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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - June 30, 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: Traffic at the Kenosha ramp was quite slow this week, with the lot being empty for a good deal of the week, while a large amount of the weekend traffic has been pleasure boaters. Anglers continue to report large numbers of fish in the harbor, although most are quite small and have been ignoring bait. Boats have reported better success fishing in deeper water, around 90ft and deeper. Brown trout and Chinook salmon have begun appearing in coolers at higher frequency, although most of the fish brought in have still been lakers and coho.
- Piers: Pier fishing was rather slow this week, with most anglers recording no catch. A few perch were caught early in the week on minnows, however no perch were recorded over the weekend despite strong fishing pressure. Anglers casting from the end of the piers had some success on coho throughout the week, although most anglers over the weekend reported feeling no bites after fishing for an hour or two. As the weather warms up more browns and kings should be moving towards the pier, and hopefully fishing will pick back up.
- Ramps: Fishing pressure from the Racine ramp has changed little from last week, although more pleasure crafts have been going out, resulting in more trailers in the lot. Large schools of coho and lakers have been tagged outside the harbor, although catching your limit has required time and dedication. Anglers have reported the best success on spoons, trolling around 50ft down. Most coolers have been a mix of different species although coho have been predominant, followed by lake trout.
- Milwaukee North: Fishing pressure on the shoreline increased slightly this week. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic along the shoreline was heavy this week as the Rolling Stones officially opened the 2015 Summerfest music festival on Tuesday night. The number of anglers seen on the Milwaukee River has tapered off ever since the perch season opened on June 16th. Only 1-2 anglers were seen on the river on the weekdays and 2-3 on the weekend. There were no reports of perch being caught on the Milwaukee River this week. The number of round gobies along the shoreline continues to grow. The gobies are hitting everything that lands within 2 feet of the bottom including fathead minnows, nightcrawlers, and alewives. Perch anglers who bottom fish with fathead minnows reported that the gobies have been chewing the heads off their minnows. Some of the perch anglers have been avoiding the gobies by fishing with jigs & plastics or by fishing at least 2 feet off the bottom with slip bobbers. Nice size rock bass are still being landed in McKinley Marina around the old Coast Guard station. A small piece of nightcrawler fished under a slip bobber has been working well. Anglers are starting to target crappies with fathead minnows near the gate to the old water pumping station (Colectivo Coffee Building). Rock bass, smallmouth bass (up to 3 pounds), and bluegills were landed in the lagoons at Lakeshore State Park this week. Access to the park was open all week but parking spaces were limited due to the activities at Summerfest. Water temperature in the lagoons increased from 62F last week to 65F on Sunday. A couple of 10-15 pound freshwater drum fish (sheepshead) were caught in the harbor behind Summerfest by anglers bottom fishing with alewives. Fishing pressure on McKinley Pier was about the same as last week. The average number of anglers seen on the pier was 6-7 during the week and 8-10 on the weekend. Nice catches of kings and coho were landed on McKinley Pier Wednesday night (8-9 fish total) by anglers casting cranks and spoons. A couple of rainbows and coho were landed during the week by anglers fishing with small shrimp (cooked and raw) about 10 feet down under slip bobbers. Two small perch (around 5-6” long) were caught and released on the pier Monday morning by two anglers fishing with jigs & plastic. That was the first report of perch being landed on McKinley Pier since opening day (June 16th). Approximately 5 whitefish (3-4 pound average) were landed on the pier during the week. The surface water temperature on the lake side of the pier was 61F on Sunday and 62F on the harbor side. Activity at the McKinley and Riverfront ramps increased this week with the start of Summerfest. Over half the boats interviewed during the week were pleasure boaters. A thunderstorm on Monday (with wind gusts to 50 mph), another cold front, and northeast winds kept fishing boat traffic at the ramps low during the week. Boat traffic picked up Sunday morning with 39 trailers counted at the McKinley ramp parking lot around 10:00 AM. Anglers came in with an average of 3-4 fish per boat Sunday morning. Nearly half the fish measured Sunday morning were lake trout according to the USFWS headhunters at the fish cleaning station. The largest chinook measured weighed 18 pounds. The majority of boats trolled north of the harbor in 80-120 feet of water from the water filtration plant to Fox Point with flashers & flies and spoons.
