Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Muskie action heating up as water temperatures drop


Anglers are awaiting the peak run of chinook salmon and brown trout
into Green Bay and Lake Michigan tributaries. Most years, spawn-run
chinooks and domestic browns pack into harbors and rivers from
mid-September to early October. Coho salmon and Seeforellen-strain
brown runs peak later, generally from about early October to early
November. Meanwhile, windy weather has thwarted boating efforts on
the bay and lake often in recent weeks. On the bay side, yellow
perch action can be very good in September, often in 15 to 35 feet
of water from Dyckesville to Sturgeon Bay. Bass, walleyes, pike,
and muskies all will get more active as water temperatures drop.
Trolling large crankbaits is one method that produces fish, but
some anglers also soak large shiners and sucker minnows.

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

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

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934

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


Fall fishing patterns are coming on, and action has generally
slowed somewhat due to the dropping water temperatures and weather
changes, but action will improve. Muskie action is picking up with
the fish mainly holding in and around weed edges in 3 to 9 feet of
water. A black bucktail with a silver blade has been working well,
with surface baits getting hits early and late in the day. Walleye
action is fair. Fish deeper weeds, in 15 to 30 feet of water. Use a
crawler or minnow under a slip bobber or jig. Northern pike are
hitting in 10 to 15 feet of water. Use anything bright and flashy,
or hook up a sucker under a float. Largemouth bass are hitting just
fair. Fish thick weeds in 10 feet of water or less near structure.
There are some nice crappies being caught, but the action is not

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.


Bayshore Park perch anglers have been finding limit catches of big
perch in 10 to 20 feet of water. Most anglers have been using
minnows or worms on bottom rigs. Anglers fishing from shore have
been getting in on the action with some nice fish being caught off
the rock pier. Walleye fishing has been hit or miss.

The Sportsman, (920) 734 3299

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934


Muskies have been providing some fantastic action lately. A lot of
fish up to 48 inches have been caught. Most of the fish are coming
on the big double-blade bucktails, but there has been some good
surface bait action. Most of the action has been around the green
weeds. The walleye fishing has been so-so. The guys who are doing
the best have been fishing deeper water with minnows and crawlers.
There has been some good crappie action on the Chippewa

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

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


Wing dams are starting to produce some walleyes now that the water
is down. The best bet, though, is still some of the deeper sloughs.
White bass action has been spotty, but keep an eye open for
surface-feeding fish and cast into the school. Action for
smallmouth and largemouth bass has been pretty good.

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Bob’s Bait & Tackle, (608) 782-5552.


In Sheboygan, trolling has been slow, with most boaters working the
area in front of the harbor. A few kings have been taken farther
off-shore in water up to 175 feet deep. Shore anglers have been
catching fair numbers of chinooks, cohos, and browns off the north
and south piers on spoons, alewives, and crankbaits.

Trollers in Port Washington have found some chinooks, cohos, and
browns scattered in 30 to 125 feet of water. Fishing has been slow,
but spoons and J-plugs have taken the most fish.

In Milwaukee, fishing has been slow for trollers. There are some
mature salmon around the harbor, but they have not been hitting.
Trollers out in 150 to 200 feet of water have had some success on
glow spoons and J-plugs. Shore fishing also has been slow, although
the near-shore waters have now cooled. The rivers have shown very
little evidence of salmon movement.

Fishing effort in Racine has been low, but those venturing out have
had some success in 50 to 60 feet of water, but when the fish are
not biting in close, chinooks and rainbows have been found in 220
to 240 feet.

In Kenosha, trollers have been catching chinooks in 60 to 80 feet
of water, but fishing has been hit or miss. Rainbows have been
hitting somewhat consistently out deeper, at around 250 to 270
feet. Shore anglers continue to catch a few browns in the harbor.
Fresh skein has taken the most fish, with white tube jigs also
producing some. There have been a few chinooks taken on spoons near
the mouth of the Pike River, as well.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s, (262) 646 2218.


In Dane County, panfishing around Madison has slowed a bit. Anglers
out in boats were catching bluegills suspended in deep water on the
north end of Lake Waubesa. Shore anglers had some success with
bluegills at Monona Bay and on Wingra Creek at the Vilas Park dam
behind the zoo. Walleyes and muskies have slowly started to bite a
bit. Northern pike have been biting on Koshkonong. Dove hunting
seemed to be pretty popular on the opener. There was a decent
amount of success in areas around northern Dane County on both
public and private properties. Goose hunters who did some scouting
found local birds feeding in fields and had some decent

In Iowa County, smallmouth bass have been biting in the Spring
Green area in the evenings just upstream of the railroad bridge
near Hwy. 14 on the Wisconsin River. The walleyes are starting to
bite just down from the Mazomanie beach on the Wisconsin River on
minnows, and the bass are picking up again after a brief slowdown
in action.

