Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 2, 2018


A jig and minnow is turning walleyes in 12 to 15 feet at Cedar Lake, Big Round Lake, and Balsam Lake. On Lake Wapogasset, crappies and walleyes are being caught in 10 to 14 feet. Large suckers continue to work best for muskies around the bridges of the Apple River or weed edges and humps of Wapogasset, Cedar, Bone Lake, and Deer Lake.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Near-shore trout and salmon fishing has been good with water temps in the mid-50s in most areas. Most of the river mouths have good mud line/color breaks that have been holding fish. Good numbers of cohos and brown trout are hanging around. Trolling and casting in near-shore areas is the best way to get after fish right now. Some days the fish are right tight to shore, others they are out over deeper water, but still up high. Smallies are schooling up and fishing has been steady.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Windy conditions have really limited fishing opportunities. The only bite worth noting is on Big Sand Lake where suckers are turning a few muskies. With more corn being harvested, ducks and geese are being shot in fields.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164


The fishing reports are a bit limited due to the strong winds the past three weeks. Perch fishing has been going very good so far this fall and it should keep going good as long as the wind allows anglers to get out there. Areas to try include Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, Sawyer Harbor, and the flats along with the Sturgeon Bay ship channel. Fathead minnows have been and will be the best live bait to have in the boat

Pike fishing is also going very good and that will continue to stay good and even get better right into the ice fishing season. Casting and trolling large crankbaits, spoons, spinnerbaits and plastics all are good options along with dragging around big suckers. Areas to target include downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay.

The 4-year-old salmon run is pretty much at the end, but there are still some in the tributaries and in the marinas. Along with the salmon, the brown trout are also starting to hang around the harbors during their spawn so there is another option.

The night walleye bite is starting to get rolling in the Door County peninsula, as it usually does this time of year. Concentration your efforts over the tops of reefs and steeper, primary shoreline drop-offs.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-3090.


Walleye fishing has been very good on the Eagle River Chain, as the fish have moved into the deep holes for the winter. Numbers of fish caught have been excellent, and there have been some bigger fish caught, also. The fish are now hitting by far the best on Tuffie minnows on jigs. The premium depth seems to be 18 to 22 feet. You will also find some schools of crappies in these holes. Some of the current areas are also holding walleyes in the bends in the river. On the bigger lakes off of the chain, we are also seeing late fall patterns, with walleyes holding off the drop-offs in 15 to 30 feet of water. 

Some really big smallies will be caught by muskie anglers fishing the weed edges with crankbaits and jerkbaits. This seems to happen every fall. Largemouth are still in the weeds, but deeper as these weeds die off. 

Muskie fishing has been good, but it still feels like we are waiting for that surge of action as the temperature drops. By far the best action has been on the Eagle River Chain in the current areas, as that current has brought shiners into the river and they have been followed by muskies. Some decent fish have been caught in the pattern, but no super fish. On the rest of the lakes, there has been some decent sucker action, but not a lot of artificial bait action.

Panfish action is OK, but again not many anglers targeting them. We have seen some perch anglers in the deeper weeds and some crappies being caught in the holes on the chain. 

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Fishing pressure has been light due to the cold, wet, windy weather but that doesn’t stop most muskie fishermen. They’ve been out in full force. Larger suckers on quick-hit rigs are the best bait this time of year. The walleye bite has been fair. Anglers are finding them in deeper holes using jigs tipped with minnows. Pike action has been good. They’ve been hitting on suckers although some fishermen have been catching them on artificial lures, including one that measured 34 inches.

Archery season has picked up a bit. Grouse hunting is still slow.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


In Brown County, walleye anglers fishing from Bayshore Park had a slow week. Several muskie anglers tried their luck off of Bayshore Park but didn’t hook any fish. Walleye anglers fishing upstream of Hwy. 172 on the Fox River had better luck, catching a couple of walleyes each, with keepers between 20 and 24 inches. Numbers remain low at all of the boat launches on the Fox River. Voyager only had a couple people out in search if anything, but those who braved the weather failed much. Duck Creek effort was low. There has also been a large decrease in the number of duck hunters out, as well. Fishing effort was low at Suamico and Geano Beach. There were a few shore anglers catching some yellow perch. 

Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.


Muskie fishing is still holding strong, with suckers fished on down rods or under bobbers the most productive. While dragging the sucker, cast rubber baits, paddle-tails, large swim baits, and glide baits. Troll Grandmas, Believers, Jakes, Mattlocks, Headlocks, and other crankbaits at 1.5 to 2.5 mph. Walleye anglers report success working jigs and suckers on breaklines and drop-offs. Depths vary from day to day, but 12 to 14 feet is a good place to start. Crankbaits and trolling jerkbaits are also great fall tactics. Largemouth bass are active on plastics and crankbaits fished off deeper weed edges. Smallmouth bass are hitting plastics and deep diving jerkbaits and crankbaits off deeper rock reefs. Crappies and bluegills are generally in deeper basins, in 12 to 17 feet, though as shallow as 10 feet, and with the cooler temperatures jigs and minnows are the favorite bait.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.


