Warmer weather should trigger crappies and ‘gills

BIG SIX

ALGOMA AREA

Fishing remained rather slow last week with variable
weather. Brown and lake trout continue to be taken by anglers
trolling in 10-30 feet of water and using crankbaits or spoons. It
was a difficult week for anglers fishing from the piers and harbors
with few fish being landed. Smallmouth bass and catfish have been
the target of anglers fishing the Kewaunee River.

Billy Goat Bait, (920) 487-9710.

Algoma Hardware and Sporting Goods, (920)
487-3374

ASHLAND AREA

Water temps in Chequamegon Bay were in the mid 40s and
there are still some trout and salmon in the bay. Trolling remains
consistent off Washburn, up to Long Island, the South Channel, and
Bayfield. Mixed bags include mostly lakers and a few cohos, kings,
browns, splake, and steelhead. There are boats venturing out on the
flats east of Madeline for lakers. Walleye fishing is getting
better off Ashland, through the head of the bay over toward
Washburn, and in the sloughs. Use crankbaits if the fish are
suspended and active, crawler harnesses if they are not. Smallies
are in shallow preparing to spawn. The bite has been
good.

Steelhead season is about over, with few fish reported in
the rivers. Trollers are picking up spawned-out dark fish in the
lake. Stream trout fishing has been decent on all the local
creeks.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

Outdoor Allure, (715) 373-0551.

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Water temps held in the mid-50-degree range last week. All
action was sporadic as unstable weather patterns moved through.
Cold rains have kept most fish from moving into the shallows. Look
for a good bite to start with warm, stable weather. Walleye
activity varies, with minnows reportedly the bait of choice at the
moment. However, there have been a few reports of slip bobbers and
leeches taking some walleyes on weed edges. Bass action is picking
up.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.

GREEN BAY AREA

Smallmouth fishing on the lower Oconto River started to
pick up last week. Anglers were catching nice bass while fishing
along the rock shorelines of the Oconto breakwater pier. Walleyes
were still being caught off shore on the pier by anglers casting
crankbaits during the evenings or early mornings near the mouth of
the river. Trolling crawler harnesses from County Park II south
past the mouth of the Oconto River has been producing good catches
of large walleyes and a few northern pike. Fish were being caught
all day, with many of the larger fish coming in the evening. Yellow
perch fishing opened May 20 on the Bay of Green Bay and its
tributaries, with a daily bag limit of 10 fish.

In Brown County, the Fox River was providing some decent
fishing, with some walleyes, as well as carp, white bass, and
channel cats. The walleyes were caught mostly in the early morning
and late evening off Voyager Park on river rigs and minnows. There
were still many anglers trolling the channel for one to two
walleyes an hour. There have been reports of stray northern pike
and the occasional muskie. There also have been some muskies
prowling the shores of Voyager Park. Duck Creek has been very slow
so far, but can be a good place to just find some action with
sheepshead or carp and also some decent channel cats or bullheads.
Some anglers were still trolling out on the west shore of the bay
and have been getting some of the biggest walleyes (24-28 inches)
in the Geano Beach area and north toward the Oconto Shoal. Try
dragging crawler harnesses in 6-10 feet.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (920) 499-6666.

HAYWARD AREA

The erratic weather has made for some tough fishing, with
water temperature still hovering in the mid-50s on many lakes in
the Northwoods. Walleye anglers had been experiencing some
inconsistent fishing and many anglers were having a rough time
finding fish. Success did pick up early last week. Jig and minnow
combos and minnows under slip bobbers provided the bulk of the
action, and most of the walleyes were in the 12- to 14-inch range.
Northern pike success continued to be good, with most fish hanging
around the new weeds. Panfish activity has picked up with the
slight warmup in water temps. Crappie abundance is increasing in
shallow water, and most fish were being found along weed lines and
around shallow brushy cover. Largemouth and smallmouth bass
activity also has been increasing.

Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

LAKE MICHIGAN / METRO AREA
LAKES

In Sheboygan, pier fishing has been slow, but a few brown
trout have been taken on spoons. Boaters have been catching browns
and a few rainbows.

