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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - July 25, 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: Boaters are catching cohos, kings, and steelhead. A few brown trout and lake trout have been caught as well. Most boaters reported fishing between 25-60ft of water, and reported catching most of their fish in 25-35ft of water. They reported running their lures from 20ft down up to the surface, and caught most of their fish on spoons, and a little boy blue fly with a flasher or dodger. No boats fishing for perch were interviewed. The water temperature at the surface ranged from 50-56F.
- Piers: Anglers are catching some brown trout and very few perch from the piers. The brown trout have been caught on spoons, jerkbaits, and tube jigs. The perch were caught on live minnows or plastic jigs. The water temperature was 50F.
- Shoreline: Anglers are catching brown trout from the shore. The brown have been caught on spoons, jigging spoons, tube jigs, jerkbaits, live alewives, and spinners. No lures seem to catch more browns than the other, but most of the fish caught were hooked in the early morning or late evening hours. No perch were reported caught. The water temperature ranged from 50-56F.
- Ramps: Anglers are catching mostly coho and king salmon, with some brown trout, lake trout, and steelhead being caught as well. Most anglers reported fishing between 25-60ft of water. Most fish are being caught on spoons, one boater said red/cracked ice worked the best, and some fish are being caught on a flasher/fly combination. A few boaters have said that the little boy blue fly has been catching a lot of king salmon. No boats fishing for perch were interviewed. Boaters reported hitting pockets of cold water and warm water, with the temperatures at the surface ranging from 50-58F.
- Shoreline: Some anglers were interviewed, but none reported catching any trout, salmon, or perch.
- Piers: Anglers are catching a lot of coho and even a few king salmon from the piers. Some anglers have even caught their limit from the pier. Most fish are caught on live alewives on bottom rigs or bobbers. A few anglers have had success with dead alewives, spoons, and crankbaits. Anglers reported catching most of their fish in the morning hours. No perch were reported caught by anglers. The water temperature at the surface was 50F.
- Milwaukee North: Fishing pressure on the shoreline tapered off slightly after the Salmon-A-Rama fishing tournament. A heat advisory with day time temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s and humidity at 60-80% made fishing a challenge over the weekend. Large schools of alewives were seen on the lake side of McKinley Pier with the largest numbers seen around sunrise. The surface water temperature on the lake side of the pier was 50-58F during the week. Nice catches of coho, kings, and a few rainbows and browns continue to be caught on the pier by anglers fishing with alewives. Most of the fish were landed during the early morning and late evening bite. A few of the pier anglers reported that there was an afternoon bite as well. Nice catches of chinook salmon were landed by anglers fishing with kastmasters, white gulp, and glow-in-the-dark spoons from 4:00 AM to sunrise and from 7:00 PM to sunset. A couple of brown trout (around 8 pounds) were landed on the harbor side of the pier by anglers casting spoons. A couple of perch (around 11-12” long) were landed on the pier on Saturday (July 23) but the angler worked hard to find them. Large schools of alewives were stacked up against the harbor wall behind Summerfest and by Veterans Park. Fishing pressure on the shoreline was low but a few coho and brown trout (up to 15 pounds) were landed during the week by anglers fishing with alewives, spoons, and kastmasters. A few nice size perch (9-12” long) were landed in the McKinley Marina on Friday night (July 22). The perch angler had good luck casting a Lunker City 2 ½” long fin-s-fish. The angler reported that there were thousands of small “baby” perch (3-4” long) in the marina. Small schools of largemouth bass were seen swimming along the rocky shoreline in the lagoons at Lake Shore State Park. Anglers saw a couple of brown trout jumping in the lagoons as well. Activity at the McKinley ramp tapered off for a brief period of time after Salmon-A-Rama but the ramp was busy again on the weekend. 16 boat trailers were counted in the McKinley parking lot on Wednesday morning (July 20). The McKinley parking lot was completely filled with boat trailers by 4:30 AM on Saturday morning (July 24). Boats out of McKinley continue to land kings and coho with spoons and j-plugs in 35-50 feet of water from Bradford Beach to the TV towers at Capitol Drive. One boat (3 anglers) landed 11 kings and 4 coho Wednesday morning (July 20) while trolling in 80 feet of water in front of Fox Point from midnight to 7:00 AM. All of their fish (except one) were caught on spoons and most of their kings were caught from 4:15 AM to 5:00 AM. Another boat (2 anglers) landed 6 kings and 3 coho on Saturday night (10:30 PM to 4:30 AM) while trolling spoons and j-plugs in 35-50 feet of water north of McKinley harbor. Their fish weighed 19 lbs., 16.5 lbs., two @ 15-16.5 lbs., and the rest were between 5-10 pounds. The anglers ended up with 50 pounds of fillets. An increasing number of boats reported good luck landing chinook salmon while jigging white gulp and blade baits in the gaps.
