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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report – October 14th, 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 has been low over the past 2 weeks. The combination of rough weather and low catch rates has kept many anglers off the lake. Most of the boaters have been fishing inside the harbor recently for chinook and brown trout. Flicker shad, reefrunners, and thundersticks were some of the popular crank baits. Only one boat trailer was seen in the parking lot Tuesday evening but the angler did not return in time for an interview. A steady line of fishing and pleasure boats were pulled out of the boat harbor for the season during the week. Some of the anglers reported that they planned to do more hunting than fishing over the next two months.
- Shoreline: The fishing pressure and catch rate continued to taper off on the shoreline by the mouth of the Pike River. 50-60 anglers were seen on the shoreline 3-4 weeks ago but the average number was down to 4-5 anglers this week. Some nice catches of brown trout and a few coho were landed in the Simmons Island boat harbor during the week. White tube jigs and skein under slip bobbers were the most popular baits. 10-12 anglers fished the shoreline between the 50th Street Bridge and the Navy Memorial on Sunday afternoon with no reports of fish landed. A few brown trout were landed at the Pike Creek outlet during the week but the catch rate has been spotty. Most of the browns were caught on skein, spawn sacks, and white tubes. The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 56F on Saturday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers has been tapering off over the past few weeks. Only 7-8 anglers showed up for the late evening bite on Tuesday. The catch rate on the piers has been declining as well. The average catch rate over the past 2-3 weeks has been 3-4 fish between all the anglers during the early morning and evening bite. There were no fish landed on the piers Tuesday evening or Sunday afternoon. Trout and salmon are still jumping in the harbor but they’re not biting. The number of chinook salmon landed on the piers this year has been much lower compared to last year. A couple of brown trout and coho along with catfish, northern pike, and sheepshead were landed during the past 2 weeks. 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 decreased from 1.78 feet last week to 1.54 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 19.6 cfs to 4.8 cfs. The water temperature decreased slightly from 54F to 51-52F. The Kenosha area had 9 straight days of dry weather and many areas of the river were shallow. The number of trout and salmon seen in the river decreased this week and the fishing pressure decreased as well. Only a few chinook were caught during the week on skein and spawn sacks. A couple of fly fishermen caught and released 3 northern pike over the weekend. The weather forecast calls for 2-3” of rain to fall during the week which should bring another run of trout and salmon into the Pike River.
- Ramps: Boat traffic at the Pershing Park boat launch was low during the week but the catch rate increased. Nice catches of brown trout were landed in 30-40 feet of water with Michigan stinger and moonshine spoons. One boat trolled in 120-140 feet of water with Pro King and moonshine spoons spread across the top 80 feet of water and came in with 4 kings, one coho, and a rainbow on Saturday. Anglers in kayaks and small paddle boats from the Racine Yacht Club landed a few trout and salmon recently while trolling in the Root River. A large number of boats were pulled out of Reef Point Marina this week. Over 50% of the boat slips were vacant on Sunday.
- Shoreline: A large number of trout and salmon have been staging along the shoreline and in the mouth of the Root River over the past 3-4 weeks. Anglers reported seeing trout and salmon jumping all week long in ReefPoint Marina and in the Pershing Park boat harbor. Nice catches of chinook and brown trout were landed in the marina this week with skein fished on the bottom and under bobbers. A couple of nice size kings were landed in the Pershing Park boat harbor during the week on black/silver flicker shads. Anglers had better luck landing fish around sunrise, sunset, and late at night. The shoreline along the mouth of the Root River is normally one of the hot spots to catch chinook salmon at this time of year but the catch rate has tapered off recently. The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 55F on Saturday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers was low during the week. Large trout and salmon have been jumping near South Pier but they were 200-300 feet offshore and out of casting range according to one angler. A good west wind normally draws the fish closer to shore but steady 5-15 mph west winds on Monday and Tuesday didn’t seem to help. Two anglers on North Pier had 6 lines out with spawn sacks and skein but they reported no luck after 5 hours of fishing. Only one angler was seen on South Pier and 2-3 on North Pier Saturday afternoon. Small schools of brown trout were swimming next to North Pier on Saturday but anglers fishing with skein and spoons had no luck catching them.