In the Port Washington harbor, a few browns have been
taken on spoons and spawn sacs. Trollers have been catching good
numbers of cohos, along with a few rainbows and chinooks. Fish have
been scattered in 120-230 feet of water.

In Milwaukee, anglers fishing off McKinley pier have been
catching a few early morning cohos on glow spoons. Trollers fishing
north of the city have been taking fair numbers of cohos 40 feet
down in 150-160 feet.

Shore anglers in Racine have been catching a few browns
and cohos off the north pier, mostly on silver spoons. Trollers
have been catching good numbers of cohos and rainbows, from near
shore out to 220 feet.

In Kenosha, schools of alewives have been seen near the
ends of the piers, and shore anglers have been catching a few cohos
on small silver spoons. Trollers have been catching good numbers of
cohos from shore out to 150 feet.

In Walworth and inland Racine and Kenosha counties,
largemouth bass were biting on crawlers, plastics, and spinnerbaits
in 2-15 feet. Anglers were catching crappie along weed edges in
5-10 feet of water. Bluegills were biting on waxies, red worms, and
crawler pieces. A DNR fish survey on Tichigan Lake collected many
nice black crappies. Try fishing in 2-8 feet of water in the
evening.

In Waukesha County, nice catches of bluegills and crappies
were coming from Beaver, North, and Okauchee lakes in 6-15 feet.
Fish will move shallower as temperatures increase during the day.
Largemouth bass have been providing good action.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait Shop, Delafield, (262) 646
2218.

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

White bass fishing was very good on the Wolf River up and
down from Fremont. Walleyes were being caught by anglers trolling
on Lake Poygan. They also were being caught on Lake Winnebago reefs
with slip bobbers and crawlers. Channel catfish have been biting on
cut bait on the Fox River from Omro up to Lake Puckaway. Sixth
period turkey hunters had good success.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Kiesow’s Landing, (920) 836-2590.

LITTLE GREEN LAKE AREA

Bluegill and crappie fishing has been very good on Little
Green on ice fishing jigs and waxies or red worms.

The Landing, (920) 398-2620.

MADISON AREA

Bass fishing continues to be good on Madison lakes.
Bluegills have begun to move onto spawning beds, but windy weather
last week hampered fishing. Walleyes and crappies were being caught
on Lake Kegonsa. Bowfishermen were out trying for rough fish and
had good success on buffalo on the Yahara River. White bass also
were being caught on the Yahara River in between McFarland and Lake
Kegonsa on small jigs and spinners. Muskies continue to show up
around dams on their spawning runs. Water levels are in good shape.
Turkey hunters had great success during the last time
period.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

MANITOWOC/TWO RIVERS AREA

Anglers had mixed success last week on Lake Michigan.
Successful anglers were catching mostly lake trout with an
occasional brown or chinook rounding out the action. Best bets were
crankbaits or spoons. Pressure in the Manitowoc Harbor was low last
week, and action on the piers also has slowed, with only a few
browns and rainbows showing up. Alewives have been seen in good
numbers near the piers; game fish may follow them in. In Two
Rivers, harbor and pier fishing was slow.

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.

MARINETTE AREA

Fishing has started to improve on Green Bay out from the
Menominee, Little, and Peshtigo rivers. Walleyes still were being
caught on crankbaits in 8-11 feet from the Menominee River down to
the Peshtigo River. Be prepared to tangle with some scrappy
northern pike while trolling in the shallower water. Anglers were
catching a lot of walleyes on crawler harnesses and bottom
bouncers. A few catfish have started to show up in the Menominee
and Peshtigo rivers, especially near the mouths. Nightcrawlers
fished on the bottom have been the most productive. Smaller
walleyes were being caught in the Menominee River from the Hattie
Street bridge down to the mouth on jigs and live bait. Fishing
along structure has produced good catches of smaller walleyes and
nice smallmouth bass. Inland panfishing has been good in the
shallows on Lake Noquebay.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

Pete’s Sport Shop, (715) 582-3681.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF AREA