- Milwaukee South: The fishing pressure and catch rate on the shoreline were low during the week. Southwest winds at 20-30 mph (gusting to 50 mph), heavy rain, and lightning kept anglers off the lake Monday morning. The Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier was closed due to the hazardous weather. A large number of trees in Saint Francis were damaged due to the strong winds. Fishing pressure on Cupertino Park pier was steady with 6-8 anglers on average fishing for perch. Only 15-20 perch have been landed on the pier since opening day (June 16th) according to the anglers, but they’ve been nice size fish (12” average length). The water around the pier is loaded with round gobies. Anglers fishing too close to the bottom had their minnows chewed up and their nightcrawlers cleaned off the hooks. Fishing pressure on the Grant Park shoreline was steady this week with the majority of anglers targeting perch. The catch rate for perch was spotty (1-2 fish on average) with long periods of time between fish being caught. The average length of the perch measured was 11.9 inches with an average weight of .87 pounds. There is a large population of gobies around the Grant Park shoreline. Anglers fishing with fathead minnows reported that their bait was constantly chewed up by the gobies. Some of the perch anglers are starting to fish with jigs & plastic in order to avoid losing live bait to the gobies. A few anglers have been targeting carp at the mouth of the Oak Creek with bread dough, corn, and nightcrawlers with no reports of fish caught over the past 2 weeks. A few small brown trout were landed on the South Metro fishing pier this week (16” average length) by an angler soaking nightcrawlers under slip bobbers. Fishing pressure on the South Metro pier has been low this year with 1-2 anglers occasionally showing up to fish for trout or salmon. The Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier was closed Monday morning due to the hazardous weather. Fishing pressure on the pier continues to taper off. No anglers were seen on the pier Thursday evening or early Sunday morning. Three anglers were interviewed on the pier Saturday evening (father & 2 sons) and they caught and released a few small brown trout. Boats out of Bender continue to land nice catches of perch off the boils at the South Shore Water Treatment Plant. Fishing pressure at the boils has been heavy with 12 or more boats crowding over a very small area. There’s a large population of round gobies laying at the base of the boils. Some of the perch anglers are starting to fish with large shiners instead of fathead minnows, hoping that the gobies will avoid the larger bait. 23 boat trailers were counted at the Bender Ramp parking lot Sunday morning. The majority of boats interviewed at the South Shore ramp this week were pleasure boaters. 50-60 boat trailers were parked in the South Shore ramp parking lot Wednesday night. Most of the boats were out for the fireworks display at Summerfest. According to the Coast Guard Auxiliary, there were so many boats on the lake they could almost walk across them and not get their feet wet. The majority of boats out of South Shore have been targeting kings and coho in 80-120 feet of water from the Green Can Reef to the South Gap. The South Shore Park boat launch will be closed during the South Shore Water Frolics. The ramp will close at midnight on Wednesday July 8th and will reopen on Tuesday, July 14th.
- Port Washington Shore and Piers: The fishing off of the breakwall has picked up over the past week. Both rainbows and browns were reported out near the lighthouse, with the browns averaging four to five pounds and the rainbows around nine pounds. Alewives were the most common bait used by far, and many were seen close to shore. Other fishermen have started targeting perch in the same area, but few have been caught yet. A few browns were reported off of the south wall near the power plant, but the breakwall has been more productive. Plastic gulp minnows were most commonly used in this area. Most fish caught near the utility area remained small trout averaging around ten inches. The fishing pressure was lower from other areas of the harbor shore, and the catch rate was similar with most fish caught averaging ten inches or so. Water temperature inside the harbor remained 58F on Sunday, the same as last week.
- Port Washington Ramp: The fishing pressure continued to rise this weekend, and fishermen averaged around four to five fish per boat. Chinook were most commonly targeted, and caught as a result, but rainbows and lakers were also caught in good numbers. The bite was better very early in the morning, and then slowed down considerably after 6:00 or 7:00am. Most boats reported fishing in 100-150 feet of water, but others reported doing well in water as deep as 250 feet. Many of the same colors remained effective for spoons, such as orange, silver, and green. As for flies, blue and green were most commonly used again.
- Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure continued to rise in Sheboygan, but the catch rates remained small. Over the weekend, most fishermen averaged just one or two fish per boat. Chinook were caught in the highest numbers, followed closely by rainbows. Many boats fished in 70-100 feet of water, but some have reported doing well on chinook in water as deep as 300 feet. Spoons were effective for chinook in green glow, chartreuse, and silver colors. Orange and silver spoons worked best for rainbows. Flies continued to produce some chinook as well, and these were most commonly blue, green, or aqua.
- Sheboygan Piers and Shore: Lake whitefish continued to be caught off of north pier, but in smaller numbers than last week. Alewives, shiners, and plastic gulp minnows were most effective for whitefish when fished close to the bottom. The fishing improved slightly on south pier, with some fishermen reporting browns averaging three or four pounds. The fishing has been better very early, around 4:30am, and drops off around 6:00am. Cleos and kastmasters were used most commonly, in silver, green, and blue colors. Water temperature inside the harbor remained 60F on Sunday, the same as last week.
- Activity on Lake Michigan picked up closer to the weekend as many anglers reported having successful fishing trips Friday morning. The success continued on Saturday and Sunday, with more Kings being reported caught this weekend than the last.
- Manitowoc Shore: Anglers were having fun catching some smallmouth bass near the marina this week. The water temperature in the harbor is 72F.
- Manitowoc Ramps: Both parking lots were full at the Manitowoc Marina Ramp this Saturday morning. 20 boats returning to dock between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. had landed 27 Chinooks, 17 Rainbows, and 7 Lake Trout. Many fish are still being caught on spoons, blue and silver worked well. Anglers are marking fish in anywhere from 50 to 150 feet of water.
- Two Rivers Shore: The nice weather had some folks trying for a catch all in Two Rivers Harbor this weekend. The water temperature is 73 F, and still very muddy in color.
- Two Rivers Ramps: Many nice Chinook came through Two Rivers over the weekend. Two Kings weighed in at 14 pounds along with three Kings of 11 pounds, and a few Kings weighing between 6 and 10 pounds. Some anglers reported marking fish and bait at 100 feet. A few other anglers mentioned making their catch in 70 to 80 feet of water.
- Kewaunee Ramp: Kewaunee saw an influx of salmon and trout anglers this week, reaching a peak on Sunday. The Chinook salmon and steelhead bite remained consistent throughout the week with anglers averaging 3-4 fish per boat. Anglers reported that the morning bite (before 5:00am) was superior to the evening bite. Anglers reported the best success with Chinook salmon in 120 to 140ft of water and better success with steelhead trout in 130 to 300ft of water. Throughout the week both the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout bite moved closer to the surface, and on Sunday anglers reported the best success in the top 40ft of water. This week Chinook salmon seemed to prefer primarily spoons, whereas steelhead were taken on spoons, dodger flies, and flasher flies. Anglers were reporting water temperatures that ranged from 55F to 62F.
- Kewaunee Shore and Pier: There were no anglers interviewed this week fishing from the Kewaunee shore or pier.
- Algoma Ramp: Now that salmon fishing has begun in earnest, the Algoma City ramp saw heavy use this week. Here too anglers found good success with chinook salmon and steelhead trout. The method that appears to be working best for anglers is to start out shallow (75 to 130ft of water) in the early morning and then move deeper (140 to 250ft of water) as the day progresses. Chinook salmon and steelhead trout appear to be biting best from the surface to about 45ft of water. Anglers reported success with spoons, and dodgers and Howie flies. Anglers reported water temperatures ranging from 57F near to shore to 53F in 250ft of water.
- Algoma Shore and Piers: There were no anglers interviewed this week fishing from the Algoma shore or pier.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
- Lake side of peninsula: Now that the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout have begun to bite angler pressure has dramatically increased this week. Anglers are focusing their attentions on the Bank Reef and are having better success with Chinook salmon. Anglers that have found success have been fishing in the top 40ft of the water column in 90 to 100ft of water. A group of anglers that had success with both steelhead and Chinook salmon reported starting their trip in the afternoon fishing at 520ft of water, and as it became dark moving into 65-70ft of water. Spoons seemed to be the best lure this week for both Steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.
