Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 22nd, 2016


Walleyes and smallies are being caught below the dam on the St. Croix River. The 15-foot weedlines on lakes Wapogasset, Half Moon, and Balsam are producing walleyes on leeches. Look for panfish in 10 to 12 feet on Balsam, Wapogasset, Bear Trap, and Big Round. Muskie action has been best during the evening hours on Deer Lake.

Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231


Trolling for lakers and brown trout is tremendous, with anglers from Long Island and the flats to Outer Island. Anglers are flatlining crankbaits in the very early morning. As the sun rises and fish move deeper, switch to spoons, Spin-N-Glos, bait flies, and squids. Walleye fishing is good on crawler harnesses trolled on the weed beds off Second Landing in early morning and evening hours. The Ashland shoreline holds pike, perch, bass, and walleyes. Smallies in the bay are almost anywhere there is structure and weeds.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Surface baits thrown along the weedlines of Shell Lake, Sand Lake, Little Sand Lake, and Rice Lake are producing muskies. Walleye reports have been limited, but panfish are hitting in the 10- to 12-foot weeds of Big Round Lake and Beaver Dam Lake.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164


Fishing on Lake Michigan has been super as of late from Washington Island towards Algoma in 70 to 120 feet; the fish have been scattered at all depths. Flasher and flies along with an assortment of spoons working well right now. Bass fishing is a bit tougher now – some are still shallow, some are mid-depths and some are deep. They are hitting, it’s just not as easy right now. Tubes, flukes, drop-shot rigs and spinnerbaits are working. Walleye fishing is also a bit tougher now as there are lots of alewives around. It is getting better than it was, it’s just not lights out. Perch fishing is getting better as summer moves along and the weeds keep growing. Areas to fish are downtown Sturgeon Bay, the flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and in the deeper mud around Chaudoir’s Dock.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

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


Water temps are now firmly in the 70s, with occasional low 80s in bays after several sunny days. The weeds are right to the top on all lakes. These weeds provide cover for all fish, and can be good for panfishing. Walleye fishing is poor during the day. It is better during low light conditions or at night. Leeches and crawlers are now at least as good as minnows. After dark look for the weeds to hold feeding walleyes on the Eagle River chain. On the larger lakes anglers are getting some fish in the weeds in 12 feet or so even during the daytime on jigs with leeches or minnows. Bass fishing remains very good. Northerns are hitting well in the weeds on all lakes. Muskie fishing is good, but it has just been somewhat inconsistent. Many of these fish are feeding at night now, so that is the best time for experienced anglers to try for large fish. Panfish action is good everywhere now. Try Deerskin or Pioneer lakes for great bluegill and crappie action.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Suamico anglers were finding good numbers of walleyes that all ran from 15 to about 18 inches. They were also getting good numbers of drum and catfish while targeting walleyes. Good numbers of northern pike were being caught in the Suamico River, with the biggest reported at 34 inches. Fox River shore anglers had good success on a wide variety of fish: white bass, drum, channel catfish, walleyes, and carp. The best success came from the anglers at the Fox River metro boat launch, with the best bait being live bait on a floating jighead. Bay Shore Park walleye catch rates were moderate. A few boats brought home limits by trolling crankbaits, crawler harnesses and jigging around reefs early and late.

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


Walleyes are hitting night crawlers in 15 to 22 feet on the Chippewa Flowage, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Grindstone Lake. Crappies are suspended and hitting plastics over 15 to 30 feet on Nelson Lake and the flowage. Muskie action has been “solid” with topwater baits early and late each day over 10 to 20 feet on Lost Land Lake, Teal Lake, Spider Lake, and Chippewa Flowage. On other lakes, the muskies are on deeper drop-offs and weedlines, as well as suspending in deeper water. They are hitting bucktails, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, topwaters, and probably whatever else you might throw at them. Smallmouth fishing is good on wood, rock bars, and breaklines.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


Shore fishing in Sheboygan remained good. A few brown trout were caught from the end of north pier on alewives. Boat success slowed a little. Most boats caught one to two fish per person, mostly Chinooks or coho, and a few rainbows, in 80 to 120 feet.

