Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report – April 5th, 2013


The Sheboygan River remains unfishable due to ice floes and poor ice conditions. In areas where anglers are able to fish, some success for steelhead has been reported. The stretch below the Kohler dam is open, and fishing there should continue to improve as flows drop. The Sheboygan Harbor at Deland Park is partially open, but a few anglers have been running tip-ups and jigging for the occasional brown trout or northern pike. The Pigeon River has a few open pockets of water, while the rest of the river remains covered in ice. Caution should be used when out.
The Port Washington area has seen some success. While brown trout make up the majority of the catch, the occasional steelhead or sucker also has been caught. Most browns have been in the 3-pound range, with a few smaller fish and some as large as 8 pounds. Most fish have been caught from the warm-water discharge area and on the harbor shoreline. Anglers have been casting spoons, drifting minnows or spawn, and running three-way rigs with spawn. A few fish have been seen in Sauk Creek.
In Milwaukee, strong northeast winds have limited the boaters willing to go out and troll due to rough waves. McKinley Harbor was still completely frozen, but Riverfront and South Shore boat launches were clear of ice and open for launching. Anglers who did make it out in boats were reporting a good number of lake trout being caught by jigging or trolling the gaps; however, trolling spoons for browns was slow. Anglers behind the Summerfest grounds were reporting a few browns and rainbows caught by throwing crankbaits or running golden shiners under floats. Anglers at the Oak Creek power plant reported good numbers of browns and rainbows on live bait under float. The Milwaukee River is running high with the recent snow melt and rainfall. The water temperature was in the 32- to 34-degree range, with sections of the river still frozen over. The Menomonee River remains at a normal water level with decent clarity. Steelheaders were fly fishing at Miller Park and reported a few rainbows caught upstream of the stadium.
In Racine, anglers remained on the piers and shoreline for the most part. A few brown trout and steelhead were taken through the ice at Reefpoint Marina. The ice was soft and thin in spots around the docks, but averaged 14 inches thick away from the docks. Spawn sacs and shiners on tip-ups proved successful. The majority of the fish caught averaged 3 to 4 pounds. On the Root River, anglers had success taking steelhead near the base of the Horlick dam during the weekend. Successful anglers were using spawn sacs and red flies. The water temperature in the Root River averaged 31 degrees. Flows have dropped on the Root after having been unfishable much of last week.
In Kenosha, fishing pressure has been relatively low, due in part to winter-like weather conditions. The bait of choice at Petrifying Springs was a spawn sac on a slip bobber.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Ice conditions are still good on the smaller lakes. Crappies are being caught on Cherokee Marsh and Lake Waubesa on dark-colored jigs. Walleyes are biting on the Wisconsin River, with most of the fish running from 15 to 23 inches. Anglers who are using jigs and fatheads are having the most success. On Lake Monona’s Squaw Bay, anglers are catching bluegills near the pump houses. Many turkey sightings have been reported.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Ice fishing has been fantastic on the Mississippi River backwaters. There has been a lot of panfish action on Gremore and Spring Lake. Anglers have been catching bluegills, perch, and crappies on wax worms. Fishing has been so good the same anglers are back to buy more wax worms the next day. Fishing at the dams has been good, with reports of sizable walleyes being caught. There was a report of one 10-pounder being caught. Try green and purple combo hair jigs. Dark-colored ring worms also are working.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478


Fishing is picking up in the Sauk City area. Smaller walleyes are being caught on the Wisconsin River below the Prairie du Sac dam. Anglers also are having luck near the Wisconsin Dells dam by using jigs, minnows, and some plastics. Ice fishing is fantastic on Lake Wisconsin, and travel conditions are good. All different sizes of panfish are being caught.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.

Categories: South (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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