Got license?
Give yourself the license to relax and catch some memories while you're at it.
Know the regulations to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Places to fish
Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
Get started
Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.

Subscribe to keep up to date on Lake Michigan fishing - what's biting and where.

Trap Nets

Watch out for trapnets

Fall Fishing

fall fishing

Contact information
For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold

Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - October 6, 2015

In general, fishing reports will be updated once per week, usually on Tuesdays. This may change based on availability of reports and work schedules of field staff.

Recorded versions of this information are also available. For Northern Lake Michigan and Green Bay, call 920-746-2873. For Southern Lake Michigan, call 414-382-7920.

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 5, 2015

Kenosha Co.

  • Ramp: No boats were interviewed this week due to low temperatures and large waves.
  • Piers: Northeast winds made the water in the harbor very turbid and choppy. Fishing was mainly slow except for a few anglers using fly fishing gear to catch brown trout from the south pier. Spawn imitation lures and bright yarn flies were the preferred bait.
  • Shoreline: Large waves made fishing difficult from the shore in Kenosha. The mouth of the Pike was not open to the lake most of the week. Fishing pressure was low.
  • Pike River: Chinook were observed in the river as far upstream as Petrifying Springs Park. The water level was low, but anglers did report multiple chinook being caught using fly fishing gear. The chinook being caught looked like they recently entered the river.

Racine Co.

  • Ramps: No boats were interviewed this week due to large waves and cold temperatures.
  • Shoreline: Fishing pressure was higher from the Racine shoreline near the harbor and boat launch. Many brown trout were caught from the rocks near the public boat launch. Most fish were caught on spawn. Brown trout could be seen cruising the rocks in shallow water. Multiple anglers caught chinook salmon off of rocks facing the harbor. Fishing with spawn is the most popular method, but a few anglers were also throwing crank baits.
  • Piers: This week fishing was made very difficult by strong northeast winds. Waves were crashing over the piers. Fishing pressure was very slow. A few anglers fished off the end of south pier and had limited success with only one coho salmon. The water near the piers is very turbid.
  • Root River: This weekend the flow dropped and few fish moved upstream. Anglers are reporting few fish seen or caught. The level of the river in Lincoln park makes the section under the pedestrian bridge a difficult section for the salmon to pass. No fish were observed directly below the weir or attempting to enter the weir. Downstream of the weir- Fishing has been more productive downstream of the weir. Multiple chinook were caught in Lincoln Park by anglers using fly fishing gear. Chinook and coho were also reported being caught at Island Park. Upstream of the weir- Last week chinook were being caught at both Quarry Park and the Horlick Dam, but low flows this week led to a decrease in fish being caught upstream of the weir. Quarry Park received the most fishing pressure, while Colonial Park received very little. The Root River Steelhead Facility is up and running, but very few fish are moving upstream at this point. Since the facility was started on September 21, DNR crews have handled a total of 21 Chinooks, 5 coho, and 12 brown trout. The Root River Steelhead Facility will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 10, from 9AM to 3PM. Everyone is encouraged to attend this fun-filled event, whether you're a novice angler, a veteran angler, or just like to eat fish! Enjoy guided tours of the facility with DNR crews demonstrating fish spawning procedures. Volunteers from local fishing clubs will provide fishing rod casting lessons, fly casting, knot tying, fly-tying, tips for cooking fish, and much more! For more information, please call 414-750-8382 or go to the Root River Open House page of the DNR website.

Milwaukee Co.

