Hunting overshadows fishing, but anglers doing well
BEAVER DAM AREA
The Canada goose and duck migrations are near the peak at the
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. The recent Canada goose count
showed 210,000 geese on Horicon Marsh, which is slightly above the
normal peak and is occurring a bit earlier than recent years.
Surveys conducted on the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge counted
just over 80,000 ducks. Low water levels are attracting plenty of
dabblers, while divers are seeking out deeper water and as a
result, are sparse at Horicon Marsh. No similar count was recently
conducted on the state portion of the marsh, and therefore the
total waterfowl count at Horicon Marsh is higher than these numbers
indicate. Water levels in the marsh remained low. Waterfowl hunters
are finding it difficult to navigate the marsh this fall, but duck
numbers are abundant in the area.
Phil & Sons Tackle, (920) 885-6766.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
Turnover is complete and the fishing, for everything except
muskies, is pretty good. The trouble with the ñbig girlsî is water
temps were still in the upper 40s last week. Anglers have been
pounding the lakes, both big and small, with live bait and
artificials and are finding an interesting mix. The sucker bite is
ñshyî Ü head and tail chomps, not in the mid-section where it
belongs. That means even with a good hookset, your chances of
landing a fish are slim. Anglers have missed several huge fish
because of it. Work deeper breaks with suckers and cast crankbaits
toward shore and work toward deep water. Anglers have been landing
a majority of the ñlegalsî on Bull Dawgs, and are seeing a fair
number of fish, but the water still has to cool down. Walleyes are
hitting well in rocky depths of 15-20 feet on jigs and minnows.
This is an all-day bite before they move into shallow water to feed
at night. Perch and bluegills are strong in numbers, but you have
to sort through them for keepers.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Excellent weather prevailed for most of the four day Zone-T
antlerless deer season Oct. 27-30. In spite of the good weather,
registration stations reported average to below-average hunter
effort and number of deer registered. Pheasant hunters were
reporting good to excellent success in the fields, a result of dry
and warm nesting and brood-rearing conditions this spring and
summer. Conversely, duck hunters reported a fair opener, but the
action really slowed of late. Lake Winnebago hunters reported good
numbers of divers appearing last weekend.
The Sportsman, (920) 734 3299
Most lakes were in the mid 40s last week. Muskies have been
providing the most consistent action, mostly on large suckers.
Anglers are seeing quite a few fish. There have been no reports of
any large fish, but quite a few 30- to 38-inch fish have been
landed. Some anglers were still throwing artificials and have had
some action, with fish being more active on sunny days when the
water has warmed a bit. Northern pike also have shown a spike in
activity with the colder weather and have been providing muskie
anglers with a little extra action. Walleye fishing has been
spotty. Minnows continue to be the best bait, whether fished below
slip bobbers, on jigs, or on bare hooks dragged along the
Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LA CROSSE AREA
White pelican viewing opportunities are almost gone for this
fall, but some groups remain. Tundra swans have started to arrive
in small numbers. Canvasback numbers are near their peak on the
Mississippi. Water levels have returned to normal. Bluegill and
crappie anglers have reported catching keeper-sized fish. Fall
walleye fishing has been slow, with a few sauger caught and
released. Bowhunters are having good action. Much of the corn has
been cut. Waterfowl hunters have been seeing fewer birds than
expected. They were anticipating larger fall flights as the cold
northern Wisconsin weather pushed birds south. This has not yet
Schafer’s, (608) 781-3100.
R&L Riversports, (608) 783-3349.
Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Sheboygan, shore fishing has been slow. Only a few chinooks
and rainbows have been taken on spawn. Water is low on the
Sheboygan River; anglers have been taking a few chinooks and cohos
on dark-colored flies.
In Port Washington, shore anglers fishing the harbor and near
the power plant have been catching a few chinooks, browns, and
cohos on spawn.
In Milwaukee, anglers fishing off McKinley ramp and off the
ramps at Bender Park have been catching chinooks and a few browns
on spawn under a bobber. Anglers on the Milwaukee River have been
taking a few chinooks at Estabrook and Kletzsch parks. Fishing has
been slow on the Menomonee River and Oak Creek. On good-weather
days, some trollers have been venturing out on the lake. They have
been taking some small chinooks around the gaps and north of the
harbor in 50 feet of water.
