.73 feet on Sunday. The flow rate increased from 12 cfs to 65 cfs. The water temperature decreased from 56F to 46F. The water flowing over the Horlick Dam was almost down to a trickle on Monday after 9 days with no rain. Anglers were able to cross areas of the river and barely get their feet wet. The flow rate and water level rose quickly Monday evening as heavy rain began to fall. 1.8” of rain fell over 3 days. By Wednesday afternoon, the water level at the dam increased over 12” and large numbers of trout and salmon moved upstream from the lakefront. The water level and flow rate steadily decreased toward the weekend and by Sunday morning, anglers reported that very few fish were moving upstream. The weather forecast calls for a slight chance of light rain at the start of the week and then 6-7 days of dry and cool weather with daytime high temperatures between 51-62F. Upstream of the Weir: 461 chinook salmon, 52 coho, and 20 brown trout were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility from Oct. 10th to Oct. 13th. An additional 447 chinook were released upstream on Thursday, October 16. A large number of trout and salmon reached the Horlick Dam by Friday afternoon. 30-40 anglers fished at the dam Saturday morning and over 100 chinook were landed by 11:00 AM. According to one angler, everybody was catching fish. Black/orange, olive green, and black/red flies worked well for a few anglers. Fishing pressure at the dam increased on Sunday. The catch rate was still good but slightly lower. Large numbers of chinook salmon swam upstream through Quarry Lake Park all weekend long. Most anglers walked off the river with at least 1-2 kings on Saturday and Sunday. Fishing pressure increased in Colonial Park over the weekend as well with nearly 30 anglers in the park on Sunday. Two fly fishermen had good luck landing a 15 pound king and two 8-10 pound brown trout while casting salmon colored egg flies. Anglers had good luck landing chinook salmon above the weir in Lincoln Park earlier in the week. 3-4 kings were landed Monday afternoon by anglers casting small dry flies and bottom fishing with red play-doh. Downstream of the Weir: 15-20 anglers on average fished in Lincoln Park during the week and 40-50 on the weekend. A few chinook and coho salmon were landed at the start of the week. Anglers landed mostly brown trout on the weekend. Black/red and black/orange flies worked well for 2 anglers in Lincoln Park on Sunday as they landed two 5-7 pound brown trout and an 11 pound chinook. Some nice size kings and coho were landed in Island Park on spawn sacks and skein at the start of the week. Two 18-20 pound brown trout were landed on Friday on green sucker spawn and a yarn fly. 20-25 anglers on average fished in Island Park on the weekend. At least 30 brown trout were caught in the park by 10:00 AM on Saturday. Only a few browns were caught in Island Park on Sunday as anglers reported that very few fish were moving upstream. The water in Washington Park is normally shallow at this time of year but fly fishermen wading in Washington Park this year have been waist deep in water. The deep holes and pools around the golf course don’t seem to be holding fish. 3-4 anglers landed one king Monday afternoon while fly fishing below the drainage pipe at the Cable Bridge. The drainage pipe was partially under water on Sunday.
- McKinley Pier: Fishing Pressure was quite low off McKinley Pier this past week. Cold and windy conditions made the exposed pier a poor location to fish from and high amounts of rain has drawn a majority of the salmon upriver resulting in poor catch rates as well. The few bites reported by anglers were inside the harbor early in the morning.
- McKinely Ramp: Boat traffic has been slowing down at McKinley for the past few weeks due to poor lake conditions and the salmon run producing lower catch rates. Boaters willing to go out in the wavy conditions have reported better catch rates inside the harbor, although most of the fish being marked don't appear interested in bait of any kind.
- North City Shoreline: Catch rates of salmon along the marina wall have slowed down since last week, although anglers are still catching a decent amount of fish. Anglers report the best catch rates in the morning while using spawn. Perch fishermen by Summerfest have been landing small perch on and off over the past week, with the morning being the most productive time of the day. Most anglers have been using minnows, which appear to be producing the most fish.
- South City Shoreline: Anglers reported seeing a few brown trout and salmon follow up on spoons, although no fish were recorded as landed. Perch fishing has also been poor along the south shore with most anglers fishing under the Hoan Bridge instead.
