Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – July 26, 2019


Hit the 13- to 15-foot weedlines for panfish on Pike Lake, Balsam Lake, and Lake Wapogasset. A few walleyes are being taken with crawlers in 14 to 18 feet at Half Moon Lake or 12 to 16 feet on Wapogasset. Muskie action has slightly improved on suckers or topwater baits on the Apple River, Deer Lake, Bone Lake, and Cedar Lake.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Fishing really has been great! Smallmouth fishing is in full swing at Sand Cut, Oak Point, and Brush Point, with some post-spawn fish moving all over the bay wherever there is structure. Anglers have been successful using plastics on light jigs, crankbaits, hair jigs, and live bait in 10 feet of water or less. There have been some beautiful smallmouths being caught. Walleye fishing has been a bit spotty but they are being caught. There are always northerns in the mix.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Bluegills and crappies are being plucked from the weedlines of Big Round Lake, Bear Lake, and Upper Turtle Lake. Largemouth bass and small northern pike also are weed-related and easy to catch on most lakes, while walleye and muskie reports have been limited.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164


Salmon fishing has been improving the past week or so, which is making everyone happy. Decent reports are coming in from Sturgeon Bay and north to Baileys Harbor, with some fair reports from Washington Island. Flies/flashers and an assortment of spoons have been working. Bass fishing has been fantastic throughout Door County. Those bass are starting to make a little push out to deeper water. Fish the 10- to 20-foot range. Perch fishing has been going very good. Areas to fish include downtown Sturgeon Bay in the channel, the Sturgeon Bay Flats, Sawyer Harbor, Rileys Bay and Little Sturgeon. The walleye fishing has been better than average as of late. Try the Chaudoir’s Dock area, the west shore of Green Bay and Larsen’s Reef. An assortment of crankbaits, crawler harnesses and rip jigs are working well.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


Walleye fishing has been OK for this time of year. On the Eagle River Chain, there are two patterns: either in the weeds for cover or in the holes to escape heavy traffic. All types of bait are working now, with leeches, minnows and crawlers working evenly. The larger, deeper lakes are producing some decent walleyes in the weeds and on the drop-offs near the weeds and rock bars. Bass fishing is great right now, especially for largemouths. All bait types are working, with spinnerbaits and surface baits doing well. Smallies are deeper and usually near hard-bottomed areas. Try bouncing red or brown crankbaits off the rocks in 6 to 12 feet of water on lakes like Butternut or Big Portage. Muskie fishing is better now than it was this spring, but for some reason it just doesn’t “feel right” to league anglers this year. The numbers seem to be down. It is the time of the year for surface baits, or for deep-running plastics on suspended fish. Panfish action is good now, with crappies providing action in the weeds. 

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


The walleye bite has been steady. Anglers have been using a variety of live baits. jumbo leeches and crawlers have been the bait of choice since suckers have been hard to come by. Panfish action has been decent. Fishermen are reporting good numbers of bluegills being caught, while perch and crappies have been harder to find. The bass action has been hot. Artificial and live baits are working well. Muskie action has been steadily picking up. Several catches over 45 inches have been landed, along with a few smaller ones. 

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


Anglers who are targeting walleyes have been averaging three to five fish. Muskie anglers haven’t been having as much luck. Fox River shore anglers  didn’t have much luck either, with the majority of them targeting smallmouth bass. Geano Beach walleye anglers were having success, with most boats catching at least three walleyes. A few northern pike were caught, too. Duck Creek usage is starting to pick up, but those trying for perch or walleyes didn’t have much luck. The anglers targeting walleyes have been getting sheepshead and catfish. Suamico River anglers have been having luck on walleyes running 15 to 22 inches.

In the Shawano area, it has been a good summer for flathead catfish on the Wolf River, with some fish topping 50 pounds. The increased catch is likely due to higher water levels on the river as a result of the increased rainfall.

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


Muskie action has picked up on bucktails in 8 to 10 feet on Teal Lake and Upper Twin Lake. Look for sunfish in 8 to 12 feet during the day and crappies early and late on Nelson Lake and Lake Lac Courte Oreilles. Spinners and crawlers or crankbaits are turning walleyes in 10 to 15 feet on Nelson and Lac Courte Oreilles. Hit Grindstone Lake for smallmouth bass in 8 feet and walleyes in 10 to 15 feet.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


In Sheboygan County, pier fishing remains consistent. Most anglers are targeting anything that will bite and trying a variety of baits and lures. The Sheboygan ramps saw some action. Anglers were mostly targeting kings, cohos, and some rainbows and brought in a variety of trout and salmon species. The most common catch seemed to be rainbows. The average boat was bringing in three to five fish. Most successful anglers were fishing at 200 feet deep or deeper.

In Ozaukee County, shore and pier fishing effort remained consistent. Most anglers were not targeting anything in specific, just whatever would bite. Surface water temperatures remained in the mid-60s. Port Washington boat anglers came back successful. The most targeted fish were cohos and kings. Most anglers came back with only one king, and the majority of the catch being rainbows. Anglers are using a variety of baits and are fishing a variety of depths ranging from 60 feet out to 200 feet.

