Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Higher water temps needed for bass, cats, and panfish

ALGOMA AREA

This past week anglers had some decent catches of chinook salmon
in Kewaunee and Algoma. The total catch varied depending on the
water conditions; however, a few boaters did catch limits. Some had
luck fishing in 110-130 feet and 90 feet down. Some found fish in
200-plus feet of water while fishing 100 feet down. Spoons and
dodger/fly combos have produced equally well. Pier anglers had a
great week in Algoma and Kewaunee catching brown trout and even
chinook salmon.

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

Billy Goat Bait, (920) 487-9710.

Algoma Hardware, (920) 487-3374

ASHLAND AREA

Trolling in Chequamegon Bay and out through Bayfield and into
the islands continues to be fair to good for cohos, splake, browns,
a few steelheads, a few bigger kings, and some lakers. Some good
reports have been coming in from anglers using planers and
riggers/Dipsies fished 20-40 feet down over 80-120 feet. There are
still people fishing the shallows and shorelines and catching fish,
especially during low-light conditions and farther out into the
islands. In the bay, trout and salmon fishing is starting to wind
down, but the walleye bite off Ashland, Washburn, and over off the
sloughs has been good. Northern pike are still up shallow; the bite
has been good. Smallies are still pre-spawn in the Sand Cut and
Kakagon sloughs; weather is the limiting factor on catching them
right now.

Rivers are winding down for steelhead. There may be a trickle of
fish in with recent rains, but look for most fish as post-spawn
down-runners. Stream trout fishing is going well with small
spinners, bait, and fly tackle. Casting hardware in the lake off
the river mouths is still producing a good mixed bag.

Inland fishing has been good, with plenty of walleyes feeding in
shallower water, or off the first big break. Northerns are ripping
it up over new weeds. Crappies are spawning on most lakes right
now.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

Outdoor Allure, (715) 373-0551.

BOULDER JUNCTION AREA

Water temps were holding in the 50-degree range late last week.
A few lakes have seen temps hit the low 60-degree mark, but they
have not been able to maintain that level. All fishing action was
sporadic because of unstable weather patterns. Cold rains and temps
have kept most fish from moving into the shallows. Walleye activity
varies, with minnows the bait of choice at the moment. However,
there are a few reports of slip bobbers and leeches taking some
walleyes on deeper weed edges. Bass action is picking up
(catch-and-release season until June 17).

Northern Highland, (715) 385-2134.

CHETEK AREA

The weather has finally stabilized. The fishing is starting to
pick up. Walleye action is pretty good; fish are being caught in
shallow water on Lindy rigs and slip bobber rigs tipped with
crawlers, minnows, or leeches. Good walleye activity is being
reported below the dams on the area rivers. Pike action is getting
better; use spinnerbaits or spoons around weeds. The bass action
has been a little slow. Panfishing has been steady. Crappie action
has been good around the wood.

Up-Der North Guide Service, (715) 829-9477

Rod and Gun Shop, (715) 924-4181.

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Walleye action is good; fish weed edges in 10-12 feet of water.
Use a light jig (chartreuse or orange) tipped with a fathead. It’s
an all-day bite, and sizes vary. Northerns are hitting in shallow,
new weed areas in 4-8 feet of water. Use a chartreuse spinnerbait,
or a twitch a Rapala. There is a steady crappie bite off the weeds
in 6-10 feet of water. Fish 2-3 feet down.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.

GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA

In Oconto County, some bays on northern lakes are starting to
show panfish spawning activity. Panfishing should be good in the
next three weeks. Trout fishing has been slow with the high water,
but should pick up again as the water recedes. Rivers are nearing
normal levels again. Trout catches have been good.

In Shawano County, reports indicated good trout fishing in area
streams. Water levels were slightly high during the past few days
but have returned to normal. Caddis and mayfly hatches have been
reported. Panfish action is starting to heat up on small lakes.
Anglers have reported good action on Shawano Lake. The walleye bite
on thee Wolf River continues to be good.

In Brown County, Fox River action was pretty decent. There were
some walleyes caught, but they were outnumbered by carp, white
bass, and channel cats. Most walleyes were being caught in the
early morning and late evening out in the channel by anglers
jigging minnows or dragging crawler harnesses. There were still
many anglers trolling the channel with crankbaits, hooking two or
three walleyes an hour. Also, there have been many reports of
northern pike and an occasional muskie. There also have been some
muskies prowling around Voyager Park. Bass are still in and among
the rocks. Channel cats and white bass are starting to show up now.
Unfortunately, the carp and round gobies are increasing. Some
anglers were still trolling for walleyes out on the west shore, and
they have been getting some of the biggest ones (24 to 28 inches)
around the Geano Beach area and north toward the Oconto shoal.
Chaudoir’s Dock has not had too much action yet, but it has always
been a little behind Bayshore for perch action.

