Northern Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014


Chequamegon Bay fishing is good on the days Mother Nature cooperates. The smallmouth bite is best on days with a little chop, and the best bite is on suckers on the rock pile, breakwall, and tip of Long Island. Walleye anglers report success on weeds, the rock pile, and channel edges. With falling water temperatures, trout and salmon fishing is improving off of the Sioux and Onion rivers. Early in the morning, work the first drop or mud line with crankbaits. The fall fish runs have been finicky, with not much luck for fishermen the past few weeks on the open tributary sections and Lake Superior. The grouse hunt also has been tough for most hunters, with not a lot of birds seen even with the leaves coming down. A lot of rain has fallen over the past few weeks; be prepared for low land and swampy areas to be filled with water into the gun deer season.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Muskie action is good and improving with cooling weather. Concentrate on weedbeds and edges, rocks, and drop-offs to about 17 feet, with some fish in shallower water and some suspending over deeper water. Fish are hitting many types of baits, including bucktails, Bull Dawgs, jerkbaits, gliders, crankbaits, twitch baits, tubes, and even topwaters. 

Walleyes are moving/have moved to deeper water (to 30 feet) on rock, weeds, brush, and bogs, but come shallower in the evening hours. Try suckers, fatheads, and crawlers on bright jigs, under slip bobbers, and live bait rigs. 

Northern pike action is good on points, weedlines, and any location holding panfish in depths from 4 to 18 feet. Suckers are the first choice, but crankbaits, bucktails, and small muskie baits will all catch fish. 

Largemouths are holding near mid-depth weeds, weedlines, rocks, brush, and cribs, with some still in shallower water. Look for smallmouths on and near deeper weeds, wood, and rock. 

Crappie fishing is fair to very good. Look for crappies in/on weeds, weedlines, rock bars, and other cover in 12 to 25 feet. Top baits include minnows, waxies, plastics, tube jigs, and Gulp! baits on small jigs fished with or without slip bobbers. Small spinners, Beetle Spins, and Jigging Rapalas are also productive. 

You can catch bluegills on weedlines, cribs, and rock bars in 5 to 18 feet with waxies, leaf worms, plastics, and Gulp! baits.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


In Marinette County, some salmon are starting to appear at the dam in Peshtigo. Anglers also are catching a few walleyes and smallmouths on spoons, crankbaits, and jigs. Salmon at Little River have been slow to show up, with only one fish being reported. Salmon and trout can be seen jumping at the Hattie Street dam, mainly in the basin below the dam. Walleyes also are being caught by the Menominee dam on jigs tipped with crawlers or minnows. A few salmon have been seen from the footbridge. 

In Oconto County, the bluegill and crappie bite below the Stiles dam was fair to good. With the rain, gates were open and fishing became much more difficult. No salmon have been observed at the Stiles dam yet. Angler effort for walleyes and perch last week from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II was low. Some perch, bluegills, and smallmouth bass were being reported by anglers fishing by the boat landings at Oconto Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II.

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


Morning temps in the low 30s barely hit 39 to 40 degrees for highs last week. Lake temps fell from the upper 50s and low 60s to lower 50s. 

Muskies: Fair to good action. After an off week, action is picking up. Jointed crankbaits have been hot. Nearly all fish not caught on suckers have been raised and/or caught on jointed baits. 

Crappies: Good to very good action on the flowages over deep wood in 14 19 feet on fatheads. The big fish was a 147⁄8-incher slab (released).

Smallmouths: Good. Most fish were in 6- to 10-foot weeds. Big fish up to 20 inches were preferring jerkbaits.

Walleyes: Fair action. Fishing slowed and conditions were tough with either high or no wind. Deep water has been the best. Vertical jigging is best if boat control is possible.

Yellow perch: Fair to good action,  mostly from flowages. Sizes have ranged from 11 to 121⁄2 inches, but numbers are few. They are feeding heavily on crayfish, so half of a crawler is a top choice.

Largemouth bass: Fair to good action along deep weedbeds while fishing with jig/pig combos, or by drop-shotting minnow imitations.

With surface temps are running 52 to 55 degrees, the sucker bite is ratcheting up, and the supply is still good. Chubs are still limited in supply.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.


The variable weather has made for some challenging conditions and has kept pressure at a low level. Muskie anglers have provided most of the fishing pressure, and they have been enjoying some success. Artificial baits have been doing OK, but many fishermen have switched to suckers. A sucker on a quick-set rig has been the most productive method, and several anglers have reported multiple catches on a single trip. Many of the muskies are suspended near mid-depth cover such as cribs and rock bars. Most of the fish have been in the 32- to 40-inch range, but a few up to 48 inches have been boated. Walleyes are starting to show up in shallow water, but they still don’t seem to be settled into a solid pattern yet. Late October and early November should provide a little better walleye action with jig/minnow and slip bobber/minnow combos working best near weed edges and along mid-depth breaklines.

