Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

WI: Bass and panfish leading the way on inland fishing scene Issue: 16


Panfish have been providing the best action day in and day out,
with bass, walleyes, and muskies offering decent action on cloudy
days. The weeds are just perfect for panfishing right now. The
nicer panfish have been coming off of weed edges in 8 to 12 feet of
water. Bluegills have been more active than crappies and perch. For
muskies, fishing in the evenings with surface baits has been the

Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, (800) 466-8759.

Northern Highland Sports, (715) 385-2134.


In Kewaunee County, humid weather continued to dominate, but the
Door/Kewaunee tournament brought out many anglers. Water temps were
in the mid- to upper 60s throughout the area. In Algoma, fishing
seems to have no set pattern. Some anglers were fishing in the
350-to 450-foot range from the surface to 50 feet down. Others were
in the 75- to 150-foot range, down 60 to 125 feet. Anglers were
mixed in catches from skunks to 10 fish, and fish were split
between kings and rainbows, with an occasional laker. Spoons are
slowly replacing flashers/flies as the lure of choice. Pier fishing
remains practically nonexistent. In Kewaunee, fishing seemed to
slow down, but there was still a good mix of rainbows and kings.
Fishing was reported from 150 to 250 feet of water. Fish were
caught 30 to 50 feet down or 100 feet-plus.

In Door County, watch out for the orange flags and buoys that
mark commercial fishing trap nets set in Lake Michigan. In northern
Door County, the western shore of the peninsula was once again
dominated by pleasure boats. Salmon fishing remained slow. Gills
Rock and Ellison Bay reported few fish. Baileys Harbor was
reporting mixed success. Spoons are slowly replacing flashers/flies
in this area, as well.

Perch fishing has improved some at Sturgeon Bay, with a few
anglers finding numbers of keeper fish inside the weedbeds. Most
have been finding the best luck in Sawyer Harbor. Perch anglers
were catching some rock bass and bluegills. Bass anglers were
finding numbers of fish in 10 feet of water. Most are drifting or
anchoring while using slip bobbers with minnows or leeches. Little
Sturgeon Bay anglers were having luck bowfishing for carp in the
shallow waters around the bay. A few anglers targeted muskies last
week with little success; most were reporting only catching a few

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.


The walleye bite has improved. Fish in 10 feet of water or less
outside weed edges, early and late in the day. When it’s sunny,
fish right in the weeds. Use a jig with a minnow, leech, or half of
a crawler. Northern pike are hitting well. Fish in 10 feet of water
or less in and around weeds. Use a small Mepps, or a bass
spinnerbait. Cover as much water as you can. The pike are moving
fast, chasing forage through large areas. Largemouth bass are
providing good action. Fish in 7 feet of water or less in heavy
weeds, often related to structure (docks, downed trees, stumps, and
brush). Use a topwater, a Texas rig with a plastic worm, or a jumbo
leech under a slip bobber. Panfish are holding in weeds in 10 feet
of water or less. Muskie action remains fair. Fishing early and
late in the day produces the best opportunities.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Guides’ Choice, (715) 477-2248.


Walleye fishing has been slow on the Fox River, with most
anglers trolling harnesses. Anglers have been targeting 5 to 10
feet of water. Drum have been the predominant catch. Walleye
fishing has been good at Bayshore Park, with anglers targeting
walleyes in 15 to 25 feet of water. A crawler harness has been
producing the best. Most anglers are reporting having to spread out
their baits to find the most active fish. Perch fishing has been
slow, but anglers were still catching a few perch here and there,
with most fish being caught in 15 to 20 feet.

The Sportsman, (920) 734 3299.

Deprey’s Kwik Stop, (920) 866-2934.