The Sportsman, (920) 734 3299

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934

HAYWARD AREA

Walleye anglers reported some fair catches of 13- to 16-inch
fish, with the best action near dark as the winds subsided. The
best action was on jigs and minnows, though artificials are
beginning to produce. Panfish have provided the most consistent
action, and some nice catches of crappies, bluegills, and perch
have been made. Some crappies have begun to spawn in the warmer
bays; bluegills should also begin soon. Some smaller lakes are in
the low 60s and this spurred largemouth and smallmouth nesting
activity (release-only until June 17).

Pastika’s, (715) 634-4466.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

LA CROSSE AREA

The Mississippi River is still high enough so that anglers may
access many backwaters. Fishing can be expected to improve as the
water temps increase. With water temps warming again, more
bluegills will again be moving into the shallows. Weeds are coming
up fast and will make fly-fishing those big bluegills on Onalaska
more challenging. Slow fishing with willow cats off a break into
deep water in a La Crosse slough was apparently the right
combination this past weekend for walleyes. Bass were difficult to
locate. Bowfishermen have been finding carp in the
backwaters.

Schafer’s Bait, (608) 781-3100.

D&J Riversports, (608) 783-3349.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.

LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES

In Sheboygan, fishing off the south pier has been slow, but
trollers have been finding rainbows, chinooks, and cohos in 150-200
feet of water.

In Port Washington, a few cohos have been taken off the pier on
alewives. Trollers have been catching mostly cohos, with a few
rainbows and chinooks mixed in. The majority of fish have been
taken on flasher and fly in 40 to 80 feet of water or in front of
the lighthouse.

At the Milwaukee lakefront, shore fishing has been slow.
Trollers have been catching good numbers of cohos, along with a few
chinooks and rainbows. Most fish have been found in 70-120 feet of
water.

In Racine, shore fishing has picked up, with good numbers of
browns and cohos taken off the south pier. Cohos have been hitting
silver spoons; browns have been taking spawn. Trollers have also
been doing well, with limits being caught anywhere from near shore
all the way out to 160 feet of water.

In Kenosha, shore anglers on the south pier have had sporadic
action for browns, rainbows, and cohos. Trollers out have been
staying close to shore, with most fish caught right in front of the
breakwall and out to 40 to 60 feet of water.

In Walworth and inland Racine and Kenosha counties, fishing has
been slow. Bluegills are starting to move into the shallows. Some
anglers are using leaf worms. Smallmouth bass are beginning to
build their nests. Pike and walleye anglers are catching a few
using spinner baits, and leeches.

In Waukesha County, warmer temps resulted in better bluegill
action; Okauchee, Golden and Nagawicka lakes had nice catches on
crawlers in shallow bays. Trout anglers have been successful on
Lower Genesee and Lower Nashotah lakes. The stocked trout are still
in shallow water, but will move into deeper water as the water
warms up.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

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

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

Walleye fishing has been improving with more fish moving out of
the rivers and back into the lakes. Trolling Shad Raps has been
producing on Poygan and Winneconne, while slip bobbers and leeches
have producing around the points on Butte des Morts. The reefs and
rocky shorelines on Winnebago have producing, but mainly in the
last hour of daylight and into the night. Largemouth bass are up on
beds; bluegills are staging.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Kiesow’s Landing, (920) 836-2590.

MADISON AREA

Fishing reports have been sparse because of rain and wind, but
there has been some success in 5-7 feet of water on Waubesa for
crappies. Bluegills are hitting on on the south end of Waubesa.
Monona has produced some nice bluegills. Muskies on Monona and
Wabuesa slowed down, but that action should improve with warmer
weather. Look for bass and catfish action to kick in with better
weather, too.

In Jefferson County, anglers are having fair success on the
upper Rock and Crawfish rivers on catfish up to 2 pounds. On Rock
Lake, anglers were catching largemouths, smallmouths, and rock
bass. On Hope Lake, anglers were catching some bluegills on
crawlers. Many undersized bass were being caught. Numerous
undersized walleyes were being caught on the upper Rock and
Crawfish rivers in Watertown and at Aztalan. A few white bass were
being caught on the upper Rock and Crawfish rivers.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.

MANITOWOC/TWO RIVERS AREA

Anglers fishing the south pier in Manitowoc had little success
with brown trout last week. Boaters trolling Lake Michigan also had
a slow week. Fishing pressure inside the harbor was low. In Two
Rivers, anglers fishing off the north pier into the harbor had
steady action on bullheads and catfish. Boating activity on Lake
Michigan was low due to unfavorable conditions.

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.

MARINETTE AREA

Water levels are getting back to normal. Warming temps will
greatly improve success on panfish. On the Menominee., the main
bite has been for walleyes by trolling off Seagull Bar, fishing
below Hattie Street from shore, or by trolling in the channel of
the Menominee. Most of the fish are legal, with some nice fish to
30 inches. Also, anglers have been catching smallmouth bass in the
Menominee River. High Falls Flowage water levels have improved the
boat landing access although walleye fishing has been slow. Inland
trout waters are at excellent levels.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

Pete’s Sport Shop, (715) 582-3681.

