LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Milwaukee trollers working outside of the breakwall have been focusing in 40 to 70 feet of water for kings, and a few browns. Spoons and crankbaits are producing the best, though J-plugs and flies are also catching a few fish. Jigging or floating skein in the gaps and trolling the river channel and harbor is producing kings and brown trout. Floating spawn around the docks is accounting for quite a few kings. Anglers off of McKinley pier are catching a few kings and brown trout on spoons or blade baits. Shore anglers have had success using crankbaits or floating spawn near the rocks or weed patches along the sailing center and skein was effective from the ramps at McKinley. There have also been some perch caught on minnows by anglers under the Hoan Bridge and in the Summerfest lagoon. Anglers fishing in Oak Creek have been catching kings on spawn. Fishing slowed at the Oak Creek power plant after the plant stopped discharging water. Anglers have been seen fishing the Milwaukee River, with most of the pressure in Kletzsch, Estabrook, and Hubbard parks. Most of the kings were being caught in Kletzsch Park and near North Avenue on spawn or small flies.
DNR hotline (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait (262) 646 2218.
Recent high winds have curbed angling effort. Panfish are still being caught at upper Mud Lake, but action has slowed. Shore anglers are catching walleyes on lakes Monona and Waubesa by casting crankbaits and soaking live bait. Muskie fishing has been quiet. Stations are beginning to see an increase in bucks being registered. Pheasant hunters are reporting mixed results, and heavy cover on the fields and marshes is making hunting a challenge this year.
D&S Bait & Tackle (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware (608) 244-5403.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
The Mississippi River has been consistently under the eight-foot mark, water temps are in the 50-degree range and fishing has been very good. Walleye anglers have caught fish up to 27 inches. Trolling is still producing, as is drifting with jigs and rigs. Fishing below the dams is difficult because of heavy debris – wind-driven leaves and grass. Panfish anglers are still finding bluegills, perch and crappies along channel edges and deeper backwater cuts. Crappies are also being caught in the washout basins along the drain docks. Crappies like this deep water and the overhead cover barges provide. Smallmouth bass are being caught from deeper sand breaks. Try dark-colored jigs. The fish are schooled up now, so where you find one you will find more. Waterfowlers are killing plenty of ducks now and bowhunters are bringing in some nice bucks. Among the trophies include a buck with an inside spread of more than 26 inches and a nice 10-pointer registered by a local young lady.
Stark’s Sport Shop (608) 326-2478.
SAUK CITY AREA
Walleye fishing has been very good on Lake Wisconsin. Search the river channel in 18 to 20 feet of water looking for pods of baitfish; walleyes will be beneath the pods. Rigs, vertical jigging and blade baits will all catch these aggressive feeders. Catfish will also be mixed in. A 49-inch, 30-pound muskie was reported, caught by an angler targeting walleyes with shad pattern crankbaits. Lake Wisconsin is also producing large crappies. Schools can be found suspended in 15 to 20 feet of water along fast breaks in the river channel. Try a jig, minnow and slip float. Geese are moving through the area in huge flocks, along with ducks, cranes and blackbirds. Area pheasant hunters had mixed success opening weekend. Many commented on how thick the native prairie fields were this year, especially fields that had been burned this past spring. Hopefully these fields will stand up to winter snows and provide more winter cover for wild birds.
Wilderness Fish and Game (608) 643-2433.