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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - May 23, 2017

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.

REMINDER - Anglers must carry a paper copy of their license/stamps while fishing on the waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and the WI/MI, WI/MN and WI/IA boundary waters.

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 19, 2017

Kenosha Co.

  • Ramp: Only a couple of boats were interviewed this week. The anglers interviewed fished in 180-220ft of water and ran their lures 30ft down up to near the surface. The anglers caught close to their limit of coho salmon on spoons and dodger/fly combos.
  • Pier: Only one brown trout was reported caught this week. It was caught on a bottom rig with a live alewife. The water was 51F.
  • Shore: No anglers reported catching any fish.

Racine Co.

  • Ramp: Most anglers decided to fish in 20-40ft since the water was rough this week. Anglers fishing in 20-40ft caught brown trout and a few lake trout and coho salmon as well. The fish were caught on crankbaits, spoons, and dodger/fly combos. A few anglers fished in 150ft out to 220ft. They ran their dodger/peanut fly combos from 20ft down up to near the surface. The anglers that fished deep caught only coho salmon and got their limit or close to it.
  • Pier: No anglers reported catching any fish this week.
  • Shore: No anglers reported catching any fish this week.

Milwaukee Co.

  • Milwaukee North: Nice catches of coho salmon and a few kings were landed on the lakefront at the start of the week. The fishing pressure and catch rate tapered off after a cold front moved into the area on Thursday night (May 18). Daytime temperatures dropped from the upper 80’s to 41F on Friday (May 19). The wind chill factor was down to 32F on Friday. Small craft advisories were in effect from Tuesday to Sunday (May 16-21). 15-20 mph north/northeast winds (gusting to 30 mph) and waves up to 5-7 feet made fishing on the shoreline a challenge. A couple of limit catches of coho were landed on McKinley Pier at the start of the week along with a few kings and brown trout. 6-7 anglers were counted on McKinley Pier on Monday morning (May 15). One of the pier anglers landed his limit of coho within 2 hours while bottom fishing with alewives. Two of the pier anglers landed two 12 pound kings and one coho early Monday morning while casting glow in the dark spoons. Anglers had no trouble finding alewives on the lake side of the pier on Monday. Small schools of alewives were seen on the harbor side of the pier as well. The fishing pressure and catch rate on the pier tapered off after the cold front moved into the area on Thursday night with strong northeast winds, rain, and 4-6 foot waves. The surface water temperature on the lake side of the pier decreased from 49F last week to 45F on Saturday (May 20). Large schools of alewives made a “crackling”’ sound as they broke the surface of the water on the river side of Summerfest early Monday morning (May 15). Large numbers of alewives were seen in the Milwaukee River up to the waterfall at Estabrook Park. The fishing pressure and catch rate on the harbor and river side of Summerfest has been low over the past few weeks due to difficult weather conditions on the lakefront. 9 boat trailers were counted in the McKinley ramp parking lot Monday morning (May 15) and 45-50 boat trailers on Sunday morning (May 21). The first boat interviewed Monday morning landed 3 coho, one 10 pound rainbow, and a small chinook by 8:30 AM while trolling coho rigs (flashers and peanut flies) in 30-40 feet of water straight out from the Milwaukee harbor. Another boat (3 anglers) landed 12 coho while trolling coho rigs in 155 feet of water from the water treatment plant to the TV towers off Capitol Drive. Boats out of McKinley landed large numbers of coho on Sunday morning (May 21). The majority of the fish were landed in the top 40 feet of the water column in 90-160 feet of water from the McKinley Marina to the TV towers. Coho rigs and spoons were the most productive baits. 97 coho, 2 kings, and one rainbow were landed between 9 of the boats interviewed at McKinley on Sunday morning. One boat (3 anglers) landed 7 coho while trolling flicker shad and thunderstick crankbaits in the top 40 feet of the water column in 160 feet of water. The 3 anglers landed 3 chinook salmon the previous week with the same setup.
  • Milwaukee South: The fishing area under the Hoan Bridge by Jones Island has been closed for the past 2 weeks. According to the Department of Transportation – The public fishing area under the Hoan Bridge is closed due to overhead construction work. The area under the bridge will reopen to fishermen by early August of 2017. Anglers on the Coast Guard fishing pier targeted brown trout and coho with smelt, spawn sacks, and blade baits. Two anglers on the Coast Guard pier (father & son) had hits on all their bait and lost two big ones around sunrise on Sunday (May 21). The anglers saw large numbers of alewives rise to the surface of the water followed by trout and salmon. 5-6 anglers targeted brown trout and coho with fathead minnows and shiners on the Cupertino Park fishing pier on Sunday morning. One of the Cupertino anglers lost a large fish when it swam under the pier with his fathead minnow and broke his line. Anglers at Cupertino saw alewives jumping out of the water around sunrise. A couple of brown trout (up to 5-6 pounds) were caught and released on the Grant Park shoreline early Sunday morning (May 21) by two anglers casting cleos. The Grant Park anglers had no luck finding alewives at the mouth of the Oak Creek on Sunday morning. 