- Grant Park: No report.
- Oak Creek: Salmon continue to be caught out of Oak Creek, with the majority of the fish biting inside the small pool under the falls on bright green or orange flies and spawn sacks. Most of the salmon seem to be moving up the creek overnight so getting a good spot around the pool early in the morning is your best shot at getting some fish.
- Bender Park: No report.
- Oak Creek Power Plant Pier: A good a mount of fish are visible swimming in the discharge flow of the power plant, although few are biting on bait of any kind. Most anglers have given up after an hour or two of no bites and few fish have been landed.
- Milwaukee River: The river level is up quite high due to all the rain over the past week. Catch rates have slowed down a bit since last week but anglers are still landing a good amount of fish. Most of the salmon have been drawn upstream to Kletzch Park with few fish being hindered by the Estabrook falls due to all the water in the river. Because of this most of the fish caught have been in Kletzch park with most anglers using spawn or flies. Further downstream some fish are being caught early in the morning, although most of the fish are already upriver.
- Menomonee River: With all the rain over the past week river levels have been up and some salmon have been seen swimming in the river. Anglers have reported catching walleye and a variety of panfish by 13th and Bruce, while fishing pressure has been low elsewhere on the Menomonee River.
- 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. These signs are to advise you not to go on the pier because it has stability issues. 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 and rainy weather deterred most 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 that had 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 Manitowoc Harbor is currently being fished primarily by a few anglers targeting smallmouth bass, and they report that catch rates have been moderately successful. Most of the bass fishing is catch and release, as these are hardcore smallmouth anglers pursuing trophy fish of 4 to 5 lbs. They appear to favor soft plastics and concentrate their efforts along the interior walls of the piers and harbor, although when lake conditions are favorable they can also be seen working the outside edge of the north pier. A few trout and salmon boating anglers have also reported catching an occasional brown or steelhead in the harbor, while reports of harbor chinook are even fewer. The interior pond, inside the marina, continues to draw decent numbers of anglers pursuing browns, steelhead and kings, although those numbers have declined over the last week as well. Spawn sacs and spoons are the lures of choice.
- Manitowoc Piers: Anglers who choose to fish the piers can pretty well expect to have them entirely to themselves right now. It's rare to see more than two pier fishermen at a time working the north pier, and the south pier seems to have lost its allure completely. One angler did report catching a nice coho from the north pier on a green and silver cleo, but pier action slowed to a crawl last week as cold rain and high winds kept anglers away.
- Manitowoc Ramps: Weekend mornings still draw 5 or 6 boats out to the big lake to troll for trout and salmon. Coho catches have increased a bit over the last month, but most boats return to the launch with mixed catches of only two or three fish at most. Steelhead, lakers and smaller kings have dominated lake catches. Kings showing up from the lake are younger fish and show beautiful silver coloring.
- Manitowoc River: Last week's heavy and continuous rain brought water levels up to their highest point since last spring. The fast moving water also made fishing a challenge for shore anglers along the river. Angler numbers dropped at every location and access point except at the Clarks Mills dam, where late run kings could be seen attempting to jump the falls at the dam. Several anglers took advantage of the increased salmon activity brought on by the change in conditions and reported catching several kings at the side areas of the dam where the water flow was significantly weaker. But overall, the high water and fast flow of the river had many anglers staying home through most of the week.
- Branch River: A single fly fisherman was spotted on the Branch River last week, but whether he was successful is not known.
- Silver Creek: No activity.
- Two Rivers Harbor: No activity.
- Two Rivers Piers: No activity.
- Two Rivers Ramps: This past weekend saw a slight bump in anglers heading out to work Lake Michigan. A few steelhead and small kings were reported in water ranging from 60' to 260'. Anglers indicated that their real motivation was to squeeze in as many outings as possible before the boating season ends and things need to be packed up for the winter.
- Shoto Ramps: Boats launched from the Shoto ramp appear to be by duck hunters.