- Bay side of peninsula: Angler pressure increased throughout the week reaching a peak on Sunday. Anglers fishing from shore struggled but found some success with smallmouth bass. The one area that appeared to be a hot spot for rock bass was the pier and harbor at the Old Stone Quarry Park. Anglers fishing from boats this week had fair success with smallmouth bass using plastic baits and crawler harnesses. They found the best success in 8 to 12ft of water. Smallmouth bass anglers reported catching a fair number of freshwater drum. Anglers going out after dark have reported good success with walleye, from Sand Bay to just south of Egg Harbor. They have been primarily trolling (with flicker shads and husky jerks) and vertical jigging.
- Sturgeon Bay: Fishing pressure has been light within the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal this week. Here too anglers fishing from shore have struggled, with only a few individuals reporting success with smallmouth bass and perch. Musky anglers returning to the Sturgeon Bay City ramp reported poor success this week throughout the canal.
- Suamico: Fishing pressure from boaters launching onto the Suamico River was modest most of the week. By the weekend trailer numbers were very high. The Main launch was full, and those arriving too late were left parking in the overflow lot down the street. The Sunset Beach Marina also had a good number of empty trailers on Saturday afternoon. On that day, around half of them were pleasure boaters. Those fishing were nearly all targeting walleye. Most anglers caught at least one fish. A few limits were reported. Size range of walleye measured and weighed was 16.3 – 24.1 inches and 1.3 – 4.4 pounds. Crank baits and crawler harnesses were being used at about the same rate. Over 20 feet of water seemed to produce fish. Other catches by walleye fishermen included catfish, drum, goby and northern pike. One perch boat was interviewed. Using live bait under a bobber they caught about 20 fish, but only six were worth keeping. A couple musky anglers were interviewed. Casting bucktails they did not report any catches, although one said they lost one near their boat. Shore anglers on the Suamico River were all fishing for yellow perch. Worms under a bobber was the most common approach. The most reported caught was five. The size range kept was from 5.6 – 6.9 inches.
- Duck Creek: Those launching onto Duck Creek were primarily pleasure boating. Most were kayakers. Shore anglers on Duck Creek were fishing for yellow perch, northern pike or catfish. All three groups went with nightcrawlers. None had any luck.
- Fox River Shore: On weekends and weekday afternoons, when the weather was decent, fishing pressure on the shore at Voyager Park and the mouth was high. At the mouth the majority of anglers were casting for drum and catfish. Nightcrawlers on, or just off of the river bottom were the primary approaches. The number of both drum and catfish caught was moderate to relatively low. Most parties reported up to four fish kept. Incidental catches included white bass and common carp. One northern pike angler caught one about 24 inches long on a worm. A young crappie angler landed a single fish. At Voyager Park most anglers were going for walleye, smallmouth or catfish. Walleye and smallmouth anglers were casting crank baits and jigs. Walleye catch numbers were quite low. Smallmouth numbers were better. One angler reported catching a half dozen, and the biggest was approximately 14-15 inches. The catfish crowd reported catching low numbers. They were throwing live bait off or near the bottom. The most mentioned as landed was two. Other fish caught at Voyager Park were drum, carp and gobies. One angler said he caught a sauger, but creel clerks were not there to identify it. Off of Main Street, near Titletown Brewing, several anglers reported catching decent numbers of catfish. The most mentioned landed from here was eleven.
- Green Bay Ramps: Fishing pressure at the Green Bay Metro launch was relatively low this week. Fishermen launching from here were primarily looking for walleye in the southern part of Green Bay. Weekend catch rates were higher than those during the week. Multiple limits were observed. Lucky anglers were targeting waters 20 feet and deeper. Crank baits seemed to outperform crawler harnesses. The size range of walleye weighed and measured was 17.3 – 22.8 inches and 1.8 – 4.4 pounds. Side catches by this group included freshwater drum, catfish, a northern pike (one boat caught one about 40 inches) and yellow perch (a 10.2 incher was kept). A couple of catfish boats were interviewed. Their focus was on the Fox River. Catch rates were decent with one boat landing a dozen fish. Crawlers and shrimp were the most common baits. Freshwater drum and round gobies were also caught by these anglers. One smallmouth boat was interviewed, but they did not catch any fish. All boats interviewed at the Fairgrounds and Foxpoint launches were pleasure boating.
