Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 26, 2022

Report from the Dock

The recent cold front and persistent winds seem to have slowed walleye action a bit in most areas. The majority of walleyes being caught remain shallow and are still being caught on minnows, although leeches and crawlers have started to produce more fish in some areas. The forecast calls for warmer, stable weather toward the end of the week, which could mean some excellent walleye fishing for Memorial Day weekend and into this week. Crappies and panfish also are mostly shallow, but have already spawned across much of northern Wisconsin. They are just moving shallow in the north where water temperatures remain relatively cool for this time of year. Look to the shorelines, rice beds or bulrush stands for panfish this week. The best bass reports are coming from shallow water, as well. Largemouth bass have started to spawn in some areas and staging in others. Smallmouths have yet to move up and are being found just off traditional spawning areas – mid-depth rock and sand on most lakes. Muskie season in northern Wisconsin opens Saturday, May 28. With water temps still on the cool side, stick to smaller baits and shallower depths, although it’s never too early to find the big ones hovering out over cisco schools in deep water.


Crappies continue to be found on Lake Wapogasset in 8 feet of water, while panfish have moved out of shallow water with the cooler weather. Minnows or leeches are producing some walleyes in 3 to 12 feet of water on Wapogasset, Big Round Lake, and Balsam Lake during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.


Trolling is still going well on Chequamegon Bay. Anglers are reporting brown trout, lake trout, and cohos. Right now they are fishing the top 15 feet (or so) of water. Anglers are using anything that looks like a smelt – so crankbaits have been working nicely. The northerns have started to spawn, which will slow the walleyes down. On less windy days, anglers have been fishing shores and are reporting some nice bass. A few sturgeon are being caught by the lighthouse, which is typical for this time of year. Anglers are soaking some smelt to catch sturgeon. Anglers must have a sturgeon license to target and to possess a sturgeon. The size limit is 60 inches.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Boat anglers from Chaudoir’s Dock caught walleyes and rock bass. The walleyes were caught on crankbaits and crawler harnesses, and ran 18 to 25 inches. Little Surgeon Bay boat anglers caught walleyes, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and burbot. The smallies, pike, and burbot were mainly caught on soft plastics. The walleyes ranged from 20 to 24 inches. Sawyer Harbor anglers caught walleyes, smallmouth bass, northern pike, largemouth bass, rock bass, suckers and bullheads. They saw the walleyes on blade baits;  the other species were caught on soft plastics, swimbaits, and minnows. 

In Kewaunee, a few northern pike and rainbow trout were caught from the river. The pike were caught on spoons run near the bottom. The rainbows hit spinners. Boat anglers were marking a few fish, but catches were light. Algoma’s Ahnapee River gave up a few northern pike on spoons. At the Olson Park ramp, a few pike were caught on Little Cleos of varying colors and Rapalas.

A few anglers were still fishing Door County streams, but a group fishing Heins Creek caught some rainbow trout that had not yet spawned out. The largest was just over 8 pounds. Anglers fishing out of Rowleys Bay have been catching smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds on tube jigs, swimbaits, jigs, and plastics. On Green Bay, anglers have also been catching smallmouths on the same lures.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


The walleyes are off the shorelines, but bass and crappies have moved in. The crappies are already producing good action on some rivers. On the Wisconsin River, they have moved up to the region of the dam and have been hitting well on minnows and small plastics. Look for largemouths in shallow cover like bulrushes, downed trees and even last year’s weeds.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Overall, fishing pressure has been light. The forecast looks good for the upcoming week, so it will be a good time to get out and fish. Walleye anglers were having some luck with large fatheads and jerkbaits. Northern pike action has been fair. Trout fishing has picked up now that the rivers have gone down some. The bass bite has been good; spinnerbaits and plastics have been performing well.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


Fox River shore anglers fished hard last week while targeting white bass. Fox River boat anglers targeted walleyes in Green Bay and had success using crawler harnesses and Flicker Shads fishing from 6 to 8 feet deep. One angler reported catching four walleyes by jigging minnows in 25 feet of water. Walleye sizes ranged from 15.5 to 28.5 inches. Bayshore Park anglers had some success on walleyes with jigs and soft plastics. Crankbaits were used to catch walleyes, whitefish, smallies, white bass, white perch and sheepshead.

Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 593 1749.


Walleyes continue to be found in 5 to 15 feet of water on Round Lake, the Chippewa Flowage, and Lake Lac Courte Oreilles. Crappies are moving in and out of the shallows with this week’s cooler weather, but as it warms up, look to Nelson Lake, Spring Lake, Chippewa Flowage, and Round in less than 8 feet of water for improved action. Bass are starting to spawn in shallow water on most lakes.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


The walleye bite has been fairly consistent on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, even with the cold temps, in 4 to 8 feet in wood structure or weeds. Use fatheads on weedless jigs or slip bobber rigs. The key is to keep moving. The fish are not concentrated, but sizes are nicer than past years. The crappies have been up shallow even with the water temps ranging from 58 to 61, but with the warm-up coming they should be spawning through this week on most lakes. Many muskies have been seen spawning over the past two weeks, up in the shallows and doing their thing, so they should be feeding over the opener and into this week. Try slow presentations (surface baits and small bucktails) over shallow structure adjacent to a deep drop-off. Smallies have been active and seem interested in just about anything.

