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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - July 21, 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: Traffic at the Simmons Island boat harbor has been low over the past few weeks. Boat traffic normally increases during the week of the Salmon-A-Rama fishing tournament but not this year according to one of the boat ramp attendants. Perch fishing has been spotty over the past week. According to a couple of regular perch anglers, they catch their limit of perch one day and only 2-3 the next. One boat (2 anglers) tried fishing at the break wall and the bubbler on Monday morning but came back with only 2-3 fish after a few hours of fishing. The same anglers fished the same spots on Saturday and landed their limit of perch. Anglers (and charter boats) have been catching a few more fish lately but there were no reports of boats limiting out during the week. A group of six local anglers chartered a boat Monday morning and landed 10 brown trout after trolling north of the harbor in 25-35 feet of water for 5 hours. Their largest brown trout weighed 14.5 pounds. One boat (2 Salmon-A-Rama anglers) came in with 3 nice size kings (up to 15.5 pounds) Tuesday night after trolling in shallow water for the late evening bite. The anglers reported that they lost a much larger fish when the boat turned sideways in some heavy waves and the fish broke off after getting tangled in their copper lines. Another boat came in with a cooler full of kings Tuesday night around 9:30 PM. Boat traffic increased toward the end of the week with 25 trailers counted in the parking lot at 6:00 AM Sunday morning.
- Shoreline: Fishing pressure on the shoreline increased this week. Anglers fishing for brown trout reported that the catch rate increased over the past few days and that the brown trout were stacked up in the harbor. Three anglers who were fishing in the Salmon-A-Rama tournament, landed two brown trout (5-6 pounds) early Sunday morning while soaking white tube jigs under slip bobbers near the Coast Guard station. A couple of anglers reported good luck landing a few browns while casting cleos and kastmasters along the lakefront between South Pier and SouthPort Marina. Most of the browns caught this week were landed along the shoreline between the 50th Street Bridge and the Navy Memorial. Tube jigs tipped with wax worms, kastmasters, and cleos took most of the fish. The morning and evening bite produced more brown trout with the average fish weighing around 5-6 pounds. One angler caught and released four brown trout Saturday evening while floating a pearl colored tube jig under a slip bobber near the Best Western hotel. Three young anglers and their parents caught and released a mess of small bullheads while fishing in SouthPort Marina Monday evening. Another angler caught a limit of perch (9-11” in length) while fishing near the mouth of SouthPort Marina with jigs and plastic Sunday morning. Some nice catches of perch (up to 12” long) and a few crappies were landed in the Simmons Island boat harbor during the week. A couple of anglers caught perch in the harbor from the back of their boats while the boats were tied up to the dock. There haven’t been many anglers seen at the mouth of the Pike River recently but a small group of blue herons (6-7 birds) have been fishing at the mouth of the river nearly every day for the past two weeks. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 62F on Saturday.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers was heavy again this week. Anglers on the piers were landing nice catches of perch at the start of the week, but the catch rate tapered off by the weekend. The average catch rate was 2-3 perch per fishing trip, but many of the perch were on the small side (6-8” long). Some of the perch caught on Tuesday were only 5” long and could barely get the bait into their mouths. A few anglers reported catching and releasing as many as 20-30 small perch on a single trip. The average “keeper size perch” caught at the start of the week measured 9.24” in length. An angler caught and released 30 small perch on Tuesday but kept 5 large ones (3 of them 12-13”) and entered them in the Salmon-A-Rama perch division. The angler used small jigs tipped with green plastic next to a pile of drifting weeds and reported that the perch were using the weeds for cover. One angler had three lines out on Monday (with minnows under bobbers) and at one time during the day had a perch on all three poles at the same time. An angler from Illinois reported that the harbor in Waukegan was treated with chemicals recently (possibly for weed control) and that there were very few perch to be found in Waukegan ever since. Minnows and small jigs tipped with plastic were the most popular baits for perch during the week. The average length of a “keeper size perch” was down to 8” long by the end of the week. A few brown trout (5-6 pounds) were landed on the piers by anglers casting spoons, kastmasters, and tube jigs. One angler landed a 7-8 pound brown while jigging a green/silver kastmaster next to South Pier Monday night.