  • Milwaukee North: Another cold front with 15-20 mph northeast winds (gusting to 30 mph) and waves up to 6-8 feet hit the lakefront this week. Daytime high temperatures dropped from near 80F on Monday (Sept. 28) to the 50’s by Wednesday. Large waves washed over the top of McKinley Pier from Tuesday through Saturday. McKinley Pier was unfishable for most of the week. Only one 6 pound king was landed from the lake side of the pier Monday morning between 9-10 anglers. The angler caught the fish on his 3rd cast with an orange glow-in-the-dark spoon. A large number of trout and salmon are staging in the harbor. Anglers reported seeing large fish jumping and splashing around the docks in McKinley Marina. Anglers on the shoreline hooked into a couple of nice size kings around the old Coast Guard station (near the marina) on Sunday, Oct. 4. A large number of trout and salmon have moved into the Lakeshore State Park lagoons over the past 2-3 weeks. A few kings were caught in the lagoons Sunday morning. Anglers had good luck fishing the narrow area between the lagoons (near the white bridge) with crank baits, spawn sacks, and skein under bobbers. Anglers on the harbor side of Summerfest are landing a few kings and coho. Two anglers landed 3 coho recently on shiners fished 8-15 feet down under slip bobbers. An angler casting a glow-in-the-dark spoon caught and released a 40-50 pound carp on the harbor side of Summerfest Monday morning. The angler’s landing net was pulled apart by the carp. Boat traffic at the McKinley and Riverfront ramps tapered off this week. Only 6 boat trailers were counted at the McKinley ramp Saturday evening. Northeast winds gusting to 30 mph and waves up to 6-8 feet kept most boats inside the break walls. Nice catches of chinook salmon were landed by some of the boaters over the weekend around McKinley Marina. Spawn sacks, skein under slip bobbers, and crank baits were the most productive baits. Most of the kings were landed during the late evening and early morning bite.
  • Milwaukee South: The fishing pressure and catch rate tapered off as another cold front moved into the area. 10-15 mph northeast winds (gusting to 30 mph) and waves up to 6-8 feet kept most anglers off the shoreline from Tuesday thru Saturday. The water inside the South Shore boat harbor was relatively calm. A 26-27” northern and a 15 pound chinook were landed on the Cupertino Park fishing pier. Both of the fish were caught with a rattle trap crank bait. A couple of smallmouth bass were caught on the pier as well. Trout and salmon were jumping on the surface of the water by the Lake Express Car Ferry and the Coast Guard Station fishing pier but very few anglers were there to fish for them. Brown trout and chinook salmon are starting to move upstream on the Oak Creek. Two young anglers landed 2 kings (12-15 pounds) Monday morning (Sept. 28) on a spinner bait and on artificial spawn. A few brown trout were caught on the creek by anglers drifting spawn sacks. Another angler caught and released 3 kings Friday morning (Oct. 2) while fishing with spawn sacks near the dam. The water in the creek was somewhat cloudy with visibility at 2-3 feet. The water temperature decreased from 63F last week to 53F on Saturday. The water along the Grant Park shoreline was crystal clear at the start of the week. A large school of alewives was seen swimming around the mouth of the Oak Creek. Trout and salmon were “splashing” on the surface of the water within casting distance of shore. Approximately 3-4 anglers were seen on the Grant Park shoreline Monday morning (Sept. 28). One of the anglers caught a 5-6 pound chinook salmon on a cleo. Very few anglers fished the Grant Park shoreline from Tuesday through Saturday due to strong northeast winds and waves up to 6-8 feet. 7 anglers were counted on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier around noon on Monday (Sept. 28). Catfish (up to 15 pounds) were landed in the discharge chute during the previous week. Anglers on the pier landed only gobies in the chute on Monday. The catch rate on the power plant fishing pier has tapered off since the cold fronts and northeast winds hit the lakefront over the past 3 weeks. The fishing pier was closed Saturday due to the rough weather. 