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


Fishing reports were very light for several Lake Michigan port cities, including Kenosha, Racine, Port Washington and Sheboygan. Anglers continue to work the Root River even as water levels drop and water temps continue to rise. Most of the steelhead have made their way back to the lake, but anglers were seen fishing above and below the steelhead facility. A few steelhead were caught at the dam on flies. Milwaukee boat anglers have been catching decent numbers of cohos using standard coho rigs. Depending on the day, fish are being caught in the top 20 feet over anywhere from 30 feet to 120 feet of water.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Anglers have been doing well on bluegills on Lake Winnebago creeks, channels and bays. There are a lot of catfish in the river, but there still are walleyes and catfish moving through, as well. There has been a good walleye bite on Lake Butte des Morts, where anglers also are catching white bass. Walleyes also are still hitting at the mouth of the river as it empties into Lake Winnebago.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.


Higher water temperatures has really boosted fishing activity on the Madison chain. Cherokee Marsh has seen crappies up shallow where the bass also are bedding. Anglers are running into a lot of 20- to 30-inch pike while chasing crappies and bass. The Hwy. 113 bridge is a great spot for catfish. Lake Mendota’s shallows have filled with crappies and bluegills. White bass are done spawning, but they’re up shallow and are hitting. Walleye action along the university shoreline has been good, with some perch and bluegills in there, too. Lake Monona’s Olbrich Park area has been good for walleyes, but anglers still struggling with the landing.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


The warming weather has brought out many anglers looking to capitalize on the smallmouth bass bite, many of whom succeeded in the Manitowoc River with artificial baits. The odd pike also was caught. One fishing party coming off Lake Michigan from the Manitowoc harbor described everything as being “a month behind” concerning fish activity.

Popp’s Harbor Town Citgo, (920) 682-4047.


In Oconto County, walleye fishing started a bit slow at the beginning of last week. High temps warmed up the water by the weekend, and a few more good reports were heard. Anglers had some success trolling crawler harnesses off Oconto Park II and to the north. Fish were scattered as anglers reported catching walleyes in the shallow water of 4 to 7 feet and 10 to 12 feet. 

In Marinette County, fishing was good early last week in the Menominee River and Peshtigo River. Anglers were catching walleyes in the Menominee, by jigging during the day and trolling crankbaits at night. Walleyes and smallmouth were caught on the Peshtigo. Upstream areas below the dam were good for smallmouths, while the downstream areas near the bay were best for walleyes. Bass are hitting plastics; walleyes were caught on crawlers on floating jigs or on harnesses.

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


With morning temps back in the low 30s a couple mornings last week (frost on May 23), the drop in temperature, along with wind and sleet, caused lake surface temps to drop into the mid- to upper-50s from the low- to mid-60s. This should extend the good shallow-water, post-spawn walleye bite, but may put the crappie spawn off for a bit on some lakes. There have been signs of bedding crappies. Be conscious of the lakes with 10-fish limits for crappies. Smallmouth and walleye action also is fair to good. There have been some sign of bedding smallies on certain lakes. Walleye action picked up last week, with a lot of the best reports from 4 to 6 feet of water around new weeds on mud bottoms. Perch and bluegill action was running a bit behind everything else last week. Warmer water temps will pull bluegills into the shallows.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


Walleyes are shallow in weedy bays. Start shallow and work through the weeds to the deep edges. Pike are in the weeds, hitting suckers under floats, but spinnerbaits and crankbaits also are working. Largemouth action has been better than good. 

St. Croix Rods, (715) 762-3226.

Ross’s Sport Shop, (715) 339-3625.


Walleye fishing is good, with fish in most lakes now finished spawning, but many are still shallow and feeding on small baitfish. Fish just off rocky spawning areas. Move into shallower water as dusk approaches. Fish baits slowly now after the spawn and with cooler weather. Northern pike are shallow and looking to feed. Largemouth bass are in the spawning mode, with some fish already tending beds. Smallies are running shorelines. To find them, cover lots of water in 5 to 10 feet with jerkbaits, plastics, and live bait. 

Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports Shop, (715) 349-2400.


Walleye anglers should use minnows and leeches under bobbers, use jigs tipped with feather, hair, or Twister Tail jigs, and troll crankbaits or live bait on Lindy Rigs. For northern pike, float a sucker while fishing for panfish in the shallows. For bass, cast frogs and scented worms. Panfish in shallow, warmer water are hitting waxies, worms, and minnows on small-dressed jigs.

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

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