- Ramps: The annual Salmon-A-Rama fishing tournament began on Saturday, July 12th at 12:01 AM. Scattered rain showers soaked a few anglers at the start of the contest, but the majority of the fishing days were dry with daytime temps between 65-80F. Anglers targeting brown trout had good luck trolling in 25-35 feet of water the first few days of the contest. Around 500 fish were registered on the 1st day of the tournament, but that number dropped to approximately 200 fish by Sunday. A thunderstorm with nearly 2” of rain fell early Sunday morning. One boat (2 anglers) landed 3 kings (up to 12 pounds) on cut plugs filled with tuna on Sunday while trolling in 35 feet of water. Most of the boats were coming in with anywhere between 1-4 fish on Monday. Some of the anglers caught and released a few small fish or were skunked. Tuesday was a very slow day with only 45 fish registered in the contest by 3:00 PM. The cold water temperature made fishing a challenge during week according to most anglers. The water temperature in 140 feet of water, 80 feet down, was only 40F. Some of the anglers trolled up to 18 miles offshore in 355 feet of water just to find warm water (46-52F) and a few fish. Many of the anglers in the smaller boats didn’t feel comfortable fishing that far out on Lake Michigan. One boat (2 anglers) reported that they had 2 good days fishing during the week but the rest of the week was pretty slow. They landed two nice size kings and a few lakers on Monday and they landed 10 nice size fish on Saturday July 19th, including a 24 pound lake trout. Their average catch per trip was 5 fish or less. They fished in 10-30 feet of water Monday and Tuesday and did well catching brown trout. They found fish everywhere from 10-150 feet of water during the week, but the fish were random and scattered and they didn’t mark any schools of trout or salmon. The catch rate was very low for most of the anglers during the week but started to pick on the last two days of the contest. A few anglers reported that they were ready to throw in the towel on Sunday morning, July 20th, the last day of the contest. These were the largest fish on the Salmon-a-Rama leader board at the end of the tournament: 24.00 lb. lake trout, 17.92 lb. rainbow, 20.22 lb. brown trout, 28.69 lb. chinook, and a 13.00 lb. coho salmon. The winner of the perch division registered 5 fish with a total length of 1,701 millimeters (66.97”) and the winner of the onshore division caught a 20.32 pound chinook on the last day of the contest.
- Shoreline: The surface water temperature at the lakefront was 56-58F at the start of Salmon-A-Rama and warmed to 63F by the end of the week. Another large school of perch moved into the Racine area this week. Anglers reported nice catches of perch from the water treatment plant north to the Racine Zoo. Fishing pressure in the Pershing Park boat harbor increased this week with a few anglers catching their limit of nice size perch. Minnows, crab tails, and small jigs tipped with plastic worked well for many anglers. The Salmon-A-Rama campers on South Pier reported seeing some very large perch (13-14” long) landed by anglers fishing near the mouth of the Pershing Park boat harbor. Some nice size perch were also caught from the Pershing Park fishing pier. Nice catches of perch and a few crappies were landed recently by anglers fishing the Root River shoreline from the lakefront up to the Main Street Bridge. Very few anglers were seen on the river after 2” of rain fell Saturday night (July 12th). The water was cloudy (like chocolate milk) with visibility at 6-12” or less. A few brown trout and small coho were landed at the water treatment plant recently by anglers casting cleos and kastmasters. Fishing pressure at the DeKovan Center has been low over the past few weeks but increased this week with anglers entered in the Salmon-A-Rama fishing tournament. A perch angler at the Dekovan Center had little luck Saturday evening and decided to fish for trout and salmon instead. He tied a firetiger cleo on his line and ended up catching a 17 ½ pound chinook. The angler was not entered in the Salmon-A-Rama contest. A few perch, bluegills, and rock bass were landed over the weekend by anglers fishing with crappie minnows at the Reichert Court fishing pier.
- Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers was heavy over the past week. 35-40 anglers had their tents and shelters pitched on South Pier and 4-5 anglers were camped out on North Pier for the Salmon-A-Rama fishing tournament. The surface water temperature along the lakefront warmed up just in time for the shoreline anglers to see some action this year. The water temperature increased from 48-49F two weeks ago, to 56-58F by the start of the tournament, and ended up at 62-63F by the end of Salmon-A-Rama. Four brown trout (up to 9.4 pounds) and 2 small coho were landed on South Pier on Saturday (opening day) and a small chinook was caught and released on North Pier. One of the anglers on South Pier was a culinary school graduate and he grilled a chinook salmon and a lake trout for the all the anglers Saturday evening. A strong thunderstorm and 1.8” of rain drenched the anglers Saturday night. The flow rate on the Root River jumped from 35 cfs early Sunday morning to over 800 cfs by Monday night. The discharge from the Root River turned the water along the lakefront muddy brown up to a mile offshore. The water along South Pier was cloudy with visibility at 6-12” near the river and 12-18” near the corner of the pier. A 7.7 pound brown was caught on South Pier Sunday morning and a small coho was caught and released on North Pier. A 13-14” long perch was landed on South Pier on Monday and an angler on North Pier registered a 7.2 pound brown trout on Tuesday. The Root River continued to pump muddy water into the lake on Tuesday. The water along South Pier was still cloudy with visibility around 18-24”. According to the anglers on South Pier, the catch rate might have been down because the fish had a hard time seeing the lures and live bait in the water. One of the top producing anglers on South Pier landed four brown trout (up to 9.4 pounds), two nice size perch, and two catfish (13-15 pounds). The anglers on North Pier landed some nice size brown trout, a few small kings, and a few coho during the contest. One angler on North Pier registered a 7.2 pound brown trout at the start of contest and landed 7 more browns (5-6 pounds) but couldn’t catch anything bigger than his first brown. Three catfish (12-15 pounds) were caught from the South Pier during the week and the Salmon-A-Rama anglers reported that this was the first time they’ve ever seen catfish caught on South Pier. Anglers on both piers hooked into some very large fish during the contest but lost the fish after 5-15 minute battles when the fish shook off or spit the hook. Some of the anglers were spooled. The anglers on both piers had a few opportunities with some large fish to take first place in the Salmon-A-Rama onshore division but there’s always next year.
- Fishing pressure has greatly increased in the past week. Fair weather all week long has allowed for good fishing conditions, and Salmon-A-Rama drew large numbers of anglers trying to catch a trophy worthy fish. Catch rates have also increased over the past week, with anglers catching brown trout and steelhead throughout the day, and king salmon primarily in the morning. Anglers have reported the chinook biting early in the morning in shallower water, and then retreating to the deeper water later in the day. Lake trout, steelhead, and coho have been caught at deeper water throughout the day, biting more frequently in low light conditions.
- McKinley Pier: Brown trout continue to be caught off the pier at a slow consistent rate. Browns have been caught on a variety of bait, biting brightly colored spoons earlier in the morning, as well as being caught on alewives throughout the day. Steelhead are also being caught off the pier using the same bait, although less common. Some anglers have had success catching perch from the rocks at the end of the pier, using minnows or jigs. Anglers have had success catching fish on both the inside and outside of the harbor.
- McKinely Ramp: Most anglers going out of McKinley Ramp have reported better success when traveling north of the harbor, and trolling depths of 65-90 feet. Chinook have been reported biting in water around 50 feet earlier in the morning, and then moving out to deeper water once the sun is up. Coho, Steelhead, and Lake trout are been caught consistently in depths around 75 feet, although boaters have reported the fish staying close to the bottom in the colder water. Anglers have had success earlier in the morning using bright flies and spoons near the surface, and then trolling with more depth as the day goes on.
- North City Shoreline: Fishing has been poor along the city shoreline, with few anglers south of the art museum reporting success. Some brown trout have been caught off the pier close to the kite shop early in the morning, at approximately the same rate as that of McKinley pier. Anglers have reported the most success soaking alewives.
- South City Shoreline: Catch rates for perch have remained slow over the past week, with few anglers fishing the south shore as a result.
