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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - April 21, 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
- Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Green Bay Fishing Report
- Ramp: Fishing has been pretty slow over the past week in Kenosha. The few coho that were biting earlier in the week seem to have moved on, and the only boat that was interviewed on Sunday reported no fish. Anglers reported their best success fishing just outside the dirty brown water close to shore, but unless more fish move into Kenosha, anglers should have a better chance of catching a fish in Racine.
- Piers and Shoreline: Fishing on Kenosha's piers has improved little over the last week as visibility is still very poor in the harbor. Fishing off the piers in Racine has definitely been more productive than those in Kenosha. Anglers along the shore have also suffered from the low visibility. A few steelhead were reported biting under the bridge earlier in the week, however, no fish were recorded over the weekend.
- Pike River: The mouth of the Pike River has narrowed significantly from last week, although a good amount of water is still flowing out into Lake Michigan. Throughout the middle of last week anglers had varied success catching steelhead and suckers, although catch rates dropped off over the weekend. With similar conditions to last week predicted in the forecast, fishing should be picking back up in the river over this next week.
- Ramps: Fishing outside the harbor has been quite productive as anglers have had success catching brown trout and coho salmon throughout the last week. Most boats have been successful fishing in the olive green water just outside the breakwall, using very bright/reflective colors, as visibility is still rather low. The morning bite has been the most productive with most boats returning from successful trips around 9AM.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure along the Racine shoreline has been rather low this past week as most anglers were on the piers, where fishing has been more productive. Some small brown and rainbow trout were reported biting earlier in the week, although whenever fish were biting along the shoreline, they were also at the piers.
- Piers: Anglers in Racine have had success fishing from both north and south pier, although the majority of fish landed have been quite small. Brown trout and coho were predominately biting off north pier earlier in the week, and a few steelhead were landed over the weekend on south pier. On days with calm lake conditions this week, anglers should be able to get some bites. Soaking bait with a strong scent has been most productive as visibility remains poor.
- Root River: Fishing pressure has been high over this past week as warm weather and good fishing have attracted anglers to the Root River. Fishing in the middle of last week proved very productive for a good number of anglers upstream of the weir, and anglers fishing early in the morning through Colonial Park reported landing the occasional steelhead along with very large numbers of suckers. Anglers reported the most success on bright orange or green flies. Fishing downstream remained slower then upstream, yet steady for the majority of the week, with fishing along the entire river slowing down towards the weekend. Although a few fish have been recorded over the course of the day, anglers have said the fishing has consistently dropped off around 10AM. With this week's forecast looking similar to last week's and more fish being ran through the weir on Monday, it is likely fishing upstream will be good towards the end of this week. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, April 20. An additional 140 steelhead were released upriver, for a total of 627 so far this spring. Over 326,000 Chambers Creek strain eggs and 328,000 Ganaraska strain eggs have been collected. We will process fish at the facility one more time and then shut it down. The last day has not yet been determined, but will likely be early next week.
- Milwaukee North: Rough weather over the weekend made fishing a challenge for the majority of anglers in Milwaukee County. North winds at 20-25 mph (gusting to 38 mph) and 3-5 foot waves on Saturday kept most boaters off the lake. Most fishing trips on McKinley Pier lasted less than an hour. Two anglers walked to the end of the pier Saturday morning, took 2-3 casts, and returned to shore with frozen fingers. A few small coho, brown trout, rainbows, and an 8-9 pound lake trout were landed on the pier earlier in the week by anglers casting spoons and crank baits. One angler reported good luck catching coho and brown trout at the end of the pier with a Moonshine tangerine tiger casting spoon. An 8 pound brown trout was caught behind the War Memorial by anglers fishing with shiners about 5 feet down under slip bobbers. The angler who caught the fish reported that it was her boyfriend’s birthday and the brown trout was his birthday present. The access doors to the McKinley Marina were locked this weekend and large boats are starting to fill the marina. Only 2-3 anglers on average showed up to fish for perch at the Summerfest fishing areas over the weekend. The shoreline anglers at Summerfest reported that the perch have disappeared ever since the heavy rains fell on April 9th. Only one boat trailer was seen at the McKinley Ramp parking lot Saturday morning and one at the Riverfront Ramp. 3-5 foot waves on the lake kept the boaters inside the break walls, but the wind was so strong that white caps formed on 2-3 foot waves inside the harbor. One of the boats reported no luck after 4 hours of fishing. According to the anglers, their boat got beat up by waves that were moving in 2-3 different directions.
