Suckers and topwater baits are turning muskies on the Apple River. Sunfish and bass are being found in 2 to 4 feet of water on most lakes. There’s some evening walleye action on leeches and crankbaits in less than 10 feet at Balsam Lake, Big Round Lake, Lake Wapogasset, and Bear Trap Lake.
Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231
Trolling has been phenomenal. The hot spots have been the Coast Guard dock, the shore of Long Island, and Big Bay Point off of Madeline Island where the water is looking clear. Anglers have been catching nice brown trout, lake trout, coho salmon, and steelhead trout. Smallmouth bass were on fire in the shallows where the water is clearing. Tube jigs, rubber worms, wacky worms and suckers have been good, steady baits to use. Walleyes are starting to show up near the power plant and pig iron areas.
Inland fishing has been good all around, with muskies and crappies leading the way.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Bass fishing has been fantastic up and down the Door County peninsula. To the south, the smallmouth bass were moving through their spawn and quite vulnerable.
The fishing out on the big lake has been super from Sturgeon Bay south to Kewaunee, with even some good reports from Baileys Harbor. It has been a nice mix of trout and salmon on bright spoons and flies in the top 60 feet over 150 to 325 feet of water.
Walleye action is still very good from Chaudoir’s Dock to the lower bay during the day; at night the bite has been good from Chaudoir’s Dock north to Henderson’s Point. Perch fishing is just starting to happen.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Walleye fishing has been good, but will improve as the walleyes move into the developing weeds with the higher water temps. This provides us with another option as far as location goes, and these weed walleyes are feeding actively. Jigs and minnows are still the best bait, but some are using leeches or crawlers. Bass fishing is terrific now, with the fish spawning and some done at this point. For the smallies, the males are guarding beds, but most lakes have been hit hard by anglers. They’ll be moving to deeper water soon. Largemouths are on the shorelines and also bedding on many lakes. Muskie action started a little slowly, but this is changing almost daily as the water temps rise and the fish become more active. Look for those emerging weeds for some activity. Females moved to deeper water to recover from the spawn and are now more active.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
At the metro launch, anglers found success despite persistent rain early last week. Over the past few weeks there has been a steady increase in walleyes harvested.
Most of the fishing pressure in the Fox River lately has been aimed at muskies, with a few anglers finding some good success. Most are throwing blade baits or plastics. Muskie anglers seem to be locked onto the west shore of the Fox River in 6 feet or less. Walleye anglers found a good bite on the Fox River and up into University Bay. Anglers are seeing quite a few small fish, but are getting good numbers of legal fish, too.
At Voyager Park, anglers targeted many different species. White bass anglers had a great deal of success. Others had mixed success for catfish, carp, and freshwater drum on worms.
At Suamico, walleye anglers struggled to find a consistent bite with water temperatures much colder than the east shore. Most anglers averaged two to three walleyes per boat. Anglers also reported a lot of short fish, with a good number of 15- to 18-inch fish.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
Smallmouth bass continue to be shoreline-related on Round Lake, Grindstone Lake, and Lac Courte Oreilles. Leeches are the ticket for walleyes in 14 to 17 feet on Grindstone, Lac Courte Oreilles, and the Chippewa Flowage. Muskie fishing has ranked fair to good, with most anglers at least seeing some fish. The best success continues to be on smaller baits fished slowly. Pike action is very good in shallow weed areas and anywhere there are some pre-spawn bluegills.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
IRON COUNTY AREA
Water temperatures finally moved into the low 70s last week. The crappies appear to have already spawned and have moved out to deep water as it was a struggle to find any of them. They were in and out in three days, however many folks are catching bluegills up in the shallows on a red worm and a mini-mite tube jig or a No. 6 Aberdeen hook. The walleye bite has been sluggish with front changes, east winds, and a quick water temp increase. The bite was the best on weedless jigs and fathead minnows and crawlers. The muskie activity has been slow overall, but one guide raised nine fish on an area lake, while another guide has landed five since the opener. Surface lures and small twitch baits have produced muskies.
Flambeau Flowage Sports, (715) 476-2526.
Turtle River Trading Co., (715) 476-0123.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Muskie fishing has been slow recently, but downsizing baits will help. Small bucktails, No. 14 Husky Jerks, small twitch baits, lipless crankbaits, and swim jigs are good baits for spring muskies. Target drop-offs, rock bars, weed beds for best results. Northern pike remain active. Smaller, more aggressive pike will be found near shallow structure. Bigger pike will be found along drop-offs. Try live bait on a circle hook suspended under a slip bobber, or cast spinners, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and crankbaits.
The stocked trout on Lower Genesee, Lower Nashotah, Fowler, and Ottawa lakes have been active. A small fathead, small rosy red, or giant redworm baited on a No. 8 hook and suspended under a slip float will work best.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Walleyes are providing the best action these days, with a lot of activity near the Hwy. 41 bridge and all along the river. Winnebago anglers are catching perch on the rock piles. White bass fishing has been slow, but that will change as the water warms more.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Lake Mendota water temperatures are up and the water has cleared up, but weed growth is behind because the water had been so dirty. Smallmouths are active in shallower water, but they will move to the deeper bars soon. Catfish have been active, too. Lake Monona bluegills are active out over the weeds, but they do not appear to have started spawning as of last week. That should change if the weather warms up this week. There hasn’t been much news on the muskie front, but the bass action is picking up now that those fish have finished spawning. The walleye trolling bite has not really kicked in over deeper water.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
In Oconto County, walleye fishing on the west shore of Green Bay has been very inconsistent, likely due to the colder water from the west winds. Anglers launching from Geano’s Beach found mixed success with a few anglers catching very close to their limit. On the other hand, many more anglers found only one walleye, or none at all. No. 7 Flicker Shads in any color have been the most successful lure. Anglers below the dam at Stiles on the Oconto River reported catching smallmouth bass and an occasional panfish. High water has been the biggest obstacle to catching fish on the river. The walleye bite has still been the best south of the Oconto breakwater with anglers trolling crawler harnesses and jigging rock piles.
In Marinette County, numerous bow fishing boats have been observed from the mouth of the Peshtigo River north and south along the shore. Cloudy water has made fishing interesting. The Menominee River has been running fast and dirty with three to four gates open, creating current problems for boaters. Some muskies were caught around the Interstate Bridge and Boom Island.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Water temps are rising, the crappies have finished spawning, smallies are just about done, and largemouths and bluegills are up next.
Bluegill: Very good. They are staging outside spawning areas in 4 to 6 feet.
Largemouth bass: Very good. They are staging also, with some reports of bedding on small lakes.
Smallmouth bass: Good. Cast twitch baits such as X-Raps and Husky Jerks along the shallows in 2 to 6 feet.
Walleyes: Good to fair. They are oddly scattered; some shallow, others deep. The deep fish are gorging on mayfly larvae; use medium leeches in mud over 14 to 18 feet.
Crappie: Good to fair. The spawn is all finished, and the fish are scattered in weeds in the 8- to 12-foot range.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
Walleye fishing has been very good on the Petenwell and Castle Rock Flowages. The walleyes are mostly coming on jigs and minnows, but trollers have caught a few, too. Crappies are still close to shore and hitting well. The muskies are still up in the river above the Petenwell. Catfish are active.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
Work the shorelines and shallow weeds on Spooner Lake for panfish, bass, and northern pike. Lipsey Lake is giving up crappies and perch in 3 to 7 feet, while channel catfish are hitting by the dam on Trego Lake. Pitch a jig and leech in the south bay of Shell Lake for walleyes during the evening.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.