Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - July 25th, 2014


Blueberries and strawberries are beginning to ripen. Bears have been hanging out in berry patches. Trollers are catching close to their limits of lake trout near the Outer Island Refuge, but are not catching any fish of great size. Water levels on Lake Superior are high, causing issues at boat launches and docks. Lake Superior surface temperatures are still 48 to 54 degrees.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Water levels are dropping on area rivers, and the no-wake restriction was lifted on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers in Pierce County. Water is still high and some landings are still closed, so check ahead. Walleye and sauger action has picked up on Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River. Trout streams from Eau Claire west to the river are fishable again. Panfish and bass are providing action on lakes. Some lakes to try are Cedar Lake and Nugget in Pierce County and Menomin Lake in Dunn County

Buroker’s Taxidermy and Bait,

Eau Claire, (715) 835-0847.

Bill’s Sport Shop, Chippewa Falls, (715) 723-9033.


Low temperatures and high wind, along with much lower water temps, have made this a different summer than last year. It still looks like early June on the water, with slowed weed growth and water temps in the 60s. Walleye fishing is improving because the mayfly hatch is over and walleyes have moved back to the deeper weed edges and rock bars. Largemouths are active. They will hit about anything when you find them in cover. Smallmouths have been more active as the mayfly hatch is over. They are back on the rocks, but we’ve caught a lot of smallies in deep weeds, also. Muskie action is OK, but not spectacular. Smaller bucktails are still the most productive lures, which is unusual. Surface lures also have been producing some fish.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Boaters at the mouth area of the Fox River continue to work hard with limited success. Perch numbers are increasing, with minnows being the best bait so far. Deeper holes in the bay are holding the most fish. Shore anglers near the pipeline have begun to catch black crappies in greater numbers. The Voyager Park area has been holding a large numbers of drum and catfish. Try a three-way rig with crawlers. Bass fishermen also continue to do well in that area, with green buzzbaits and crankbaits hooking the most fish. Fishing on southern Green Bay has been rough. Walleyes are spotty at best, muskie fishing is nonexistent, and perch haven’t kicked in yet. 

Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle

and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.


Muskie fishing continues to improve, with anglers seeing good numbers of fish and reporting many follows. Fish shallow to mid-depth weeds, weed edges, points, breaks, and humps. Try bucktails, Bull Dawgs, jerkbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, and suckers on quick-strike rigs. Walleye action is good to outstanding. Target deep weeds, breaklines, rocks, sand bars, humps, brush, and bogs in 12 to 20 feet of water. In the evening hours, work similar structure in shallower water. Anglers are catching fish on leeches and crawlers on slip bobber and live bait rigs, and on crankbaits. Largemouth action is very good near weeds, wood, lily pads, docks, brush, bogs, and slop in depths out to about 12 feet. Smallie fishing is very good. Fish deeper wood, rock bars, and breaklines. Crappie action is fair to good, with fish now suspending over deeper water (to 20 feet) near weeds, wood, cribs, and brush.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


The multiple cold fronts, rain, and breezy conditions have kept anglers guessing, but fishing action has remained relatively steady. The cooler weather has dropped water temperatures into the 60s, and this has limited recreational boating quite a bit. Stream and river levels continue to run a little high, and most lake levels remain a few inches above normal. Even with the constantly changing weather, fish activity has remained relatively consistent. The biggest drop-off was with largemouths and smallies. Largemouths seem to be holding on mid-depth weed edges and near lily pads, though more and more have been moving to solid overhead cover like stumps, logs, bog edges, and docks. Smallmouths have become more wood-oriented, and some decent fish have been found near structure in deeper water. Walleye fishing has stayed rather consistent for the past few weeks, and some nice catches of fish in the 12- to 16-inch range have been made in the mid-depth weeds and along the deep-side weed edges. Slip bobbers with leeches or nightcrawler halves have been the most productive technique. Muskie action has been steady, and several anglers have reported multiple catches per trip. 

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.


Anglers at the Peshtigo Harbor are catching catfish, walleyes, and smallmouth at the river mouth on crawlers and minnows. Menominee River anglers are reporting some walleyes in the evenings by trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses from the mouth of the river to Stephenson Island. Shore anglers on the Menominee are catching some bass, catfish, sheepshead, and rock bass.

In Oconto County, anglers were having some success for bluegills below the Stiles dam. Anglers also were catching some bass, mostly smallmouths, with fly rods and streamers or casting small crankbaits. Boaters from the Pensaukee landing to Oconto Park II were reporting some perch in 9 to 14 feet on minnows or crawler chunks. Weedbeds are the best bet. Trolling with crawler harnesses was starting to produce some walleyes in the same areas.

Hook, Line and Sinker,

(715) 854-2073.


Surface water temps remain cool for this time of year. In many cases, live bait is out-producing artificials. Crappie action is good in bays of the larger lakes and deep wood in flowages on minnows under small floats fished 2 to 21⁄2 feet down over 8- to 10-foot weed flats. On lakes, use small jigs and twister tails. On flowages, use a jig tipped with half of a crawler or a medium fathead and fish in 12 to 16 feet over “drowned” wood. Walleye action is fair to good. They’re not as deep as usual for late July. Try 12- to 14-foot weed edges. Largemouth action also is fair to good and improving. Perch action is fair. Muskie action is fair, and the best success is still coming on bucktails later in the day when the weather is the warmest. Smallmouth action is fair. It’s been a disappointing July, as smallies have yet to set up on deep gravel humps. Try shallower humps with some mix of gravel and weeds.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


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Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - July 25th, 2014


