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Fishing WisconsinLake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - March 23, 2020

Attention Anglers: As of March 24, 2020 all creel surveys on Lake Michigan and Green Bay have been suspended until further notice. New fishing reports will be available once creel surveys resume. For up to date information regarding the DNR’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit our webpage at: https://dnr.wi.gov/covid-19/.

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

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

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: March 23, 2020

Sheboygan County

  • Sheboygan & Pigeon River: Fishing pressure was moderate with good catches steelhead and brown trout below the Kohler Dam on the Sheboygan River. Anglers were using spawn sacs with a bead pegged above and on jigs with wax worms floated below a bobber. Anglers reported catching less fish than previously in the week. Those fishing closer to the mouth casted crankbaits, spinners, and spoons in attempts to land fish on the move upriver with little success. Water levels rose roughly 4” over the last few days causing water temperatures to fluctuate between 34F-39F. Water clarity was poor after the rain but continued to improve over the weekend. River levels remained high and fast moving over the weekend. On the Pigeon River, fishing pressure was low, and anglers targeted steelhead using spawn, beads, and jigs with little success. Water levels are high, and clarity is low.
  • Sheboygan Harbor & Piers: Fishing pressure remained low and no fish were reported. Anglers targeted Brown and Rainbow trout using spoons as well as spawn floated below a bobber. The surface water temperatures ranged from 34F – 39F, and nearshore water was turbid and choppy. Waves often seen breaking over the north and south piers depositing debris on the walkways.
  • Sheboygan Ramps: No fishing activity was recorded at the boat launches. The Deland ramp is still closed while crews put docks into place. The 8th street ramp saw little to no activity over the weekend.

Ozaukee County

  • Sauk Creek: Fishing pressure increased on Sauk Creek over the weekend with many anglers fishing upstream behind the High School football fields up to Sauk Creek Nature Preserve. Recent rains caused water levels to rise and become turbid going into the weekend. However, water clarity improved over the weekend and anglers interviewed reported a few steelhead being taken on beads or spawn fished below a bobber. However, action remains hit or miss. Water temperatures ranged from 35F-38F and continued to warm over the weekend.
  • Port Washington Harbor and Shores: Windy and rainy conditions kept most anglers away from the piers and instead they focused their efforts in Sauk creek and at the utility discharge. Water levels rose resulting in lower water clarity.
  • Port Washington Ramp: No angler activity reported at the boat ramps. Wave height 2-4ft was observed breaking over the break walls and north pier. No boating activity was sighted.
  • Port Washington Utility: Fishing pressure was average for this time of year at the warm water discharge of Coal Dock park. Anglers targeted brown and rainbow trout had the most success fishing spawn below a bobber or on the bottom. One coho was reported being caught in the early morning using spawn fished on the bottom. Over the weekend anglers also reported good catches carp and suckers using corn, nightcrawlers, and homemade dough balls fished on the bottom. Surface water temperature at the discharge ranged between 52F- 54F over the weekend and water clarity was low. Water levels continued to rise going into the weekend and large swells were observed crashing into the entrance of Sauk creek.

Milwaukee County

  • North City: Thursday evening was chilly with intermittent rain and fog, transitioning to heavy rain and light fog. Several anglers fished near the Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse. No catches were reported. Saturday night was chilly and windy, with few clouds. Nearshore Lake Michigan was turbid, with small waves. Several boats were out, with most hanging out inside the harbor targeting brown trout. Catches of brown trout were recorded, with anglers citing catching them in schools. Anglers also caught several coho and browns north of the Lighthouse from shore.
  • South City: Thursday night was chilly, windy, and rainy. Lake Michigan waters were rough and becoming turbid. Anglers fished at the power plant outflow, Oak Creek, and under the Hoan Bridge, targeting steelhead, perch, and smelt. No catches were recorded, but reports came in on Saturday of steelhead being caught in the creek. Saturday evening began cloudy, but became clearer, although still chilly and windy. Lake Michigan was turbid nearshore, with some wave action. The creek (38°F) was fast moving. Effort from anglers increased along shore, at the creek and outflow, and from boat. Anglers were particularly successful at the creek, catching steelhead using a variety of bait and tackle throughout the day, primarily in the faster parts of the creek.
  • Milwaukee River: Friday morning was windy and chilly, with intermittent rain. The river (36°F) was fast and turbid. No catches were recorded. Although Sunday morning’s conditions were similar to Friday’s, trading rain for clouds, anglers came out to fish west of the Lighthouse and at Hubbard Park. No catches were recorded.
  • Menomonee River: Friday morning was cloudy and chilly. The river (38°F) was fast and turbid. No catches were recorded. Sunday saw similar conditions, although the wind was considerably stronger, and anglers fished at Miller Park. No catches were recorded.

