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Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - November 14th, 2014


Trout and salmon fishing is hit and miss due to weather conditions. Anglers are flat-lining shad-style crankbaits, trolling from Bono Creek, along the Washburn shoreline out to the Sioux and Onion rivers, and over to Long Island. Smallmouths are active on the rock pile, in back of the breakwall, on the tip of Long Island, and west of the ore dock. Suckers are best, with some fish being caught by those ripping blade baits and jigging spoons. Walleye anglers are catching fish near shore during low-light hours and on the rock pile.

    Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
    River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


For those who have not yet winterized their boats, some of the best fishing of the year can be had now on Lake Wissota. Try the shallows with a floating crankbait early and late in the day for a chance at a walleye, or rig a slip bobber/minnow and fish from one of two fishing piers. It’s a great time to get out and enjoy Lake Wissota.

Buroker’s, (715) 835-0847.
Bill’s Sport Shop, (715) 723-9033.


Water temps are dropping into the low 40s and the high 30s. This is the time for muskie hunters. You won’t see many anglers out there – only the late fall walleye guys and those muskie nuts. It’s also a great time for archers and grouse hunters. All of the leaves are down, and sight lines are perfect. It was amazing after last week’s snowstorm how far one could see in the woods. Winter is almost here, and the ice fishermen are checking their tackle and getting ready, especially because it was such a lousy season last year with the deep snow and the cold weather. Walleye fishing has been very good, with the fish in predictable spots at this time of year. They are in the holes on the Eagle River chain. Jigs and large fatheads work best. These fish will stay in deep water until spring. On the deeper lakes, they are in 20 to 40 feet of water. Some big muskies are being caught. Try big jerkbaits like Suicks or Eddie Baits. The fish are hitting suckers very well. Get ready for the cisco spawn – water temperatures are dropping. Deer hunters are hoping for safe ice by the gun season. They will do double duty during that time and hunt the daytime and fish walleyes after dark on the frozen lakes.

    Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Falling temps are increasing muskie activity, with good to excellent action until the season closes Nov. 30. Target weeds, wood, drop-offs, rocks, cribs, and channels in 6 to 25 feet. Suckers on quick-set rigs work best, but anglers also are catching fish on Bull Dawgs, gliders, tubes, and crankbaits.  Walleye fishing is fair to good. Concentrate on deeper water (to 30 feet and deeper) with big suckers and fatheads on jigs or live-bait rigs. Late afternoon into dark is the most productive time, but overcast days also can be good. This is a great time to catch big northerns. Work points and weedlines out to 16 feet with suckers, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and spoons. Crappie action is good to excellent. Look for brush, cribs, and weedlines in depths to 18 feet, as well as for fish suspending over deep water. Use slip bobbers with live bait, and plastics.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.


In Marinette, most of the fishing is taking place between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street bridge. Walleyes and a few browns are being caught. Whitefish are starting to show up at the Hattie Street dam and should provide some excellent fishing throughout the month.

In Oconto County, shore anglers at the municipal landing, Breakwater Park, and Oconto Park II have been catching perch in decent numbers in the 71⁄2- to 9-inch range.

Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.


Bays and ponds have been developing skim ice on cold nights. Most surface temps ran from 46 degrees (Lake Minocqua) to 42 degrees (Rainbow flowage). Muskie action is very good. Suckers are accounting for eight out of every 10 muskies hooked. While number of fish per day is down, sizeable fish are being caught. Start probing a bit deeper water (20 feet plus) as waters cool during daytime, shallow on cisco lakes at dusk and after dark. The best walleye action has been very deep on the big lakes. One report has fish in 45 to 65 feet of water. Use big chubs on heavy jigs, or jigging Raps on days the wind allows.

Fresh snow here in the northwoods has many hunters excited for the deer season. Deer were moving last week. Bowhunters have been seeing a few bucks. Yearlings are showing less-than-average antler development. Some of the spikers are less than legal.

    Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.


The muskie fishing has been going pretty good on Yellow and Bone lakes. There has been some decent walleye fishing on Big Clam. The bays have been skimming over every night. With the forecast of cooler-than-normal weather, the lakes could start icing up for good. Duck hunting has been pretty doggone good this year all over. The wild rice has come back on Clam Lake, and that helped with duck numbers on the lake. The shop tagged some pretty nice bucks for bowhunters last week.

    Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.


The bucks are running pretty hard around here. On the flip side, waterfowl hunting has been very slow in Marathon County. In Portage County, the rut is heating up, as well. Duck hunters are seeing mixed bags of divers and mallards, with the wood ducks mostly gone.

Gander Mountain, Rothschild, (715) 355-5500.


Lake Gogebic anglers are mostly shore fishing with minnows during low-light conditions, with fair to good reports. Temps are close to normal, the leaves are all down, and there has been some snow. Bowhunting has been slow, with deer numbers on the low end. Most hunters now have their eye on the rifle season opener Nov. 15.

    Bear’s Nine Pines, (906) 842-3361.

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Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - November 14th, 2014


Bass fishing continues to provide lots of action for some giant smallmouths. This time of year, most fishermen concentrate around steep shoreline drops, off-shore reefs, shoals, and deep channel cuts. The best depths are around 20 to 35 feet of water. The best baits have been tubes, chartreuse and white spinnerbaits, drop-shot plastics, and suckers. The night walleye bite has been pretty good around the Henderson’s Point shoreline, Sherwood Point, Larson’s Reef, and a lot of the off-shore structure from Monument Shoal north to Washington Island. Long-lining crankbaits has been the best technique. There also are some decent fish coming from anglers rip jigging with Moonshine Shiver Minnows and blade baits. Perch action has been fair, but should crank up just before the ice comes. Areas to fish include Sawyer Harbor, the Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Sturgeon Bay flats, Little Sturgeon, and the deeper water off of Henderson’s Point south to Chaudoir’s Dock.

In Kewaunee County, anglers fishing the Kewaunee River had some luck on rainbow trout while using spawn, spoons, and flies. The chinooks are done with their run, and the cohos are almost done, as well. In the Ahnapee River, anglers are fishing for browns and rainbows. A few anglers have been fishing the lake and are in search of browns and rainbows in shallow water; they’re using crankbaits. Lake trout season is now closed. Anglers that are trying their luck off of the piers.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.


Most boaters heading out of the Green Bay metro launch were in search of muskies. One boater reported a 51-incher. Spinnerbaits and Super Shads seemed to be the lures of choice. Voyager Park walleye anglers continue to have hit-or-miss luck. It seems one day the river is full of fish, then the next they all either leave or decide not to bite. Water level, speed, and clarity all play roles in anglers’ luck from the fishing pier. Anglers in the backwater area just south of the parking lot seem to see more consistency. One catfish angler reported catching one fish on worms. Most anglers fishing at the mouth of the Fox River were trying for walleyes, but few were caught. Anglers heading out of Suamico were mostly looking for walleyes, but action was slow. Suamico River anglers were casting for yellow perch. Catch numbers varied, and the fish averaged 6.8 inches.

    Smokey’s, (920) 436-0600.


For anyone who has not put his or her boat away, there is some great fishing to be had. Water temps are between 40 degrees and 44 degrees and will continue to drop. The muskies are active in the 8- to 10-foot range on suckers, Suicks, and large crankbaits. Fishermen also are catching muskies in shallow water around green weeds, if you can find them. The walleyes and panfish are in deep holes and are being caught on jigs tipped with fatheads. The walleyes are on the bottom and are biting very lightly right now. The panfish are suspended up about 6 to 8 feet off the bottom of those holes.

For deer hunting, the rut has started and the younger bucks were chasing does last week. There could be some rut activity yet during the gun season.

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


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Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - November 14th, 2014


There are plenty of pheasant-hunting opportunities in Dodge County as DNR wildlife crews continue to release pheasants on public hunting areas. The Bachhuber impoundment is at full pool. Between prescribed burns, drawdowns, and help from muskrats, DNR crews are hoping to open up the dense cattail stands to make room for ducks and geese to land. At the Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area, hunting pressure was heavy last week, with archery deer and pheasant hunters out in force. Waterfowl hunters are still having moderate success on Theresa Marsh.  Crews will be removing a set of boards from the Theresa Marsh dam to start lowering water levels in the main pool, before freeze-up in preparation for the gun deer season.