- Bay Shore Park: Bayshore saw diminished usage this week. Anglers continue to catch fair numbers of walleye; however, overall numbers of keepers are down. Early morning fishermen are seeing the best catch rates with the majority of fish being landed in 8-12 feet of water. Crawlers and cranks are producing equal numbers of catches; however, cranks trolled at 1.8-2.2 mph reduce the number of undesirable fish greatly. Midday action continues to be in 24-28 fow with many anglers running baits near 18 feet down; however, the majority of action has been seen in the early morning and late evening hours. The bite continues to come light, and many fish have been lost near the boat. Smaller walleye are being blamed as they continue to dominate the southern parts of the bay. Perch anglers are beginning to see small schools move into the area and have been able to land moderately sized fish but in low numbers. Shiners suspended in 14-18 feet of water have hooked the most fish; however, the gobies have been stealing a good number of baits. One young lucky fisherman (Kyle) was able to out-fish his party this week, landing his largest walleye at 27 inches and just over 6 pounds! Water temps in the area have climbed this week with most areas reporting 66 degrees in the morning hours, rising to around 71 degrees in the afternoon. Clarity remains moderate to good.
Door/Kewaunee Co. - Bay side from Sturgeon Bay area south
- Chaudoirs Dock: A lower than usual number of boaters were seen utilizing the ramp this week. Heavy wave action Friday kept many anglers at bay. The fishermen that did get out reported having little success in the area. Walleye action continues to be spotty, and even when fish are located anglers are having a hard time staying on them. Cranks and crawlers are producing equal numbers through the weekend. The most action has been coming in 24-28 feet of water north of the launch. Firetiger colors are out producing any other color in the area, be it on harness blades or cranks. Perch anglers fishing out of the area continue to struggle to produce any fish at all. Most boats are returning with very low numbers, but like Bayshore, sizes are larger than in recent years. Shiners continue to be the bait of choice, and the majority of anglers are targeting 22-28 fow. Water temps continue to average in the upper 60’s, and water clarity has diminished slightly in the last few days.
- Little Sturgeon Bay: Fishing in the area continues to be slow. The smallmouth catch continues to dominate, however the action continues to be spotty at best. Most anglers reported boating less than 10 fish, however a few anglers reported 30+. The best action has come on darker colored tubes and buzz baits. Perch have yet to arrive in the area with no reported catches through the weekend. Water temps continue to average around the 70 degree mark and clarity has been moderate to good in most areas.
- Sawyer Harbor: More perch continue to school in the area with numbers of boated fish increasing. Five to seven inch perch continue to dominate the catches with very few 10 inch plus fish. Shiners and wax worms are reported to have equal success, however shiners are producing less incidental gobies than worms. Smallmouth action has continued to stall with very few boats reporting fish. Leeches, fished under a bobber, have produced fair amounts of bass with average sizes around 16 inches and 2 pounds. The water temps in the area are still slowly climbing with most bays reporting near 70 degrees and the channel holding near the mid to low 60 degree mark. Water clarity is moderate to good through the area.
- Water flows at the dams on the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers are back to normal. Fishing pressure has been slow during the week, and with the nice weather anglers and pleasure boaters having been showing up in good numbers. Kayakers and tubers are using the Iron Bridge Ramp as their put in spot and are taking out at various points downriver. Anglers on the upper Oconto River (Stiles Dam to below the 141 Bridge) have been catching panfish while drifting the deeper current seams with worms or crawler pieces under bobbers. Smallmouth are also being caught using small spoons, spinners, and crank baits. Anglers at the mouth of the Oconto River are having success fishing live baits, plastics, spoons, and spinners for sheepshead, catfish and smallmouth; the occasional pike is also being caught. The walleye bite continues to be fair to good from the mouth of the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II. Fish are being caught anywhere from 9 to 20 feet of water with most anglers using crawler/harness with a Colorado Blade; and purple is still the hot color. Some anglers are fishing the deeper water using large stick baits behind bottom bouncers and catching some larger walleye along with some smallmouth, sheepshead, catfish and pike. No reports of perch have come to my attention as of yet.
- Geano's Beach: Fishing pressure was light at Geano Beach this week. All fishermen interviewed were looking for walleye. Catch numbers were good. Walleye measured were between 22 and 23.4 inches. Lucky anglers were using mostly cranks and jigs in water less than 12 feet deep.
- Water flows at the dams on the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers are back to normal. Fishing pressure has been slow during the week, and with the nice weather anglers and pleasure boaters having been showing up in good numbers. No creel survey routes were run in Marinette County last week.