- East Twin River: The East and West Twin Rivers suffered the same consequences of last week's weather conditions as did the Manitowoc River. Angler numbers dropped on the East Twin in Mishicot and were completely absent at every other point along the river. But while there may have been more elbow room at the Mishicot dam and downstream to the edge of town, some good-sized fish were still being caught by those anglers who stuck with it. The increased water depth discouraged many wading anglers, but those who fished from shore were able to get several kings to strike spawn sacs or, more often, foul hook and release chinook with spoons. Several brown trout and a few steelhead were also reported. The fall chinook run appears to be nearing its climax, but there are still plenty of large and active fish to be had before the run ends for the year.
- West Twin River: Several steelhead were reported caught on the West Twin in Shoto over the past weekend. The action on kings was rather spotty. One group of anglers reported fishing all day Saturday and catching nothing, but landing three large kings right away on Sunday morning. A modestly-sized lake trout was also caught at the foot of the Shoto dam on Sunday by an angler fishing spawn. Anglers who found the water too deep to wade on the East Twin moved over to the West Twin, where the water depth is more uniform and comfortable. Brown trout are also still in the mix on the West Twin too, and the size and girth of the admittedly few browns reported has been running a respectable 6 to 8 pounds. Shore anglers fishing spawn have had to dramatically increase the weight on their lines to compensate for the faster water, while wading anglers appear to be adjusting to conditions by simply being more selective in lure placement in the river. As is the case on the East Twin, chinook numbers are starting to dwindle as the fall run nears its end, and anglers are earning their fish right now.
- Only a few anglers have been fishing the piers and shore in both Kewaunee and Algoma and catching a few fish. This is a typical pattern this time of year as usually shore and pier anglers catch a few lake trout and brown trout using slow-cranking, big spinners or casting spoons, stickbaits, or spawn. It is not fast action but a good opportunity for anglers without a boat to catch some quality fish. Similarly, with the wind and bad weather only a few anglers have been fishing the lake in both Algoma and Kewaunee and have been mainly been targeting brown trout and rainbows. Again the action is not fast and furious but anglers are still catching fish.
- Anglers on the Kewaunee River and Ahnapee River have been out in low to moderate numbers and have been having low success due to the muddy like water from all the rain. The water has since receded this week and is back to the normal height and flow but still low clarity. The anglers with the most success have been fly fishing or using spawn and artificial spawn. Anglers are still catching some Chinook but the Chinook are pretty dark by now. The better fishing is for Brown Trout and Cohos which are still in the earlier part of their runs.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Angler pressure has begun to slow down as the salmon run begins to wind down and the weather gets colder. That should not discourage anyone though, as salmon are still being seen in the harbors and running up the streams. With all of the recent rain, the local streams have high water levels, fast flows, good clarity, and temperatures in the high 40’s and low 50’s. Most salmon anglers are trying their luck on the tip of the peninsula and in Baileys Harbor and are having the best bite using spawn sacs. There have been reports of the occasional brown trout being caught in Baileys Harbor and out of Sturgeon Bay.
- The most walleye and northern pike action has been in and around the bay of Sturgeon Bay, notably trolling the reefs outside the bay for walleye using crank baits, and around the stone quarry. Most of the northern pike action has been within the bay using crank baits and spinners. There is also still smallmouth bass action to be found around the peninsula. Most anglers going for bass have been trying Rowleys Bay and around Sturgeon Bay using various baits.
- Suamico River: Once again, because of the rain and wind, shore perch anglers at the Suamico River had a difficult time. Only a perch or two was reported. The average size was 7.9 inches. The largest was just over 8 inches. Fishing worms under a bobber was the most common approach. Walleye boaters launching from the Suamico boat launch had a tough time as well. The largest fish reported was 20.3 inches. Trolling crankbaits was the most used method. Water temperatures were in the 54-55 degree range.
- Duck Creek: Duck Creek shore anglers did not do so well this week. Fishing worms under a bobber or off the bottom only landed a handful of fish. The highly turbid water no doubt played a part in the low catch rates.