Most natural lakes are at a low level, and many of the flowages
are beginning to see a drop in water levels. Initial observations
indicate that there were good hatches of largemouth and smallmouth
bass this spring. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been
providing the most consistent action, as both species have been
showing much more of a typical summer pattern. For largemouths, the
best success has been coming from the thick cover, in the wood,
near the bog edges, in the thick lily pad beds, and under mats of
vegetation. Smallies have been a little more inconsistent than
largemouths, as the dropping water levels and warmer temperatures
seem to keep the fish on the move. A few nice smallmouths have been
caught on a slow presentation of small plastic baits worked on the
deep edges near wood or weeds in 6 to 10 feet of water. Walleye
success has been fair. Some days find the fish hard to come by and
others have produced some good catches. The best success has been
with a leech or piece of crawler hooked on a weedless jig or slip
bobber, and fished on the mid-depth rock humps and deep weed edges.
With water temperatures still in the 80-degree range, many muskie
anglers have heeded the warnings and let up on this trophy species.
Some anglers have been fishing in the early morning and late
evening hours, and overall action has continued to be on the slow
side. The bigger fish seem to be holding in deeper water. Panfish
action has been good, with some decent catches of crappies, perch,
and rock bass being reported.

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

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


In Kenosha, trollers have been catching cohos, rainbows, and
chinooks on spoons and J-plugs in 80 to 100 feet of water. Perch
fishing on the south pier has picked up, and boaters also have been
catching perch off of the rocks on live bait and artificials.

In Racine, trollers have been catching a mixed bag of chinooks,
cohos, rainbows, and lake trout. Flashers and flies and magnum
spoons have produced 40 to 80 feet down in 80 to 140 feet of water.
Perch fishing has been decent. Boat anglers have had success off of
the rocks near Meyers Park. Shore anglers have been catching some
keeper perch off of the floating docks just west of the south

The fishing off of Milwaukee remains relatively slow since the
coho fishing tapered off. Some chinooks have been found in 90 to
120 feet of water, but trollers have had to search for them. Shore
fishing has been slow, but shore anglers fishing inside of the
basin at Bender Park have had some success fishing for perch early
and late on shrimp or small shiners fished under slip bobbers.

In Port Washington, trollers have been working in 250 to 300
feet or more. Most fish have been caught on flashers and flies or
spoons, and the best colors have been green, white, or orange. On
the pier, shore anglers have been fishing mostly for perch and
using plastics or minnows, and success has varied day to day. Shore
fishing in the harbor has been slow.

In Sheboygan, trollers have had the most success fishing in over
300 feet of water. Chinooks, rainbows, and cohos have all been
found out deep, and some of the chinooks were over 24 pounds. Pier
fishing has been slow for perch and trout/salmon anglers.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Fishermen have been focusing on walleyes, perch, and catfish on
the Winnebago system. Perch fishing has been very good on
Winnebago’s west shore, and there is an excellent walleye bite
occurring on Winnebago by trolling the mud flats with crankbaits or
crawler harnesses. A lot of guys have been perch fishing near
Garlic Island and were catching walleyes on slip bobbers, too. Lake
Poygan also has been very good to anglers trolling for walleyes.
The Wolf River through Winneconne has been good for walleye anglers
either drifting or long-lining jigs. The Fox River near Oshkosh has
been hot for channel cats.

Fox River Bait & Tackle, (920) 233-7409.


Lake Mendota perch are biting along the weedlines early and late
in the day; use a piece of a crawler loaded with scent and place it
just off of the bottom. Bluegills and smallmouths also are biting
on Lake Mendota. Due to water temperatures above 80 degrees, guys
are not fishing for muskies on the Madison chain right now. The
high water temperatures stress the fish.

In Jefferson County, anglers have been catching channel catfish
throughout the upper Rock and Crawfish rivers on stink bait,
chicken livers, shrimp, and worms. A few flatheads were caught,
including one in the 30-pound range near Watertown. On Rock Lake,
anglers have been catching some panfish near weedbeds, but many are
small. Pieces of worms are the preferred bait. Bass up to 16 inches
were biting well throughout the lake, mostly on leeches, rubber
worms, and spinnerbaits.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Off-shore water temps dropped to 64 degrees last week, with
61-degree water around the pier heads. Water clarity remains good.
Angler success picked up north of Two Rivers with a few boats
coming in with 10 to 15 rainbow trout. An area of 250 to 350 feet
of water that is 10 to 12 miles north of Two Rivers appears to be
the hot spot, with only a few rainbows coming in south of Manitowoc
in the same depths. Run spoons on high lines and Dypsies in the top
30 feet of water. Those setting up in 200 feet and trolling deeper
also have landed a few large chinooks on downriggers 70 to 110 feet
down on spoons. Very few chinooks have been landed on dodger/fly
combos recently. Pier fishing remains slow, but a few browns were
landed off of the Two Rivers and Manitowoc piers on Krocodile and
Cleo spoons.