3-4 anglers were seen on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier on Monday (May 15) and an average of 5-6 anglers on the weekend. Nice size brown trout (5-6 pound average) and a few small coho were landed on the power plant pier during the week. The majority of the fish were landed in the current on the lake side of the pier. Some of the anglers had their lines broken by larger fish. Fathead minnows on 3 way rigs and crank baits took most of the fish. Small brown trout and rough fish have been caught in the discharge chute for the past 5-6 weeks. The flow rate in the warm water discharge chute continues to be low due to maintenance on Unit 2 of the power plant. The water temperature in the discharge chute was 63F on Saturday (May 20). Activity at the Bender Park ramp tapered off due to strong winds and large waves. Small craft advisories were in effect from Tuesday through Sunday (May 16-21). Five boat trailers were counted in the Bender parking lot on Monday (May 15), no boat trailers on Saturday (May 20), and 6 boat trailers on Sunday morning (May 21). One boat (one angler) landed 3 coho, one lake trout, and one chinook (8 pounds) on Monday (May 15) while trolling moonshine spoons in 60-70 feet of water straight out from Bender Park. One boat (3 anglers) came in with no fish on Sunday morning (May 21) after 3 hours of trolling in 180 feet of water. The 3 anglers caught their limit of coho on Tuesday morning (May 16) while trolling with flasher/flies in the top 15 feet of the water column in 160 feet of water off Racine. No interviews were taken at the South Shore ramp during the week. Only one boat trailer was seen in the South Shore parking lot on Sunday morning (May 21). A large amount of construction continues at the South Shore ramp and parking space is limited. One of the South Shore boaters reported that he became trapped in the parking lot a couple of weeks ago when his truck and trailer were blocked in by other trailers.
  • Milwaukee River: Approximately .25 inches of rain fell in the Milwaukee area during the week. The flow rate at Estabrook Park decreased from 1460 cfs last week to 794 cfs on Sunday (May 14). The water level decreased from 3.51 to 2.83 feet. The water temperature increased from 56F to 63F. 4 anglers were counted at Kletzsch Park on Monday morning (May 8) and 8-10 anglers on Sunday afternoon (May 14). Anglers at Kletzsch Park continue to land smallmouth bass, rock bass, largemouth bass, and suckers. A group of 5 anglers had 5 smallmouth bass and one largemouth on the stringer within 2 hours of fishing on Sunday afternoon. The anglers had good luck casting tube jigs and 4” Kaitech easy shiner swim baits. Another angler caught and released 8 undersize smallmouth bass while casting swim baits. 3 anglers were counted at Estabrook Park on Monday (May 8) and 8-10 anglers on Sunday (May 14). Three anglers (3 brothers) caught and released 10 smallmouth bass at Estabrook Park within an hour of fishing on Monday morning. The anglers had good luck casting 3.5” long Strike King coffee scented tube jigs and Keitech swim baits. A large number of smallmouth bass and rock bass were caught and released at Estabrook on Sunday afternoon. Large schools of alewives have been stacked up below the former North Avenue dam for the past 2 weeks. Thick clouds of alewives hugged the shoreline as they swam upstream in the rapids above the former dam. Large flocks of seagulls were diving on the alewives as they swam towards the North Avenue Bridge. The fishing pressure and catch rate have tapered off on the river side of Summerfest since the perch season closed on May 1. 1-3 anglers on average have been targeting brown trout by Summerfest with shiners, fathead minnows, and soft plastic minnows. Two anglers landed 5-6 brown trout (up to 10 pounds) over the past few weeks with shiners and plastic swim baits. The browns caught recently have lost their spawning colors and are turning a silver/chrome color.
  • Menomonee River: The water level on the Menomonee River continues to fall. Less than .25 inches of rain fell from May 2-May 14. The water had a copper colored stain from 45th & State Street downstream to Three Bridges Park. Visibility was 2-3 feet. The water temperature increased from 56F last week to 63F on Sunday (May 14). There’s been very little fishing pressure at Miller Park since the rainbow spawning run came to an end around 3-4 weeks ago. A few suckers and schools of small minnows were seen in Three Bridges Park on the weekend. A large number of alewives have been in the river over the past 2 weeks. Seagulls and terns continue to dive on the alewives by MMSD and the Harley Davidson museum. Anglers at the MMSD fishing site landed bluegills (up to 9” long), a few crappies, and rock bass. Most of the fish were caught with nightcrawlers 3 feet down under slip bobbers. One angler landed 6 bluegills on Sunday (May 14) but they were in the 3-5” range. Anglers at the 11th & Bruce Street Bridge landed a few small bluegills with nightcrawlers on the weekend. An angler at 13th and Canal Street landed only one bluegill after 3 hours of fishing on Sunday (May 14). Nice catches of bluegills were landed with nightcrawlers recently at the Harley Davidson museum. The catch rate for brown trout at MMSD has tapered off over the past two weeks. Two anglers targeted brown trout with shiners for 3-4 hours at MMSD on Sunday (May 14) without a hit. This will be the last fishing report for the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers until the start of the salmon spawning run in September.