In Racine, at the Root River Steelhead Facility, so far 3,438
chinooks, 591 cohos, 11 steelhead, 134 browns, and one pink salmon
have passed upstream. An additional 91 skamania-strain steelhead
and 49 cohos have been taken to the hatchery for later spawning.
Water levels on the Root remain low, and anglers have been taking
most chinooks, cohos, and browns on purple flies or spawn at the
Washington Park golf course. Due to low water, fishing has been
difficult from Island Park all the way upstream through Quarry
In Kenosha, the Pike River is low, and only a few chinooks and
cohos have been taken near the mouth. Shore anglers have been
catching a few brown trout on tube jigs in the harbor behind the
In Walworth and inland Racine and Kenosha counties, lakes began
to turn over. Fish are spending much of their time in and near
green weeds. Muskies were biting mostly on suckers, with some
action on artificials. Pike and walleye anglers were catching fish
by trolling artificials and suckers. Anglers after largemouth bass
are catching some on artificials near weedbeds.
In Washington, eastern Fond du Lac, and inland Sheboygan
counties, there has been very little fishing action on area lakes.
Anglers were trying to entice muskies to hit on Elkhart and Random
lakes with little success. Bluegills were biting well on
In Waukesha County, good muskie action was reported on Okauchee
and Pewaukee lakes on suckers. Walleye action has been excellent at
night over reefs on Oconomowoc and Pine lakes. Bluegill action has
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
A lot of people are still fishing with the mild weather that’s
hung around. Lake Mendota has been giving up a few walleyes after
dark in shallow water, but nothing consistent. Pike are hitting
bucktails and jerkbaits on Mendota, but action has been spotty.
There has been some muskie success on Monona and Waubesa. There are
a lot of bluegills in Monona Bay, and big crappies are being caught
off the convention center. On Lake Kegonsa, a few perch have been
taken off weed edges. There has been some walleye action on
Waubesa, but water temps have to cool off.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MANITOWOC/TWO RIVERS AREA
Anglers were still having luck catching spawning chinooks on the
Manitowoc River, with most of the action between the Mill St.
access and Manitou Park. There were still quite a few salmon in the
East Twin near Mishicot, and in the West Twin near Shoto dam.
Crowds have dropped off considerably, so now might be a good time
for anglers to try their luck. Cohos, brown trout, and winter-run
steelhead should be showing up soon, and mild temperatures continue
to make fishing rather comfortable.
CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.
Muskie fishing has been good. Fish have been caught on suckers
and artificial baits, depending on the water temperatures on the
lake being fished. This type of flurry should continue until ice
up. Bowhunters are reporting plenty of rutting activity. Scrapes
and rub lines are now common and indicate the buck activity is
picking up. With most of the leaves now down, grouse hunters are
finding birds much easier to see. Duck hunters are reporting that
few birds are being observed, indicating little to no migration has
taken place yet. More birds are expected soon.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
PARK FALLS AREA
Above-average temperatures made for comfortable hunting
conditions in those areas with Zone T hunts. Deer rutting activity
is increasing in the area, and bucks have been displaying
territorial behavior. Archery hunters are seeing plenty of
activity. A few anglers were taking advantage of mild conditions to
get in some late-season fishing. Walleye fishing has been good.
Beaver and otter seasons opened Nov. 5 for trappers anxious to take
to the wetlands in search of these species. Grouse hunters are
having some success as the ground cover continues to decline.
Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.
PORT WING/SUPERIOR AREA
Fishing pressure on the Bois Brule has slowed down, as has
fishing success. Anglers were having to fish hard to catch
steelhead and browns lately. The salmon run is pretty much
Day-O Charters, (715) 774-3354.
Bait Box, (715) 398-3554.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
The Mississippi River still has floating debris and a lot of
wild celery floating downstream that made fishing difficult in some
areas. Walleye and sauger action started to pick up later in the
week. Anglers have been switching over to minnows. There has been
some sauger action on Rotten Slough just off the main channel. The
Roseau Slough, Black Slough, and wing dams around Prairie du Chien
and Lynxville/Ferryville have produced walleyes. The islands along
the main channel outside Lynxville, north and south of Cold Spring,
and all the way up to Lansing, have produced some nice walleyes and
sauger, but not every day. Walleye and sauger action at the
Lynxville dam was pretty good. Bluegill action has picked up at
Gremore Lake and Cold Spring. Perch action has been spotty. Crappie
action has started to pick up, with some good catches on minnows in
snags in the sloughs. Catfish continue to bite well in Pool 9
outside of Ferryville and in the East Channel outside of Prairie du
Chien. Some largemouths have been taken along woody shorelines and
weeds in the sloughs. Smallmouths have been active along the main
channels and wing dams. Thousands of canvasbacks moved into Pool 9.
