Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - October 31st, 2014


The Horicon Marsh waterfowl migration is in full swing. Northern migrants are arriving daily, and numbers of ducks and geese in the area are climbing. Sandhill cranes have begun their migration staging. Canoeing the marsh offers an up-close approach to the changing seasons and the start of migration.

    Tim Nehls’ Fish Tales Bait, (920) 520-0015.


Most of the action on walleyes has been on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, with anglers working the river channels and deep holes in 18 to 20 feet, right on the bottom, with fatheads and weedless jigs. They’re also using deep crankbaits. A ton of walleyes are being caught, but most are 13 inches or less. Panfish are in the same areas and holes, but they are suspended 2 to 3 feet off of the bottom.

The muskie action has been good, with most people fishing 8 to 12 feet. down. Topwater baits are still getting a few on calm days in the morning and early evening hours. Most anglers are catching muskies on all of the area lakes, not just the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. They’re also catching some nice northerns.

Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.


In Sheboygan, there were some anglers who headed east of the ramp in 90 to 275 feet of water and had success on rainbows and lake trout. Shore anglers have been fishing off of the docks at the boat ramp near Deland Marina for a few chinooks and cohos. On the Sheboygan River, there have been many chinooks being caught upstream of Esslingen Park.

In Port Washington, anglers were fishing along the west slip wall near the power plant for brown trout on spawn. There also were kings and browns caught near the WE Energies discharge. There were anglers fishing in the north slip throughout the week. The best spot to catch mature chinooks is in the northeast corner of the north slip. Boaters have been fishing in 150 to 200 feet of water for rainbows and lakers with planer boards and downriggers set at 20 to 30 feet.

In Milwaukee, bad weather kept most anglers from heading out. The only reported action has been on the Milwaukee River, where most anglers have been fishing the falls in Kletzsch Park. Many salmon have moved into the river with the recent rains.

In Racine, schools of large chinooks and cohos were in the deeper pools, from the weir upstream to the first bridge. There was less fishing pressure in Colonial Park, and the catch rate was good. A few anglers ended up with two to three kings after casting pink and red yarn flies. The water was shallow in Island Park, and it was easy to see large chinooks and cohos swimming into and jumping out of the deep holes and pools.

In Kenosha County, Canada goose movement has increased. Large flocks have been seen feeding in cut fields. Despite wet weather on opening morning of the pheasant season, 120 hunters showed up to hunt at the Richard Bong Recreation Area. Many hunters were seeing birds. Hunter numbers picked up Sunday with 210 buying permits.

    DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


In Dane County, crop harvest is very late, but farmers are picking beans and are now starting to catch up on corn. There are lots of geese in the area looking for freshly picked cornfields. Younger bucks are starting to check scrapes and rubs, with increased numbers of bucks dead on roads in the past week. Diver numbers are picking up on larger waters.

In Iowa County, deer are beginning to show signs of the rut. Pheasants are being stocked at wildlife areas. Due to high waters on the Wisconsin River, the DNR has shifted pheasant-stocking locations within the Avoca Unit. Until water levels drop and Hay Lane is open, birds will be stocked at locations on public land west of the village of Avoca. Once Hay Lane is open, the DNR will resume stocking there.

    D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.


Walleye/sauger fishing on Lake Wisconsin remains very strong, with limits of fish being caught regularly. Those fishing near the railroad trestle, Okee, Weigand’s Bay, and the stump field are having the best success. Good numbers of ducks and geese are being seen. Pheasant hunters have been hitting the state lands hard. Judging by the increase in road-killed deer during the last week, deer appear to be ramping up activity.

    Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-5229.

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Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - October 31st, 2014


Bass fishing continues to provide action for the diehard fishermen who are willing to deal with elements. Fish along steep shorelines, reefs, and shoals in 15 to 30 feet of water. Perch fishing should be ramping up soon. Areas to check out are the Sturgeon Bay canal, the flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon, and out over the deeper mud flats from Chaudoir’s dock north to Henderson’s Point.

Pike action has been consistent in the Sturgeon Bay canal, along the Potawatomi State Park shoreline, in front of Sawyer Harbor, and in the Little Sturgeon area. There are some good opportunities for nice 2- and 3-year-old salmon and rainbows out on the Big Lake in 150 to 350 feet of water. Walleye fishing has been OK. The night bite is starting to pick up around Henderson’s Point, Larson’s Reef, Sherwood Point, and some of the reefs all of the way up the peninsula, including Washington Island.

In Kewaunee County, there has been a lot of illegal activity in the creeks and rivers, as always. It’s been too windy most days on the lake, but when it’s not, there are still a few trout and salmon being caught. Salmon are all the way upstream as far as they can go on many creeks and rivers. This time of year does provide some opportunity for near-shore browns and even stray lakers. Casting spoons, crankbaits, and spawn might allow pier anglers to hook up on occasion.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

    Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.

Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.


Most anglers out on Green Bay are after muskies. While most anglers did not land a fish, those who did got big ones. The largest reported was 55-plus inches. A few Fox River walleye anglers found mixed success last week. Because of the turbid water and heavy winds, anglers in Voyager Park had a tough time last week. Most of the walleyes measured up to 24 inches. A couple of catfish shore anglers at Fox Point had a great day. They caught a 60-inch sturgeon. After a few pictures, the fish was released. Walleye boaters launching from Suamico had a tough time. The largest fish reported was 20.3 inches. Trolled crankbaits were used most often. Water temps were 54 to 55 degrees. 

In Shawano County, the cooler nights are starting to get the bucks moving. Multiple bucks have been seen with their noses to the ground, so the rut is starting. Duck hunters are starting to see a few divers coming through, but ducks are pretty scarce. Pheasants and grouse have been seen around the area as hunters are starting to walk trails. Fishing pressure is almost nonexistent, but some of the best fishing is happening right now.

    Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.


In Waupaca County, some woodcock finally arrived, but not the full flight. Deer movement is picking up – there are more dead deer on the road. There were still wood ducks around last week. There are lots of turkeys feeding in fields. There have been some rumblings that walleyes are biting at the mouth of the Wolf River.

In Outagamie County, bucks are starting to move, and hunters are reporting more sightings. The Wolf River is still high after the rain, making fishing a little harder, but there are still walleyes to be caught, as well as crappies. Waterfowl hunters were seeing some divers in the area.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

    Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.

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Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014


In Sheboygan, anglers were up the river from Taylor Street to the Kohler dam and behind Nemschoff. Water flow was higher than normal, with good flow, and most anglers were spread out fairly well. Action was slow, with only a few chinooks at most access points. Chinooks were present in the entire river from 14th Street and up, but were heavily concentrated at the Kohler dam. The deeper pools near the dam were full of spawning fish, but action was rather slow.

In Port Washington, the bite was better in the morning in the inner harbor and along the utility areas. The utility area had the heaviest concentration of anglers, with only a few chinooks and small browns being caught on spawn. The south pier had a few anglers casting for chinooks, but action was slow. Anglers in Sauk Creek were catching a few chinooks in the deeper pools of the creek.

Fishing in Milwaukee was slow; high winds and poor weather kept most fishermen at home. A few chinooks and browns were caught by pier anglers fishing on the harbor side of the pier. The Milwaukee River got a push of fish with the recent rains, but action remains slow at most access points. A few chinooks and browns are being caught near the North Avenue bridge and up to Estabrook Park. Best times have been early mornings in the deeper pools. A few chinooks and browns also have been caught near the Summerfest grounds.

In Racine, most anglers left their boats at home and fished from the shoreline because of the weather. Brown trout and kings have been schooling up in Reef Point Marina. Fishing pressure on the piers was low. Fish were jumping along the piers and near the mouth of the Root River, but anglers reported the fish weren’t biting. Brown trout and chinooks were stacked up in the current that flowed through the marina, and a few anglers had good luck catching them with skein under slip bobbers and skein on the bottom.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


In Iowa County, the deer are really starting to move, especially with the colder weather. There are a lot of acorns on the ground in Iowa and Sauk counties, and deer are spending a lot of time in the woods feeding versus the cornfields, especially during the day. A lot of the corn is being cut, so the archers are more apt to see deer in the woods. Waterfowl hunters in the Bakken’s Pond area are reporting some wood ducks and blue-winged teal, but that they have been seeing more geese than in years past. The birds this year have been fairly spread out due to the wet conditions. The goose hunters have been happy with the numbers of geese they are seeing on the Wisconsin River and in the cut cornfields in the area around Arena and Spring Green.

In Dane County, water temps were in the low 60s and dropping last week. Anglers were catching bluegills on Lake Mendota, either over weeds with bobbers, or on deep rocks in 25 feet of water. Perch were caught while drifting. They were 25 feet down in 40 feet of water. There has been some Mendota walleye action on weedlines, but the fish have been smaller. Bigger walleyes were caught on deep bars in 30 feet of water. Active pike have been scarce lately on Mendota, but the west side has been better than the rest of the lake. Lake Monona bluegills are on weed edges. Muskie action has been picking up on Monona. Lake Waubesa crappies are scattered over deep water, and the bluegills are on weedlines. Lake Waubesa walleyes have been quiet. A few guys have been catching nice bluegills on Lake Kegonsa on cribs in 16 feet of water.

D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.

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