Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Summer patterns setting up inland, Great Lakes action hot


It was an excellent week to be out fishing Lake Michigan for
trout and salmon. There were some nice catches, with many anglers
limiting out early in the morning. Rainbow trout are still being
caught in good numbers in 120 to 300 feet of water, fished 10 to 30
feet down. Chinook activity increased, with the most action over
140 to 300 feet and 40 to 125 feet down. White or silver Dodgers
and flies in aqua, blue, or green have all been hot colors.

Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce hotline, (800) 626-3090.

Billy Goat Bait, (920) 487-9710.


Trout and salmon trolling in the bay proper has been slowing
down. There are still a few fish around, but more people are
heading out to deep water for lakers. The South Channel, Flats, and
around the Islands have been producing nice catches of lakers (and
a few browns and splake) from a variety of depths, according to
water temperatures. A few people are fishing boards, but Dipsey
divers and riggers have been producing better in most situations.
In the bay, the walleye bite continues to be good. Walleyes are
still in relatively shallow water (less than 20 feet), and trolling
cranks or drifting with harnesses have been producing. Smallies are
still in the sloughs.

On inland lakes, crappies are about done biting for now, but
bluegills and largemouths are still at it. Northerns are in the new
weed growth in shallow water, and the walleye bite has shifted to
deep weed edges during the day, with better fishing over shallow
rock or transition areas at dusk

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

Outdoor Allure, (715) 373-0551.


Walleye action has been good early in the day and along weeds or
in submerged timber. Muskies were hitting on surface baits. Some
bluegills can still be found in the shallows, but in some lakes
spawning is done and they’ve moved out to deep weed edges.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.


In Oconto County, anglers searching for yellow perch have
started to have some limited success on the Oconto breakwater pier.
Most fish are small, with a few nice fish in the mix. Wolf River
rigs fished with small fatheads were the best bet from shore, while
jigging with crappie rigs or small jigs worked best from a boat.
Smallmouth bass were hitting spinners and crankbaits along the
south pier. A few walleyes were being picked up near the Stiles dam
in the late evenings or at night for those casting crankbaits
fishing with slip bobbers and leeches or minnows.

In Shawano County, fishing has been picking up on the Wolf River
for bass. Shawano Lake anglers reported good success with panfish
and decent smallmouth bass.

In Brown County, walleyes have been difficult to find on the Fox
River, but one is caught every once and a while by anglers dragging
crawler harnesses. Some anglers also were flipping cranks into the
structure in the Fort Howard area. The catfish bite has turned on
at Voyager. Anglers were easily catching a half dozen channel cats
in a few hours, some of which were as big as 24 inches. As for
flathead cats, there were some big ones being caught out in the
river channel and at the warm-water discharges with crawlers on the
bottom. Perch action on the Suamico River has been pretty steady.
Anglers may catch some small northern pike, as well. Duck Creek has
been very slow so far. Bayshore Park has still not seen much perch
action. No one has been getting limits, but anglers were marking
fish and getting bites, even though most of the bites seem to be
gobies. The best spots have been out from the landing in 25 to 28
feet with crawlers or minnows.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (920) 499-4737, or (920) 499-6666.


With the opening of the bass harvest season now past, fishing
for largemouths and smallmouths provided the best action, even
though bass seem to be in their post-spawn pattern and have not
been aggressive yet. Success was best on smaller baits such as
small rubber worms and tube jigs, and presentations had to be
rather slow. Largemouths have been found along the weed edges and
among the new lily pads. But look for them to develop a more
“structure pattern” as the summer develops — they’ll be relating
more to wood, docks, and thick weed cover. Smallmouth bass have
been most consistent on the deep edges, in 4 to 6 feet of water and
along rock and gravel bottoms. Panfish action has been very good.
Bluegills are finishing up their spawning ritual and some catches
have been good. Perch also have been active and are being found
along the deeper weed edges. Crappies are in shallower water along
any emergent weedlines. Muskie action has been heating up with many
more fish starting to get into an active feeding mode, especially
on the Flambeau and Chippewa rivers. Bucktails and jerkbaits seem
to be the preferred baits, and the late afternoon hours have
provided the best action. Walleye success has been quite erratic,
to say the least. With continuing mayfly hatches, action has been
inconsistent and fish often hard to find. The best catches have
been on the deep drop-offs in 8-14 feet.

