Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 17, 2017
There’s still quite a bit of open water, but the cold weather has kept anglers off area lakes. Some ice has started to form on the small, wind-protected bays and shorelines, but the main portion of most lakes were still open early last week.
Country Store, (715) 268-7482.
The area has been experiencing some very cold temps, making it hard to get on the bay and Lake Superior. Smallies have been active in the 15-foot range for those who have been out. Most people are getting their boats winterized and getting their ice fishing gear together.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Guys are still fishing smallmouth bass on the upper end of Door County, where they are mostly using suckers for bait. However, most sportsmen are bowhunting the rut right now, and they are reporting plenty of action. Closer to Sturgeon Bay, there has been some good perch action on Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon, and Riley’s Bay.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Perch are found around the deeper weeds. Crappies are in the deeper weeds and around shoreline lay-downs, so a slip bobber rig tipped with minnow or plastic will work. Bluegills are up in the shallows. Northern pike have moved to the deeper weeds now that the shallow weeds have started to die. Walleye anglers are catching pike on deep weed edges while jigging live bait. Walleyes are also being found on deeper rock piles. When it comes to muskies, every strategy is working for these beasts – deep weed edges, off-shore structure, steep breaks off-shoreline flats where ciscoes are spawning or will spawn soon, live bait, rubber baits and crankbaits.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
Fishing pressure has been light. Most sportsmen are focusing on bowhunting the rut and the upcoming gun deer season. Those fishermen who are willing to get out and brave the cold are having good success. Walleye action has been good. Anglers have been catching some keeper fish between 15 and 20 inches on some local lakes and rivers. Fishing just off the bottom with minnows is producing the best results. Muskie action has been slow, but northern pike action has been fair. A nice 341⁄2-inch pike was caught jigging off the bottom with a sucker in about 25 feet of water.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
With the water temperature dropping, greater numbers of walleyes have moved into the Fox River. This has led to a large increase in the number anglers fishing at Voyageur Park. The park averaged five to 20 anglers fishing from shore last week, even late after sundown. All the anglers were targeting walleyes with considerable success. Most had their limit within a couple of hours. A few freshwater drum and white bass were caught as well.
At the Bay Beach launch last week, anglers out were after walleyes or muskies. They caught consistent numbers of walleyes and muskies despite the chilly weather. The rest of the boaters on the water were duck hunters. Duck Creek and Suamico landings were busy with duck hunters, but some fishing groups out of Suamico had moderate success on muskies.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
Angler interest is dropping with the temperature, but this is the time for trophy muskies, and anglers continue to pound the water in search of the big ones. Look for fish in deeper water (15 to 30 feet) on breaks, points, and humps adjacent to steep drops to deep water. Suckers on quick-strike rigs are the most effective bait at this time of year, but some anglers are catching muskies by trolling or casting crankbaits, jerkbaits, swim baits, and jigging baits. There are still a few crappie anglers trying their luck, with some success on small minnows and plastics for fish suspending in deeper water (20 to 35 feet). Single-digit lows forecast for last week should end open water fishing on many waters.
With bowhunting and the rut getting into prime time, this should be a great time to be in the stand. Bowhunters have already shot some nice bucks.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LA CROSSE AREA
Walleye and sauger action continues to be good with a jig and minnow on the Mississippi River – work the current edges in 12 to 16 feet.
Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.
Bob’s Bait and Tackle, (608) 782-5552.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Water temperatures were reported to be in the mid to upper 40s last week. Muskie action was best around weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water, and near baitfish. Fishing deeper structure produced as well, especially for big fish on a variety of lures. Most muskies, however, have been caught using suckers on a quick-strike rig. Soak one sucker boat side, a few feet down for following fish. Suspend the other, under a slip bobber, over deeper structure.
Anglers fishing the Rock River reported catching a few walleyes and crappies. The crappies were found around fallen trees and wood. Walleyes were found on the edges of deeper holes. A jig dressed with a jumbo fathead, crawler, or 4-inch plastic tail produced the best.
Smallmouth action was best along breaks or rock bars with live bait fished on a slip sinker rig. Largemouth bass were active around green weeds in 5 to 15 feet of water on crankbaits, or live bait on a circle hook suspended under a bobber.