- Grant Park: Anglers have reported some smaller steelhead coming in around the mouth of Oak Creek. Anglers have also reported bullhead biting on live bait under the pedestrian bridge. Steelhead and brown trout have been biting brightly colored spoons, such as watermelon patterns.
- Bender Park: Some large steelhead and coho have been caught around 75-90 feet of water out from Bender Park. As with McKinley, the fish are biting earlier in the morning and then moving to deeper and colder water after the sun comes up. Perch anglers on the boils have reported slow catch rates, with boats often returning to the launch before reaching their limit. Some small perch around 8 inches have been seen schooling inside the harbor in the rocks and under the pier, biting early in the morning. Perch have been biting on a variety of baits with anglers reporting success on raw shrimp, minnows, jigs, and more.
- Oak Creek Power Plant Pier: Both trout and salmon have been caught over the past week off of the power plant pier. Anglers have reported success on silver or gold kastmasters and spoons being cast into the discharge current, with fish biting occasionally throughout the day. The past few days the plant has been running at lower capacity and the flow is not as strong as usual, possibly reducing the amount of fish present. Smaller trout about a foot long continue to bite further up the discharge channel, with success reported on lures such as spinners, spoons, and brightly colored flies.
- 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. These signs are to advise you not to go on the pier because it has stability issues. The water clarity has improved greatly over the weekend. Some south pier anglers were targeting brown trout and rainbow by throwing small spoons. The best baits for the brown were rainbow and or brown spawn sacs or night crawlers used on a three way rig off the bottom that was allowed to float in the current. Anglers on the south pier are also fishing with a heavy jig with a white 4 inch gulp minnow. This rig is thrown toward the rock point in Rotary Park and has had great success catching small and large brown trout. There aren’t as many alewives off of the pier but there are a few still lingering.
- Port Washington Shore: Fishing was slow over the weekend due to Fish Days. There were a few anglers that were fishing off the rock point in Rotary Park, but had little success. The anglers in Rotary Park did catch a few small brown trout but threw them back because they were too small. Earlier last week anglers were catching 5-8 pound brown trout, but most fish caught were small. Anglers were catching brown trout on night crawlers and spawn near the WE Energies water discharge by Sauk Creek. The water clarity has 4-6 feet of visibility and is now back to the normal blue hue. Anglers were also using cut chunks of alewife on the three way rig, this was also very successful. In Rotary Park, off of the rock point, anglers were fishing with spoons and bobber rigs. There was an angler using a black bucktail mepps spinner, this bait caught brown trout both large and small. Also in Rotary Park near the binoculars, anglers were using the bobber rig with a small hook. The small hook was tipped with an alewife that anglers have scooped up out of the water. Anglers were catching sizable brown trout with the bobber rig. Anglers were still catching brown trout on spoons, using silver/orange, green/silver, and gold. In the north slip, anglers were soaking a bobber and worm and catch small bluegills and small brown trout.
- Port Washington Ramp: The ramp was closed Friday and Saturday, and then reopened on Sunday morning. On Sunday the anglers were bringing in 0-9 fish per vessel. The anglers with success were using planer boards fishing in 100-110’ of water. These anglers were using spoons and flies. A charter said they headed as far north as Oostburg and were fishing in 110-150 feet of water. This charter brought in a mixed bag of lake trout, chinook, and rainbow trout. An angler on last Monday reported that the best fishing he had was fishing straight east. The deepest water this angler went in was 110’. The angler reported that the fish were biting in shallow water and while trolling for them the speed you were going was vital. The ideal speed was 2.2-2.4 mph. The angler said that if he were to go any faster or slower that the fish wouldn’t bite as well. The fish he caught was on a dipsy diver with a coyote blue flasher followed by a blue fly. Most boats that caught fish were fishing north east and fishing in 120-170’ of water. The coho were biting on a champagne flasher and fly. Another vessel reported fishing straight east in 110-170’ of water and caught lake trout up high. Another boat had reported catching rainbow, lakers, and chinook on dipsy divers and downriggers that were set at 40’ down. A vessel came in that was fishing south 3-4 miles, this vessel came in with a mixed bag of fish (coho, chinook, lake trout, and rainbow), and they were fishing 35’ down with 7 color lead core. Anglers are saying that they are marking numerous fish but still having trouble getting them to bite. The catch is now average, but anglers were catching lake trout, steelhead, a few coho, and chinook.