- Milwaukee South: The water was calm and the sky was clear Saturday morning but the weather turned rough within a matter of minutes. North winds at 20-25 mph (gusting to 38 mph) and a cold blast of air hit the lakefront without warning at 6:45 AM. It was as though someone flipped a switch and the wind started howling, according to one angler. 5 boat trailers were counted at the South Shore Ramp parking lot Saturday morning and 12 trailers were counted at the Bender Park Ramp. The majority of boaters at Bender Park returned to shore around 8:00 AM when the water got rough. One angler reported that the waves in front of the Oak Creek Power Plant were 3-5 feet with 6-7 foot swells. An average of 2 brown trout were landed per boat within 1 hour of fishing. Flicker Shads and ThinFins trolled behind planer boards were the most popular rig. One angler landed 2 browns while trolling dodgers and blue/green squids. All of the boats interviewed at the Bender ramp Saturday morning fished at the Oak Creek Power Plant. One boat (2 anglers) caught and released 4 brown trout on Sunday while trolling inside the South Shore break walls with orange Flicker Shads. Another boat reported no luck jigging white gulp near the gaps north of the South Shore ramp. Anglers at the end of the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier shortened their fishing trips Saturday morning when waves began to wash over the pier. A mixed bag of coho, brown trout, and some nice size rainbows (up to 9 pounds) were landed on the Power Plant pier over the weekend. The majority of fish were caught on white tube jigs and white twister tails tipped with wax worms. Anglers casting spoons and crank baits had limited success. 5-6 anglers on average fished the Grant Park shoreline over the weekend but without success. The water level in the Oak Creek at the 15th Avenue Bridge dropped from 6.2 feet last week to 2.61 feet on Saturday. The water clarity was good with visibility at 18-24”. The water temperature was 51F. Fishing pressure on the creek increased this week with the majority of anglers fishing near the dam. Anglers fishing with white tube jigs and spawn sacks landed a few rainbows, brown trout, and lots of suckers. One angler landed a nice size rainbow on Sunday while drifting an ice fishing jig tipped with a small grey plastic worm. Some nice size rainbows were seen pairing up in the creek over the weekend.
- Milwaukee River: (As of April 16) The water level and flow rate are still high on many sections of the Milwaukee River after last week’s record breaking rain fall. The water level at Estabrook Park was 3.77 feet on Wednesday and the flow rate was 1,740 cfs. The water was cloudy with a reddish/brown stain. Visibility was 18-24”. The water temperature was 51F. The water level was still too high and the current too strong for fly fishermen who tried to wade in the river at Estabrook and Kletzsch Park. Fishing pressure at Kletzsch Park increased with 4-5 anglers on average fishing from shore. Smallmouth bass (up to 5 pounds) and some nice size crappies were landed at Kletzsch on Tuesday. One angler landed 5 crappies on fathead minnows. A few northern pike (up to 34”) and more smallmouth bass were caught at Kletzsch on Wednesday morning on fathead minnows and crawfish colored crank baits. A fly fisherman caught and released 4 suckers on an egg sucking leech before leaving for work. Most of the anglers at Estabrook have been watching the fast moving white water flow through the park but they haven’t been fishing. The road to the Estabrook dam parking lot was open on Wednesday. A large amount of tree limbs, branches, and vegetation was stacked up against the concrete barrier upstream from the dam. No anglers were seen at the Estabrook dam on Wednesday. The North Avenue fishing area is a popular spot for walleye anglers, but it has received very little fishing pressure over the past 4-5 weeks. Nice catches of perch were landed at Summerfest fishing area over the past few weeks but the perch disappeared after last week’s heavy rain. 10-12 anglers were waiting for the first schools of perch to return to the river Wednesday morning but there no reports of fish landed by 1:00 PM. The large amount of debris (weeds, grass, branches, and tree limbs) that flowed into the harbor after last week’s storms has dissipated and the water clarity has improved with visibility at 12-18”.