Ozaukee Co.

  • Port Washington Harbor/Shoreline: Fishing has still been fairly slow, but anglers are catching an occasional brown trout or coho from shore and along Coal Dock Park. Most anglers are having success using alewives on the bottom, alewives under bobbers or casting spoons. Water temperature has been around 54°F.
  • Port Washington Boat Fishing: Anglers have been targeting coho salmon recently with the occasional rainbow trout or chinook salmon being caught as well. Many limits have been caught by boats recently using standard coho dodgers (orange/red) with small peanut flies in a variety of colors. These have been trolled behind planar boards using inline weights, behind dipsy divers, or on down riggers with many fish coming all over the water column. No one specific depth has been best with anglers catching them near shore all the way out to 250 feet of water. Anglers also reported a drastic drop in water temperature between Saturday and Sunday, with some anglers reporting a 10°F drop in water temperature, and caused fishing to slow down substantially, but should pick back up as the water warms back up near the surface. Water temperature has been around 49 to 57°F near the surface.

Sheboygan Co.

  • Sheboygan Harbor/Shoreline: Not many anglers were interviewed this past week, but those out were targeting brown trout or whitefish from the piers. Quite a few whitefish have actually been caught here recently with most success coming from anglers using small alewives on bottom rigs.
  • Sheboygan Boat Fishing: A few boats have been getting out recently with limited success. One boat interviewed last week had 9 rainbow trout and 1 coho salmon between 2 anglers. They reported their success was in less than 100 feet of water using a variety of spoons and flasher flies with no one particular bait outperforming the other. Other boats reported a few coho salmon or the occasional chinook salmon or lake trout otherwise. Water temperature here has been around 45 to 50 °F near the surface.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 23, 2017

Manitowoc Co.

  • Throughout the week, Manitowoc County had experienced rainy and stormy weather. This had an impact on fishing along the lakeshore. Very few boaters were on the water, especially during the weekend of May 20th and 21st. Average temperature of water along the lakeshore has been about 45°F.
  • There were very few anglers attempting to catch anything in the rivers as the steelhead run has slowed down considerably during the past few weeks.

Kewaunee

  • This past weekend’s rain, as well as poor weather during the week, kept many anglers off the lake. Some have begun to target salmon in deeper water on the lake, but few interviews were recorded with the handful of people seen, and those interviewed over the weekend were unsuccessful. As of Tuesday, May 23, a boat fishing off Algoma reported a mixed bag of steelhead and chinooks with good action early in the morning.

Algoma

  • Anglers took advantage of the nice calm weather this weekend out on the lake and mainly trolling close to shore for Brown Trout. Late in the week anglers were doing well close to shore with limits for Browns being reported. As of Tuesday, May 23, a boat fishing off Algoma reported a mixed bag of steelhead and chinooks with good action early in the morning. Not many anglers were seen accessing the Ahnapee River or Stoney Creek this weekend and most anglers reported seeing very few Steelhead in the Rivers most likely due to very low water conditions.

Green Bay Fishing Report: May 19, 2017

DNR does not verify or guarantee the reported ice conditions, and anglers should proceed at their own risk. Please use extreme caution as conditions can change rapidly.

Door Co.