- Amsterdam Road Ramp: Anglers went out in the morning and had little success. Anglers reported marking numerous fish but could not get them to bite their lure.
- Sheboygan Ramps: This weekend the fishing picked up. Anglers could be seen fishing close to shore from just outside the gap and as far north as Whistling Straits Golf Course. The vessels were trolling the shallow water and were catching chinook in water depths of 50-60’ of water. Dumper Dan and other charter boats were also spotted fishing just outside of the gap. Anglers reported that the fish were not biting on anything in particular, but the most popular lure that was mentioned was an orange sparkling spoon. If you are looking for rainbow trout, these fish were found in deeper water, around 110’ of water. The rainbow trout were biting on plugs and crank baits. Rainbow trout, coho and chinook salmon were biting on all techniques of fishing. The techniques of fishing that were mentioned most successful were planer boards and high lines. Last week the vessel that had the best luck was fishing in 80-90’ of water straight east of the ramp. Anglers also fishing south of the power plant brought in 3-7 fish. The anglers that had the best luck were fishing southeast of the harbor in 180-220’ of water. The fish were not biting on anything in particular, but most anglers reported catching fish on planer boards.
- Sheboygan Piers: The south pier fish cleaning station is now open. Fishing picked up off the south and north pier this weekend. Anglers were fishing off of the end of the north pier catching chinook on small heavy spoons. There have been three known chinook caught off of the north and south pier combined. They are biting best early in the morning at first light. Anglers were also catching whitefish off of the north pier; they were using the small heavy spoons as well. On the south pier anglers reported catching 1-3 brown trout using various colored spoons. Moonshine, “wonder bread”, green/silver, perch colored and orange/silver spoons were used the most. Anglers were catching the brown trout on the lakeside of the south pier; the best bite was when there was a south-westerly wind when there is a good chop on the water. The brown trout are biting in various spots along the south pier. An angler reported catching a 17.22 pound brown trout off of the middle of the south pier early in the morning last week Thursday. There are still signs of alewives in the area; you can see fish surfacing that are feeding on the alewife. Lakeside the visibility goes down approximately 2-3 feet.
- Sheboygan Shore: No fishing data to report.
- Cleveland Ramp: Over the weekend anglers were fishing for perch and salmon. The anglers catching perch were fishing a 14’ hole and had some success catching 1 perch. Anglers had reported prior to the rainfall last week the bite was good for the perch. An angler brought in one chinook salmon this weekend, this vessel was fishing in 100-170’ of water straight east of the launch. All kinds of fishing techniques were used, including planer boards, dipsy divers, and flies.
- The fishing action on Lake Michigan slowed down a little this past week. Trolling anglers still brought fish in, a few boats with limit catches even, but changing winds and occasionally finicky lake conditions had anglers working hard for fewer trout and salmon. Rainbow and kings continue to be the top two species being caught, in almost equal percentages, while lake trout are in a solid third in numbers. Anglers also report more coho salmon being caught lately, on smaller spoons, with a few of decent size upwards of 5+ lbs.
- Many fish were caught higher up in the water column last week as well, with several anglers reporting catches of kings and rainbows off planer boards at 50' and shallower. Lakers and kings were also coming in at 75' to 120' on blue/silver and green/silver spoons. Most of the kings coming into the cleaning stations weigh in at around 10 lbs. but there have been a good number of fish hitting the 20 lb.-and-over mark.
- Some anglers heading out from Two Rivers indicated that they've motored north to Kewaunee where they've found success, particularly with lakers. Those coming out of Manitowoc report moving farther out into the lake and south towards Sheboygan before hitting fish.
