Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 16th, 2016
Crappies and sunfish are being caught on the 10- to 12-foot bars of Big Round Lake, Bear Trap Lake, and Lake Wapogasset. The deep weedlines and humps are holding walleyes on Half Moon Lake, while the rock piles on Balsam Lake are producing panfish and walleyes. Topwater baits are triggering muskies during the evening hours on Wapogasset.
Lucky Baits (715) 268-6231
Fish are starting to move into clean water and the mud lines. The browns and cohos haven’t started staging yet, but they could be any day; water temps are dropping. The fall should bring in some nice salmon. There have been nice fish being caught from Houghton Point to Pikes all summer and early September. Long Island has been really good. Trolling for trout has been great using spoons and spin-n-glows. Overall, the big lake and the Apostle Islands are in good shape. Walleye fishing has been good. On a clear sunny day, anglers are fishing the edges of the channel and into the channel to catch walleyes. Inland lakes have had good reports on panfish, bass and northern pike. The smallmouth bite has been really good in the bay
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
Look for crappies and sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on Staples Lake and Lake Vermillion or in 15 feet of water at Beaver Dam Lake. A few walleyes are being caught on Shell Lake and largemouth bass remain active on most lakes. Goose numbers are strong and hunting success has been high.
Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Perch fishing has been excellent in recent weeks. The better areas have been right in downtown Sturgeon Bay on the edges of the channel, and in Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon. Fish in 8 to 15 feet of water anywhere you can find weeds. Fatheads and crawler pieces have been the best baits.
The pike fishing is heating up. The Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Sturgeon Bay Flats, the state park shoreline and Little Sturgeon are all good spots to chase pike by trolling or casting large plugs, spoons, and spinnerbaits.
Walleye fishing has been OK. It had improved before a bunch of wind screwed up the water. We’ll see some good fishing through fall once the water normalizes. Henderson’s Point south past Chaudoir’s Dock, Larson’s Reef and the structure north of Sturgeon Bay are all good options for walleyes. Bass fishing has been super as of late and will continue through fall. Concentrate on steeper shoreline drop-offs, deeper channels and off-shore structure.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
The water temps are falling into the 60s now because of cool nighttime lows. This is slowly changing the fishing patterns, as fish are leaving the shorelines. Walleye fishing is somewhat better than several weeks ago, as we move into the fall. They seem to be mostly in the 8- to 12-foot range on the Eagle River Chain on rock/mud edges. As the water gets colder, minnows are working better. We are still getting reports of decent action on crawlers, but take a few minnows along. On the bigger, deeper lakes the action seems to be mostly on larger fatheads. Fish are on the deep weed edges or right off the weeds on the drop-offs. Night action is still better on these lakes.
Bass action is holding up, with largemouths still holding in weeds. Don’t hesitate to go very shallow in cover for these fish. Plastics, surface baits and spinnerbaits are all working well. Smallies seem to be located around deep wood. Wacky worms have been very productive.
Muskie action has been all over the place. We have had reports of good action interspersed with an equal number of bad reports. Action for suspended fish is as good as weed fishing. To try the weeds, use surface baits and bucktails at the deepest weed edges. For those suspended fish, Bulldawgs seem to be working the best. It’s a little early for suckers, but that action will be starting soon.
Panfish action has been good on area lakes, with bluegills still in the weeds on all lakes.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Fishing pressure remained high from the Suamico River launch, with anglers targeting walleyes and muskies. Walleye anglers found a difficult bite. Anglers trolling crawler harnesses and crankbaits found some success. Muskie anglers were seeing a good number of fish following baits, but the muskies were not in the feeding mood. Trollers did not have better luck.
Most Fox River anglers were targeting “anything that will bite” and found some success on channel cats, freshwater drum, white perch, and bluegills. One angler was targeting walleyes and ended up catching three legal fish and two smallmouth bass. At the Green Bay ramps, fishing pressure was moderate last week. At the mouth of the Fox River, anglers were having low success fishing for walleyes and muskies.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.
Bucktails and topwater baits are producing muskies in less than 10 feet on the Chippewa Flowage, Lost Land Lake, Teal Lake, and Lake Namekagon. Smallmouth bass are being caught with topwater baits on Grindstone Lake, Lake Lac Courte Oreilles, and Round Lake, and largemouth are an easy catch with plastics on most lakes. A few walleyes are being caught with crankbaits in 18 to 20 feet of water on Lac Courte Oreilles, Grindstone, and Round. The 10- to 20-foot humps and weeds are giving up crappies on Nelson Lake, Smith Lake, and the Chippewa Flowage. Crappie fishing has been fair to good. Goose hunters are shooting a lot of birds throughout the area.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Sheboygan County, wind and large waves kept most anglers off of the piers lately. Three large Chinooks were caught at the start of the south pier very early on Labor Day, but the bite slowed way down after sunrise. Boat anglers were catching mostly rainbow trout around 400 feet of water. A few smallmouth bass and a northern pike were reported by the Kohler dam.
