Central Wisconsin Fishing Report – May 3rd, 2013
DOOR PENINSULA AND KEWAUNEE AREA
Wind, rain, snow, and more wind, rain, and snow has been the weather theme, but even with the foul weather, anglers have been toughing it out. Brown trout action has been steady on the east side of Door County from Stony Creek north to Bailey’s Harbor. The bay side of the peninsula is still iced in for the most part, and when the ice finally clears, some fantastic brown trout action should follow. Pike action is fair to good in the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. The Potawatomi State Park shoreline is nearly ice-free, so that area will produce some nice catches of pike, walleyes, and browns. Stream fishing for steelhead has been very good. Drifting with spawn sacs has been the most productive method. It’s expected the stream fishing will continue for a while. Some walleyes are being caught in Sturgeon Bay from boat and shore. Trolling and casting crankbaits just before dark and into the night is the most popular method. Drifting with jigs tipped with minnows is another effective walleye tactic.
Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934
Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
At the Fox River in Green Bay, the week of April 8 seemed to be the peak for large walleyes, and fish from 32 to 34 inches were reported. The walleye run is tapering off. Near the De Pere dam, anglers are catching fish, from shore and from boats, but the big fish are being caught less often now and rough fish and foul-hooked whitefish are making up a larger portion of the catch. Farther downstream there are still plenty of fish to be caught. The channel edge should be targeted during the day with jigs and plastics. Another way to connect as walleyes make their way back north to the bay is by casting crankbaits along areas of riprap. University Bay is open and free of ice, and trolling was producing a fair number of 14- to 20-inch walleyes. For turkey hunters, flooding on area public lands has added to the challenge. Hunters have reported that they can hear birds, but high water has made closing the distance difficult, or even impossible.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
LA CROSSE AREA
Open-water fishing has just started, and anglers who are braving cold weather are catching some perch, crappies, and bluegills in places like Black Deer’s Channel. Try jigs and minnows or jig and soft plastic combos. Crappies are being caught at the dredge hole on Lake Onalaska. Anglers also are catching a few pike and bass where the highest temperatures are recorded in the open back waters. High water has made fishing below the dams difficult. Water temps have remained in the low 40-degree range, making the progress of the walleye and sauger spawn difficult to gauge. Area turkey hunters are reporting that most of the flocks have broken up. Rain, snow, and wind have all contributed to tough hunting for the early time periods.
Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.
Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Cold water has been the dominant theme in the area. At the Fox River in Oshkosh, current is good, and the water is still on the rise. More importantly, water temperatures have started to increase. Perch, and finally some walleyes, are being caught in the river. This bite will continue to improve. Area channels are finally ice-free and are giving up panfish on jigs tipped with small minnows, waxies, or red worms and fished beneath slip bobbers. At Winneconne, seemingly endless ice floes finally subsided and bridge anglers have really just begun fishing. A few walleyes are being taken as the action is just starting. Farther up in the Wolf River, some nice catches of walleyes have been reported from Orihula to Fremont. Turkey action has been very good. Toms are still grouped up. They are not roaming far, but when located, they have been very responsive.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
MANITOWOC/TWO RIVERS AREA
High and fast river conditions have affected fishing. On many stretches of Manitowoc County tributaries, flood stage conditions have limited fishing success by both lowering visibility and making proper bait or lure presentation a challenge. It’s not all bad news, as spawning migrations are still under way and where fish are concentrated, they can be caught, high water and all. The Shoto dam is holding the most steelhead. Most successful presentations are being fished under floats. The Mishicot dam on the East Twin River is also holding fish, and there is more area to fish downstream. The water levels on the Branch River, Little Manitowoc River, and Silver Creek have begun to recede. Some channel catfish have been caught in Manitowoc harbor, and a few browns have been caught on spoons or spawn from the piers. There have been few boaters venturing out because of the poor weather, though some boaters north of Two Rivers are having success with brown trout in 10 to 25 feet.
CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.