  • Despite the poor weather, anglers were able to get out and find some bass over the weekend. Sturgeon Bay, Ephraim and Rowleys Bay have been busy with bass anglers. Male smallmouth can be seen in the shallows likely looking to start nesting but they seem to be tight lipped. The best action remains deeper in 10+FOW, targeting prespawn staging fish. Anglers are reporting water temps in the mid 40’s to low 50’s from Sturgeon Bay up and around to Rowleys Bay. Low water temps are slowing the progression of the spawn. Look for action to pick up once the water warms up. Walleye action has been slow but some are being caught. Shore anglers have had success in the canal and at Stone Quarry. Boat anglers have been getting a mixed bag of northern pike, smallmouth and walleye. No word from the lake side.
  • Chaudoirs Dock – Only one morning shift, no interviews obtained.
  • Sugar Creek - no trailers recorded
  • Rites Cove- no trailers recorded
  • Little Sturgeon Bay – Bad weather has deterred many anglers from getting on the water in the early part of the fishing season, and those who have found that the fishing has been tough to say the least. Smallmouth bass anglers have been running all over the place trying to find active and feeding fish. Most the anglers interviewed reported that they are seeing fish cruising shorelines searching for bedding areas and possible mates, but have had a hard time getting these fish to bite. Smallmouth that have bite seem to be mostly males with a few nice chunky females mixed in. No walleye anglers were interviewed.
  • Sawyer Harbor – Much of the report from Little Sturgeon Bay holds true for Sawyer Harbor. One difference in Sawyer Harbor is that the water temperatures seem to have the highest average compared to the surrounding bays, this is helping with anglers catching greater numbers of smallmouth bass that have been pushing up close to shore to get ready to spawn. Anglers reported catching some decent numbers of fish (10-20 per boat) but most of the fish being caught are the smaller males. Most of your bigger females are still hanging in pre-spawn areas waiting for the water temperatures to warm up slightly.

Brown/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south

  • Metro Launch – Even though there was scattered showers earlier on in the week anglers still found success in their fishing trips. Boat fisherman were out targeting walleye with most catching 1-3 fish. Over the past few weeks there has been a steady increase in walleye harvested since opening day. Shore Anglers were mainly out to have a good time not targeting any specific species. Both groups caught white bass and freshwater drum while out fishing.
  • Fox Point Launch – Similar success to metro launch, anglers were targeting walleye with increased success from previous weeks. Boat anglers caught plenty of Freshwater drum and white bass.
  • Fairgrounds – Few trailers observed, no interviews taken. Shore anglers interviewed were not targeting any species in particular but they did catch freshwater drum, white bass, and Smallmouth bass.
  • Voyager Park – There were a variety of anglers out this week targeting many different species. White bass fisherman had a great deal of success with some anglers harvesting over 20 fish for a few hours of fishing. Other anglers had mixed success in catching catfish, common carp, and freshwater drum. The rest of the anglers were just out to have a good time. Other fish caught included goby, white perch, and yellow perch. Most anglers were using worm on the river bottom with a sinkers.
  • Duck Creek –No anglers observed.
  • Suamico – Consistent success from previous weeks with anglers mostly focusing their efforts on walleye. There has also been an increase in the number of northern pike being caught around here and genoas beach.
  • Bayshore Park – Only one morning was scheduled at Bayshore and no interviews were obtained.
  • Red River Park – no trailers or interviews

Oconto Co.

  • A few fish are being caught below the Dam at Stiles, crappie, blue gill, small mouth and pike in low numbers. High fast water has made most of the river unfishable so anglers are concentrating on eddies and current breaks. Anglers at the mouth of the Oconto River have been catching some perch, small mouth, walleye, and pike using live bait, spoons, and stick baits. The hot spot this past week has been out of the mouth of the Pensaukee River were anglers have been catching limits of walleye in 4 feet of water trolling stick baits and crawler/harness. Some small mouth and pike are also being caught. North of the Pensaukee River from Oconto Breakwater to Oconto Park II anglers report fishing much slower with most walleye being caught on or near structure.

Marinette Co.

  • Anglers on the lower Peshtigo River have been catching good numbers of walleye using jigs and live baits fishing current seams and holes. Some small mouth and pike are also being caught trolling with stick baits and crawler/harness. No interviews were gotten from Little River due to high winds. The Menominee River has 3 gates wide open and 2 gates half open pushing a tremendous amount of water and debris. Musky anglers are catching a few fish, the largest reported to be 53 inches, but find it difficult to fish the current.

Last revised: Wednesday May 24 2017