Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 21, 2022

Report from the Dock

It was a strange week of walleye fishing last week with many reports indicating that there’s been quite a few fish being caught in shallower water – less than 10 feet in many areas despite the warm waters of summer. For as hot as it continues to be, you’d think the exact opposite would be taking place, but shallow structure and shallow to mid-depth weeds seem to be giving up walleyes most consistently. This is especially true early and late each day, and most midday walleye action continues to be slow. You really have to cover water and grind out bites during the day. Muskie reports were surprisingly slow, but many areas did report that a lot of anglers quit chasing these big fish due to the warm water, which stresses these fish out. Weedlines and weed pockets continue to provide the most consistent panfish, bass, and northern pike activity. It’s repetitive this time of year, but you’ll catch a mixed bag of fish in and along established weed areas of most lakes. It’s also worth noting that plastics, crankbaits, and a wide range of live bait presentations were all producing fish last week.


Chequamegon Bay bass are leaving spawning beds and moving to waters around 4 to 6 feet deep where they hitting on suckers and plastics. The walleye bite continues to be hot at Brush Point on the east end of the bay and the “short bridge” on the west end of the bay near Ashland. Perch can be found at the Washburn and Ashland marinas. Lake trout are active by the flats, Long Island, and Madeline Island. Trollers continue flat-lining crankbaits from Houghton Point to Long Island and out to the Apostle Islands for lake trout. The inland lakes are yielding crappies and bluegills. 

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


Salmon fishing on the big lake is on fire right now from Sturgeon Bay up to Washington Island. Lots of fish are being caught, with some magnum kings brought to the scales almost on a daily basis. The range of 100 to 180 feet has been a great depth while fishing the top 75 feet of the water. Bass fishing is getting rolling again after a bit of a lull because of massive amounts of alewives in the bay. Senkos, tubes, swim baits and spy baits are just a few of the top baits right now. The walleye fishing also is starting to pick up again as the water warms. Use crawler harnesses, Flicker Minnows and a box full of Moonshine Shiver Minnows. Perch fishing is still going very well throughout the area from Sturgeon Bay and down to Chaudoir’s Dock.

Kewaunee shore anglers were going for trout and salmon, with some groups going for carp and netting for alewife. Boater’s catch rates on trout and salmon have improved, with more than half the boats bringing in at least one fish. The highest catch total for a group last week was six (three kings, two rainbow trout, and one lake trout). Depths of bites were around 30 to 60 feet deep over about 350 feet of water. 

Algoma shore anglers targeted perch, smallmouths and anything that bites. Boating pressure was low last week.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.


The walleye fishing on the Eagle River chain has been a little slow due to a late mayfly hatch that has kept many walleye bellies filled. It’ll be over soon and these fish will be back to scrounging minnow and leeches for food. Try fishing a little deeper at this time of year. On the deep, clear lakes daytime walleyes will be deep or right at the weed edges. Meanwhile, crappie fishing has been great in the evenings on the chain where weed edges in these evenings can be very productive. Muskie action on the chain has been very good on spinners of some kind. Fish over the weeds and the outer edges of these weed beds. Also try Boot, Muskellunge, Dam, Sand and many other lakes.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Walleye and perch fishing showed signs of improvement, as alewives started to leave rock structure. Walleyes were found on College Reef, Kidney Island rocks, Deadhorse Bay, Geano’s Reef, and near CP2 of Oconto. Trolled crankbaits, crawler harnesses and jigged Ripper minnows are catching walleyes. Perch fishing is good around Oconto, Geano’s Reef, Point Comfort and Chaudoir’s Dock on minnows, crawler pieces, and hellgrammites. Fox River shore anglers caught yellow perch, smallmouth bass, rock bass, white bass, white perch, sheepshead, and round gobies.

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


Northern pike, largemouth bass and bluegills are providing the best action across a broad spectrum of lakes in the Hayward area. Walleye and muskie fishing has been better than average for those who can pick their times to fish. One way to switch things up is to float area rivers where smallmouth bass are very active and muskies are more active than their lake brethren. Nelson Lake walleye anglers using leeches and minnows on jigs and deep diver baits are catching fish near the river channel. Northern pike are in the weeds and on weed beds where surface plugs and spinners are working well

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.


The walleye bite has been tough, but focus on shallow weeds and mid-lake humps and wood flats in 3 to 10 feet of water on the flowage. Weedless jigs tipped with half a crawler and large leeches or chubs/fatheads are all working. Some bluegills are in the weeds and others are heading deeper (9 feet) around the bogs and timber. Crappies are moving deeper over wood and cribs in 9 to 15 feet. Muskie action has been slow, with the best action on weed edges where one angler landed a beautiful 46-incher. 