In Ozaukee County, many small cohos, a few Chinooks, and a few brown trout were caught on spawn sacs and spoons. A few Chinooks were caught on the north pier. Spoons were the bait of choice. Very early morning was the best time and not much happened later.
In Milwaukee, kings continue to move into the Milwaukee harbor. A large amount of baitfish moved into the mouth of the Milwaukee River after the recent heavy rains. One boater reported that the pile of baitfish stretched from the mouth of the Milwaukee River into the Kinnickinnic River. Nice catches of kings were landed on McKinley Pier on spoons. Anglers on Oak Creek targeted kings. Fishing pressure and catch rates on the Oak Creek power plant pier continues to be low. A couple of large catfish were landed recently in the discharge chute by an angler casting white Gulp. Some of the Bender Park boaters landed large kings and lakers while trolling spoons in 40 to 50 feet of water in front of the Oak Creek by Grant Park.
In Racine County, trollers who fished in 85 to 140 feet caught a few brown trout and coho salmon on spoons. In 180 to 200 feet anglers caught mostly rainbows, and some kings and cohos on flasher/fly combos and spoons. Pier anglers caught some kings in the morning and evening hours. Root River action was very slow.
In Kenosha County, pier anglers caught some cohos and kings in the morning and evening hours on spoons. No perch catches were reported, but many anglers had a good week fishing from shore for cohos, kings, small rainbows, and a couple of brown trout.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
Bass fishing has been good in the Menominee River. Bass are hitting suckers and tube baits. Walleyes have moved into the river, too. The best walleye bites have been on crankbaits and nightcrawler harnesses fished between Mini-Coney Bridge and the lighthouse in 5 to 20 feet of water. Fishing has slowed a little on Lake Michigan’s Green Bay, but a fair number of walleyes have been caught for those willing to put in the time. The early waterfowl season should get off to a good start. There are a lot of Canada geese in the area.
In Oconto County, during the early teal season, the boat ramps ran heavy to waterfowl hunters. Crappies and bluegills remain the go-to fish on the upper reaches of the Oconto River from the Stiles dam to the Hwy. 141 Bridge. Walleyes and perch are being caught from the mouth of the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II in 12 to 27 feet of water using crawler/harness or large crankbaits. Geano Beach fishing pressure was moderate, with anglers targeting walleyes or muskies. Walleye anglers found a tougher bite than the previous weeks, with limited success on trolled crawler harnesses and crankbaits. Muskie anglers were having a little bit better success. A few anglers reported boating muskies from 46 to 50 inches.
Waterfront Sports, (906) 424-4108.
Hook, Line & Sinker, (715) 854-2073.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/ LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Largemouth bass: Very good. They are back up on shallow weeds. Anglers casting spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and shallow crankbaits reported good action. Follow up with wacky worms to pick off the less enthusiastic fish.
Smallmouth bass: Good to very good. They are scattered over deep structure (gravel humps, sand grass, wood) in 15 to 30 feet. Skirted grubs on football jigs and Carolina rigs scored nice fish. Counting down lipless crankbaits over sand grass flats is also working.
Muskies: Good. Action starting to move back up a bit shallower. Big spinnerbaits and top-water baits are working well.
Walleyes: Fair. We’ve gotten scattered reports of moderate action for the most part. A few lakes were producing over gravel in 18 to 26 feet on large fatheads on jigs. After dark try lighted slip bobbers with large leeches.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.
Lake Sherwood has been producing largemouth bass on topwater baits in the thick weed areas.
Petenwell Flowage has been producing walleyes by trolling Flicker Shads over deeper water for suspended fish. Catfish and sheepshead are still very active. White bass and flathead catfish are hitting below the Petenwell dam. Water temperatures on the Castle Rock Flowage are dropping some, with crappies active near the Buckhorn bridge. Walleyes are being caught in 17 to 25 feet of water on jigs and half a crawler. Smallmouth bass have been very active downstream from the Castle Rock dam using swim baits and topwater baits. Some very large catches of nice white bass were made in front of the flood gates on fatheads. Muskie action has been slow, but as water temps drop things should pick up.