- Root River: Upstream of the Weir: The fishing pressure and catch rate above the weir increased this week. 448 chinook, 45 coho, 19 brown trout, and one rainbow were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility on Monday, October 6. By Tuesday morning, a large number of trout and salmon reached the Horlick Dam. Anglers reported that there were at least 10 fish seen for every angler at the dam. Limit catches of trout and salmon from the Horlick Dam were seen at the South Pier fish cleaning station on Tuesday and Wednesday. Spawn sacks and skein worked well for a few anglers. 15-18 anglers were seen at the Horlick Dam on Wednesday and everyone landed at least 1-2 fish. An angler casting a small white streamer fly tipped with a wax worm took 5 kings and a rainbow. 10-12 anglers were seen at Quarry Lake Park Wednesday afternoon. One angler caught and released 7-8 fish, including kings, coho, brown trout, and small northern pike while casting a silver ghost fly. The angler reported that it was the best day of fishing he ever had on the Root River. Downstream of the Weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was steady during the week and increased on the weekend. 15-20 anglers were seen in Lincoln Park on Monday with the majority of them fishing close to the fish sanctuary. An 11 pound coho, an 11 pound rainbow, and a 14 pound chinook were landed Monday morning on yarn flies and skein. 5-6 anglers reported seeing a steady line of trout and salmon swimming upstream through Island Park but they had a hard time getting them to bite. A few chinook were landed at Washington Park over the weekend. Large numbers of trout and salmon were staging along the lakefront and at the mouth of the Root River during the week. This week’s weather forecast of 4-5 days of rain with over 2” of precipitation should bring another run of trout and salmon upstream into the Root River.
- McKinley Pier: Traffic at McKinley Pier was slow over the past week, with few fish recorded. Anglers report seeing lots of fish jumping inside the harbor but few are interested in bait of any kind. High winds over the past week have also made the government pier a less favorable location to fish.
- McKinley Ramp: Boat traffic at McKinley Ramp was also quite low over the past week with cold and windy conditions over much of the week keeping most boaters indoors. Some anglers reported success earlier in the week trolling under the Hoan Bridge but said catch rates dropped significantly towards the end of the week. With any luck last nights rain will have drawn more
- North City Shoreline: Fishing traffic along the north city shoreline has been relatively high over the past week with large numbers of anglers fishing under the Hoan Bridge and against the wall in McKinley Marina by Lincoln Memorial Drive. Anglers in McKinley Marina have reported chinooks biting on brightly colored flies and spawn inside the marina, although most fish appear uninterested in bait. Most of the fish have been recorded biting between 5 and 8 AM, with catch rates dropping off significantly as the mourning goes on. Anglers under the Hoan Bridge reported good catch rates of small perch throughout the week, although salmon and trout have been less common. If we see one or two days with a steady west wind in the next week, fishing should pick up inside the Milwaukee harbor.
- South City Shoreline: Few anglers tried there luck along the south city shoreline over the past week. The few anglers interviewed along the south shoreline reported the occasional follow up on a spoon or crank-bait but few bites, and no fish recorded as caught.
- Grant Park: Anglers at the top of Oak Creek reported success catching kings on spawn, skein, and bright orange and green flies. Most of the fish were biting inside the pool under the waterfall, and as a result good spots around the pool are hard to come by, with most anglers getting a good spot early in the morning, when the fish are biting the most, and fishing it all day.
- Bender Park: Few anglers were interviewed at Bender Park over the past week. Two anglers fishing for perch inside the boat launch reported catching no fish, none of the boats interviewed reported catching anything, with only one fish on.
- Oak Creek Power Plant Pier: The flow rate at Oak Creek Power Plant has been much lower over the past few weeks than normal. Since this decrease in flow fishing has been poor off the power plant pier, with the occasional freshwater drum being the normal report. Word is that the power plant should be returning to full power in the next week or so, which should hopefully bring the fishing back as well.
