Southern Wisconsin Fishing Report – February 21st, 2014
BIG GREEN LAKE AREA
Lake trout and ciscoes are providing the most active bite on Big Green Lake. Lake trout can be found in 70 to 120 feet of water, and look for ciscoes near the sandstone area. Little Green Lake continues to produce panfish, but most are on the small side. There have been reports of snowy owls in the Markesan area.
North Bay Sport & Liquor, (920) 294-6462..
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Sheboygan, a few anglers have been ice fishing off the docks in the marina and near the launch ramps. A few steelhead, browns, and northerns have been reported in the harbor.
In Port Washington, a few browns and rainbows have been caught on crankbaits and spawn sacs near the power plant. The discharge area will provide open-water fishing opportunity in the winter months. Decent numbers of brown trout remain in the harbor.
In Milwaukee, the river mouth and harbor are covered in chunks of ice. Ice conditions near the river mouth can change quickly based on air temperatures, the winds, and freighter traffic. Brown trout will remain in the Milwaukee harbor all winter, and at times can be accessible from shore and by boat. Anglers in McKinley Marina reported ice depths up to 12 inches, and brown trout have been taken through the ice.
In Racine, the ice depth varies in Reefpoint Marina, but anglers report 10 to 12 or more inches in many locations. Brown trout in the 3- to 4-pound range have been caught on jigging spoons, tube jigs, and minnows.
Inland fishing should be great this week with the “warmer” weather. Anglers reported 14 to 20 inches of ice on inland lakes. Perch action was great. Anglers did best when jigging in deeper water, most often on the bottom. When fishing in 50 to 75 feet of water, be sure to use a “perch sinker” to get down to the depths more quickly. Active perch also have been taken on small jigging spoons. Larger perch have been caught on tip-downs or tip-ups and live bait. Crappie fishing was best during early morning hours or just before dusk. Use your flasher to find schools of crappies suspended along drop-offs or over deeper water. Bluegills were caught in weeds in 8 to 15 feet of water, or over deeper structure in 20 to 40 feet. A spring bobber must be used to detect light bites. Walleye fishing was good on the area lakes around structure in 18 to 40 feet of water. Northern pike fishing was the best near weeds in 5 to 15 feet of water. Brined jumbo smelt on a smelt rig works well for big pike.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
Perch fishing on Lake Mendota continues to be the big attraction. The bite remains strong, and the fish are all over. Some guys are fishing the deep water near Dunn’s Bay. Guys fishing the tops of the bars for walleyes are catching perch at times. A nice pike came off of Mendota about 40 feet down in 70 feet of water while the angler was jigging for perch. Bluegill fishing has been a little quiet on Lake Monona. Mud Lake has slowed down immensely. Lake Waubesa continues to be on the quiet side, but there have been a few pike caught.
In Lafayette County, the fish bite on Yellowstone Lake is still mostly shut off. Many anglers have been putting in long days and consider themselves lucky to walk away with one or two legal fish. The crappies are near nonexistent, the bluegills are really hit and miss, and the walleyes come around occasionally.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AREA
Fishermen have been finding panfish to be providing the most action recently. Action seems to have slowed. The snow and cold weather have made fishing more effort than it’s worth. Guys did report catching fish on the warmer days on orange and red jigs. Guys are fishing through the ice for walleyes at the dams. Genoa produced a 9-pound, 3-ounce walleye recently. Some guys have been driving up to Red Wing, Minn., just to fish open water from their boats. They’re tired of being cooped up.
Stark’s Sport Shop, (608) 326-2478.
SAUK CITY AREA
Bluegills and crappies are hitting on Crystal Lake and Fish Lake. On Crystal, the bluegills have been in 8 to 13 feet of water on the bays. Lake Wisconsin sloughs have had some action for bluegills and crappies.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-2433.