Petenwell Sports, (608) 564 7707.
Castle Rock Dam Bait Shop, (608) 339-2967.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Muskies were the highlight last week and the good action continues. The most success has been on large crankbaits, double-bladed bucktails, and BullDawgs on less-dense weed beds and deep weed edges, and in deeper water for suspending fish. Many walleye anglers have given up until the start of fall patterns. Northern action is good on spinnerbaits along mid-depth weed edges. Bass action is sporadic. Largemouths are around mid-depth cover and weed beds, with soft plastics and jig/craw combinations most successful. Smallmouths are most active around deeper cover on flowages and large rivers, with plastic finesse lures and spinnerbaits working the best. Panfish anglers are catching decent crappies and bluegills around deeper cover. Rock bass just everywhere.
Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Walleyes are hitting minnows at Island Lake in 15 feet and Fish Lake in 10 feet. Muskie anglers are turning fish on large minnows or bucktails on the St. Louis River and Island, while reports on Lake Superior have been limited due to the wind last week. Bear hunters are doing well with 15 bear registered and good reports at baits throughout the area.
Chalstrom’s Bait, (218) 726-0094.
Lake trout fishing has been good in Lake Superior in 140 to 180 feet of water near the white rocks, off Granite Island and at Presque Isle. Many were in the 10-pound range but a few were over 20 pounds. Smaller coho salmon also have been caught. Over at Munising, light numbers of lake trout and the coho salmon were hitting. Surface water temperatures were still in the mid to upper 60s and there was a slight thermocline at about 70 feet. However, windy conditions keep changing things up and the thermocline moved close to 90 feet. Anglers have been trolling in Trout Bay and the West Channel due to windy conditions out past Grand Island. Shore anglers on the Anna River reported slow fishing. Early waterfowl seasons should be decent.
Gander Mountain, (906) 226-8300.
Fishing has slowed a little in Little Bay de Noc. Anglers trolling crawler harnesses and crankbaits from the Fingers south to the Minneapolis Shoals were catching fish in 14 to 30 feet of water, or near Stonington and the Farmers Dock in 16 to 28 feet of water. Very good northern pike action has been reported by those fishing off the mouth of the Day’s River. Crankbaits, spoons and spinners trolled or cast in 10 to 16 feet of water were producing good results. Perch fishing was fair near the Green Buoy by the Day’s River in 16 to 22 feet of water, south of Hunters Point in 20 to 30 feet of water. Over in Big Bay de Noc, walleye anglers report marking fish at Round Island in 17 to 24 feet of water but getting them to bite was another story. Smallmouth bass are hitting minnows and soft plastics on drop-shot rigs off Garden Bluff in 18 to 30 feet of water. Early waterfowl hunting should be pretty good.
Bay View Bait and Tackle, (906) 786-1488.
BayShore Resort Bait and Tackle, (906) 428-2950.
Fishing has remained slow on Lake Gogebic. A few anglers reported great catches but those have been few and far between. Anglers working leeches in the weeds and weed edges are catching the most walleyes and some are being caught on nightcrawler harnesses trolled over the mud flats. Smallmouth bass continue to provide some decent action near hard bottom areas and steep breaks.
Bear’s Nine Pines Resort, (906) 842-3361.
Fishing has been pretty good in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. Salmon fishing has slowed a little but some fish are hitting 40 to 50 feet down. Lake trout action has been good. Those bobbing in deep water with jigs and soft plastics report good success. Brook trout fishing remains pretty good on the Sturgeon and Slate rivers. The early waterfowl season got off to a good start and it should be a pretty good year.
Indian Country Sports, (906) 524-6518.
Fish-On II Guide and Charter Service, (906) 369-4341.
Fishing has been good in Lake Superior but conditions were changing daily due to the winds. Chinook and cohos were showing up in the top third of the water column. Anglers are trolling spoons and a flasher/fly combo.
Grieg’s Taxidermy & Tackle, (906) 884-2770.
IRON RIVER AREA
Perch fishing action has improved a little in Iron County. Anglers targeting perch with minnows report a good bite on Chicagon and Ottawa lakes. Walleye and panfish action has slowed on most lakes. The waterfowl season got off to a slow start, but should pick up as the season progresses. The bear season should be very good. Baiters report that bears are starting to hit the baits.
Luckey’s Sport Shop, (906) 265-0151.
LAKE MILLE LACS
With the walleye season now closed, it’s all about smallmouth bass, northern pike, and muskies. Northern pike continue to be caught on the weedlines of most bays with minnows or crankbaits. Look for smallmouth on the shallow rocks early and late or the deep rocks and rock points during midday hours. Muskie reports have been limited to some fish chasing baits on the north end sand and weeds.