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


In Milwaukee County, the deer rut appeared to be peaking last week. There also are opportunities for pheasants, squirrels, and rabbits. At Lakeshore State Park, anglers are having some success with trout and salmon along the river and dock wall on the south end of the park. Scaup, scoters, and other waterfowl are beginning to arrive. The numbers of salmon caught by shore anglers in the harbor has dropped off, although anglers have still been catching some fish. Anglers fishing Oak Creek in South Milwaukee continue to catch some salmon, with the most action occurring just below the falls. Milwaukee River anglers are showing up in numbers in Estabrook and Kletzsch parks. Numbers of brown trout are increasing as salmon taper off. Menomonee River anglers continue to fish for salmon near Miller Park, and although fish can be seen in the area, anglers struggle to catch them.
In Sheboygan, anglers fishing the north pier have been catching sizable smallmouths on weighted plastic minnows. On the Sheboygan River, anglers below the Kohler dam have caught steelhead, browns, and cohos. Pigeon River anglers fishing near the mouth have found some sizeable northern pike and smaller steelhead.

Port Washington anglers fishing the harbor have been catching trout and chinooks near the power plant and in the north slip. Water levels in Sauk Creek rose after rains last week. Decent numbers of chinooks can still be found in the deeper pools.

In Racine, south pier anglers caught a few cohos on glow spoons. Shore anglers in Reefpoint Marina have been catching a few brown trout and steelhead on skein, spawn, and white tube jigs fished under slip bobbers. A few fish also have been caught off the Reichert fishing pier, including a 37-inch northern pike and a 10-pound brown trout. Water levels remain low on the Root River. Downstream of the weir, salmon have been caught on flies in Island and Washington parks.
In Kenosha, fishing pressure on the piers continues to drop, but anglers are still fishing near the Navy Memorial and in the Simmons Island harbor. Brown trout have been caught on spawn sacs and white tube jigs under slip bobbers. Shore anglers fishing near the mouth of the Pike River have caught a few cohos and steelhead on spoons and crankbaits.

    DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.


In Calumet County, deer movement has increased along the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Bucks have been seen chasing does as the rut gets into full swing. Several nice bucks have been shot in recent days. Goose hunting is all over. Fishing on Lake Winnebago has been nonexistent for the most part, with many anglers having put away their boats for the season. Most of the fishing piers have already been removed from the lake.

In Winnebago County, a lot of bucks have been seen chasing does all over the county last week. Numerous bucks have been shot, including some very nice bucks.

    Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


In Dane County, the rut is full-on. Commuters are seeing bucks chasing does in the midmorning. Anglers were catching Lake Mendota bluegills on weed edges in University Bay, walleyes and bass off of the west side of Governor’s Island, and walleyes off of Second Point in 30 feet of water on rocks. There has been some muskie action on Lake Monona, with a few fish caught before daylight. Shoreline walleye action has been decent all around Lake Monona, with most anglers fishing at night from shore.

In Jefferson County, some very good waterfowl reports have been coming in. Reports of large rafts of divers on Lake Koshkonong have been on the increase. Archery hunters are reporting activity by bucks. There is a great deal of corn still standing in Jefferson County. Fur quality for raccoons improved dramatically last week. In spite of fur auction houses forecasting very poor prices, trappers are still enjoying the time in the field.

    D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
    Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


In Sauk County, the rut is kicking into gear. Deer activity during the day, especially buck sightings, has increased in the past week. Multiple hunters have stated the number of scrapes and rubs they have been seeing has steadily been increasing. The Wisconsin River below the Kilbourn dam has still been slow for walleyes; however, reports indicate Lake Wisconsin and below the Prairie du Sac dam have been good for walleyes.

In Columbia County, last week’s weather brought huge flocks of ducks with the cold north wind. One hunter saw thousands of bluebills coming into the marsh he was hunting, flocks the size of which he hadn’t seen in 40 years. The fact that winter is inching nearer is not lost on bowhunters. Bowhunting activity is really ramping up.

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

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Archive »Fishing Tips

A simple minnow-hooking technique for open water or hard-water fishing [Video]

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Tips on how to use jigging minnow baits to catch walleyes in autumn.

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Fishing line tip: Avoid memory and keeping it in tip-top shape

Store your rod, loosen the drag, but wait till spring before changing your line on spinning and baitcasting reels

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