Racine County

  • City of Racine: Cold weather and cloudy water found along the Racine shore made for poor fishing conditions this week. Only a few shore anglers were spotted trying their luck. The anglers that were out said they were targeting steelhead or brown trout. Casting methods were seen being used trying to catch fish. No catches were recorded.
  • Root River: The Root River experienced cold and rainy weather this week. Rain on Thursday caused an increase in water levels as well as water flow throughout the rest of the week. Despite the murky, 42-degree water a handful of anglers were spotted fishing the river. Anglers were primarily targeting steelhead with a few also looking for brown trout. Most of the fishing activity occurred upstream of the steelhead facility. Anglers who were fishing both above and below the steelhead facility were seen using mainly fly-fishing tackle. A variety of baits were used but the most successful proved to be yarn flies. A handful of steelhead were caught with the most catches occurring above the steelhead facility.

Kenosha County

  • City of Kenosha: There were many anglers spotted along the piers and shorelines, as well as a few boats fishing the harbor this week. Most were targeting either steelhead or brown trout. Many different tactics were seen being used to catch a fish. Anglers landed a handful of brown trout. Fish were caught using both spoons and tube jigs under a float. The water temperature in the harbor is around 42 degrees.
  • Pike River: The Pike River saw little fishing activity this week. The anglers that were spotted fishing the high, murky waters were mainly using fly fishing tackle. The location of the anglers on the river were scattered around all stretches of the river. The most targeted fish were steelhead, but anglers reported no fish were caught.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: March 23, 2020

The 2019 open water creel season has ended for Northern Lake Michigan including Manitowoc, Kewaunee, and open waters of Door Counties. Thank you to all those who participated in the survey this year. We look forward to seeing everyone again next spring!

West Shore Green Bay Ice Creel Report: March 23, 2020

Brown County

  • Fox River: Rain has affected the fishing on the Fox River with water clarity being poor. Anglers reported less fish being caught than previously. Jig and minnows and rattle baits seemed to be most popular in catching walleyes. Some night fishing was starting to take place as well with anglers trolling crankbaits and stick baits being successful.
  • Hook Rd and Sunset Beach: No activity seen this week with most of the ice along the marshes of Hook Rd being gone and open water off the Suamico River.
  • Long Tail Point: Ice was still present as of the weekend with reports of a few anglers fishing perch south of Lineville Rd.

Oconto County

  • Oconto Park II: A few walleye anglers were out this week as late as Thursday. Most anglers were averaging 1 fish per outing with size being reported from the mid 20 inches and up.
  • Oconto Harbor and Geano’s Beach: No activity seen this week with ice shoves and open water being present by the end of the week. The majority of the Oconto River is open from the County S bridge in town upstream.

Marinette County

  • Menominee River: Only a few anglers were out this week by the dam as wind and rain made fishing uncomfortable for most. As a result of the recent weather, some open water patches were being seen throughout the lower sections of the river. The ice that remains in the main channel is in poor shape. All launches were still iced in and not usable as of the weekend.
  • Peshtigo River and Red Arrow: No activity here as ice conditions deteriorated rapidly this week with some open water seen in the bay. Peshtigo River was still iced over from the mouth upstream to the boat launch on County BB.

East Shore Green Bay Ice Creel Report: March 23, 2020

This is the last creel report for the East shore of Green Bay for the year. With the recent warm up and rain events the ice in many places has started to break-up and separate from shore. The Coast Guard started ice breaking operations on Monday the 9th and continued much of the week. Some ice anglers had to be rescued off of Red River landing when the ice sheet they were fishing on separated from shore. The only place we conducted our creel survey was this week was Little Sturgeon Bay on Saturday. Perch fishing on the Bay closed 3/15 and all permanent shacks had to be off the ice by that date as well.

  • Clafins and Big Rock Place- A few anglers were out at both locations on Saturday, with reports of a few whitefish still being caught. Anglers report averaging 2 or 3 fish per person for a day’s worth of fishing.
  • Carmody Park- Anglers trying for a few last-minute perch report catching lots of smaller fish with very few keepers.
  • Wood Lane, Riley Bay Rd, and Town Park Rd- No anglers used these access points over the weekend.
  • Sand Bay Resort- A few anglers tried their luck out of Sand Bay resort with limited success. The ramp is starting to break-up and the ice conditions are poor.
  • Lime Kiln- Anglers fishing Lime Kiln report catching a few limits of Whitefish in 18’-20’ of water. Anglers using slider rigs with minnow heads or plastics catching the majority of fish. Ice conditions are rapidly changing at this location
Last revised: Tuesday March 24 2020