On metro area lakes, the walleye fishing was the best during low light conditions around green weeds or rocks in 4 to 8 feet of water. Soak a chub, shiner, or sucker on a No. 4 hook under a lighted bobber. During sunny conditions, concentrate on deep structure in 20 to 35 feet of water using a jig or Lindy rig baited with a minnow.
Bluegills, crappies, and perch are active. Look for bluegills shallow or deep near weeds. Crappies were suspended around mid-depth weeds early and late, and suspended over deeper water during the day. Perch were found around sand/rock bars with scattered green weed clumps.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
The rut is going pretty good, so most sportsmen are hunting instead of fishing, and they’re shooting deer. However, walleyes and white bass are hitting on the river, and a lot of perch and bluegills are being caught in the channels. Meanwhile, waterfowlers are shooting a lot of divers on lakes Poygan, Winneconne and Winnebago. Duck hunters also report seeing big flocks of mallards, but a lot of them have stayed high.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
The bite has improved, as shown by a few guys who are still vertical jigging the deep breaks with minnows for walleyes. They’re catching fish, but most of them have been small. The northern pike bite is starting to pick up along the deep breaks. Try areas like Fox Bluff, Maple Bluff, and Governor’s Island. Lake Monona muskie enthusiasts have been hard at work, with their best success coming on big baits. Some nice bluegills were being caught in Monona Bay. Lake Waubesa walleyes were hitting near the trestle. Walleye and perch action moved a little deeper on Kegonsa, where most anglers were fishing 25 to 26 feet for walleyes last week. Others have been fishing Lake Wisconsin from shore at Okee – and by boat – for walleyes and saugers.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
In Marinette County, walleyes, brown trout, and light numbers of king salmon and steelhead have been caught between the Hattie Street dam and the Interstate Bridge on the Menominee River. Minnows, plastics, and spoons have all caught fish. The leaves are down and ruffed grouse hunting has improved. Bucks are rubbing and scraping. Deer are now moving more during daylight hours, and reports of bucks chasing does are increasing. The firearms season should be good. In Marinette County, results of a Peshtigo River shocker boat survey showed some trout and salmon from the Hwy. 41 bridge up to the dam on the Peshtigo River. Little River is producing some salmon at its mouth and upstream at Little River Road, with spawn sacs the go-to bait. The salmon bite has been very slow to materialize this year. Perch and panfish are being caught at Red Arrow Park.
In Oconto County, panfish remain the primary draw for anglers below the Stiles dam on the Oconto River to the Hwy. 141 bridge. Anglers are mainly fishing live bait below bobbers in the current seams. A few walleyes, perch and brown trout are being caught at the mouth of the Oconto River. Shore anglers from the Oconto breakwater to Oconto Park II were catching perch, other panfish, and pike.
Waterfront Sport Shop, (906) (906) 424-4108.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
A firm cold stretch with some snow and wind mixed in has marked the arrival of November! Skim ice appeared on small ponds and lakes last week. Large to mid-sized lakes had surface temps of 41 to 46 degrees. Muskie action has been good on suckers, as is usually the case at this time of year. Most muskies have been found along outside weed edges in 18 to 26 feet of water. Work windward gravel shorelines of gravel where ciscoes and whitefish will be spawning. Walleye action has been fair. The few anglers still vying for a last minute walleye meal are doing the best on Jigging Raps or vertical jigging live bait over gravel hump in 22 to 38 feet of water. On smaller lakes that don’t have depth, there is usually a decent bite up in the shallows at this time of year. Fish the wind-beaten, soft-bottomed shorelines.
The whitetail rut is in full swing. As long as you’re not in a “wolf zone,” deer movement has been good.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
The rut action has been pretty good, and some lakes had good ice the morning of Nov. 8, so some sportsmen have been torn between hunting and tip-up fishing. Guys just started seeing big bucks on the cameras last week. The bird hunting has been a little challenging. The drumming counts were high in the spring, but the wet month of June must have knocked off most of the young birds. Hunters are mostly shooting older birds.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Ice has taken hold on some bays and small lakes, while most big water remained ice-free early this week. Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks and archery hunters are shooting quite a few decent bucks.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.
SUPERIOR / DULUTH AREA
Deer hunting reports have been favorable on the Minnesota side. Ice took hold on most small lakes and bays early last week. With snow on the ground and cold weather expected to continue, ice depths could improve quickly in the coming weeks.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094