7 boat trailers were counted at the South Shore boat launch Monday afternoon and 3 trailers at the Bender Park ramp. Boats out of South Shore were targeting lake trout, kings, and rainbows with small spoons at the Green Can Reef. One boat landed 3 lake trout (8-18 pounds) while trolling Goldstar double glow spoons. Another boat landed 4 chinook (4 year olds) in 52-58 feet of water (22 feet down) north of the Green Can Reef. Boats out of Bender were targeting kings and coho in front of the Oak Creek Power Plant and on the boils in front of the South Shore water treatment plant. One boat landed 3 fish (1 king, 1 coho, and 1 laker) Monday morning while trolling with spoons in 70 feet of water straight out from Bender Park. The lake trout was caught 60 feet down on a down rigger. The king and the coho were caught 20 feet down on planer boards. Small craft advisories were in effect from Tuesday to Saturday due to strong northeast winds and waves up to 6-8 feet. No boats were launched at the Bender ramp Tuesday thru Saturday and only a couple of jet skis were launched at the South Shore ramp according to the boat ramp attendants.
  • Milwaukee River: The water level and flow rate spiked after .63 inches of rain fell on Tuesday (Sept. 29). The water level at Estabrook Park increased from 2.02 feet on Sunday to 2.64 feet on Tuesday. The flow rate increased from 258 cfs to 640 cfs. The water temperature decreased from 65F to 62F. The water was cloudy/turbid from Kletzsch Park downstream to the lakefront. Visibility at the North Avenue Bridge was 18-24”. The majority of the fishing pressure on Tuesday was at Kletzsch Park. The area below the water fall was crowded with 9-10 anglers. A steady number of trout and salmon were seen trying to jump the falls. Only one brown trout (5-6 pounds) was landed from noon to 3:00 PM between all the anglers at Kletzsch. The brown was caught with artificial spawn on a single hook. A steady number of trout and salmon were swimming towards the Kletzsch Park falls according to a fly fisherman downstream at the Bender Road Bridge. A 5 pound brown trout and an 11 pound king were landed below the falls at Estabrook Park on Tuesday. Only 2 anglers were fishing at Estabrook early Tuesday afternoon but more anglers started to show up after work and school. One angler floated spawn sacks downstream from the North Avenue Bridge to the former dam but reported no luck after an hour of fishing. Fishing pressure at the mouth of the river by Summerfest has been steady with 5-6 anglers on average fishing for trout and salmon. The catch rate tapered off after a series of cold fronts with strong winds and high waves hit the lakefront. Very few trout and salmon have been landed at the mouth of the river over the past three weeks. The water level at Estabrook decreased to 1.96 feet on Sunday (Oct. 4). The flow rate decreased to 230 cfs and the water temperature was 53F. The fishing pressure from Kletzsch Park to the lakefront was very low on Sunday. The only fish landed on Sunday were a few shiners at Kletzsch Park. A large number of trout and salmon are staging at the lakefront according to anglers interviewed this week. Anglers are hoping for a few days of steady rain to bring the fish upstream to spawn.
  • Menomonee River: The majority of anglers interviewed this week were targeting trout and salmon but the catch rate continues to be low. Fishing pressure on the river increased slightly after .63 inches of rain fell Tuesday morning (Sept. 29). The water was fast and somewhat cloudy with visibility at 10-12”. The water temperature at 45th & State Street was 61F. Three anglers drifted spawn sacks downstream from Miller Park to Three Bridges Park Tuesday evening but didn’t see any fish after 3 hours of fishing. A fly fisherman reported seeing a few salmon moving upstream through Miller Park Tuesday night. The angler was casting a tandem fly setup - an egg pattern with a small black leech dropper. The water temperature at 45th & State Street dropped to 53F on Sunday (Oct. 4). The water was clear from 45th & State Street downstream to Three Bridges Park. Visibility was 2-3 feet. Five anglers (fly fishermen) were interviewed Sunday afternoon at Miller Park and Three Bridges Park. Only one small rock bass was caught and released between the 5 anglers. Most of the fish caught on the river over the past 4-5 weeks have been bluegills along with a few crappies. The shoreline at 11th & Bruce Street and at 13th and Canal Street have been the most popular sites for anglers targeting panfish. The weather forecast calls for an 80% chance of showers and possible thunderstorms on Thursday. Hopefully, the colder temperatures and more rain will bring a few more trout and salmon into the river.