In Milwaukee County, most boats came in with at least a few fish, but few were anywhere close to limits. Rainbows and lakers were the most common catch, but a few salmon were also seen. From the pier, there was a bit of fishing effort but success was limited to mostly brown trout. South Shore Park fishing efforts have increased. Most anglers were targeting bass and perch. The pier at the Oak Creek power plant was relatively busy, with most anglers targeting cohos and steelhead.

In Racine County, the piers and shorelines have seen continued, steady action. Most of these anglers were perch fishermen and they had some luck. The most popular bait remains minnows. The perch bite is slowing down, though. Boat anglers are having some luck. Some boats were targeting salmon, but lakers seemed more interested in being caught. The usual coho and steelhead were brought in as well. Anglers reported catching fish in as deep as 300 feet of water.

Kenosha shorelines saw the usual consistent but uneventful fishing action. A few perch are still being caught from shorelines, but not like the numbers they were being caught the past few weeks. The dredging and construction in the harbor continues to operate. The water temperature in the harbor was about 66 degrees. Fishing activity at the ramp slowed down significantly.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Lake Winnebago was still very clear on the north end. That end of the lake had not been affected by a widespread blue-green algae bloom. Fishermen were catching some white bass, perch and walleyes across the north end, but most complained of catching more sheepshead than game fish. Anglers on the river have been busy with catfish.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


Water temperatures have hit 80 degrees on the chain. Smallmouth action has been good on the Lake Mendota bars. Walleyes are hitting in 12 to 18 feet on live bait around the bars. The perch fishing isn’t on fire by any means, but guys are catching a few perch and they’ve been decent. Catfish have slowed a little bit, as have the white bass. On Lake Monona, guys were doing OK from shore and along the Yahara River on bluegills. On the lake, they’re fishing weedlines for bluegills out to 14 feet of water. Muskie action continues to be a little slow, but even if they were biting a lot of muskie anglers are passing for now because of the high water temperatures.

D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Lake trout are being caught north of Two Rivers via bouncers and downriggers off the bottom. Most fishermen are using flies and spin-n-glows with flashers an cowbells. There’s a no-wake zone beginning at the end of the piers in both ports because of high water issues.

WCUB Sport Fishing Report, (920) 683-6800 or (920) 323-8364


All reports have been good. Mother Nature’s weather can’t hamper the area anglers. Reports from Lake Wausau have been great. Crappies are as many as stars in the sky, but you have to go deep; 20-plus feet with a fathead and jig. A few nice cats were reported, with nice being 20- and 25-pounders. Cut bait and a gob of crawlers caught those babies from shore. Northerns, as usual, are abundant, but there have been no real big ones reported yet. Shore anglers are beginning to struggle with water temps on the rise. Morning fishing has been the most productive. Our fishing calendar shows good fishing July 28-31.

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


In Marinette County, a few boats were out on the Peshtigo River trying for perch. The Menominee River had a few bass anglers and walleye anglers with some walleyes being caught around the train bridge area upstream from Stephenson Island. Success was had trolling crankbaits, with sheepshead also being caught. A couple brown trout were caught in the bay fishing in depths of 35 to 60 feet.

In Oconto County, good numbers of boat anglers were seen at Pensaukee, Oconto, and Oconto Park II. Boats were seen fishing between Oconto Park II and the Oconto River for perch and walleyes. There were a few good reports of walleyes being caught on trolled crawler harnesses. Depth ranges have been 8 to 20 feet, so the fish are scattered. A few walleyes were also caught in the Oconto River between Holtwood campground and the mouth. Perch anglers were concentrating on rock piles with weed growth using minnows and crawlers.

A&K Bait & Tackle, (715) 732-9595.


The big heat hitting the Northwoods will likely change things a bit. Water temps are climbing, so early/late trips will be the best, and moving into deeper water for better action.

Largemouth bass: Very good. Top- water evening action is hot over the shallows. From morning through afternoons wacky worms have been a no-brainer.

Smallmouth bass: Very good. Fish coontail edges and off-shore gravel humps using drop-shot rigs with 3-inch pintail minnows or 3-inch wacky worms. Ned rigs are also very effective in similar areas.

Bluegills: Very good. Fish deep edges of cabbage or coontail using small leeches below slip-floats. Small minnows also work.

Muskies: Good. Evenings have been the best for top-water action on big, noisy baits such as Whopper Ploppers, Top Raiders and Pace Makers. Deep-water action has been reported from anglers working big Grandma baits and large rubber baits over open water.

Walleyes: Fair. Play the weather. Overcast or pre-front conditions have been the best. Use big leeches or whole crawlers over sand grass flats outside coontail or cabbage beds in 14 to 18 feet.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


Jigs tipped with waxworms are producing sunfish, perch, and a few crappies in the shallow weeds of Lipsey Lake, Spooner Lake, and Lower McKenzie Lake. A few walleyes can be had with leeches during low-light periods on the deep weedlines of Big McKenzie Lake and Shell Lake. Bass and northern pike are hitting on the weedlines of most lakes.

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

Categories: Hunting News, News, Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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