- Fox River (Mouth): Nearly all of the fishing boats interviewed were after musky. Rain and wind throughout most of the week made for challenging fishing conditions, not to mention very turbid waters. While most musky anglers did not land their target fish, those that did hook a fish, got big ones. The largest reported was ~55+ inches. Bright colored crankbaits in 12 feet of water or less was the luckiest approach. *The metro boat launch is repairing docks from October 6th – November 14th. While there are open docks, you may have to wait a bit if there are several boats and only a couple docks open at a given time.* No shore anglers were interviewed at the Mouth this week.
- Fox River (Fox Point and Fairgrounds Launches): While these launches are not as used as others in the area this time of year, there were a few Fox River walleye anglers taking advantage of them this week. Success was mixed. One angler launching out of the Fairgrounds on Saturday reported catching two walleye and one black crappie in around six hours. It was mentioned that there was a better bite early in the week. Bouncing jigs, casting cranks and trolling were all methods used by Fox River walleye boats.
- Fox River (Shore): Because of the turbid water and heavy winds, walleye anglers in Voyager Park had a tough time this week. Cranks and jigs were the most common approach. Most of the walleye caught were larger ones, measuring ~24 inches. One angler was fortunate enough to catch three walleye…otherwise most anglers caught zero or one fish. Smallmouth anglers using cranks did not report any luck. A white bass was also caught out of Voyager Park. A couple of catfish shore anglers at Fox Point had a great day. Fishing worms off of the bottom, they thought they had the catfish of a lifetime. After a 20-30 minute battle, they reeled in a ~60 inch Sturgeon. After a few pictures the fish was released, but judging by their expressions, the memory will last forever. They had 40 pound test and needed every pound of it.
- Bay Shore Park: The dominant fall weather pattern of higher winds continues to make fishing in the area difficult. Less than ideal water visibility continued through the weekend. Water temps in the area hover around 51-53 degrees. No anglers were interviewed this week.
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 22nd of October restricting all access to the pier.*
- Little Sturgeon Bay: With shelter from the heavy winds, the water in the bay continues to be clear, and water temps are holding a bit higher than the surrounding areas with 53-56 degrees dominating the bay. An increase in the number of anglers targeting musky was prevalent throughout the week; however no anglers were interviewed this week.
- Sawyer Harbor: Anglers in the area struggled to produce fish this week. Perch fishermen had the most success, however size continues to be lacking. Minnows fished just off bottom are producing large numbers of fish with roughly 20% of the catch being sizable. Fishing in 7-12 feet of water produced the greatest number of fish. Once again, locating a school of fish proved difficult, but once found, anglers were able to catch large numbers in short periods of time. Walleye anglers reported having a harder time this week. Schools of fish are being located in 30-40 feet of water; however getting them to bite has proved difficult. Cranks and jigs were equally ineffective. Water temps in the area continued to hover near the 50-degree mark, with +/- 4-degree variants depending on location. Water clarity was reported to be very good throughout the area.
- Heavy rain early in the week and strong winds kept boaters off the Bay this past week. Rivers are running high and dirty making shore fishing difficult. Water temperatures are in the upper 40's. Fishing action was limited to the Oconto Breakwater Landing and Oconto Park II. Perch are being caught in both locations with many small fish being released. The best baits have been red worms, crawler pieces, and minnows, fished in conjunction with crappie rigs or slip bobbers.
- Geano's Beach: One musky boat was interviewed at Geano Beach. They did not catch a fish. The wind and rain made for low angler turnout.
- Heavy rain early in the week and strong winds kept boaters off the Bay this past week. Rivers are running high and dirty making shore fishing difficult. Water temperatures are in the upper 40's. Peshtigo River anglers are having some success catching walleye and a few trout below the Dam in Peshtigo to the Municipal Landing, concentrating on current breaks and back water areas. Rapalas and jig heads with minnows or twister tails have been the most productive baits. Walleye are the main attraction from the Dam at Hattie Street down to Stephenson Island with a few trout and salmon being caught close to the Dam. Most walleye are being caught from the Fishermen's walkway at Hattie Street using Husky Jerks casting downriver and letting the current manipulate the lure. A few salmon are being caught using spawn sacks on the current edges.