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Wisconsin Fishing Report – August 27, 2020

Report from the Dock

There was a little bump in the road last week with the return of warm weather that again forced water temperatures to climb. This up-and-down fluctuation in lake temperatures seems to have walleyes not knowing what to do next. It cools down and they bite decent; it warms up and everything slows down. There’s no question that low-light periods of the day remain the best option for walleyes and likely will until it cools down and the feed bags really come on for the fall bite. Crankbaits and Jiggin’ Raps have been the hot baits, but crawlers are still producing. Minnows are starting to produce more walleyes, as well. Muskie fishing pressure dropped a bit, likely because it was hot, but anglers on the bigger lakes continue to see plenty of fish on rocks more than weeds. Continue to look for bigger panfish in and around deep weeds; green weeds if you can find it as vegetation starts to diminish in many areas. Some of the best crappie reports involve suspended fish off deep weed edges and during the evening hours.


The 10- to 14-foot weeds are producing crappies and sunfish on Big Round Lake, Balsam Lake, and Half Moon Lake. Swimbaits, minnows, and nightcrawlers are triggering a few walleyes early and late each day in 12 to 17 feet on Balsam Lake, Lake Wapogasset, and Big Round. Bucktails continue to raise muskies in 12 to 17 feet on Bear Trap Lake and Wapogasset. 


Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Bass fishing has been good overall throughout the county from the Little Sturgeon area north to Washington Island. The depths can vary this time of year depending on the wind; some days the bass will push up as shallow as 4 feet, or they will hang out in the 25-foot range. Fish it all. Howie’s shorty tubes, Ned rigs, drop-shot plastics, spinnerbaits and paddletails are all working. Walleye fishing has also been good; it will continue to get better as we push into September. Trolling with deep-diving crankbaits and jigging with Moonshine Shiver Minnows Rippin Raps has worked well at Chaudoir’s Dock, Henderson’s Point and Larsen’s Reef just a few of the better spots. Perch fishing has been great and will just continue to get better as we move into September. The Sturgeon Bay ship canal, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon, and Chaudoir’s Dock are just a few areas that have been productive.


Fishing out on the big lake has been going good for a nice mix of good sized rainbows, along with some kings in 225 to 350 feet while fishing the top 50 feet. Flies and a wide variety of spoons are working well.


Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


Fishing at the end of summer can be wonderful and it can also be tough. That’s kind of where we are right now, as we are getting significantly varying reports from anglers on most lakes. Water temps are dropping due to the shorter days and cooler nights. Mostly, the fish move deeper, so they become harder to locate. A lot of them have been taken off the roster with summers fishing. Weeds are starting to die a little. Also, we’ve had a lot of storms come though, which upset the lakes for several days. It’ll get better as we head into September, which is usually a fun month to fish all species. Walleye fishing has been OK on the Eagle River chain, with the fish having gone deeper into or near the holes. By far the most productive bait is half a crawler on jigs or under slip bobbers (12 feet or deeper). Use light jigs if it is calm enough and use slow retrieves. Catfish, Cranberry and Eagle have been the most productive lakes on the chain. On the deeper lakes, fish the weeds from 10 feet to weed edges. Also, check out the rock bars in deeper water. Night fish can be quite productive on these clear-water lakes.


Northern action has been good in the weeds. This is a great way to introduce beginners or kids to game fishing. Suckers under slip bobbers work very well; fish the deepest weeds you can find. Bass fishing has been good for both species. The largemouths are generally shallower and using cover for their ambush feeding. Surface baits and plastics work very well for these guys. Weeds, trees, cribs and piers all produce these fish. Smallies, on the other hand, are deeper and over harder bottoms. These fish feed during the summer on crayfish, so any crayfish imitation will be productive in 8 to 25 feet of water depending on clarity. 


Muskie action has been good and bad at times Bucktails and surface baits have been working well on the chain. The feeding windows have been getting longer, so the action in the weeds is getting better. Traffic on the water is reducing slowly, so it is easier to fish on the chain for these guys. On the deeper lakes the action has been pretty good also, but more sporadic. Night fishing has been good as usual.


Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Walleye action has been decent. Anglers are having luck on a variety of live and artificial baits. Reported catches have been between 16 and 19 inches. Rig a Weed Weasel with a minnow, crawler or plastic worm and fish the weed beds. The trout bite has been steady. Fishermen experiencing the most action are finding them on the sandy bottom with crawlers or fly fishing with dry flies. Crappie and perch action remains steady. The best bite has been in shallow water using worms and small minnows.