Ozaukee Co.

  • Port Washington Ramps: No boats were interviewed over the weekend.
  • Port Washington Shore and Piers: Catch rates improved slightly inside of the harbor area over the weekend, more notably on Sunday. On Saturday, strong winds made it difficult to fish anywhere but the north slip, and few fish were caught throughout the day. The area near the utility discharge produced the most fish, mostly chinook with a few browns mixed in. Almost all of the fish caught here were caught using skein or spawn sacs. The north slip received similar pressure compared to the utility area, but fewer fish were caught. The few that were caught were mostly chinook and browns, and they were caught mostly on skein and spawn sacs. The breakwall and south wall received very little fishing pressure, and no fish were reported. The rocks near Rotary Park were fished lightly, but the fishing was very slow.
  • Sauk Creek: The water level upstream was still very low on Sunday. Fishermen reported chinook, browns, and even a rainbow from the mouth of the creek close to the utility discharge area. Casting lures such as spinners and rapalas produced most of these fish.

Sheboygan Co.

  • Sheboygan Ramps: No boats were interviewed over the weekend.
  • Sheboygan Piers and Shore: Strong winds blowing 20mph ENE on Saturday kept fishermen off of the piers, even near the mouth of the Sheboygan River. No fishermen were seen anywhere else inside of the harbor either. Those that wanted to fish opted to go inland on the Sheboygan River. The surface water temperature near Deland ramp was 47F on Sunday, down eleven degrees from last week.
  • Sheboygan River: Chinook, browns, and cohos were all reported in the river, but the catch rate was low. The number of chinook that have been found upstream near Esslingen Park and beyond remained low, but some were still caught, mostly by fly fishermen. A variety of patterns were reported; anything brightly colored seemed to work best. The cohos that were reported had not made it up to Esslingen quite yet, but they were silver in color and seem to have just started to work their way up. Spinners seemed to work the best for fishermen casting in stretches downstream of Esslingen Park. No particular area stuck out, anywhere deep is worth a shot. The water temperature was 48F on Sunday near Esslingen Park, down twelve degrees from last week.
  • Pigeon River: No fish were reported, and the water level was very low on Sunday.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 5, 2015

Manitowoc Co.

  • King Salmon are trickling upriver and people are catching them on the Manitowoc River, and a few on the East Twin River in Mishicot and the West Twin River in Shoto. The ramps were quiet this weekend with strong winds and high waves of 4-7 feet out on Lake Michigan.
  • Manitowoc Shore: Manitowoc Harbor water temperature is 56F. The Marina in Manitowoc Harbor was popular again this past weekend. Several King Salmon have been caught from the rocks on the eastern side of the marina. Most of these fish are being caught with green and silver/gold or orange/gold spoons. Very few people ventured out onto the lake with a small craft advisory in effect most of the weekend.
  • Manitowoc River: Everyone has left downtown Manitowoc to focus fishing effort upstream in places such as Manitou Park, and Manitowoc City Park. A few Kings can be seen jumping in the Manitowoc River, but not in spectacular numbers. King Salmon, and Brown Trout were caught throughout the day in Manitowoc City Park. Most of these fish were caught floating spawn sacs. The Manitowoc River is brown and muddy in color with good water levels. The water temperature in the Manitowoc River is 55F.
  • Branch River: The Branch River is quite clear. A visual check at several locations showed no signs of anglers or fish. The water temperature in the Branch River is 55F.
  • Two Rivers Shore: No new report.
  • East Twin River: It was reported that Brown Trout are still being caught in Mishicot. Most of these fish are being caught near the dam, or in the deeper pools downstream from the fire station.
  • West Twin River: Activity in Shoto picked up this past weekend. Several Kings were landed below the dam, with one weighing 20 pounds. Most of the fish that are present are holed up under heavy fishing pressure near the dam. The water in the West Twin River is clear below the dam, but quickly muddies downstream. The water temperature in the West Twin River is 57F near Shoto.

Kewaunee Co.

  • Kewaunee and Algoma Piers: Will be updated later in the week.
  • Kewaunee River: Will be updated later in the week.
  • Ahnapee River: Will be updated later in the week.

Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)

  • Northern Door: Will be updated later in the week.
  • Sturgeon Bay: Will be updated later in the week.

Green Bay Fishing Report: October 5, 2015

Brown Co.