CUB Radio report, (920) 683-6816.

Cub Radio Sport Fishing Hotline, (800) 236-9978, ext 124.


In Oconto County, panfish and smallmouths are biting below the
Stiles dam. Slip bobbers and minnows have been working well for
crappies in the deeper holes, while spinners and crawlers have been
catching their share of smallmouths. The walleye bite out of
Pensaukee and Oconto Breakwater Park has been good; trolling
crawler harnesses has worked the best. Catfish and sheepshead also
are abundant from the mouth of the Oconto to Oconto Park II. Perch
fishermen are starting to pick up some nice fish in good numbers
out of Oconto Park II in 8 to 14 feet of water.

In Marinette County, the Peshtigo Harbor continues to provide
good catches of catfish, along with drum, walleyes, and
smallmouths. Most fishermen are using crawlers fished from shore,
while boaters are drifting jigs tipped with crawlers. Some nice
panfish and smallmouths are being caught below the Peshtigo dam.
Catfish and sheepshead are being caught on the Menominee River.
Walleyes on the Menominee are being caught during the periods of
low light.

MBK Sport Shop, (715) 735-5393.

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


Nighttime temps in the 60s have helped cool lakes down a bit,
but heat continues to build during the day. Summer patterns
continue to hold, with day-to-day conditions (wind, clouds, rain)
providing spikes or drops in the action. Largemouth action has been
very good to excellent. Lots of techniques are producing fish.
Fishing plastic worms wacky-style continues to be a favorite.
Flukes and tubes also are producing bass. Topwater frogs/mice and
old-time favorites like Jitterbugs and Hula Poppers are favored by
evening anglers. Fish deep weed edges, shallow weed flats, docks,
boathouses, or lily pads. Largemouths seem to be lurking all over.
Bluegill action has been very good. Look to deeper weed edges for
bigger ‘gills. Worms and thunderbugs are effective, but leeches
stay on the hook better. Popper action at dusk for fly rodders has
been good. Smallmouth action has been very good. Two 21-inchers
were caught last week. Crayfish imitators are hot. The new Standing
Yabbies and Yum Pappi Craws have produced well on deep gravel/rock
humps, and deep weed edges. Muskie action has been good, but boat
traffic has been hard on daytime action. Go early or late. Large
fluted-blade bucktails, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures have been
working. Walleye action has been fair to good. Nights have been
best, with lighted slip floats and big leeches catching fish.
Daytime? Pick your battles. Wind and clouds help. Use leeches and
crawlers on jigs in 10- to 14-foot weed edges.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

Great Outdoors, (715) 356-6818.

Captain Hooks, (715) 277-2405.

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


Fishing on Lake Wisconsin has been good for white bass, but
water temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees have made walleye
fishing very slow. Wisconsin River smallmouths are biting early and
late in the day. Trout fishing has been slow on Devils Lake, but
some bass and panfish are being caught out there.

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


Anglers have found some walleye action on Clam Lake, but the
bass have been biting everywhere. Try Mud Hen for panfish and bass,
and Sand Lake for walleyes.

Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports, (715) 349-2400.

Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.


Action for both walleyes and crappies has been fantastic. Both
species are holding tight to submerged wood and timber in 6 to 10
feet of water. Downed timber and trees that are sunk on the bottom
of the Wisconsin River, or stumps in the main lake basins, have
become main attractions for both species. Use a jig and a minnow
for both species. Some super-sized northerns (35 to 40 inches) are
being caught. Use topwaters, large bucktails, and big crankbaits.
Muskie action has been good, with a few nice fish caught on deep
weed edges in 6 to 10 feet of water, early and late in the day.

Hooksetters, (715) 693-5843.

Wisconsin Angling Adventures, (715) 297-7573.


The fishing is still on the slow side, with the bite improving a
little from last week, but not by much. We had some more insect
hatches, too. A few jumbo perch are biting on crawlers and leeches
in the weeds, with some of the largest hitting leeches but not
consistently. Walleyes are favoring leeches over crawlers. Some of
the best catches are coming from 12 to 17 feet of water. Weed
walleyes have been on and off with their activity. Some nice
smallmouth action also has come in the 12- to 17-foot range,
providing some added excitement on leeches and crawlers.

Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.

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