Whisler Outdoors, (715)528-4411.


Crankbaits or minnows are working best during the evening hours for walleyes on Lake Lac Courte Oreilles in 15 to 22 feet. Bucktails and topwater baits are triggering muskies on the mid-depth weed patches of Lost Land Lake, Teal Lake, and the Chippewa Flowage. Look for crappies and sunfish on the cribs in Round Lake or 8- to 12-foot weeds on Nelson Lake. Muskie anglers have had their work cut out for them with – surprisingly – increasing water temperatures at this time of year. Most anglers fish in 10 feet and report better fishing in early morning and late evening. Spinnerbaits, bucktails, muskie suckers, and topwaters all draw interest. Walleye reports suggest fish are more active at night, but you can usually find fish in 20 to 30 feet during the day. Fish rock humps and ledges with jigs and minnows and crawler harnesses. The Chippewa Flowage is at full pool and water temperatures were  74 to 75 degrees last week. Muskie fishing slowed there a bit, but overall fishing is good. Trolling Mattlocks and Jakes during the day is a good idea for muskies. At dawn and night, cast bucktails and surface baits.


Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


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


Largemouths, smallmouths and all panfish species have been providing steady action on all area lakes, including the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. Anglers are also catching walleyes and muskies, but those who have been successful have the luxury of picking their times to go fishing. Walleyes and muskies have been a little more active early and late in the day, or at night.


Flambeau Flowage Sports, Mercer, (715) 476-2526.


There is still a little bit of a perch bite on Lake Mendota, but overall it’s not a crowd pleaser. Most of the bigger fish are coming from 20-24 feet. The smallmouth action has been a little slower, but there has been a surprising surface bait bite for smallies over deep water – something not seen very often. Guys have been catching a few decent bluegills on lakes Monona and Waubesa, mostly in the usual spots along weed edges. There was also a bit of a perch bite on Waubesa.


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


Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Green Bay fishing action has remained pretty consistent over the last two weeks. Perch have been a heavily targeted species in the last four weeks. Most anglers are traveling to County Park II or the marina in Oconto trying to strike a limit with a box of beavertails and minnows while fishing in about 4 to 10 feet of water with the bite being touch-and-go. The walleye bite has been nothing short of that, as well. The Marinette/Oconto area is creeping up to fall where jigging walleyes on Green and Chambers Island is very popular. Additionally, the Menominee River has been producing a few, just legal, walleyes. Good for eating. Lastly, the brown trout have been biting on Green Bay. Most anglers are running flasher/fly combos or trolling Michigan Stinger Spoons. Shore anglers are looking forward to the fall when king salmon, followed up by whitefish, run up the river!


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


Reports have been improving as we passed through a new moon phase and anglers saw better action. Water temps remain in the low- to mid-70s and patterns became clearer as more anglers probed about to figure them out, with bluegill action running good to very good. That happens every year about the third week or so of August. A new hatch of flying ants appear all over, falling into the lakes and drawing bluegills up to the surface to feed. It’s a great time for fly rod anglers to get their last few licks in with the poppers or dry flies. Crappies are relating to weeds, specifically narrow-leafed cabbage being the best in 8 to 12 feet of water. Northern pike have provided good action on bladed baits (spinnerbaits, chatter baits and No. 4 Mepps), with 4-inch swimbaits and shallow-running minnow baits also scoring. Walleyes have been running fair to good, with a slight upswing in catches lately. With no leeches available, crawlers have been the best bet. Fish larger lakes on gravel/rock humps with jigs and crawlers or Shiver Minnows and Jigging Raps. On shallower lakes work the weed edges early and late with weedless jigs and half a crawler. On flowages work the deeper wood or rock in 17 to 20 feet.


Muskie action has been good, with larger fish working suspended on deep lakes that have cisco populations. On shallower lakes pick overcast days to cast bucktails and large spinnerbaits over cabbage. Also, for a couple of hardworking anglers last week jerkbaits scored three fish over 40 inches ( 48, 46 and 40 inches).


Cooling temps and change in the amount of sunlight will bring changes to the weeds and push fish locations deeper. 


Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.


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

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