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF AREA

Winter returned to the area through the middle of last week.
Crappie anglers were disappointed not to find fish spawning.
Crappies still were staging outside spawning areas. If the area
gets a warmup, expect great action for crappies. For walleyes, deep
has been best. On the flowages, the action has been the best in the
channels, amid deep rocks, and near wood in 14-20 feet. On natural
lakes, walleyes are relating to outside weeds (12-18 feet) and some
mud. This could change with water temps rising. Most lakes were at
47-52 degrees early last week. Smallmouths slowed with the
cold.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

PARK FALLS AREA

Fishing activity is picking up, as is the action. Walleye action
is good, with live minnows fished slowly being effective.
Crankbaits are producing some fish, as well, with best results
toward evening as the fish move into shallower water. Bass fishing
is good, and some nice smallmouth catches have been reported during
the release season.

Bridge Bait, (715) 762-4108.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA

Panfishing was slow again last week, but a few anglers were
finding bluegills. Anglers have been finding spotty action
throughout the Ambro Slough complex, including Big Lake, Fish Lake,
Tilmont Lake, Spring Lake, and the Upper and Lower Doubles, Big
Missouri, and on the Sturgeon Slough complex. Horseshoe Lake showed
some promise late last week. Most anglers have been targeting the
flooded areas that have little or no flow in search of bluegills.
Crappie fishing has been spotty, but some have been found along
emerging weedbeds. Perch are starting to show up, but most anglers
are catching perch incidental to bluegill fishing. Now that most of
the walleyes have spawned, anglers are concentrating on wing dams
and rocky shorelines. Anglers were finding some fair walleye action
north of Lynxville up to the Cold Spring area. Most anglers were
casting or trolling crankbaits along the wing dams or drop-offs
along rocky shorelines. Trolling was pretty good in the Roseau
Slough. Some anglers were using live bait, and the preferred bait
right now seems to be nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass action was
still pretty good even with the high water. There are many
locations where bass have been biting along the Mississippi River
and on the Wisconsin River. Most anglers were using plastics,
crankbaits, or spinnerbaits. Plum Creek, Copper Creek, Tainter
Creek, and Pine Creek produced some nice browns and brook
trout.

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.

RICE LAKE AREA

Anglers are still working hard-bottomed areas off the spawning
beds in 8-15 feet of water for walleyes. From now on it’s going to
be a low-light bite for the walleyes, so fish early morning or late
afternoon into dusk. Decent northern pike action has been found off
the first break to deeper water in 8- to 12-foot depths. Normally,
you’d stick to the classic weedbed areas, but there isn’t much weed
growth yet. Crappies and bluegills are staging for their spawn.
There’s a pretty good crappie and bluegill bite in the shallows.
Look for brush piles or pencil reeds. There are some perch being
taken in the same shallows.

J.C. Bear Paw Co., (715) 236-7300.

STURGEON BAY AREA

Nice catches of smallmouth bass were reported; tube jigs and
live minnows are producing lots of action. Sister Bay and the pier
at Murphy Park have produced some nice smallmouths. The walleye
action continued to be good to very good at night in Little
Sturgeon Bay and on the flats. The perch action was starting to
heat up with reports of nice catches of perch and crappies from
Little Sturgeon. Northern pike action was good in Sturgeon Bay and
Little Sturgeon. Large minnows and jig and minnow combinations seem
to be producing the most northerns. The Sawyer Park dock also has
been producing some nice northerns. Little Sturgeon Bay has been
swarming with boats ever since opening day. The bite is not quite
what it was at this time last year, as the water temps are still in
the high 40s and low 50s. There have been a few bass seen on the
beds, so the fast action is right around the corner. There has not
been much going on in the shallows of Sawyer Harbor just yet, but
there have been a handful of reports of spawning beds in the
shallows around the islands. As the overnight temperatures finally
increase, the bass will start spawning and the action will get
faster. There have been some smallmouths caught right off the dock
at the boat landing on crawlers.

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

WAUSAU AREA

Anglers are seeing getting crappies that are both pre-spawn and
post-spawn, deep and shallow. The shallow bite is the easiest and
you can target them right in the wood. Use slip bobbers, and set
them shallow – 1 to 2 feet. Use small minnows or a small jig tipped
with plastic. For the deeper fish, you will still want to use slip
bobbers; set the bobbers at 12-14 feet in 14-16 feet of water. The
bass have been going crazy, and are hitting anything you throw at
them. Simply hook up a jig, and tip it with a tube or a fathead
minnow, and toss it up near shore. Slowly hop it back toward the
boat. Walleyes are scattered. The best method is to troll the
channel edges in any main lake basin. The bluegill bite on Lake
DuBay has been fantastic – tight to the shorelines in 6 inches of
water. Use a small hook, baited with a piece of crawler or a red
worm.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.

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