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Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – August 12, 2021

Report from the Dock

The number of people fishing continues to be somewhat light as hot weather and humidity persists across the state. Midday fishing activity has been especially limited, as most people have been opting to fish early and late each day when air temperatures are slightly cooler. There was a lot of talk about weed flats, weed edges, and weed pockets in this week’s reports, and it doesn’t seem to matter if the weeds are shallow or deep, they’re all holding a mixed bag of fish. While some bigger walleyes are being caught on deep, main-lake structure in some areas, weedy spots seem to be holding better numbers of fish. Bluegills and crappies also remain weed-related and active in most areas – crappie reports were noticeably better this past week than weeks prior. They tend to be suspended on the weed edges or tops and most aggressive during the last hour or so of daylight. Northern pike and bass are mixed in along the weeds and continue to be an easy catch, while muskie anglers continue to put minimal pressure on through the heat.


Walleye action has picked up with crawlers or minnows on the points and weedlines of Lake Wapogasset. Look for panfish on the 12- to 15-foot weedlines at Balsam Lake, Magner Lake, White Ash Lake, and Big Round Lake. Surface baits are raising muskies on the Apple River, while bass fishing remains strong on most lakes in the slop or deep weed areas.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Trolling has been good in the deep water, with good reports of lake trout near the flats at Outer Island and among the islands, including Oak and Stockton. Fishing also good in the South Channel and at Bayfield. Anglers are jigging for whitefish in depths of 25 to 30 feet. It does take some finesse to catch whitefish. Some big northerns were reported in the weeds off Oak Point and the lighthouse and even at the marina seawall using frozen smelt. Walleyes have been caught in the bay between the weeds at the 15- to 25-foot depths. Smallmouth bass are doing well and continue to spread out in their summer patterns.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Algoma anglers were catching chinook salmon, rainbow trout, coho salmon, and lake trout in 40 to 140 feet of water on flies, chrome/green spoons, and J-plugs. One chinook weighed 33 pounds, measured 40 inches, and was caught on a green/chrome spoon in 140 feet of water. Kewaunee anglers were catching rainbow trout, chinooks, and lake trout in 100 to 200 feet of water. 

Fishing pressure all around Door County has decreased. Boat and shore anglers in Ephraim and Peninsula State Park comprised the bulk of anglers interviewed. Murphy Park pier was also a popular place to fish. Stone Quarry anglers caught smallmouth bass and drum on nightcrawlers.

Lake Michigan anglers were catching lake trout and chinook salmon in 125 to 150 feet of water. 

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

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


Anglers are seeing muskie follows on bucktails, spinnerbaits, and hard baits. Live bait season is fast approaching. It is never a bad idea to tempt a muskie with a sucker off the back of the boat. Walleyes are still deep. Leeches still work, but leech season is ending and crawlers and fatheads are the next best option. Anglers are also catching fish on deep diving crankbaits. Work 20 to 25 feet during daylight hours, then move shallower towards dusk.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Fishing pressure has been light. Trout fishermen have been having some luck with worms being the preferred bait. Bluegill action has been steady. Red worms and leeches were performing well with the larger bluegills being found in deeper water. Bass and northern pike action has been good. Anglers are finding smallmouth bass in lakes at about 20 feet of water on crawlers. Some nice pike were caught. Several over 40 inches were reported. Large suckers were working well. The walleye bite has been fair. Fishermen are finding them suspended over rocky humps in 15 to 30 feet of water.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


The metro boat launch has been busy. Boat anglers reported catching walleyes, and sheepsheads on crankbaits. Gold seemed to be an effective color this week. Fox River shore anglers reported catching rock bass, yellow perch, catfish, smallmouth bass, carp, round gobies, and sheepshead with most of their success being on worms, and the carp being caught with corn. Boat anglers reported catching walleyes, smallmouth bass, catfish, white perch, and sheepshead. The catfish were caught on shrimp and crankbaits, the walleyes and white perch were caught on crankbaits, and smallmouth bass and sheepsheads were caught on soft plastics. Dark colors seemed to be more effective. Suamico River boat anglers reported catching yellow perch, walleyes, catfish, white bass, and sheepsheads on crawler harnesses. 

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


Bluegills remain active in the 5- to 10-foot weeds on Grindstone Lake, Nelson Lake, Lake Lac Courte Oreilles, and Tiger Cat Flowage. Crawlers and minnows are producing some walleyes during the day in 20 to 25 feet, as are crankbaits in less than 10 feet at night on the Chippewa Flowage and Lac Courte Oreilles. Look for suspended crappies each evening off the deep weeds at Nelson and Lower Twin Lake. Grindstone and the Chippewa Flowage remain the area’s best muskie options with bucktails or topwater baits.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


At the Oak Creek power plant, anglers reported catching sheepshead on spoons and catfish using shrimp. At Grant Park there was light fishing activity but no fish reported. South Shore boat anglers reported catching salmon, rainbow trout, and lake trout. Fish were being caught between 100 to 170 feet of water. McKinley Ramp boat anglers were catching small hauls of rainbow trout, lake trout, and salmon anywhere between 100 to 230 feet of water. At the Summerfest lagoon, anglers caught largemouth bass on minnows and plastic minnows, perch using minnows, and smallmouth bass and crappies on plastic worms.

At Port Washington, boat anglers caught a few chinooks and cohos earlier in the week. Catfish were caught at the outflow over the weekend, too.

At Sheboygan, anglers caught a few fish on their outings. Catches consisted mostly of chinooks and lake trout, with scattered cohos, and only a couple rainbow trout. Fish were primarily caught past 200 feet, although some were caught in the 50- to 60-foot range using four colors of lead-core line. 

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


In Marinette, fishing activity was rather low for the most part. A few anglers targeted brown trout and had some success by Green Island and the Trout Bar. One group caught three 5- to 19-pound browns in three hours on orange and red spoons. Most activity in the Menominee River was happening around sunset and after dark. Anglers were getting walleyes while trolling or casting crankbaits.

In Oconto County, the boat launches were busy with most anglers chasing walleyes. High success rates were seen by the majority of anglers from Oconto Park II south past Oconto to the Pensaukee Shoal. Trolling crawler harnesses or casting Shiver Minnows was working equally well. Most anglers fished deeper than 20 feet. 

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


Surface temps have remained pretty consistent of late, running in the low to mid 70s, but some sign of changes in certain weeds has been occurring and it seems to be affecting fish activity.

Smallmouth bass: Very good to good. This species is least affected by weed changes at this time of year, as they are usually working deep coontail edges, sandgrass flats and off-shore gravel/rock humps. Football jigs with creature baits or drop-shotting 3-inch minnow/worm or goby imitations and Ned rigging works best.

Largemouth Bass: Good. The evening bite has been good on top-water lures. During the day use wacky worms to work weed edges.

Muskies: Fair. Anglers plying deep weed edges are moving some fish. Top-water action has not been as productive as expected.

Walleyes: Fair. Best on deeper lakes where walleyes working sandgrass outside coontail edges in 14 to 20 feet using full crawlers, red-tailed chubs, or the biggest leeches available.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


Northern pike are active, hitting live bait and smaller spinners. The fish roam deep weed flats looking for panfish.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass are on deep weedlines and flats. Drop-shot, Ned, and Texas rigs shine, but the key is moving baits slowly. For fish in shallow lilies and slop, use heavier rigs to punch through the top to reach fish below.

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

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