- Milwaukee River: Anglers along the Milwaukee river have been congregating in large numbers in Kletzsch and Caesar's Park for the salmon run. Anglers have reported the best success with spoons in Caesar's Park and brightly colored flies in Kletzsch and Estabrook Park by the falls. The fish are biting the most early in the morning, and becoming less interested for the majority of the day.
- Menomonee River: The Menomonee River has quite low since the last large rainfall and few salmon and larger fish are been seen or caught further upstream. Some anglers have reported success catching pan fish by MMSD and Virginia Ave. with minnows getting the most bites. If we see a large amount of rain in this next week it is likely fishing for all types of fish will improve in 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. Very few anglers had success fishing the south pier over the weekend. Anglers were casting spoons, Rapalas, and soaking spawn sacs with minimal luck.
- Port Washington Shore: There were numerous anglers fishing in the north slip through the weekend. These anglers were using a bobber rig hooked with skein. In the north slip small blue/red Rapalas were also successful catching mature chinook salmon. The bobber rig was very successful catching large chinook salmon on the rocks around the marina also.
- Port Washington Ramp: The fish cleaning station that is near the north slip is currently closed for repairs. 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. Boaters have been fishing in 150’-200’ of water and catching some rainbow trout and lake trout. The anglers have had success using planer boards and down riggers. The down riggers have been successful set at around 20-30’ down. Spoons and flasher/flies were both successful.
- Sauk Creek: Anglers have been fishing near the mouth of the creek having some success. The anglers are using fly rods and casting rods. Anglers have been using small spinner baits that are orange in color that have been successful. Also some anglers have had success using skein and a bobber that has been productive catching mature chinook salmon.
- Sheboygan Ramps: 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 piers were not fished heavily over the weekend. There are numerous fish that are jumping out of the water, but anglers are having a difficult time getting them to bite.
- 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 angles 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 have been reports of large chinook caught behind Nemschoff on spinner bait and bobber rigs with skein. 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.
- Manitowoc Harbor: Manitowoc Harbor - The Manitowoc harbor has seen very little angler activity. However, the inner marina, which is connected to the harbor at its north side near the launch ramp has seen some fairly consistent use by anglers fishing for kings, rainbow, browns and northern pike. Catches have been sporadic but the fish that are being caught are generally in much better condition than those further upstream in the Manitowoc River. Anglers that have experienced success inside the marina have done so by casting spoons and by fishing spawn sacs suspended just off the bottom.
- Manitowoc Piers: Pier activity has been practically nonexistent over the last couple weeks, as anglers have moved upstream and into the marina for kings, browns and steelhead.
- Manitowoc Ramps: Ramp activity has also declined, although those anglers heading out onto the big lake have experienced modest success, catching two and three year old kings with excellent color, a few lake trout and occasional coho. Fish are being reported caught at depths of 90' to 200' on flasher flies as well as dipsy divers and spoons, with green and silver continuing to be a productive color combination. A few smallmouth bass anglers also cruise the interior of the harbor and the inside and outside edges of the north pier with good success, casting plugs and soft plastics.
- Manitowoc River: Manitou Park and Rapids have slowed down, with fewer anglers giving those two areas their attention, although kings and the occasional brown are still being caught at those locations. More anglers are moving further upstream and have been working the areas of the river at the bridges on Union Road, and Cty S, as well as the stretch of river running through Cato Falls. The river is shallow enough in many spots that anglers are able to sight cast to salmon with spawn, flies or spoons. A good number of fish are being foul hooked, offering anglers a good battle before being released. The dam at Clarks Mills has also seen an increase in angling pressure recently as kings are pooling at the area below the dam.
- Branch River: The Branch River is also seeing a recent uptick in angler activity, with smallmouth and kings reported by wading anglers at several locations along the river, including where the river crosses at Branch River Rd, Danmar Rd and Reifs Mills Rd. The water level in the Branch is excellent right now.
- Two Rivers Harbor: What little action there is in the Two Rivers harbor has been at the parking lot on the north side of the harbor near the demolished Hamilton factory. A few anglers have been working that side of the harbor, but none have reported any success.