Pastika’s Sporting Goods, (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


With water levels up, fishing has slowed a little on pools 7 and
8 of the Mississippi River. However, fishing was still good on the
Mississippi in the La Crosse area. Wild turkey broods are beginning
to appear around the area.

Schafer’s Bait Livery, (608) 781-3100.

R&L Riversports, (608) 783-3349.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.


In Sheboygan, fishing off the piers has been slow, but a few
rainbow trout have been taken on alewives. Trollers have been
catching a mixed bag of chinooks, cohos, rainbows, and lake trout.
Fish have been hitting purple and black, green, or blue spoons and
flies from 25-100 feet down in 120-300 feet.

In Port Washington, shore fishing has been slow both in the
harbor and off the pier. Trollers have been catching mostly
chinooks, along with a few cohos and rainbows. Fish have been
anywhere from the surface to 75 feet down in 80-200 feet.

In Milwaukee, early morning shore anglers have been catching a
few browns at Jones Island and chinooks off McKinley pier on glow
spoons. Perch fishing from shore has been hit or miss at Cupertino
Park and off McKinley pier. Boaters looking for perch have caught
limits at the main and south gaps, along the rubble wall near South
Shore Park, and near the boils and the Oak Creek power plant.
Trollers have been taking chinooks on a variety of spoons and

Shore anglers in Racine have been catching rainbows and cohos
off the piers. Spawn sacs and small spoons have been effective.
Perch anglers have been catching mostly smaller perch on fathead
minnows under slip bobbers. Trollers have been catching cohos on
Dodgers and flies, and chinooks on green spoons.

In Kenosha, browns remain in the harbor near the Holiday Inn.
White tube jigs are working for shore anglers. Perch fishing has
been a little slow from shore, but boaters working the bubbler or
breakwall have been catching limits. Trollers off Kenosha have been
catching mostly cohos on Dodgers paired with white or blue

On inland lakes in Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties, fish
are spread out. Spinnerbaits were working on Delavan Lake for
northern pike and largemouth bass over deep weeds. Walleyes were
biting on leeches. Sucker anglers were catching northern pike. Lake
Geneva was producing largemouth bass on topwater lures and
smallmouth bass on crawlers fished on the bottom. Pike are hitting
crankbaits in 14-22 feet of water. Anglers using plastic worms and
spinnerbaits were catching largemouths on Browns and Center

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

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


In Dane County, bluegill anglers were still finding bluegills on
beds and are having good success, despite water temps in the
mid-70s. Most of the lakes now have some algae blooms. Bluegills
were biting below locks and dams of the Yahara River, with some 8-
to-10-inch fish being taken. Bass anglers had good success on Lake
Waubesa, despite heavy boat traffic. Water levels are on the low
side as virtually no precipitation has been received for weeks.

In Jefferson County, anglers were catching a few catfish on the
Rock River in the Fort Atkinson area. On Lake Koshkonong, anglers
were catching some white bass that were spawned out and have moved
back out into the lake. Water levels on the Rock and Crawfish
rivers are unusually low for this time of year, which has affected

In Rock County, catfish were hitting on the Rock River on
crawlers and stink bait. Water levels are extremely low, making it
difficult to launch boats at many of the ramps. Smallmouth bass
were hitting on Rapalas on the Beloit stretch of the Rock River.
Anglers were catching fish from boats and from shore.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Fishing for trout and salmon continued to be very good to
excellent. Lots of kings and cohos were being caught, as well as a
good number of steelhead and a few lake trout. Kings were being
caught on bright spoons and fly/Dodger combos off downriggers and
Dipsey Divers. Successful steelhead anglers were fishing near the
surface using orange spoons. King salmon were starting to show up
around the Manitowoc and Two Rivers piers.

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.