Water temps have crept up a bit, but ever-changing wind
directions and a moving barometer haven’t helped much. On warming
days, crappies have been moving in during the afternoons to very
shallow water. Some smaller lakes reporting fish bedding in reeds.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass are staging. Some small lakes are
seeing smallies bedding. Not much for topwater action yet, but that
could change fast if the water warms a bit more. It’s still catch
and release only for bass. Muskies are done spawning and are a bit
sluggish. Try a jig and reaper, rubber baits, or small twitch or
gliders. Walleyes have been fair, with the best action in the
evenings. Minnows on jigs are still tops.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

PARK FALLS AREA

Walleye action has been good, with live minnows fished
slowly being the most effective. Crankbaits were producing some
fish also, with best results toward evening as the fish moved into
shallower water. Bass fishing was good, and some nice smallmouth
catches have been reported during the release season. Muskies have
been more active on the rivers.

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

PORT WING/SUPERIOR AREA

Lake Superior has seen good catches of trout and salmon
along the shorelines off Washburn and Long Island, and in
Chequamegon Bay. Most anglers were trolling with spoons using
planer boards or downriggers. Fishing was best close to shore where
water temperatures were more suitable than the outlying waters. As
in past weeks, the wind has been a factor, but if you can get out
earlier before the winds kick up there can be some good
action.

Day-O Charters, (715) 774-3354.

Bait Box, (715) 398-3554.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA

Barge traffic has started back up after the high water on
the Mississippi so boaters should use caution. The Mississippi also
is starting to see a lot more recreation boat traffic. Walleye and
sauger action at the Lynxville dam was pretty slow last week. Most
anglers were using leeches or crawlers when using live bait. Some
anglers were casting crankbaits along rocky shorelines or wing dams
to locate post-spawn walleyes. Some were vertical jigging while
drifting; others are long-lining and trolling. There hasn’t been
much walleye or sauger action in front of Lawler Park on the East
Channel.

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.

RHINELANDER AREA

Walleyes have been hitting well on jigs and minnows over
deep flats that transition up to weed edges. A few anglers have had
luck using leeches and slip bobbers, and this method will be more
effective once weeds begin to come up. The next warming trend will
force crappies up into shallow bays to spawn. Some crappie action
has been reported on a few lakes, but the major push is yet to
come. Look for weedy bays with 3-7 feet of water and work the weed
edges with slip bobbers and minnows. Pencil reeds also are crappie
magnets. Bluegills have been hitting sporadically.

Nelson’s Choice Bait and Tackle, (715)
369-1900.

SPOONER AREA

Fish are starting to bite fairly well. Numerous nice
catches of walleyes were reported on several lakes via drifting a
jig and minnow, drifting with a slip bobber and jig baited with a
minnow or leech, and casting crankbaits on rocky points. Crappies
also are biting in swallow bays. Small minnows or crappie jigs were
working well. Spawning crappies were congregating near dead
wood.

Spooner Sports, (715) 635-6500.

STURGEON BAY AREA

A few anglers continued to take brown trout along the Lake
Michigan shore from Algoma north. Walleyes are still being taken
from Potawatomi Park to Little Sturgeon on crankbaits at night.
Pike fishing remained slow, with a few fish reported out of
Sturgeon Bay and Little Sturgeon Bay. Smallie action has been
mixed, with the best action coming from shallower water (plastics
fished in 3-5 feet of water). There was one report of some nice
perch and big bluegills coming out of Little Sturgeon Bay. Little
Sturgeon Bay has been swarming with boats ever since opening day.
There has been more action for northern pike as of late off
Henderson Point and the weedy areas in the bay.

Stevenson Pier Mini Mart, (920) 824-5222.

WAUSAU/MOSINEE AREA

Crappie fishing is peaking. Good numbers of fish are being
caught from woody/brushy areas 1-5 feet deep. Find crappies in
shallow sloughs and shorelines with downed timber like on Lake
Wausau, Lake DuBay, and the Eau Plaine Reservoir. Small jigs tipped
with plastic tails or minnows have been best. Smallmouth bass are
taking jig/Twister tail combinations and crankbaits.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573

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