- Shoto Ramps: A few anglers are using the Shoto ramp to work the river downstream from the Shoto dam, mostly casting spoons for kings with some sporadic success.
- East and West Twin Rivers: The East Twin River continues to draw anglers pursuing fall run chinook, with the river in Mishicot up to the dam still drawing good numbers of fishermen. The bridge areas at Hillcrest Rd and Steiner Corners Rd have also been locations that wading anglers have given their regular attention. Kings are still being caught in very good numbers in the river, although their quality and color have noticeably declined over the past week. Several anglers have also reported catching some nice brown trout where the river runs through Mishicot and at the foot of the dam. Spawn and yarn balls continue to be used by some anglers, while fishermen casting cleos and other spoons report catching and releasing impressive numbers of foul hooked kings.
- West Twin River: The West Twin River in Shoto has been a hot location for anglers of late. Fishermen arrive early in the morning to claim spots at the foot of the Shoto dam, with dozens of anglers standing practically elbow to elbow throughout the weekend. Location does seem to be the key on the West Twin, as some anglers report hooking dozens of fish throughout the day while others report little to no success at all. The fall run on both the West Twin and East Twin is still going strong, but it does appear to be nearing the end, as numbers of dead and dying fish may be seen along the rivers and those that are being caught are showing some wear and tear. But there also appear to be plenty of very impressive fish, "monstrous" in size as more than one angler put it, still going strong in the rivers.
- Kewaunee: Anglers in both Kewaunee and Algoma have been having high success on the rivers as the Chinook Salmon are at the peak of their spawning run. Anglers in Kewaunee are mostly concentrated from Footbridge up to Bruemmer Park and are using spawn, artificial spawn, spoons and fly fishing with success. The Kewaunee River is 48 degrees, normal height and flow and has good clarity. The anglers trying their luck from the piers in the Algoma and Kewaunee have been low with low success reported. Anglers are throwing spoons, rapalas and spawn sacks to try to get a bite.
- Algoma: In Algoma anglers are finding the best success below the Forestville Dam, but some success has been reported at different spots along the river. In Algoma the catches have been Rainbows, Kings, and Browns. Anglers on the lake have been low and are catching Rainbows, Browns and the occasional silver Kings.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- East side of peninsula: The salmon bite in Lake Michigan has slowed greatly as mature salmon are running up the streams to spawn. Water temps have ranged from 49°F in Whitefish Bay Creek, down to 45°F in Hibbard’s Creek. Flow rate has dropped slightly in the past week, and clarity remains moderate. Salmon have been seen from the road in Shivering Sands Creek, Hibbard’s Creek, and Hein’s Creek. While they generally appeared uninterested when presented with a lure, there have been a few anglers still targeting them with spawn sacs. Chinook were reportedly caught from shore in Bailey’s Harbor.
- West side of peninsula: Beautiful weather throughout the week brought anglers out in high numbers. High winds created rough conditions for boaters; however, shore angling pressure was high. On the bay side of the peninsula, anglers targeting walleye were successful out of the Stone Quarry using flicker minnows. Anglers also had some luck targeting pike out of Sturgeon Bay. While spinners and crankbaits were the most popular lures for pike, crankbaits seemed to produce the most results. The perch bite has greatly picked up in the past week. Decent numbers were being caught in Sawyer Harbor out of Sturgeon Bay, some reaching 13.5 inches! Perch seemed to be hitting best on minnows. Smallmouth are still being caught from shore around the peninsula; however, the bite has slowed. Popular smallmouth lures that are showing results include tubes and nightcrawlers.
- Suamico: Only one boat was interviewed at the Suamico ramps this week. The anglers were seeking musky in 6-13 feet of water, and did not catch a fish. It is rumored that some of the musky are moving down the shoreline from the Geano Beach area to the south. Water temperatures were reported at 52-54 degrees. No shore anglers were interviewed.