In Ozaukee County, some boats hit their limits in just a few hours early in the morning last week on flasher and fly combinations in 65 to 145 feet.

In Milwaukee, boats out of McKinley had good luck on kings and cohos in 30 to 60 feet of water after two days of strong west winds. One boat landed a 28-pound king on a spoon north of the harbor in 60 feet of water. Another boat landed three kings and one coho while trolling in 25 to 30 feet of water.

In Racine, fishing has slowed for the most part. Boats reported fishing from 35 feet out to 130 feet; 90 to 120 feet seemed to produce the most fish from the bottom up to 15 feet down from the surface.

In Kenosha, boats trolled in 80 to 130 feet while running lures 60 to 20 feet down from the surface. They caught a mix of rainbows, kings, and cohos. Some perch were caught last week.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


There is a perch bite underway on Lake Winnebago. That’s good news because the walleye fishing has been a little slow. Channel catfish are also hitting in the Fox River.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


Fishing has been pretty good. Water temps hit the 80s earlier in the month. Lake Mendota bass are active on live bait on the weed edges all over the lake. The catfish action has also been decent around Governor’s Island and the locks. The perch have been in the weeds in less than 10 feet of water. Lake Monona bluegill action has been good with fish ranging from the deep weed edges out to 30 feet. Muskie action has been kind of sporadic, with most of the guys trolling for them now.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


The last two weeks of fishing has been good, with most anglers catching fish and some catching large fish. Kings have been the most consistent catch, with many cohos, rainbows and lakers mixed in. Don’t overlook the shallow water – many anglers have found fish in 60 feet or less. Finding cool water and baitfish is key. Pier fishing has been good with many anglers catching kings, cohos, rainbows and browns from piers in Two Rivers and Manitowoc. The early morning bite had the most fish being caught on spoons and alewives.

WCUB Radio, (920) 683-6800.


Walleye fishing has been pretty good in Green Bay in 6 to 10 feet of water. Nightcrawler harnesses and crankbaits are catching fish. A few sheepshead and catfish have been caught, too, and a couple of brown trout were caught off the mouth of the Menominee River.

Waterfront Sports, (906) 792-0467.

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


Largemouths: Very good action in weedbeds of 7 to 12 feet on spinnerbaits, topwaters and lipless crankbaits.

Crappies: Very good action on small jigs and fatheads fished into the tops of cabbage weeds in 6 to 12 feet.

Smallmouth bass: Very good action; concentrate on off-shore humps or coontail edges.

Walleyes: Fair to good action with the bite improving last week with the best action on big leeches and lighted slip-bobbers over off-shore humps.

Muskies: Fair action, with the best reports from fishing 20 to 28 feet with rubber baits. There has been some evening topwater action.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.


Petenwell Flowage has been producing some legal walleyes while trolling Flicker Shads in deeper water. Plenty of sheepshead and white bass are being caught. Nice mixed bags of catfish, white bass and walleyes are being caught from below the Petenwell dam. Large flatheads catfish are still being caught on live bait. Castle Rock Flowage has catfish very active in the river channel. Some large bluegills are in deep brush piles. Muskie fishing has been good from shore in front of the power plant below the Castle Rock dam on smaller crankbaits and spinners. Large bluegills are being caught along the chute wall.

Castle Rock Dam Bait Shop, (608) 339-2967.


Largemouth bass have settled into summer patterns, having taken up residence near firm overhead cover such as logs, stumps, bog edges and thick reed beds. Topwater baits have become less successful and soft plastics have been getting most of the action. For smallmouths, the best action has been on the larger flowages with finesse plastics and spinnerbaits. Muskie activity has been fairly consistent with some good action along weed edges and over less dense weed beds with bucktails and topwater baits. Walleye success seems to be a hit or miss proposition, with just a few reports of decent action being found. Some fair catches of fish up to 16 inches have been made along the weed edges and deeper breaklines.

Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.

Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.

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