- The brown trout bite is still active in the harbors of Manitowoc and Two Rivers, but it appears to have plateaued. Pier and shore anglers continue to bring in fish, although not in the numbers they were at a week or two ago. A large brown estimated at around 15 lbs. was caught off the south pier in Two Rivers over the weekend by an angler using live alewife. The south pier in Manitowoc especially has seen an upsurge in angler activity and some very nice browns in the 8 to 12 lb. range are being caught during the early mornings and the last few hours of daylight by anglers throwing cleos and other spoons. A few kings and rainbows are also showing up at the piers now as the extended warm weather is bringing fish in closer to shore. One pier fisherman in Manitowoc reported getting spooled completely by what he and those next to him assumed was a very large king that took his spoon and headed out into the lake in one long, furious run that ended only after the fish has stripped all of the line from his reel. Smallmouth bass and northern pike anglers have been catching a few nice fish several hundred yards upstream from the mouth of the Manitowoc River on spoons, spinners and live bait (crawlers and leeches). No catfish have been reported.
- This weekend was the start of the Kewaunee/Door County Tournament, and the numbers of anglers out on the water showed it. In both Algoma and Kewaunee anglers were out in high numbers for their chance at catching the big fish. Numbers were down this weekend from last, as the average per boat was 1-2. Still most boats were coming in successful. Anglers were out in 100-400 feet of water catching fish 10-90 feet down. Flies still seemed to be more popular than spoons, and color didn’t seem to make a difference. Rainbows seemed to make up most of the catch with lakers and kings being caught as well. Anglers are reporting water temps at the surface out in 200 feet of water were 52 degrees.
- Anglers on the Pier in both Kewaunee and Algoma had limited success this week. They were trying salmon and trout mostly but some were out for anything. Most were throwing spoons with little success. Shore anglers were trying their luck for perch and carp in Kewaunee with some success for perch off of the south wall of the marina.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Fishing was hot this week in Northern Door County as anglers came out in high numbers, particularly for the salmon tournament in Door and Kewaunee counties. In Northern Door, Bailey’s Harbor had the most pressure, with boats bringing in anywhere from 4-12 salmon. Some rainbows and a few coho were also in the mix; however chinook were the predominant catch. Anglers were expressing satisfaction with the overall size of the salmon and the fight they were putting up. Sizes were averaging about 10-16 lbs, with some sizable fish in the 17-23 lb. range not being uncommon. Anglers were having luck in 100-200 ft. of water, with the most success in 140-200 ft, fishing the top 80 ft. Anglers were also hauling in the salmon out of Rowley’s Bay, fishing the top 30 ft in 60-80 ft of water. Spoons and flasher flies of various colors proved the most successful.
- Anglers throughout the peninsula are also targeting the tail-end of the smallmouth bite, with the most success being seen in Rowley’s Bay and Ephraim. Anglers targeting smallmouth have also reported catching Rock Bass and Gobies. Catches are ranging from 2-4 fish. Popular baits include nightcrawlers, leeches, and a variety of other artificials, with leeches being the most successful. Anglers targeting walleye in Sister Bay said the catch is slow.
- Sturgeon Bay: Anglers in search of Salmon had luck in low numbers this week. Boats were out in 70-300 feet of water in search of salmon or trout using all different lures. Anglers said that not one particular lure worked better than the others. The catch is still mainly steelheads with the occasional laker or king. Anglers fishing for smallmouth bass from shore at Bay View Park and Stone Quarry had the best of luck when using leeches and worms over artificial, but the catch was slow. Perch anglers had success launching from Sunset Park and staying in the flats area of the canal. They were biting best on worms and nightcrawlers. The Coast Guard Piers saw very little action this week.
- Suamico: Yellow perch fishermen launching out of Suamico did not report high catch rates. Most were using minnows and crawlers. Walleye fishermen are also having a tough time. It seems angler’s lures are not looking as enticing as the natural bait fish. Good numbers of freshwater drum and gobies are also being caught. For Suamico River shore anglers, using a hook, line, sinker and worm has been the preferred method of targeting yellow perch. There were some mixed results, and most of the yellow perch caught have been in the 7 inch range. Brown bullheads and freshwater drum are also being caught.
- Duck Creek: One angler using pieces of worm (w/ sinker) caught 3 small perch. The same angler reported catching several perch a week earlier, including a couple in the 12 inch range. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass and northern using top water baits (fake frogs and rats) had no luck.