- Duck Creek: Boaters fishing from the Duck Creek ramps enjoyed success catching yellow perch in high numbers. While a few of the fish were reported around 9-10 inches, most of them remain rather small (4-6 inches). Average size of boaters’ perch this week was 8.2 inches, with the largest measuring 9.3 inches. Crawler pieces under a bobber remain a go-to method. Perhaps larger minnows would keep the smaller perch off of fishermen’s hooks. Duck Creek shore anglers had mixed results. While some had trouble catching a handful, others reported catches of 15 to 30 fish. Once again finding decent sized perch took anglers a little bit of time and patience. Crawler chunks were the most popular bait. Other fish caught this week off the shores of Duck Creek were round gobies and a couple small northern pike.
- Fox River (Mouth): The Metro boat launch was a popular place this past weekend (though many of the boats were waterfowl hunters). The fishing boats interviewed were all after musky. Half of them landed Wisconsin’s state fish. The largest reported was ~44 inches. Bucktails in 12 feet of water or less is the most common 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.* Shore anglers at the mouth were finding decent luck on walleye this week. Averages sizes were in the 17-22 inch range. Firetiger cranks are catching the most fish. Fishing worms off the bottom with a sinker landed anglers several different species of fish including…catfish, freshwater drum, carp, white bass and one largemouth bass was reported at ~17 inches (although it could have been a smallmouth, creel clerks did not observe the fish).
- Fox River (Voyager Park): Walleye anglers in Voyager Park continue to enjoy good catch numbers. Cranks and jigs were landing the most fish. Most of the walleye caught are in the 17-20 inch range, although later in the week a few walleye up to 24 inches were also reported. Primarily due to the consumption advisories on the Fox River fish, many anglers are releasing what they catch; especially larger ones. Anglers fishing for catfish at Voyager Park reported no luck.
- Volk's Landing: 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
- Bay Shore Park: The high winds towards the middle of the week continued to hold the water at less then good visibility. Luckily, the calm waters over the weekend allowed for a slight increase in clarity. Water temps in the area hover around 53-55 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, Chaudoirs was heavy hit with waves towards the middle of the week and the water clarity in the area continued to be poor. The weekend did bring some settling back and by Sunday night clarity returned to average. Water temperatures in the area range from 52-55 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: The bay continued to see a good number of Perch anglers and a fair amount of fish. Minnows fished just off bottom are the dominant technique of choice with good numbers of fish being found in 12-15 feet of water. Most sizes continue to be small, however anglers are beginning to report larger fish being caught in the mix. The midweek weather has caused a lot of movement in the schools of fish but once they are located, anglers are having a hard time keeping two poles in the water. Very low numbers of both Walleye and Bass were reported though the end of the week. Water temps in the area are highly mixed based on location in the bay, with some areas near 63 degree while others not reporting anything above 52 degrees. Water clarity continued to be very good.
- Sawyer Harbor: Anglers in the area continue to have mixed results. Perch anglers reported catching a good number of fish, however sizes continued to be small. One boat reported catching 60+ fish, but only finding 17 keepers. Minnows fished just off bottom in 28-35 feet of water produced the best numbers. Smallmouth anglers had a harder time this week. Tubes and buzz baits were the technique of choice, with two reports of 5+ lbs. fish. Unfortunately, fish were few and far between. Northern pike anglers continued to have success along the shoreline of Potawatomi Park. Trolling cranks, just off shore, in 7-10 feet of water produced the largest size and numbers of catches. Water temps in the area could be found anywhere from 52-61 degrees and water clarity is very good.
- Some pan fish are still being caught below the Dam at Stiles but due to high water fishing pressure was low. Some perch are being caught in and around the boat landings at Oconto Breakwater Park, the Municipal Landing, and Oconto Park II. Many of the fish are small. The boat landings in Oconto were dominated by water fowl hunters, few fishermen were out in boats.
- I observed a few walleye and a salmon caught below the dam on the Peshtigo River last week. High water keep fishing pressure low. No fishing activity was observed at Little River. Walleye are being caught below the Dam on the Menominee River using jigs fishing near the Dam and Rapalas off the Fishermen's Walkway. Salmon can be seen jumping below the Hattie Street Dam but few are being caught.