In Jefferson County, dove hunters are having some success in cut
cornfields and in the food plots on the public hunting grounds.
Goose hunters are hunting the cornfields and having some

In Rock County, white bass were still biting at the Indianford dam
on the Rock River, but anglers also are starting to catch some
bluegills and perch at this location. Walleyes have been hitting on
Koshkonong on crankbaits. Dove hunters were having luck in the
Evansville Marsh and Lima Marsh areas near sunflower fields.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


In Marinette County, fishing on the Peshtigo River below the dam
has been slow, with just a few rough fish being reported. Fishing
on the Menominee River for trout and salmon is improving with
reports of cohos, browns, and a few kings being caught off the
Government Pier and the Light House Pier. Bass are still biting on
Lake Noquebay on spinnerbaits and buzz baits with chartreuse,
firetiger, red/black, or white skirts. Sturgeon fishing on the
upper Menominee has been good with more smaller-than-legal fish
being caught. With the abundance of rusty crayfish in the
Menominee, more fishermen are switching to cut bait when fishing
for sturgeon.

In Oconto County, the Stiles dam was still producing good numbers
of bluegills and crappies on slip bobbers. Some nice perch and
bluegills were being caught at the Oconto Breakwater Marina from
shore. The walleye and smallmouth bite has been slow, but the good
news is the perch bite on the bay has picked up. Perch were biting
in 8 to 14 feet of water on minnows and crawlers under slip bobbers
and crappie rigs. Some trout and salmon were being caught off the
Oconto breakwall.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

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


Recent strong westerly winds blowing at 15 to 25 mph didn’t slow
boaters fishing the pier head gaps out of Two Rivers and Manitowoc.
Water temps dropped as low as 49 degrees by mid-week outside the
pier heads and remains steady at 58 degrees. Fishing success
remained slow for most boaters fishing the gaps. Salmon fishing has
picked up for shore anglers and boaters out of both ports. The
chinooks have begun staging, and boaters have been landing one to
four salmon in the 13- to 20-pound range outside both ports. White
J-Plugs and glow spoons on high lines have been hot, but fishing
action has shut off after 6 a.m. until the night bite. Pier fishing
off of Manitowoc and Two Rivers has been hit or miss. One or two
salmon have been seen up by the Shoto and Mishicot dams, as

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.


Largemouth fishing is good. Fish are being found shallow at times.
Outside weed edge fish are taking 4-inch worms, 3-inch Twisters on
1⁄8-ounce jigs, and 4-inch worms (wacky style). Inside weedlines
seem to be holding more fish (some as shallow as 1 foot). There,
use shallow crankbaits, lipless cranks, and spinnerbaits. Muskie
action is fair to good. Action just started to pick up late last
weekend. Bucktails along deep weed edges have been the best.
Topwaters are still moving fish during low-light periods.
Smallmouth action has been fair to good on deep rocks, sandgrass
flats, and coontail edges. Walleye action has been fair. The
walleyes are scattered on rock humps and along weed edges. Jig and
minnow/crawler combos are accounting for the most fish. Anglers
drifting mud flats of 18 to 30 feet with Lindy rigs/spinner rigs
are catching fish.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

Great Outdoors Sports Shop, (715) 356-6818.

Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.

J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.


Fishing action has improved greatly. Bluegill fishing has been good
in the backwaters – usually in deeper water adjacent to the weeds.
Perch fishing has been good in some areas. Perch have been taken
along the deeper weed edges in light current and in sloughs in
deeper water. Look for smallmouth bass on the main channel on wing
dams, closing dams, and rocky shorelines. The Wisconsin River has
seen some good smallmouth bass action, too. Largemouth bass are
being caught in all types of cover. Walleye and sauger action has
been spotty. Catfish fishing on the Wisconsin River is still

Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.


The muskies have been on a tear lately. They’re hanging on the
shallow edges next to deep water and are hitting surface baits,
jerkbaits and the big double-blade bucktails. Panfishing also has
been very good, mostly in 4 to 6 feet of water near cover. The
walleye action has been picking up, with the best results in 10 to
15 feet of water on jigs and minnows.

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

Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.


Trout are still hitting on Devils Lake. Drift the middle of the
lake in 35 to 40 feet of water, using minnows as bait. Water temps
had dropped to 65 degrees as of late last week. White bass are
hitting on Lake Wisconsin on Mepps spinners and white Twister
tails. A few walleyes also are being caught. The Lower Wisconsin
River is back to “fishable” levels, and walleyes and smallmouths
are biting. Guys are catching sturgeon, but most of the fish are
less than 60 inches.

Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.


The best things going right now are crappies and bluegills. They
are stacked up in low current areas, with heavy wood and brush, in
2 to 10 feet of water. Use a chunk of crawler or worm for the
bluegills and a light jig and a minnow for the crappies. Limits are
common. Muskie action is decent, and will pick up in the coming
days as the fall fishing patterns stabilize. Fish edges in 3 to 10
feet. Bulldawgs are working real well, with bucktails getting their
share of hits, also. Walleye fishing is slow, but a few big fish
have been taken on large plastics. Generally, fish wood in 6 to 8
feet of water. Northerns are hitting off and on. Fish weeds in 2 to
6 feet of water, using a spoon, small bucktail, or small sucker.
Smallmouth bass fishing has slowed down somewhat, but the fish be
picked up in shallow wood on tube jigs, or a jig and a

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.

Share on Social


Hand-Picked For You

Related Articles