Report from the Dock
There was a slight uptick in walleye activity last week compared to the previous weeks, but cooler weather conditions also seemed to have more anglers out chasing walleyes, so perhaps that’s part of the difference. In most areas, water temperatures aren’t as warm as they should be this time of year, and in most cases, it actually cooled a bit over the past week. Walleyes aren’t super-active, but they aren’t impossible to catch even though we’re well into August. Low-light periods continue to produce better walleye catches and with most leech supplies coming to an end; crawlers, crankbaits, and minnows are turning the majority of fish. Muskies are getting more active on most of the state’s larger lakes with better reports coming from the weeds rather than rocks again last week. Weedlines and mud have been prime panfish spots with bluegills hitting during the day and better crappie activity in the evenings. Topwater baits continue to produce plenty of bass early and late each day, as well.
Look for panfish during the day and crappies each evening in 12 to 14 feet on Balsam Lake, Big Round Lake, and Half Moon Lake or 15 to 20 feet on Bear Trap Lake. The 15- to 20-foot weedlines and breaks are producing walleyes on crawlers at Lake Wapogasset. Topwater baits are triggering muskies late in the day on Wapogasset and Bear Trap over 12 to 18 feet.
Country Store, (715) 268-7482.
Water temperatures never really warmed up significantly this summer on Chequamegon Bay and have stayed pretty consistent, making fish location a bit of a mystery. The fish are there, but where to find them these days? The best bass reports have been at 6 to 10 feet, in shallower waters and along shorelines. Walleyes have been hitting at 10 to 15 feet around the weed beds. Some guys area also catching walleyes off Second Landing at night or early in the morning. There have been reports of perch and northerns being caught from the Bayview Park pier and near Kreher Park. Lake trout are still active, which is a bit unusual for this time of year. Some browns and cohos are at the streams and rivers. Inland lakes are still producing crappies and bluegills.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Perch fishing has been very good in Door County. Try downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay. They’re also catching some nice fish in the Chaudoir’s Dock area in the deeper mud on crawlers, worms and fatheads. Pike fishing has been very good on the mid-depth to deeper weed edges in Sturgeon Bay down to Little Sturgeon. Troll crankbaits and spoons or cast with suspending jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons and large plastics. The salmon fishing out has been very good in 100 to 200 feet of water while fishing the top 75 feet. Bass fishing also is excellent, with good reports coming in from the Little Sturgeon area all the way up to Washington Island. Some areas on certain days will be better than others, but overall there is some very good fishing to be had. And the walleye bite has been super, especially to the south around Bayshore Park. There have been some good days around Henderson’s Point, Larsen’s Reef and on northern Door County structure like Monument Shoals.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
The walleyes on the Eagle River chain have been moving between the deeper holes and the weed beds – fish the weeds on cold fronts. Start shallow, and slowly move deeper until you find them. You can get some nice crappies also when doing this. Even the bass slowed down last week a little. The big smallies are deeper and love leeches. Largemouths are shallow and love plastic worms. Lakes like Butternut Franklin, North Twin and many others are producing good largemouth action on piers or weeds. Muskie action has been pretty good, except for that recent two-day cold front. The Eagle River Chain has been producing good number of fish for some time now. It is time to throw larger bucktails at these fish on the deeper weed edges. Night fishing has been somewhat good, as it always been at this time of year. Panfish action is good, with some larger perch mixed with the walleyes. Bluegills and smaller perch are in the weeds.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
FLORENCE COUNTY AREA
Fishing pressure has been light in the area. Trout fishermen have been having some luck, with reports of anglers limiting out on good-sized brookies. Pike action has been good. Topwater lures have been producing the best bite. Perch action has been good. Anglers are catching them early-morning on minnows. Walleye action has been fair, with some good reports coming in recently. Leeches were bringing in catches between 18 and 20 inches.
Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
The walleye bite is hot on the east shore and west shore of lower Green Bay. Hot areas have been Maco’s Reef, Pensaukee Shoal, Oconto Shoal, North South Reef, and the mud off Geano’s Reef. Crawler harnesses, crankbaits and rip jigging are all working well. Big perch are also being caught in the same areas on perch rigs using minnows and pieces of crawlers. Big cats are being caught on the Fox River on suckers. The muskie bite is really picking up, with numerous fish being caught in the 50-inch range.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 593 1749.
Nelson Lake, Spring Lake, and Smith Lake continue to produce bluegills and a few crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Crawlers and crankbaits continue to produce a few walleyes over 20 to 30 feet on Lake Lac Courte Oreilles, Grindstone Lake, and Round Lake. Bucktails or topwater baits have been best for muskies on the Chippewa Flowage, while pike and bass remain active on most lakes. The muskies started moving with these cooler temperatures.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.