Johnson’s Portside, (320) 676-3811.
Terry’s Boat Harbor, (320) 692-4430.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Work the reefs in 18 to 22 feet or deep, main lake areas for walleyes in 25 to 34 feet. Crankbaits, crawlers, or minnows and jigs are all producing fish along the south shore. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are being found around most islands in 22 to 30 feet. The weedy bays and rock points are producing muskies in shallow water.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau, (800) 382-FISH.
Walleyes continue to be scattered and active for short windows each day, but minnows are producing some fish on the reefs or transition areas in 18 to 25 feet. Muskie anglers are seeing plenty of fish and hooking a few on the rock points, weedlines, or shallow reefs near deep water. You’ll find smallmouth bass on the rocks during the day and close to shore during low-light periods. Look to Rice Bay for northern pike and Greenwood Bay for bluegills.
Pike Bay Lodge, (218) 753-2430.
Spinners and crawlers are producing walleyes on Big Muskie Bar, Long Bar, Eelpout Bar, and Big Bend Bar in 14 to 18 feet. The weedbeds continue to produce walleyes as well. Northern pike are being caught with spoons or crankbaits along the 10-foot weed edges, and the mouth of the Mississippi River has been the best for bigger perch in 10 to 12 feet.
Lake Winnie Resort Association, www.lakewinnie.net
The 10- to 14-foot breaks and weeds off Sand Point and Cedar Point are producing walleyes on crawlers. The wind-driven points and shorelines are starting to hold more walleyes, most of which are being caught on minnows or blown-up crawlers. The shallow weeds and rocks continue to provide consistent muskie action, while Boy Bay is a safe bet for northern pike, and Steamboat Bay is producing largemouth bass.
Reed’s, (218) 547-1505.
Shriver’s Bait Co., (218) 547-2250.
Minnows and crawlers are turning walleyes on the 30-foot submerged reefs or on the wind-swept rocks and shorelines in 20 feet. Crappies are showing up at the mouth of Black Bay and around the crappie cribs. Sucker minnows, spoons, or crankbaits are turning northern pike along the weedlines in most bays.
Loon’s Nest, (218) 286-5850.
Catching walleyes involves covering water with spinner rigs, jigs, or crankbaits in 5 to 9 feet. Focus on the shoreline breaks and main lake structure and rocks. This bite will become more consistent as water temperatures continue to cool.
Mort’s Dock, (218) 647-8128.
Northern pike and walleyes are hitting minnows in 18 feet at Round Lake and Whitefish Lake or in 20 to 30 feet on North Long Lake. Look for sunfish in the 6- to 8- foot weeds on Gull Lake, Nisswa Lake, Lake Edwards, or North Long and the deep weedlines on most lakes are producing bigger bass.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League, (218) 829-7010.
CASS LAKE AREA
Muskies are very active and chasing bucktails on the cabbage beds of Cass Lake, Little Wolf Lake, and Pike Bay Lake. You’ll catch walleyes and perch on minnows in 8 feet on Cass and Pike Bay, while bluegill action is strong on the 10- foot cabbage areas of Kitchi Lake, Wolf Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Allen’s Bay on Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort, (800) 279-4831.
Walleyes are scattered between 10 and 45 feet on Snowbank Lake, Shagawa Lake and Fall Lake in 10 feet, and at Big Lake on the 5- foot rocks. Smallmouth bass are hitting topwater baits on the reefs at Farm Lake and Shagawa. White Iron, Lake Birch Lake, and Shagawa are producing northern pike in the 6- to 8-foot weedbeds. Bear hunting reports have been light.
The Great Outdoors, (218) 365-4744.
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Walleyes are hitting crawlers or minnows in 10 to 15 feet on Crescent Lake, Hungry Jack Lake in 8 to 12 feet, Gunflint Lake in 22 to 28 feet, and Devil Track Lake in 8 to 15 feet. Lake trout are being found on Trout Lake down 40 to 45 feet, Greenwood Lake over 30 to 35 feet, and Clearwater Lake over 30 to 40 feet. Look for splake to hit crawlers on Brule Lake in 15 feet and Esther Lake in 12 feet. Leo Lake is giving up rainbow trout in 17 to 22 feet, as is Mink Lake in 15 feet. Nightcrawlers are working best. Bear hunting reports have been excellent, baits are getting hit, and some good-sized bear were registered on the opening weekend.
Buck’s Hardware, (218) 387-2280.