- Menomonee River: (As of April 16) The water level and flow rate on the Menomonee River dropped to fishable levels on Wednesday after last week’s record breaking rainfall. The water at Miller Park had a reddish/brown stain with visibility at 24”. The water temperature was 51F. There are still some pockets of deep water at Miller Park and the current is strong enough to sweep away any angler who wades too deep in the river. 3-4 anglers were targeting rainbow trout at Miller Park Wednesday morning. Anglers casting white twister tails and spawn sacs reported no luck. One angler finally broke the ice by landing a 3-4 pound male rainbow trout on an egg sucking leech. Large trees, branches, and logs were stranded on shore at the 45th and State fishing area after the water level receded. Most of the fishing pressure once again was at the 11th & Bruce site. 7-8 anglers were targeting northern pike, catfish, bluegills, and brown trout on Wednesday. A couple of nice size northern pike were caught (and released) this week on jerk baits and flicker shad. White colored crank baits produced most of the strikes. The water level at 16th and Canal Street was 13.39 feet and the mean flow rate was 377 cfs on Wednesday.
- Port Washington Utility: Fishermen are starting to report more catches near the warm water discharge. It has been mostly browns, but some steelhead were caught as well. At least three channel catfish were caught on Sunday also. Spawn floated off the bottom was the most popular bait, but others have had success using flicker shads or rapalas.
- Port Washington Shore and Piers: A few browns were reported off the rocky shore of Rotary Park, and one was caught on Saturday morning using a flicker shad. On Sunday, it was reported that one fisherman caught two lake whitefish off the north pier using a spoon. One other fisherman caught one small steelhead using a silver spoon on the same pier.
- Port Washington Ramp: Boat pressure remained extremely low, and no boats were interviewed over the weekend.
- Sauk Creek: The water clarity in the stream is fairly high again. There are reports of a large number of steelhead in the stream. Fishermen have had success near the bridge behind the high school, and farther upstream near the Nature Conservancy. Egg patterns, or actual spawn, have produced fish. The water temperature was 50F on Sunday.
- Sheboygan Ramps: Strong winds have kept many boats off the water. When trollers have been able to get out, they have caught a few browns while trolling brightly colored spoons in about 20 to 30 feet of water.
- Sheboygan Piers and Shore: The rain this past week caused the fishing on south pier to slow down a bit. Fishermen were reporting good catches of browns and lakers using cleos and kastmasters before the rain. Strong winds kept fishermen off south pier on Sunday, so a few fishermen tried north pier and reported landing a nice brown on a spawn sac. The water within the harbor was still more murky than usual on Sunday.
- Sheboygan River: The water clarity has improved greatly, but the river remains a little murky. Fishermen are doing very well on steelhead, especially at the Kohler dam. Egg patterns and egg sucking leeches have been the most popular choices for fly fishermen, but spinners continue to work as well. There are still reports of a decent number of pike being caught, and at least one large walleye was caught as well. Overall, the fishing has been great most of the week, so it's a good time to get out there. The water temperature was 50F on Sunday at Esslingen Park.
- Pigeon River: No new report.
- Fishing in Manitowoc County has still been focused near Mishicot Village Park and the Shoto Dam Area. The majority of anglers are seeking Steelhead or dipnetting for Suckers. More Steelhead have been caught this week than during the 2 past weeks. Many of the females are "loose" and drop their spawn readily when removed from the river.
- Manitowoc: Manitowoc Harbor is at 54F, and dark brown in color. A few anglers have tried the Marina with little success. The boat ramps have remained quiet throughout the week.
- Two Rivers: The water is still dark near Two Rivers Harbor, and fishing pressure on the piers has been light.
- Manitowoc River: The water color in many rivers has become clearer in the last week, with the exception of the Maintowoc River which remains dark and muddy. The Manitowoc River had a temperature of 57 F as of April 16. Fishing pressure has lessened at Manitowoc City Park, Manitou Park, and Lower Cato Falls, with 1 or 2 anglers were at each location.
- Branch River: The Branch River has a stained color, and a temperature of 56F. There is little fishing pressure near bridges in the area.
- Silver Creek: The temperature is 52F. The water is very clear, and has dropped in level since last week. The river has seen very little fishing pressure as well.
- East Twin River: The East Twin River in Mishicot was very popular with anglers this past weekend. In Mishicot near the dam people have had success using floated spawn sacs, and farther downstream dropping spawn sacs with a split shot. One trout was caught with some frozen shrimp, and another with a Mepp's #2 green spinner. Most of the Steelhead were 5-6 lbs in weight. The consensus is that the water is very clear and making the fish finnicky toward taking bait. It may take an hour or more of stalking one trout to ensure success.
- West Twin River: The West Twin River in Shoto was very popular with anglers this past weekend. The consensus is that the water is very clear and making the fish finnicky toward taking bait. It may take an hour or more of stalking one trout to ensure success.
