BEAVER DAM / FOX LAKE AREA
There are plenty of pheasant-hunting opportunities in Dodge County as DNR wildlife crews continue to release pheasants on public hunting areas. The Bachhuber impoundment is at full pool. Between prescribed burns, drawdowns, and help from muskrats, DNR crews are hoping to open up the dense cattail stands to make room for ducks and geese to land. At the Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area, hunting pressure was heavy last week, with archery deer and pheasant hunters out in force. Waterfowl hunters are still having moderate success on Theresa Marsh. Crews will be removing a set of boards from the Theresa Marsh dam to start lowering water levels in the main pool, before freeze-up in preparation for the gun deer season.
Tim Nehls’ Fish Tales Bait, (920) 520-0015.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Milwaukee County, the deer rut appeared to be peaking last week. There also are opportunities for pheasants, squirrels, and rabbits. At Lakeshore State Park, anglers are having some success with trout and salmon along the river and dock wall on the south end of the park. Scaup, scoters, and other waterfowl are beginning to arrive. The numbers of salmon caught by shore anglers in the harbor has dropped off, although anglers have still been catching some fish. Anglers fishing Oak Creek in South Milwaukee continue to catch some salmon, with the most action occurring just below the falls. Milwaukee River anglers are showing up in numbers in Estabrook and Kletzsch parks. Numbers of brown trout are increasing as salmon taper off. Menomonee River anglers continue to fish for salmon near Miller Park, and although fish can be seen in the area, anglers struggle to catch them.
In Sheboygan, anglers fishing the north pier have been catching sizable smallmouths on weighted plastic minnows. On the Sheboygan River, anglers below the Kohler dam have caught steelhead, browns, and cohos. Pigeon River anglers fishing near the mouth have found some sizeable northern pike and smaller steelhead.
Port Washington anglers fishing the harbor have been catching trout and chinooks near the power plant and in the north slip. Water levels in Sauk Creek rose after rains last week. Decent numbers of chinooks can still be found in the deeper pools.
In Racine, south pier anglers caught a few cohos on glow spoons. Shore anglers in Reefpoint Marina have been catching a few brown trout and steelhead on skein, spawn, and white tube jigs fished under slip bobbers. A few fish also have been caught off the Reichert fishing pier, including a 37-inch northern pike and a 10-pound brown trout. Water levels remain low on the Root River. Downstream of the weir, salmon have been caught on flies in Island and Washington parks.
In Kenosha, fishing pressure on the piers continues to drop, but anglers are still fishing near the Navy Memorial and in the Simmons Island harbor. Brown trout have been caught on spawn sacs and white tube jigs under slip bobbers. Shore anglers fishing near the mouth of the Pike River have caught a few cohos and steelhead on spoons and crankbaits.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
In Calumet County, deer movement has increased along the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Bucks have been seen chasing does as the rut gets into full swing. Several nice bucks have been shot in recent days. Goose hunting is all over. Fishing on Lake Winnebago has been nonexistent for the most part, with many anglers having put away their boats for the season. Most of the fishing piers have already been removed from the lake.
In Winnebago County, a lot of bucks have been seen chasing does all over the county last week. Numerous bucks have been shot, including some very nice bucks.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
In Dane County, the rut is full-on. Commuters are seeing bucks chasing does in the midmorning. Anglers were catching Lake Mendota bluegills on weed edges in University Bay, walleyes and bass off of the west side of Governor’s Island, and walleyes off of Second Point in 30 feet of water on rocks. There has been some muskie action on Lake Monona, with a few fish caught before daylight. Shoreline walleye action has been decent all around Lake Monona, with most anglers fishing at night from shore.
In Jefferson County, some very good waterfowl reports have been coming in. Reports of large rafts of divers on Lake Koshkonong have been on the increase. Archery hunters are reporting activity by bucks. There is a great deal of corn still standing in Jefferson County. Fur quality for raccoons improved dramatically last week. In spite of fur auction houses forecasting very poor prices, trappers are still enjoying the time in the field.
D&S Bait & Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
SAUK CITY AREA
In Sauk County, the rut is kicking into gear. Deer activity during the day, especially buck sightings, has increased in the past week. Multiple hunters have stated the number of scrapes and rubs they have been seeing has steadily been increasing. The Wisconsin River below the Kilbourn dam has still been slow for walleyes; however, reports indicate Lake Wisconsin and below the Prairie du Sac dam have been good for walleyes.
In Columbia County, last week’s weather brought huge flocks of ducks with the cold north wind. One hunter saw thousands of bluebills coming into the marsh he was hunting, flocks the size of which he hadn’t seen in 40 years. The fact that winter is inching nearer is not lost on bowhunters. Bowhunting activity is really ramping up.
Wilderness Fish and Game, (608) 643-5229.