Not much action was seen on the Sheboygan piers, and those who did fish have not had any success with crankbaits. The only action seen on the Sheboygan River was near the Kohler dam, where fly anglers saw a ton of success with kings and brown trout. The rest of the river was quiet all week.

Little action was seen at the Port Washington ramps. The harbor was elbow-to-elbow last week, with many anglers using crankbaits or spawn sacks with bobbers. A majority reported no hits, but a couple anglers caught some kings. The Port Washington utility was very crowded and success was hit or miss for the most part. A majority of the anglers did not see much success, but some were catching kings and brown trout off of spawn sacs and crankbaits. Lots of fishing action was seen in Sauk Creek, with a lot of pressure being applied to kings running up the river. Fly fishing was the most popular method being used in the creek.

In Milwaukee County, boaters targeting salmon continue to be few and far between. Those who found success landed mostly kings and remained in or near the harbor using skein. At the McKinley Pier many fish, mostly kings, continue to jump at the surface throughout the day, yet landing them has proven to be has more difficult. Those targeting salmon or rainbow or brown trout found the most success harborside using skein or spawn. Anglers targeting salmon by the Summerfest grounds and Lakeshore State Park continue to see little to no action. Anglers targeting salmon around McKinley shore and harbor found action very slow, landing a few kings here and there ,using skein or spawn sac. Estabrook, and Kletzsch Parks are seeing higher fishing pressure. Fly fisherman using a variety of flies or yarn have seen little action; anglers are finding the most success catching kings or the occasional brown trout using skein or spawn. 

In Racine County, most pier anglers were casting spoons and floating spawn. Root River water levels are starting to drop. Most fish are being caught by the dam and Colonial Park.

In Kenosha County, most boaters were staying in the harbor to troll cranks and floating spawn. A couple chinook were reported. Most pier anglers are using spawn and casting cranks or spoons. A few kings and rainbow trout have been caught. 

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


The surface temperature of the Eau Claire river at the store is 42 degrees. Area rivers are returning to normal levels after the recent record rainfalls. The Wisconsin River, Lake Wausau and tributaries and areas in the southern part of the county are again fishable. Reports of nice walleyes below the Schofield and Lake Wausau dams are coming in. Anglers using bright jigs of pink and chartreuse with a fathead minnow have seen the most luck. Muskie anglers have had mixed reports. The largest fish reported went is 48 inches. Last year’s largest was 52 inches. 

Riverside Rentals & Bait Shop, (715) 574-1771.


In Marinette County, Menominee River water temperatures dropped from 52 to 44 degrees. Flows were very high and above flood stage in the upper Menominee River for several days. All fishing activity was up by the dam. Anglers had good luck catching a few brown trout, rainbow trout, and several walleyes. Anglers mentioned that people in the morning were getting browns also and a couple whitefish were seen caught off the bridge at Hattie Street. On the Peshtigo River, flows remained high and water temperatures dropped throughout the week to the mid-40 range. Some anglers were trying their luck at the municipal ramp, with no reports of fish caught.

In Oconto County, water temperatures on the Oconto River took a significant drop recently. Flows remain high, at over 2,000 cubic feet per second at the Stiles dam. Oconto harbor fishing pressure was high for boaters, and only a few shore anglers were seen. Fishing pressure remained steady at the Stiles dam and iron bridge area with anglers targeting trout, salmon, and walleyes, but catching bass and panfish instead. High fishing pressure was observed at the Pensaukee River boat ramp, with some duck hunters also using the ramp.

— DNR report


Temps in the 20s and high winds made targeting most species pretty tough. Muskies are what is on most anglers’ minds. Those willing to brave the elements had good things to show for their efforts. Musky action has been good, but participation was down. One guide had a nine-fish day, mostly on suckers, but jerkbaits are also working. 

Walleye action has been fair. Conditions are not favoring walleye anglers due to boat control issues with winds gusting like crazy. When they are able to fish, the deeper lakes produced fish in the 28- to 40-foot range.  Northern pike action has been good.  While not being targeted much, some nice pike in the mid-30-inch range are being caught by muskie anglers

It’s been a cold October so far; surface temps are in the low to mid-40s. As long as winds stay down, fishing should remain good. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

J and J Sports, (715) 277-2616.


Fishing action has been limited to a few muskies being caught with suckers in 6 feet at the Trego Flowage, Shell Lake, and Big McKenzie Lake. Hunting pressure has been light, but archery hunters are seeing bigger bucks starting to move. 

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

Categories: News, Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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