Flambeau Flowage Sports,
(715) 476-2526.


Port Washington pier anglers caught brown trout near Rotary Park using spawn and live bait such as nightcrawlers and alewives. Anglers on the North Pier also caught brown trout on spinners. Port Washington boat anglers made good catches of cohos and kings last week, along with some rainbow and lake trout. The largest king documented in the DNR creel survey last week weighed 20 pounds and was 36.25 inches long. The largest coho weighed 9.9 pounds and was 27.5 inches long. Boat anglers reported success fishing 10 to 60 feet down over 250 and 260 feet north of town.

Sheboygan pier anglers reported catching yellow perch along the Deland shoreline on crawlers. Due to ongoing construction on the south pier, there was a noticeable decline in anglers fishing there last week. Sheboygan boat anglers made good catches of kings and cohos, with some reports of lake trout and rainbow trout while fishing 30 to 60 feet down over 135 to 300 feet. Anglers catching rainbows fished depths of 100 to 300 feet using green flashers and spoons in moonshine, orange crush, and salmon candy.

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


Fishing has been good all across the Madison chain. Active bluegills are being found in 15 to 18 feet of water. Smallmouths are in 10 to 16 feet of water, while walleyes are on the bars and humps. Muskie action picked up last week. Largemouths are hitting topwater lures on Cherokee Marsh, but the best way to reach them is from canoes and kayaks. Lake Mendota perch are hitting along the weedlines.

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


Boats launching out of Two Rivers and Manitowoc covered a large stretch of the lake shore, everywhere from the Point Beach nuclear plant to the south of Silver Creek. Surface temperatures varied from low 50s close to shore to high 50s/low 60s in over 250 feet of water. Kings and steelhead were the most consistently targeted and consistently caught fish, followed by lakers and the odd coho.

Popp’s, (920) 682-4047.


In Oconto County, Geano Beach yellow perch fishing seemed to get a bit better last week, but the walleye fishing has still been slow at all of the locations. Boat anglers reported catching perch on crankbaits, nightcrawlers, nightcrawler harnesses and minnows. There were also a few northern pikes caught crankbaits. The yellow perch were mostly caught in water about
8 to 9 feet deep. Walleyes caught were mostly between 17 and 19 inches while the perch ran 10 and 14 inches. Anglers also caught pike 32 to 36 inches long.

Marinette County anglers were having some luck on walleyes last week on the Menominee River. The best action was upstream of the
Hwy. 41 bridge, and while fishing the last couple of hours of daylight and into the night. Sheepshead and white perch were caught throughout the river during the day. Walleye fishing on the Peshtigo was a little better last week.

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


Hot weather had Lakeland area lakes hitting the low 80s in the afternoons last week, so the best choices during these times are larger, cooler lakes. Bluegill action has been very good, but try not to catch them off weed edges in 12 to 14 feet because live bait meant for other species is hard to keep away from schools of suspending bluegills. Smallmouth action is very good on deep weed edges with Ned rigs and wacky worms for fish up to 22 inches. Muskie action is good to very good, with some exceptional fish caught last week, including a 50-inch river fish boated from a canoe and a 44-inch tiger boated by guide Jake Smith. Walleye action has been fair to good on crawlers or the biggest leeches available along deep rock and gravel humps.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


Muskie fishing is fair and most catches are smaller fish. The fish are holding over the weeds, or on weed edges and under lily pads. The best fishing is in early morning and late afternoon and on into darkness. Try smaller bucktails, glide baits, and topwater lures. Walleye fishing is good and somewhat consistent. Look for fish on weeds, weed/sand transitions, points, humps, steep breaks and structure in 12 to 25 feet. Use suckers, fatheads, leeches and crawlers on jigs and under slip bobbers. Bluegill fishing is very good on weeds, weed beds, weed edges, and other structure in
4 to 14 feet. Try fishing small minnows slightly deeper for bigger bluegills

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

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


Largemouth bass fishing is fair to good on weedlines, over weed beds, and around lily pads in 4 to 8 feet, as well as on various structure in depths to 16 feet. Preferred offerings include weedless plastics, plastic worms, spinners, spoons, swim jigs, buzzbaits, and topwaters, and live bait such as suckers, fatheads, and crawlers. Smallmouth bass are testing the patience and skills of many anglers who target them. Look for fish on deep rock, gravel, wood, humps, cribs, and other structure in 12 to 25 feet and deeper in clear water. Crappie fishing is good to very good on weed edges, along bogs, over river channels and over lake basins in 12 to 22 feet. Try minnows, fatheads, waxies, worms, leeches, Mini-Mites, Tattle-Tails, tube jigs and small Beetle Spins. 

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

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