- Kewaunee River: The first steelhead spawning day at the Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility is Wednesday, April 22.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- No report.
- Suamico: Early Sunday brought more anglers to the area with most boats reporting 2-5 walleye boated early in the day, however once the wind shifted to the north, the bite stopped and the water became quite rough. Most anglers utilized orange and chartreuse jigs with twister tails while fishing in 12-15 feet of water. The majority of fish caught were in the 21-25 inch range. Other than the occasional freshwater drum, very little other action was to be found in the area. Clarity was reported to be fair to good, but the incoming weather shift and higher winds may change that overnight.
- Long Tail Point: No anglers were interviewed this week. This area was seeing heavy wave action as of Sunday night.
- Duck Creek: The water level continues to hold within the creek, and the clarity has returned to normal. Very little fishing was to be found within the creek with only one angler reporting any fish landed. A night crawler fished on bottom was able to produce a few bites, with two catfish landed.
- Fox River: Shore fishermen are still catching large catfish just about anywhere along the river, using a night crawler and sinker harness. Most anglers agree that the walleye run below the De Pere dam is at its end, however a few males can still be found along with large numbers of white suckers. A few anglers are also having limited success fishing for white bass near Porlier. A minnow, fished just off bottom, was the technique of choice. Boaters near the mouth of the river reported catching low numbers of walleye on Sunday morning, but once the wind shifted to the north, the bite for the day shut down. Temperatures in the river hovered between 53 and 55 degrees. The flow and clarity continue to stay at moderate levels.
- Bay Shore Park: Despite the fact that weekend water temperatures had dropped from 47 degrees on Saturday to around 43 degrees on Sunday, most boaters looking for walleye were able to catch their one fish limit. Crank baits seemed to outperform crawler harnesses. The average size was 21.1 inches. The largest walleye observed by creel clerks was 22.8 inches. One boat had also reported catching a large lake whitefish. While shore or pier anglers did not report catching any walleye over the weekend, it was mentioned that they have been having luck here in the evenings.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: Only one walleye boat was interviewed at Chaudoir’s Dock. They did not report any luck. On Sunday there were only a handful of trailers in the parking area. One brown trout boat was interviewed. Using floaters, they had caught one 24 inch brown.
- Red River: Suckers are spawning in Red River. A group of four individuals was seen attempting to net them.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: No anglers were interviewed at Little Sturgeon Bay.
- Sawyer Harbor: No anglers were interviewed at Sawyer Harbor.
- Fishing pressure was heavy this past week with water temperatures in the low to mid 40's. The walleye spawn is coming to an end and being replaced with white suckers, red horse suckers, and sturgeon. The numbers of walleye being caught by the dam in Stiles has declined as the numbers of white suckers has increased. Most shore anglers are fishing for walleye in the lower reaches of the river, City Docks and Oconto Breakwater Park. Stick baits in fire tiger, blue/silver, and clown are starting to work. Zip lures in various colors are also working, while some anglers prefer using jig heads tipped with minnows. Boaters have been concentrating at the mouth of the Oconto River and the shallow shorelines north and south of river. These anglers are jigging and using planer boards trailing stick baits. A few pike are being caught from shore at Oconto Park II using spoons, while boaters are searching for walleye using planers boards, with spoons and stick baits.
- Geano's Beach: No anglers were interviewed this week. This area was seeing heavy wave action as of Sunday night.
- Fishing pressure was heavy this past week with water temperatures in the low to mid 40's. The walleye spawn is coming to an end and being replaced with white suckers, red horse suckers, and sturgeon. Viewing sturgeon can be done on the north side of the Peshtigo River by the power house fence. The Peshtigo River, like the Oconto, is seeing an influx of white suckers and a few sturgeon, while the walleye run has decreased dramatically. Shore anglers and boaters alike have moved to the lower stretches of the river. Shore anglers are casting zip lures, and deep diving Raps, as well as fishing with jigs and plastics and jigs and minnows. Catch rates for shore anglers has been modest while some of the boaters have reported catches of 40 fish and more. Browns are being caught in good numbers from south of Little River to north of the Menominee River using #7 Rapalas in various colors and trolling in 6 to 10 feet of water. Fish as large as 28 inches and 12 pounds are being caught. Browns are also being caught off the Government Pier and the Lighthouse Pier on the Menominee River using Raps and stick baits. Most anglers on the Menominee River are now concentrating on the lower portion of the river for walleye using jigs and minnows. Some walleye and brown trout are still being caught at the Hattie Street Dam.