Fishing on the lower Menominee River continues to be stable,
with many anglers catching good numbers of smaller walleyes.
Trolling bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses or jigging with
minnows along the Marinette side of the river near the docked ships
have been excellent ways to pick up walleyes, sheepshead, or
channel catfish. Walleyes and smallmouths also were being caught at
the upstream tip of Stephensen Island in shallow water. The
Peshtigo River has an excellent smallmouth bass bite, especially in
the early mornings and later evenings.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

Pete’s Sport Shop, (715) 582-3681.


Walleye fishing has been especially good. The best waters have
been the Willow and Rainbow flowages, along with Squirrel and Big
St. Germain, although Squirrel and Rainbow both had mayfly hatches
last week. Surprisingly, red-tailed chubs have been a very good
choice, especially on lakes where mayfly hatches are over. Trollers
are doing exceptionally well on the flowages. Drifting harnesses
with crawlers or jumbo leeches is working on Fence. Muskie action
also has been very good, especially for tigers. Fish of 47 and 49
inches were caught on the Minocqua chain while other good lakes to
try included Big Saint, Clear, Katherine, Squirrel, and the Turtle
chain. Largemouth bass action has been hot as fish settle into
summer patterns. Work lily pads with plastic frogs or mice.
Pre-rigged plastic worms are effective along weed edges.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.


Walleye fishing has slowed as water temps hit the mid 70-degree
range on most lakes. The morning and evening bite is better for
walleyes. Smallmouth fishing remains good, with some fish being
caught on the north and south forks of the Flambeau River. Muskie
fishing also has been good.

Bridge Bait & Tackle, (715) 762-4108.


The Mississippi River is still high for this time of year. The
Wisconsin River started to rise last week. The Kickapoo River’s
water level is about average for this time of year. The Mississippi
is starting to see a lot of recreation boat traffic. Walleye and
sauger action was hot and cold last week. There were some very slow
days followed by a day or two of very good action. Most anglers
were using leeches or crawlers, or were casting crankbaits along
rocky shorelines or wing dams. The Roseau Slough and wing dams
around the Prairie du Chien area are some places to check. There
has been pretty good walleye action in the Lynxville area. The
islands along the main channel outside Lynxville and all the way up
to Lansing have been producing some nice walleyes. Try trolling or
casting crankbaits along the rocks. Bluegill and crappie action was
spotty. Some stripers are starting to show up near the Lynxville
dam and the barge loading area outside Prairie du Chien.

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.


The weather took a turn for the worse last week, with cool
temperatures, overcast skies, scattered showers, and thunder
storms, along with a day or two of high winds and waves that made
for some tough conditions. While the weather turned bad, fishing
remained good to excellent. Chinook salmon and rainbow trout
continued to be caught in large numbers. Quite a few boats were
back at the dock in Sturgeon Bay by 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. with limits
of fish. Excellent results continue on green or blue flies behind
white Dodgers or opti-Dodgers. Light spoons in hammered copper with
a cracked orange ice insert produced a lot of fish. Most of the
action was in 80-250 feet of water, 120 feet down for salmon and
the top 30 feet for steelhead. The Bank Reef continues to produce
salmon and trout in 100-150 feet. Walleye action remained good,
especially at night, with anglers bouncing crawler harnesses around
Potawatomi State Park and Sherwood Point. Smallie action was good
to excellent from Sturgeon Bay to Little Sturgeon. The best action
seems to be on live bait. Rowley Bay and the Mink River along with
Fish Creek, Ephraim, and Sister Bay all were producing fish.

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


Muskies are still hitting aggressively, and some nicer fish have
been caught and released in the past week or so. Surface baits,
bucktails, and twitch baits all have been taking fish, with good
action still being had in shallower water. The smallmouth bite is
still going strong with good numbers of fish available. Look for
shallower rocks or wood to be holding the most fish. Surface lures,
tubes, and crankbaits will all produce. The slop bite has been very
good for largemouth bass and northern pike. Crappies and bluegills
are in 16-22 feet near deep wood or bottom transition areas.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.

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