IRON COUNTY AREA
The panfish bite has been fairly consistent on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage and area lakes, with bluegills and crappies in 10 to 12 feet of water and usually suspended over wood. Use a piece of crawler or red worm on jigs. Big perch and walleyes are in the same depths, but down in the structure. Deeper rock has been producing big crappies and walleyes at 12 to 15 feet, also on jigs tipped with fatheads or crawlers. Smallies have been very active over shallower mid-lake structure in 6 to 10 feet water, or on deep weed edges. Muskie action is still slow overall, but focus on cabbage edges, rock bars, and woody humps all near deep water.
Flambeau Flowage Sports, Mercer, (715) 476-2526.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
Bluegill fishing has been good on inland lakes. Anglers are fishing deeper structure in 15 to 25 feet of water with the larger bluegills being caught near the bottom. On some lakes, they were suspended 15 to 20 feet down over deeper water. Use a slip bobber rig, split shot rig, or drop shot rig when fishing deeper structure. Drifting, while vertical jigging, may be the best way to find suspended fish. Crappie action is best around mid-depth weeds during low-light condition. Largemouth bass fishing is good. Anglers are doing well fishing in shallow and deep structure. Smallmouth bass action is best near breaks or rocks in 15 to 25 feet of water. Walleye fishing continues to be great. Weed edges in 12 to 18 feet of water have held fish. Cast into the weeds using a weedless jig tipped with live bait or plastics. A slip bobber rig with live bait is also effective. Walleyes were also found in 25 to 30 feet of water.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Things aren’t going gangbusters on Lake Winnebago right now, but the scene isn’t terrible, either. Some days the perch are hitting, some days it’s the bluegills and in between the walleyes are hitting. Most of the action has been scattered across the lake, with no one pattern or location rising above the other. White bass, catfish and walleyes have been doing OK in the river.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Fishing has been decent on the Madison chain, with perch on weedlines and just off the weeds. Anglers will find some bluegills mixed in, but most of the bigger bluegills are suspended off the weeds. The muskie bite is picking up and some fish have been caught in shallow water, but most are deeper. Walleyes are sitting on mid-lake humps. Smallies are in deeper water off weeds or on structure. Cherokee Marsh is still a weedy mess, but some kayak anglers are getting up in there for largemouths and pike. The Lake Mendota perch bite has been attracting attention, with perch on weed edges and over the flats in 20 to 25 feet, with the best reports on west end near Cricket Point.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Largemouth and smallmouth bass action has been very good. Largemouths are in and along heavy weeds from mid-mornings through late afternoons. Use a jig/creature, wacky worms, and 6-inch worms rigged Carolina style. Towards dusk take to the topwaters on inside weed edges. Smallmouths are on off-shore rock/gravel humps and deep weed edges leading to sandgrass. Work varying depths. Smallies are working in 20 to 24, then also up in 12-foot cabbage beds just 75 yards away. Bluegill action is good to very good, with plenty of suspended bluegills hanging on outside weed edges. Crappie action is good over weed tops in 8 to 12 feet using small Beetle Spins or twitching light jigs. On lakes or flowages lacking weeds, work wood and cribs in 10 to 14 feet using small minnows on slip floats. Muskie action has been good, with reports of anglers catching muskies on small suckers on bladed rigs. With surface temps averaging 70 degrees, suckers will stay alive a bit longer, but not like they do in fall. Bucktails and gliders with tails are still working the best. Walleye action has been fair to good, with the best action early and late in the days. Try crawlers along deep weed edges of 12 to 16 feet or out over rocks in 18 to 26 feet.
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Muskie fishing continues to be decent, whether on weeds over structure. Must lure types are working, with bucktails leading the way. Even walleyes are hitting. On the flowages, try fishing deeper basins most days, but switch to weed edges during cold fronts. Ned rigs and drop-shot rigs are working on walleyes and smallmouth bass. Not many anglers are targeting northerns, but they’re hitting anyway on just about any offering. Largemouth bass are in weeds and along shorelines with lily pads or bulrushes. They’re hitting anything now, but there’s nothing more fun than fishing largemouths with surface baits.
St. Croix Rods, Park Falls, (715) 762-3226.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Largemouth bass action has been fairly decent, with some fish hiding in thick lily pads and some on weedlines and under piers. Most offerings are working now. Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but the fish are scattered. The good news? It’s tough to make a mistake when looking for smallies. Some are as deep as 20 to 25 feet or as shallow as 2 feet. Again, just about anything is working. Crappies are roaming deep water, or hanging in weeds or on cribs.
Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports Shop, (715) 349-2400.
Bluegills, largemouth bass and northern pike have been providing just a ton of action lately. The crappies are cooperating now and then, so there is plenty going on. The pike and largemouths anglers are hitting spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and rattling swim jigs in weed beds. Bluegills are very active near the bottom in 8 to 10 feet on any live bait.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.