- Fox River (Mouth): Walleye fishermen launching out of Green Bay Metro continue to have a tough luck. It appears the flicker shads, crawler harnesses and jigs have not been as appealing to the fish as the growing bait fish.
- Fox River (Voyager Park): Using mostly minnows, shore anglers fishing the Mouth of the Fox were catching decent numbers of crappies (~12-15 fish/ angler) earlier in the week. The same anglers reported the crappie bite had slowed considerably by mid-week (~2-5 fish/ angler). Other anglers chose worms off the bottom as their go-to bait. Different fish reported caught at this location also included white bass and white perch. Most fishermen at Voyager Park continue to favor fishing off the bottom with a simple hook, line and sinker setup…or…put their bait a few inches of the bottom using a three-way swivel setup. These anglers reported catching ok numbers of catfish (~3-5 fish). A few anglers were using jigs and shad raps for smallmouth and walleye. Unfortunately catching these fish has been difficult this week. A fisherman off of the pier by Main Street mentioned that he had caught a ~18 inch smallmouth and a couple of nice walleye in the past week or so using stick baits.
- Bay Shore Park: Warm weather and low winds brought many perch fishermen to the area late in the week. Good numbers of perch are being caught with the majority ranging in the 5-9 inch range. Minnows have been the dominant bait of choice. Finding schools and staying with them has been the key to large numbers with most anglers reporting that the perch are continually moving, forcing a constant chase. Anglers believe this is an indication of the impending arrival of larger numbers of perch that will eventually settle into their summer holes. Walleye action continues to be slow, but the fish being caught have mostly been of larger caliber. Multiple catches in the 27-30 inch range have been reported. Crawler harnesses in the 18-22 foot depth range have produced the highest number of fish.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: Water temperatures in the area continue to hover in the mid 60’s. Perch anglers have had little success, however communications from anglers to the south have given hope for the arrival of perch in the next couple weeks. Minnows and helgramites have produced the most fish. Walleye action also continues to be slow. Anglers are reporting large schools of baitfish, and the walleye that are being caught are stuffed with bait. The heavy competition for attention between the baitfish and anglers has been mentioned by many anglers as a driving force behind the reduced catch rates over the last couple weeks.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Anglers in the area continue to have mixed success with all targeted fish. Water temperatures vary from 58 degrees in the channel to 74 degrees in some bays. The clarity of the water has been said to be the driving force behind the deeper depths that walleye are being found in. Crawler harnesses have brought in the best numbers, however some fish are being caught on perch colored cranks. Perch anglers have begun to catch better numbers of fish, yet sizes continue to be small. Minnows on a plain hook have been the bait of choice.
- Sawyer Harbor: The water in the area continues to be clear, and the increase in water levels has allowed boaters access to previously unattainable areas. Smallmouth bass anglers in the harbor continue to have great success. Finding water temperatures in the 68-70 degree range has been key to high catch rates. Leeches and soft shells under a slip bobber have been producing the best numbers. Green and hot pink tubes have also been producing good numbers of bass while minimizing fresh water drum by-catches.
- Anglers at the Stiles Dam are catching bluegills and some smallmouth bass fishing mainly live bait and slip bobbers with most fish coming from around structure. With the warmer days kayakers and tubers are making good use of the Oconto River. Some perch are being reported out of the Pensaukee Landing in 9 to 12 feet of water; minnows have been working the best. Some walleye have been reported out of Breakwater Park trolling in 12 to 16 feet of water very early in the morning.
- Geano's Beach: Fishing has been tough out of Geano’s, especially for walleye anglers. The best luck for walleye has been in 18-22’ of water by the big buoy. Some northern and musky have been being caught in the flats.
- Anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo River are catching catfish, sheepshead, and smallmouth bass both from shore and in boats using crank baits or fishing live bait fished on the bottom. The Menominee River continues to produce walleye mainly during periods of darkness trolling with Rapalas or crawler/harness. Shore anglers on the Menominee are catching sheepshead and some smallmouth mainly using live bait. King salmon, browns, and a few rainbow are being caught around Green Island to the Peshtigo Light using a variety of spoons and colors.