Friday, January 27th, 2023
Friday, January 27th, 2023

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – December 2, 2021

Report from the Dock

While lakes across the central and southern parts of the state were mostly ice-free early last week, anglers were finding enough ice to walk on in some areas of northern Wisconsin. Starting at about Tomahawk and heading north of that line, there has been some ice fishing taking place. People have been walking out for about a week and finding 3 to 5 inches of ice on the spots being fished. Most of it is happening on small, shallow lakes or bays that tend to cap first every year. Most big lakes or anything that’s wind-swept remained open early last week and it is worth pointing out that the warmer weather did not do the ice any favors last week. In short, ice depths have not improved much since last weekend in most areas and in some locations, ice conditions have actually deteriorated with the warm temperatures. There will be plenty of lakes to walk on and fish this weekend, but it is early and ice depths really vary from lake to lake and one spot to the next, so check it as you go.


The small, shallow lakes and bays have about 3 to 4 inches of ice and some people have started walking out. On the area’s big lakes, open water and partial ice cover is still the norm. With this week’s warm weather, ice conditions may have deteriorated a bit where it did exist.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Stream fishing has closed for the year. The few boats out on the bay did surprising well on walleyes and bass. There is skim ice on some inland lakes, but likely not enough for any sort of ice fishing. Call ahead for an ice report.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Perch fishing has been outstanding and will continue right up until ice-up. Fish the shallow bays like Sawyer Harbor, Riley’s Bay and Little Sturgeon from shore or from a boat. Fathead minnows are the main bait. The night walleye bite has been pretty good. Trolling near shore drop-offs with crankbaits has been the ticket. There is also a decent shore fishing bite going on right now in Sturgeon Bay in all of the public areas. The northern pike fishing has also been phenomenal in shallow bays and the Sturgeon Bay ship canal.

In Algoma, pier angler numbers have decreased. Fishing activity along the Ahnapee River has increased. Anglers were catching chinook salmon near the Forestville dam. In Kewaunee, anglers were catching kings by Bruemmer County Park. The number of pier anglers has decreased.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


This recent snow is sitting right where we don’t want it – on the ice. At this point we are worried about ice development, with all that insulation on top of the developing ice. This is beginning to resemble last year, when we had slush right from the start. We would really like some of that very cold stuff as soon as possible, before we get any more snow. In the meantime, those anglers were seen on a number of lakes last week. The early ice provides good fishing for walleyes and panfish. They are setting tip-ups, usually on the deeper sides of the weed beds, with shiners and suckers. Perch have been pestering some of the walleye fishermen.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Success on yellow perch, northern pike, and smallmouth bass was reported out of Sawyer Harbor at Potawatomi State Park, with the perch and pike coming on minnows. Smallmouths was hit green or chartreuse crankbaits. Success on yellow perch was also reported at Bayshore Park and Chaudoir’s Dock on minnows. Whitefish and white bass were also reported. Longtail Point and Geano Beach were hot spots for duck hunters last week. Suamico River anglers had success on perch using minnows and crawlers. The Fox River was active last week, with success reported on walleyes, smallmouths, and white bass using crankbaits and jigs.

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


Anglers are finding 3 to 5 inches of ice on the bays and small, shallow lakes and they’ve started walking on some of them. Walleyes are being caught in the bays on Round Lake and Grindstone Lake early and late each day. Early-ice panfish reports have been limited, but northern pike seem active on most areas being fished. 

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


The piers and shorelines in Kenosha continue to see steady angling effort. Most anglers are now fishing with eggs on a slip bobber for salmon or even browns and steelhead now that the water temperature has dropped, but the fish have been uncooperative. The Pike River had another slow week. Some anglers were still fishing near the mouth of the river. A few scattered anglers were found to be fishing farther upriver as well.

The piers and shorelines of Racine had another very slow week. Nicer weather allowed a few more anglers to get out for salmon or trout, but success was hard to come by. Few boats went out of the harbor. The Root River continued to see high levels of angling activity, especially near Lincoln Park Despite the high angling effort, anglers were struggling to catch fish.

In Milwaukee, Grant Park anglers were mostly fishing upstream of Oak Creek, where kings and cohos could be caught, mostly on flies. The McKinley Marina saw moderate activity, with some kings caught on spoons and eggs. Few boats were launched. Under the Hoan bridge and near Summerfest, there was light fishing activity, but no catches reported. Anglers at North Avenue reported catching kings, steelhead, and a brook trout on flies and spinners. Some anglers also targeted smallmouth bass. Kings were caught at Estabrook Park on eggs and flies.

At Port Washington, anglers focused their efforts at the marina piers and caught a few kings. Sauk Creek anglers fished at all access points and caught cohos and kings using red egg sacs.

In Sheboygan, a few anglers focused their efforts at Pigeon River Park, with a couple anglers fishing by boat. No catches were reported.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Anglers are catching some walleyes at night on Lake Mendota from shore in a number of spots. They’re catching smallmouth bass in deeper water just off shore. Lake Monona muskie fishermen still seem to be struggling, but the bluegill action has been decent. Anglers on lakes Waubesa and Kegonsa have also been catching some walleyes.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


At Two Rivers, a handful of groups had success in the East Twin and West Twin rivers on kings on green/silver and chartreuse spoons or orange yarn balls. One angler caught a salmon weighing 16.3 pounds. In the Two Rivers Harbor, one angler caught two northern pike on a silver Cleo.

The Manitowoc River had the most fishing pressure last week, with one angler catching one catfish, one largemouth bass and one white bass on worms. A handful of salmon were seen jumping near the Clarks Mill dam, as well. At Silver Creek one kayaker entered Lake Michigan and reported marking many fish at 20 feet. 

Louie’s, (920) 684-4501.


In Marinette County, the Peshtigo River boat launches saw activity from duck hunters. Red Arrow also had a few anglers in boats out at the “pocket” trying for perch. A few salmon and brown trout could still be seen at Little River and the Menominee River. Anglers reported no luck in trying to catch them.

In Oconto County, fishing activity was light and mainly seen by shore anglers at Oconto County Park II and in the ditches along Hwy. Y. Perch were biting well, but ran small.

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


Early ice fishing season is upon us! Small lakes and bays had 3 to 4 inches of good, solid ice as of Nov. 29. Walleyes action has been very good with evening bites in shallow weeds of 4 to 6 feet of water. Work closer to shore (2 to 4 feet) if the dusk bite fades as walleyes move shallow to feed while the ice is still not very thick. Northern pike action is also very good; use shiners, chubs or suckers under tip-ups, or jig spoons tipped with a minnow head. The larger lakes have yet to freeze, or have not put on safe ice thickness due to wind. Use foot traffic only, and spud your way out.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


Most small lakes and ponds have formed some ice and a few anglers are starting to venture out, but use plenty of caution. 

The walleyes have been shallow, with bays holding fish in 4 to 15 feet of water early and late. During daylight hours, most walleyes move to deep water adjacent to shallow bays. Northern pike have also been active in the shallows. Jig spoons, or try shiners and suckers under tip-ups. 

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


Ice is forming over shallow bays and along shorelines. Wait for at least 3 to 4 inches of ice for walking on, and then fish only over shallow water.

Use extreme caution dosed with a lot of common sense. Walleyes and northern pike have been active in the shallows.

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

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