- Milwaukee South: Fishing pressure on the south side of Milwaukee increased again this week. Large numbers of alewives were seen along the shoreline from the Hoan Bridge to the Oak Creek Power Plant. Nice catches of brown trout were landed under the Hoan Bridge by anglers fishing with fathead minnows under slip bobbers, kastmasters, and cleos. Two anglers landed 4 nice size browns (up to 15 pounds) on Sunday morning (July 24) while bobber fishing with fatheads. All of the browns were males. Another angler landed “smoker size” brown trout (5-6 pounds) earlier in the week while casting cleos and kastmasters. Nice catches of coho and a few kings were landed on the Grant Park shoreline by anglers fishing with alewives and by anglers casting spoons and kastmasters. A few nice size perch were landed by anglers fishing with fathead minnows under slip bobbers and with jigs tipped with plastic. The water along South Metro pier was crystal clear during the week. Nice size coho salmon were seen following schools of alewives in front of the pier. A few coho were landed on the pier by anglers casting spoons and kastmasters. 5-6 anglers were on the South Metro fishing pier early Saturday morning (July 23). Anglers on the Oak Creek Power Plant pier continue to land coho, kings, rainbows, and a few freshwater drum fish. A 24 pound chinook was landed on the power plant pier on Monday (July 18) by an angler casting a kastmaster. 7 anglers were counted on the pier Saturday morning (July 23) around 7:00 AM. Activity at the Bender Park ramp tapered off with 22 boat trailers counted in the lot on Saturday morning (July 23) and only 3 trailers on Sunday morning (July 24). Boats out of Bender targeted kings and coho in 35-50 feet of water in front of the Oak Creek Power Plant and in front of the Oak Creek by Grant Park. One boat (one angler) landed 15 fish Saturday morning and kept 3 coho, one lake trout, and one king. The angler trolled spoons from midnight to sunrise in 35-50 feet of water in front of the power plant. Another boat put 3 kings in the cooler (up to 15 pounds) while trolling spoons in 30 feet of water in front of the power plant. The catch rate tapered off after sunrise according to the anglers. The surface water temperature in 50 feet of water in front of the power plant was 60-62F on Saturday. There was a sharp drop in water temperature at 25 feet below the surface to 46-47F. Only a couple of boats have been targeting perch on the boils in front of the South Shore water treatment plant with very few perch reported caught. Activity at the South Shore ramp was low compared to the McKinley ramp. 34 boat trailers were counted in the lot on Saturday morning (July 23) and 12 trailers on Sunday morning (July 24). Boats out of South Shore reported good luck trolling spoons and j-plugs in 40-60 feet of water north of the McKinley harbor. Some nice catches of chinook salmon were landed by boaters jigging in the gaps with 4” long power bait minnows, fin-s-fish minnows, and trigger-x minnows. One boat (3 anglers) landed 9 kings and 2 brown trout while jigging plastic minnows in gaps on Sunday morning.
- The weather was very hot this week and there was heavy fog on the lakeshore all weekend. Anglers reported great success catching coho and chinook all week on the north pier. It slowed down a little bit on Friday, but there were still some coho caught and a couple chinook. Saturday was about the same with mostly coho being caught and a few chinook. Sunday morning had more chinook caught at the end of the pier by the lighthouse. Alewives remain the bait choice. Anglers in Coal Dock park had good success catching brown trout and a few carp by the discharge this weekend. Both alewives and spawn sacs were being used. One coho was caught further out on the walkway in the park. The weather and thick fog made for low boating pressure for most the weekend. The few boats that were out stayed in about 40-50 ft of water and success seemed to be hit or miss.
- It was a hot week in Sheboygan, and thick fog covered the lakeshore for most of the weekend. Friday evening was very slow for pier anglers. Nobody on South pier reported any catches and only a couple coho were caught from the end of north pier. Saturday afternoon was better with more cohos being caught and one chinook. Sunday had an excellent early morning bite for chinooks and cohos. Many people left when the rain started around 9 am, but those who stayed out caught a few more and continued to have ok success all morning. Alewives were the bait of choice all weekend. Quite a few boats went out Friday evening despite the heavy fog. Success was hit or miss. One boat said they were having good success using white spoons and another was trolling with green dolphin spoons. Saturday afternoon had better success with usually about 2-3 fish per person average. A mix of chinook, coho, lake trout, and rainbow trout were brought in. Spoons were again the bait of choice. Sunday morning was rainy with some lightning in the distance and very heavy fog, very few boats made it out. Only one boat was interviewed in the morning and all 3 people caught 1 fish ( 2 coho, 1 chinook). One other boat with 4 anglers was interviewed just after noon and had 0 catches. Most were staying in 40-50 ft of water all weekend.
- Fishing has been decent with most anglers consistently finding a few fish. Fast action seems to be hit and miss with the recent storm fronts moving through and mixing up the water column. Plenty of cold water near shore has kept the fish up close with most boats fishing 30 feet of water or less and periods of fast action on the piers.
