Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Wisconsin Fishing Report – March 26, 2020

Report from the Dock

Fishing pressure continues to be very light, even more limited than the previous week, in most parts of the state. Despite decent weather and some pretty respectable panfish action, the late ice-fishing period doesn’t seem to be as big of a draw as normal. Of course, the spread of coronavirus is on the minds of everyone and that’s likely keeping a lot of people indoors and off the ice. Along those lines, check with the contacts below or your local bait shop for store hours because some of them have reduced hours or closed completely until the coronavirus situation improves. Those still venturing out are finding good ice conditions throughout the northern part of the state. With some rain and warmer temperatures throughout this week, some of those access points and shorelines could become compromised, making ATVs or walking out better travel options. Look for perch, bluegills, and crappies to now be set up on shallow flats and weedbeds. Walleye fishing on the big rivers is getting going.



At this point some anglers are still going out, but the shorelines are starting to soften up. Be especially careful as the pressure cracks are starting to open up. We encourage you to always bring your ice bar, ice cleats, and have flotation with you for safety. Be cautious and check your way. Second Landing has produced some nice catches of fish, but the ice is deteriorating so be cautious at all times.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.



Crappies and bluegills are being caught in 11 to 13 feet on Staples Lake, 8 feet on Bear Lake, and 8 to 14 feet at Big Round Lake and Upper Turtle Lake. Some anglers have started fishing the streams and finding success for brook trout. Main lake ice remains in good shape and the shorelines were intact enough to allow ATV use early this week.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164



There was still fishable ice along some of the shorelines and bays as of March 24 and fishermen are out targeting big walleyes, pike, and whitefish. With that said, there are boat launches open and a bunch of fishermen are out trolling and casting for brown trout, pike and walleyes. The first wave of steelhead have pushed up in the Lake Michigan tributaries. So it’s a pretty unique time to be fishing in Door County. Ice fishermen have been getting into some really big walleyes through the ice. Try Sawyer Harbor, Sherwood Point, Sand Bay, Riley’s Bay and Riley’s Point. Pike fishermen are still having some good action through the ice as these fish push closer to the spawn. Set up in shallow bays in front of creek mouths with large suckers under tip-ups.

As for the open water scene, boat and shore fishermen have been enjoying some good brown trout action throughout the county. Trollers generally look for warmer water pockets like out in front of creek mouths and or marinas and troll a mixture of spoons and floating or suspending baits. Shore fishermen will cast spoons like Cleos or Krokodiles and suspending jerkbaits in and around the marinas. Another option is still fishing with spawn sacs.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

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



Anglers are still finding plenty of ice and the panfish are cooperating, so the fishing has been better than decent for those who are heading out. Otherwise, anglers are trailering boats to the big rivers for the walleye run, starting on the Wisconsin River at Tomahawk and points south.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.



There has been a definite decrease of ice fishermen venturing out the last couple of weeks. The ice has been deteriorating rapidly with rain and warmer daytime temperatures. The only catches being reported are small bluegills and a few crappies. Anglers that were able to access Wisconsin/Michigan boundary waters were having some luck catching their limit of one walleye a day.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411. 



Fishing on the Fox River has been getting better for the walleye run as the warmer temperatures are happening daily. Fishing by the De Pere dam and mouth of the Fox River with a jig and minnow or soft plastics have been working well. A good night trolling bite using minnow baits on the Hwy. 172 flats have been producing some nice fish. Jig and minnows and rattle baits seemed to be most popular in catching walleyes.

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



Crappies continue to be found suspended over 18 to 25 feet on Nelson Lake and Smith Lake. Bluegills also are being caught along the shallow to mid-depth weeds on most lakes. Shorelines are in good enough shape that ATVs are still being used on most lakes, but that could change quickly. Daytime temperatures were in the 30s and nighttime lows in the teens and 20s last week. Any melting during the day created a lot of standing water that froze again at night. Walking on ice can be a hazard, so be careful. Ice thickness is still 16 to 20 inches, but it is not safe for vehicles. There is some movement of ice along shorelines, so be careful when entering the lakes.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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



Anglers are catching perch on the north end of Lake Onalaska. It’s still a little early for walleyes on the river. The river is still fairly cold and the river is not projected to go above flood stage, so there is some good fishing ahead. A few guys have been out recently chasing northern pike on the Mississippi while waiting for the walleyes to kick in.