  • Suamico: Shore anglers are casting worms and minnows for yellow perch. Multiple anglers reported catching increasing numbers of northern pike this week. Pike have averaged in the mid 20’s while perch are ranging anywhere from 6-14 inches this week. Water temps in the area are in the high 50’s and clarity was moderate to poor.
  • Long Tail Point: No anglers interviewed this week.
  • Duck Creek: Perch fishing continues to vary day to day with some anglers reporting catching their limit one day and returning the next with none. Minnows continue to produce the largest and highest number of fish and northern pike are not an uncommon by-catch. Water temps have continued to hover in the low 60’s and water clarity is moderate.
  • Fox River Shore: Action in the area continued to be slow however reports of walleye moving into the area have begun to increase late into the week. Anglers retrieving cranks have had the most action on smallmouth and walleye, while the three-way rig has continued to produce catfish and drum. The metro launch has been producing great numbers of catfish along with the occasional crappie and smallmouth. Wave action has reduced clarity throughout the area and the temps have dropped to the low 60’s.
  • Green Bay Ramps: All anglers interviewed at the Metro Ramp this week have been fishing for musky with varying results. Reports of one 59 inch fish and multiple 50 inch fish were reported late into the week. Wave action has forced most anglers into sheltered coves but has not reduced catch rates. Clarity in the area has been reduced from moderate to poor, and water temps are hovering in the low 60’s. No anglers were interviewed at the Fairgrounds and Foxpoint ramps.
  • Bay Shore Park: The road leading to the Bayshore Park boat launch is closed for the winter. A sign there indicates dredging is being done from October 1st through the 31st.

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

  • Chaudoirs Dock: Due to 10-20 mph winds through much of the week, only one boat was interviewed at Chaudoir’s Dock. They were trolling crank baits for walleye and did not catch any fish.
  • Red River: A handful of shore anglers were casting night crawlers, under bobbers, for yellow perch at Red River Park. They did not catch any fish.
  • Little Sturgeon Bay: Yellow perch catch numbers were down this week. Most anglers continue to favor minnows to night crawlers. Fishing in over twenty feet of water was the preferred depth. Walleye boaters caught good numbers of fish. A few anglers landed their limits. Trolling in 12-15 feet of water in the morning and evening worked well. Trolling in 6-8 feet of water through the night landed fish. Crank baits were the most common lures. The size range of walleye measured this week was fifteen to twenty-nine inches. 10-20 mph winds during most of the week kept fishing pressure down on Little Sturgeon Bay. Water clarity was between 6-8 feet. Side catches included round gobies and freshwater drum.
  • Sawyer Harbor: Smallmouth bass anglers were catching fish in deeper water. Live bait and plastics in 12-15 feet of water worked best. A decent number of yellow perch boats were catching limits. Most are smaller, but patience has led to some nice-sized fish. Minnows and night crawlers were the favored baits. Twenty, or more, feet of water was the most successful depth. Perch measured this week ranged from seven to twelve inches. Round goby side catches were low. Side catches on Sawyer Harbor included round gobies and northern pike. A pier was recently added to at the Idlewild launch. Heavy winds kept fishing pressure very low this week. Water clarity was between 6-8 feet.

Oconto Co.

  • Cool, windy weather kept fishing pressure to a minimum, very few interviews were obtained. Anglers below the Dam at Stiles report fishing for crappie and bluegill has slowed down considerably and few fish were being kept. Early in the week good numbers of Pink Salmon were being observed spawning just above the Iron Bridge. Few fish were caught despite the number of anglers fishing for them. Anglers from the Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II are still catching some nice perch when weather permits. Fish are being found in 4 to 14 feet of water with minnows fished with crappie rigs or slip bobbers working the best. No King Salmon have been observed yet.
  • Geano's Beach: No anglers interviewed this week.

Marinette Co.

  • Cool, windy weather kept fishing pressure to a minimum, very few interviews were obtained. No angler interviews were obtained for the Peshtigo River area last week. A few walleye are being caught on the Menominee River by shore anglers fishing live bait and jigs, while boaters are also having some luck trolling with Raps. Reports of perch being caught on the Breakwater have not been verified. King Salmon have yet to show up in the river.

Last revised: Tuesday, October 6, 2015