The fishing was hot last week throughout the peninsula. On the bay side, anglers were catching plenty of smallmouth bass in 8 to 12 feet of water on just about everything. Anglers also have been catching rock bass and the occasional perch. On the lake side, anglers are having the best luck catching smallmouths from shore and from boats at Rowleys Bay. The chinook fishing has really started to take off. Catches of two to four are typical, with seven or eight not unheard of. Anglers were having luck up and down the peninsula in 100 to 200 foot of water and anywhere from 90 to 150 feet down. Chinooks were biting on dodger flies, flasher flies, and spoons. The key seemed to be to have at least some green in the lures. Anglers have reported some rainbows and the occasional coho. Pier anglers at Sawyer Harbor fishing out of Potawatomi State Park were catching perch, smallmouth bass, rock bass, and gobies. A few of the perch were 10 inches, as were many of the rock bass. Boaters targeting smallmouths had mixed results. While some had a tough time finding these fish, others reported catching up to 20. Four- and 5-pounders were reported by more than one boat angler. Pier anglers fishing at Little Sturgeon Bay were catching decent numbers of perch up to 8 inches. Muskie anglers were having a hard time finding fish. Anglers in search of salmon and trout off of the Coast Guard piers had limited success. Anglers on the lake were bringing in good numbers of rainbows and kings in 150 to 350 feet of water, on dodger flies and spoons.

In Kewaunee County, the Trout Fest had 30 boaters participating, and many of those boaters brought in bag limits of trout and salmon. The largest fish was a king at 19.4 pounds, and the largest bag was 124.8 pounds for 10 fish. Anglers in Algoma and Kewaunee have had high success for trout and salmon. Many limits were being reported. Steelhead have been producing higher numbers than kings, and they are biting mostly on dodger flies with silver or green flashers. Anglers were in 150 to 400 feet of water, fishing 70 to 100 feet down. The full moon produced high numbers for anglers overnight on glow spoons.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934.

Stevenson Pier, (920) 824-5222.

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


The Mississippi River in the La Crosse area has dropped over 4 feet the past two weeks. The water level is now below flood stage, but still about 4 feet above the normal level for this time of year. The fishing has picked up dramatically, and lots of fish are being caught, including walleyes, sauger, northern pike, bass, bluegills, and crappies. The fishing float below Dresbach has been seeing good action on walleyes, sauger, and white bass. Bluegills are hitting on weed edges adjacent to deeper water, and walleyes are being caught on crawler harnesses in 8 to 12 feet of water. 

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552


Anglers on Winnebago have been catching perch on the east shore near High Cliff and walleyes by trolling the west shore near Neenah. The blue- green algae blooms have continued. Shore anglers have been catching a good number of catfish and smallmouth bass along the Fox River.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.



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Southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report - July 25th, 2014


In Sheboygan, trolling success dropped somewhat. The anglers who had the most success were southeast of town in 180 to 220 feet of water. Others were in 80 to 90 feet of water east of the harbor. Shore fishing has picked up off of the south pier on the lake side, with green or glow spoons for brown trout and a few lake trout.

In Port Washington, the north pier is closed to public access because it has stability issues. Shore fishing has improved near the power plant and around Rotary Park. Browns and a few rainbows have been taken on white tube jigs, crawlers, alewives, spinners, and spoons. Trollers had the best action east and northeast of town in 110 to 170 feet of water.

In Milwaukee, catch rates have slowly shown signs of improvement. Trollers have been catching some chinooks spread out relatively evenly at 60 feet and deeper. Shore anglers have been catching steelhead and browns off McKinley Pier on live bait and spoons. Alewives have produced a few browns behind the Summerfest grounds. Browns and steelhead also have been caught at the Oak Creek power plant pier. Perch fishing has been slow, with few fish reported from Cupertino Pier, South Shore Marina, and Bender Park.

Trollers in Racine have had varied success. Some have caught a mixed bag of fish in 55 feet, and browns have been caught shallower in 30 to 35 feet of water. Other trollers have been fishing in 250 to 300 feet of water or deeper. A few browns and cohos have been caught from the piers on a variety of baits. Shore anglers caught a few nice-size browns while casting spoons near the water treatment plant.

Kenosha trollers have had to head to deep water to find fish, and even then fishing has been slow. Cohos and rainbows have been caught 50 feet down in 250 feet of water. Perch fishing has been slow at the breakwall, the bubbler, and the mouth of South Port Marina. Shore anglers, however, have been able to catch some perch from the piers and off the rocks between the south pier and Southport Marina. Shore anglers also have caught a few browns in the harbor.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Last week’s cold front slowed things down. The bass on Lake Mendota have become a challenge, but the fish are still on the bars. Bluegills were still in 3 to 5 feet of water on Mendota, but action was slow. Crappies were on outside edges of weeds. Guys were still struggling with Mendota perch. Lake Monona bluegills were widely scattered from the weeds to weed edges, to suspended, or on the bottom in deep water. Anglers caught them on bottom in 25 feet one day, while other fish were suspended over 40 to 60 feet. 

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403


Fishermen are still trolling Lake Wisconsin with Shad Raps and Flicker Tails for walleyes, with the best action found at Moon Valley, Temporary Point, and near the railroad trestle. Anglers are still getting some bluegills and crappies in the lake’s bays. They’re also catching white bass while trolling for walleyes. Bluegills are hitting on White Mound Lake; Devils Lake trout have slowed a bit. The Wisconsin River has started to drop, and guys are catching a few walleyes, smallies, and muskies by casting spinners. 

Wilderness Fish and Game,

(608) 643-5229.


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