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.


Deer movement continues to be spotty, possibly because of lower deer numbers. Rubs and scrapes are showing up in the woods, but the best action is yet to come. There is still fairly heavy leaf cover in the woods and on area trails. Waterfowl numbers seem to be good in western Burnett County. Grouse numbers in the area are OK. Fishing has been decent, although there aren’t a lot of anglers still dropping in their boats.

Big Mike’s, (715) 349-2400.

Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.


With the winds and rain, we have seen a lot of leaf drop. This is making grouse hunting a little easier, and probably helps archery hunting, as well. Despite a couple of small cold fronts, we still have wood ducks in the area, but teal numbers have started to wane. We are seeing more mallards and divers beginning to arrive. There is a lot of water, so they have a lot of options for places to land. We still have not seen a woodcock push. Deer sightings have increased in the mornings and evenings.

St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, (715) 477-2205.

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Central Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014


In Door County, those willing to brave the weather were mostly targeting bass, salmon, and walleyes. Smallmouth bass fishermen were having luck off of the Stone Quarry and Rowley’s Bay when using tubes and chatter baits. Anglers were having the most success while fishing early afternoon. Some smallmouths can still be found near shore, but smallmouths are heading deeper this time of year. As the water cools, slower presentations and live bait work best, though sometimes you can still get a hit by using fast-moving reactionary baits like crankbaits. A few anglers are still targeting salmon in the Heins and Hibbards creek systems in northern Door County. Salmon anglers are fishing the Sturgeon Bay ship canal and catching some chinook salmon. A few walleye anglers are still hitting the water and catching some fish. Trolling or casting from shore at night seems to produce the biggest fish. Popular areas were Ellison Bay and Jacksonport launches. Sawyer Harbor continued to be turbid, with water visibility less than 2 feet. Heavy wave action and dropping temperatures kept usage by fishermen low. A few perch came in longer than 10 inches. However, the majority were around 7 inches. A minnow suspended just off bottom in 10 to 14 feet of water worked the best.

In Kewaunee County, anglers have been fishing the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers heavily as the salmon run continues. Chinooks were in the rivers heavy, and cohos also have begun their spawning runs. In Algoma, anglers have been fishing at various locations along the Ahnapee and down on the piers. In Kewaunee, anglers have been fishing heaviest at Bruemmer Park and the piers. Catch rates on both rivers have been low to moderate for anglers due to high and muddy water. The most success has come on spawn sacs, although spoons and crankbaits also have seen some success. There also have been reports from Kewaunee and Algoma of brown trout being caught from the piers and up on the rivers on spawn.

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.


In Brown County, poor weather and dropping temperatures reduced usage in the area to a trickle. Average water temperatures hovered near 63 degrees last week, and water visibility continued to be poor. Heavy waves and high winds are keeping the water restless and provided very little time to comfortably fish throughout the week. Shore anglers in Voyager Park continue to enjoy good catch rates on walleyes on a mix of jigs, crankbaits, and crawlers. The majority of walleyes are in the 17- to 22-inch range. Other fish caught at Voyager included freshwater drum, round gobies, channel catfish, and white bass. Shore anglers on the Suamico River were catching decent numbers of yellow perch. The average size has been small (5 to 7 inches). Diver ducks have started their migration. Rafts of scaup, redheads, and canvasbacks have all been seen along the west shore as far south as Suamico. There also are significant numbers of local puddle ducks. Multiple hunters were contacted during the opening weekend with wood ducks in their bags.

In Shawano County, with lower temps came increased activity for hunting. Archery hunters are having good success, with many being choosy and waiting for the big one. Opening of duck season was unusually warm, but woodies and mallards were the main birds bagged if you could stand the mosquitos. Fishing is heating up, and with everyone hunting, you will have most of the water to yourself.

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


Anglers are continuing to find walleyes and perch on Lake Winnebago, but are having mixed success. Archery hunters have reported seeing active scrapes. Waterfowl hunters are doing well, with good duck and goose numbers in the area.

In Outagamie County, fishermen have been out on the Wolf River. Crappies are still biting on the river and in sloughs, and the fall walleye bite will be coming soon. Deer hunters are seeing a lot of deer due to a good number of fawns. Many hunters also are seeing some nice bucks in the area.

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 - 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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