- This week got off to a slow start in Kewaunee County due to the varying wind direction and influx of thunderstorms that rolled through the region. This combined with hot weather and humid conditions brought about unstable conditions in the atmosphere as well as the lake. As the week progressed and weather conditions improved so did the fishing pressure drawing many anglers from Wisconsin as well as surrounding states. The KD Salmon tournament kicked off at 12:01 AM Saturday July 23 and off to a great start it was. Five of the top ten fish on day one of the tournament were registered in both Kewaunee and Algoma. A windy and foggy start to Sunday kept fishing pressure down and a large number of anglers took to the piers to try their luck there. Kewaunee's biggest catch of the day (port prize) was a dandy 22.84 LB Chinook caught off the pier. Many 22-27 LB fish were caught in the first few days of the tournament making this years prize fish most likely well over 30 pounds. This coming week will surely be interesting as weather conditions forcasted are in favor of excellent fishing conditions.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Door county also got off to a slow start this past week, but picked up as the week went on. Anglers were reporting perch harvests in Egg Harbor as well as Stone Quarry in Sturgeon Bay. Stone Quarry was also seeing higher numbers of Smallmouth Bass being caught. Most were not of legal length, but the fishing was exciting to say the least. As the KD Tournament neared, so did the influx of anglers from across the Midwest. Baileys Harbor, Gills Rock, and Washington Island had much higher fishing pressure than previously this year in part due to the ability to escape the winds that created almost unfishable waves further south along the lake. A huge Chinook weighing 35.46 pounds was registered in Baileys Harbor on the first day of the tournament and as of 10PM Sunday night, was still the leading fish. Baileys Harbor also brought in over 30 fish that weighed 20+ pounds and also is home to the 3rd largest salmon harvested to this point. The biggest fish in Sturgeon Bay went just shy of 26 pounds and a good number of really big fish are being reported up near Washington Island. If the fish continue to come in as big as they are, it appears as though an upper 20 pound fish will be needed to place this year. Fishing has been spectacular and the rest of next week will be fun to watch as big fish continue to be harvested.
- Suamico: No report this week.
- Duck Creek: No report this week.
- Fox River: No report this week.
- Green Bay Ramps: No report this week.
- Bay Shore Park: Fishing pressure remained moderate to high. The weekend brought a mix of perch and walleye fishermen. The high temps and steady weather allowed for more consistent fishing. Walleye anglers fishing early mornings were able to land more fish in the mid 20’s than the previous few weeks. Drifting and jigging with chartreuse colors, along with trolling crawler harnesses, produced the majority of fish; however it should be noted that much higher catch rates have come before 8am. Gold and copper colors are producing best while the sun is shining, while purple and fire tiger have produced the best during overcast periods. Perch fishing continues to be slow, with the majority of fish being caught in 20-25 feet of water using fathead minnows. Sizes for perch are averaging in the 9-10 inch range and walleye averages have bumped up into the mid 20’s.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: Fishing pressure was low this week with most of the boats trying their luck with Yellow Perch. Anglers found a slow bite averaging only 2-3 per boat. The average size caught was good however, at around 9 inches. Along with Yellow Perch, anglers reporting catching Round Goby, Channel Catfish, Freshwater Drum, and White Bass.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Fishing pressure was low to moderate this week with anglers targeting Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, or Yellow Perch. Walleyes were the majority of fish caught while trolling crawler harnesses. Yellow Perch anglers reporting catching numbers of small fish and some keeper size fish. Smallmouth Bass anglers were hit or miss, however the fish being caught are averaging in the high teens, with a few low 20’s. Incidental catches included Freshwater Drum and Round Goby.
- Sawyer Harbor: Fishing pressure was moderate with most boats targeting Yellow Perch. One boat interviewed found very good numbers of fish (100+), but the fish were in the small end of the spectrum with the average being reported about 5 inches. Of the fish measured the biggest was about 8 inches with the average being around 7 inches. The best presentation was floating live bait a foot above the bottom in 18-22 feet of water.
- Hot and humid weather dominated last week and many people took to the water to escape the heat. Lots of tubers and rafters floated the Oconto River. Many of the boats taking to the bay had rubber rafts and tubes, along with many children, anchoring in a couple of feet of water to play. Actual fishing pressure was low to moderate until the weekend. Panfish are still being caught at the Dam at Stiles using live bait. Some anglers are floating the upper Oconto River casting for smallmouth with spinners and small stick baits. The walleye bite was a bit slower last week with some fish being caught in 7 to 17 feet of water mainly using crawler/harness. The smallmouth bite has also been steady with anglers looking for structure and weed edges. A few reports that the perch bite is starting to warm up with fish being caught in 9 feet of water by weed beds. Minnows and crawler chunks have been the baits of choice.
- Geano's Beach: No report this week.
- Hot and humid weather dominated last week and many people took to the water to escape the heat. Lots of tubers and rafters floated the Peshtigo River. Many of the boats taking to the bay had rubber rafts and tubes, along with many children, anchoring in a couple of feet of water to play. Actual fishing pressure was low to moderate until the weekend. Anglers from Klingsborns Landing to the mouth of the Peshtigo River have been catching smallmouth, pike, sheepshead, and catfish both trolling and still fishing. Anglers out of Little River Landing have been catching a few nice browns trolling the Trout Bar using spoons. Some perch are also being caught in 8 to 12 feet of water using live bait. Anglers also report catching many sheepshead, both trolling and still fishing. The Menominee River continues to fish well for walleye with jig fishing and trolling both producing fish in the 18 to 24 inch range.