Most of them stay in the closed area on the Iowa side near
Lynxville or stay out in the middle of the pool. Duck hunting
success has been spotty. Most hunters were finding a wood duck or
mallard here and there, but it appears as if some gadwall, more
mallards and divers are moving into the area.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.
Most lakes have turned over now. Walleye action has increased
during the past two weeks, with many lakes producing during
daylight hours. Jigs tipped with large fatheads or chubs and fished
near the bottom on transition zones were the best baits and areas
to try. Muskie fishing has been fair, with most folks slinging
large glide baits or using ñquick-strikeî rigs and large suckers. A
few crappies have been taken on weed edges toward evening. Decent
fishing should continue right on through to ice-up, which could be
a while yet with the mild temps the Northwoods has been
Nelson’s Choice, (715) 369-1900.
RICE LAKE AREA
Bowhunters are enjoying a very good season. The bucks are all
running. Hunters are still seeing some northern geese, with others
are seeking grouse, woodcock, and other waterfowl. For those few
who are fishing, there’s some good muskie action to report. Find
deep pockets off of weedlines. Use big suckers. There have been
several reports of folks releasing multiple muskies in one outing.
Rice Lake has been productive. Walleyes are slow to bite, but if
you’re going to fish them, try deep weedline drop-offs. Use a jig
with a 3- to 4-inch sucker minnow or fathead.
Rainbow Ace, (715) 234-8116.
J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300.
ST. GERMAIN AREA
Bowhunters are doing very well, with warm weather and lots of
bucks moving around. Muskie action has been iffy. Anglers are
seeing half-hearted strikes on suckers, which means a lot of lost
fish. Most of the muskies that are being caught are hitting soft
plastics. Fish deeper drop-offs, usually the second break adjacent
to deep water, with suckers, or toss an artificial toward shore and
work your way out. If the area gets some colder weather before the
end of muskie season, the trophy action should pick up. Northerns
are hitting around wood and any green weeds. Use a smaller muskie
bait, or toss a big sucker minnow. Walleyes are biting over rock
bottom and on rock bars in 15-25 feet of water on jigs and big
minnows. The walleyes move into shallower water off structure and
remaining weeds toward evening.
St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, (715) 477-2205.
STURGEON BAY AREA
A lot of smallmouth anglers reported good catches this past
week. Most of the action seemed to be in the northern half of the
county. Spinnerbaits and tube jigs were producing fish, along with
crawlers and minnows. Anglers trolling the Sturgeon Bay ship canal
were still picking up an occasional salmon. Anglers fishing
northern Door were still having some luck on chinooks and browns in
the harbors on small spoons, spawn, corn, and even flies. Perch
fishing was still good with catches of nice perch being reported
from Sturgeon Bay south along the shores of Green Bay. Up north,
Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and Sister Bay should still be producing
perch, but no one seems to be fishing for them. Northern pike
fishing was still good at Sturgeon Bay, Little Sturgeon, and Egg
Harbor. Walleye action continues to heat up with anglers fishing
the points, reefs, and along the shorelines of Green Bay and in
Stevenson Pier Mini Mart, (920) 824-5222.
The rut has picked up, with lots of rubs and scrapes common now.
Most folks are hunting, but those who are fishing are experiencing
some good action. Muskie action is great. Multiple fish have been
caught several times. The biggest fish reported was 51 inches
(released). The muskies are scattered. Fish the whole Wisconsin
River system and use a sucker or a soft plastic lure. Walleye
fishing is very good. Fish deep pools, 16-20 feet, on the river and
the lakes. Try Half Moon, Wausau, Lake DuBay, and the Eau Pleine.
The key is to use large minnows. Bluegill and crappie fishing is
ñgood,î but not quite as spectacular as it had been earlier this
season, according to anglers.
Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.
Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.