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Bob’s Bait and Tackle, (608) 782-5552.



In Sheboygan, fishing pressure was moderate with good catches of steelhead and brown trout below the Kohler dam on the Sheboygan River. Anglers were using spawn sacs with a bead pegged above and on jigs with wax worms floated below a bobber. On the Pigeon River, fishing pressure was low, and anglers targeted steelhead using spawn, beads, and jigs with little success. Water levels are high, and clarity is low. In the harbor and on the piers fishing pressure remained low and no fish were reported. Very few boats have gone out.

In Ozaukee County, fishing pressure increased on Sauk Creek last week with many anglers fishing upstream behind the high school football fields up to Sauk Creek Nature Preserve. Recent rains caused water levels to rise; however, water clarity improved and anglers reported a few steelhead being taken on beads or spawn fished below a bobber. In Port Washington, wind and rain kept most anglers away from the piers. No angler activity was reported last week at the boat ramps. 

In Milwaukee County, anglers have fished near the Pierhead Lighthouse, but with few catches reported. Several boats were out, with most hanging inside the harbor targeting brown trout. They caught a few. Anglers also caught several cohos and browns north of the lighthouse from shore. Anglers also fished at the power plant outflow, Oak Creek, and under the Hoan Bridge, targeting steelhead, perch, and smelt. Anglers have been working the Milwaukee River and Menomonee River, but few catches were reported through early last week.

In Racine County, cloudy water found along the shore made for poor fishing conditions. The anglers that were out were targeting steelhead or brown trout. The Root River experienced cold and rainy weather last week. Despite the murky, 42-degree water a handful of anglers were spotted fishing the river, mostly upstream of the steelhead facility. 

In Kenosha County, there were many anglers spotted along the piers and shorelines, as well as a few boats out in the harbor last week. Most were targeting steelhead or brown trout. Anglers landed a handful of brown trout. Fish were caught using spoons and tube jigs under a float. 

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.



Fishermen are starting to see some Wolf River walleyes come through Winneconne and action late last week was pretty good. The next couple of weeks should be pretty productive. The ice is just melting away in the channels and good perch reports are expected any day. Lake Poygan still had some ice on it as of March 26, but that should be opening up any day now.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.



In Oconto County, a few walleye anglers were out last week and averaged one walleye per trip with size being reported from 22 inches and up. The majority of the Oconto River is open upstream from the Hwy. S bridge in town.

In Marinette County, the Menominee River saw only a few anglers out last week by the dam as wind and rain made fishing uncomfortable. As a result of the weather, some open water patches were being seen throughout the lower sections of the river. The ice that remains in the main channel is in poor shape. All launches were still iced in and not usable as of early last week. The Peshtigo River was still iced over from the mouth upstream to the boat launch on Hwy. BB.

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



Some of the best panfishing of the year is right now. Fishing has been picking up this past week with good catches being reported area wide. Time of day is the key, with early morning and evening bites being the most successful. Mid-day bites have been slow.

Crappies: Very good. While crappies aren’t showing up in the shallows yet, anglers are having a lot of success over mud flats in 18 to 24 feet. This could change in the next few days as warmer weather pushes in. Tip-downs with rosies or small fatheads have had anglers running around catching fish. Jigging has been very productive, too. There have been numerous reports of crappies to 12 to 13 inches and evenhad one report of a 16½-inch fish.

Yellow perch: Good. A few more perch are showing up in buckets, but fishing still isn’t on fire yet for perch. Fish deep mud in 18 to 28 feet of water with red spikes, wigglers and minnows all catching fish.

Bluegills: Very good. The bluegills are in as shallow as 4 feet, but try working the 4 to 8 feet with tungsten jigs and dark colored plastics or a waxie.

Warmer weather for the next week will start to deteriorate ice conditions slightly. As of March 23, ice is holding up well (about 14 to 20 inches) with little to no snow. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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



The shorelines are starting to break up on the Phillips chain and surrounding lakes. Guys are still getting out on most lakes, but the channels are really starting to open up anywhere there is some current. Those who are getting out are having good luck on bluegills and crappies.

Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.

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