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

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Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 1, 2022

Report from the Dock

Bluegill action has been strong through most of the summer, but something flipped recently. Many reports indicated that bluegills have suddenly become more difficult to find. The weeds are starting to fade away on many lakes, so that could be part of it, but there seems to be a bump in the road for bluegills. That’s likely to change soon, though.  Crappies seem to still be transitioning with some fish still hanging in the weeds that remain and others now suspending over deep water – spots they’ll be through the fall fishing season. Walleye action has been up and down, although some consistent bites exist, especially on the state’s larger, more noted walleye lakes. Minnows, crawlers, and crankbaits are now the preferred baits as most leech supplies have dried up. Muskie activity sounded better this past week and there certainly have been more people chasing them. Rocks appear to be producing more fish with bucktails or topwaters being the baits of choice.  

AMERY AREA

Panfish continue to be found in the 6- to 12-foot weeds on Bear Trap Lake, Balsam Lake, and Butternut Lake or in 12 to 14 feet on Half Moon Lake. Minnows or glide baits such as Jiggin’ Raps are producing a few walleyes on Lake Wapogasset in 15 to 22 feet. Bucktails and topwater baits are turning muskies on the Apple River, Bear Trap, and Wapogasset in 12 to 18 feet. 

Country Store, (715) 268-7482.

ASHLAND AREA

Lots of bass are hanging around in 4 to 6 feet of water where they’re hitting on suckers and plastics. The walleye bite continues to be hot near Brush Point on the east end of the bay and the “short bridge” on the west end of the bay in Ashland. Perch can be found at either marina in Washburn and Ashland. Inland lakes are yielding crappies and bluegills.

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

CUMBERLAND AREA

Muskies are chasing bucktails along the weedlines on Big Sand Lake, while plastics are turning largemouth bass on the weedlines at Rice, Staples, and Beaver Dam lakes. Look for Panfish and crappies in and around the weeds in 6 to 8 feet on Big Round Lake and Upper Turtle Lake. 

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164

DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA

The shoreline along Sturgeon Bay saw anglers targeting smallmouth bass, with some groups going for yellow perch and walleyes. Bass and perch were found in 6 to 12 feet of water. Anglers staying in the canal were targeting perch, walleyes, northern pike, and smallmouths, but the walleyes were scarce in the canal. The other three species were caught in 9 and 14 feet of water. Lake Michigan boaters were out going for trout and salmon, with most catches made about 100 feet down on the standard array of spoons. Anglers fishing out of Bailey’s Harbor sought out smallmouth bass in 3 feet of water using black spinners with yellow spots. Anglers fishing the pier in Rowley’s Bay caught smallmouth bass and perch using crawlers.

Kewaunee shoreline and pier anglers had little luck on trout or salmon. Boaters mainly went south for trout and salmon. About half the groups returned with fish. The top group came back with eight kings and a coho. The largest king went 16 pounds

Algoma’s shoreline anglers and Olsen Park boaters were going for primarily northern pike. Groups that caught pike were using spinners and spoons. Boaters launching from Algoma’s ramp went mostly north. The top group returned with seven kings, one coho and one rainbow trout. The largest was a 19-pound king. 

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

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

EAGLE RIVER AREA

Action on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes had been streaky, but it has slowly gotten better over the last few weeks. The walleyes and crappies have moved deeper and are out at 12 to 16 feet during the day. Sometimes in the evenings they will move shallower to feed in the weeds. The crappie are all over the place. You can find them in the weeds or right off the weeds on some days, and then deeper or shallower the next day. Muskie action was a little light for the big tournament, with the best bet on the chain being the weeds. Try some bucktails or surface baits. On larger lakes, deep weeds are good, but you can find these fish suspended in deeper water. Largemouths are still hitting best on plastics and surface baits on all lakes. Bluegillls are as always in the weeds and hitting on worms. You may have to be willing to move around to find some bigger ones. 

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA

Fishing on the lower bay is getting better as we move into fall. The influx of the alewives was very beneficial to the Green Bay fishery. The walleyes and muskies have gained some girth from all the forage they had in the past month. Expect some trophy fish to be caught this fall. On the east and west shores of the lower bay the perch and walleye bite are still on fire. Instead of trolling for walleyes, many fishermen are rip-jigging using Waspie Ripper Minnows and Bink Spoons. This is a very productive technique. Muskie fishing also is improving, with most catches being made on the west shore from Little Tail to Pensaukee Reef. The Fox River is also getting more active. Many male walleyes are starting to move into the river and up to the dam. For shore fishing spots on the Fox, try the metro launch and Voyager Park.

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

HAYWARD AREA

Troll crankbaits or a live-bait rig and crawler in 28 to 35 feet for walleyes on Round Lake, Lake Lac Courte Oreilles, and Grindstone Lake. Crappies are hitting on the Chippewa Flowage in 12 to 14 feet and the fish cribs on Lake Chetek. Panfish are being found suspended along the 12- to 15-foot weeds on most lakes and muskie action has been best in 10 to 15 feet with bucktails on the Chippewa Flowage and Lac Courte Oreilles. 

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.

LA CROSSE AREA

Bluegill and crappie action is starting to heat up on Lake Onalaska where bass and northern pike action have been steady for a while.

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Island Outdoors, (608) 782-5552.

LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES

Kenosha shore anglers near Southport Marina have been catching perch on minnows, as well as cohos and a few kings on spoons. Anglers behind the hotel have also reported some kings caught on spoons. Trollers have been catching salmon and trout on spoons, flashers/flies and plugs.

Racine shore anglers have been catching perch and cohos on spoons and minnows near Reefpoint Marina. Trollers have been catching cohos, kings, lake trout and rainbows on spoons, flashers/flies and J-plugs. 

Shore fishing in Milwaukee had been relatively slow. Most fish have been caught early in the morning on spoons, with some anglers soaking alewives. Fishing should pick up with cooler water temperatures. Mature kings should be making their way into the harbor soon. Most boats have been going out to 90 to 150 feet of water targeting kings, cohos and rainbows and doing fairly well when the weather cooperates. 

Port Washington harbor and piers anglers have been catching smallmouth bass on tube jigs and nightcrawlers. Trollers reported a mixed bag of kings, cohos, pink salmon, lake trout and rainbows on spoons and flashers/flies in a variety of colors. Most fish were caught 40 to 80 feet down, with the kings coming from the 130- to 200-foot range.

Shore anglers in Sheboygan have been catching kings by jigging minnows off the north pier. Trollers have been catching cohos and kings on spoons and flashers/flies in a variety of colors. Most fish have been caught 50 to 80 feet down in 140 to 170 feet of water.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.

LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA

The best news for Lake Winnebago anglers may well be that anglers are finding “clear” water in most areas of the lake, with clear meaning that while  they’re seeing some specks of algae, it’s not the strings or swaths of blue/green algae that makes fishing next to impossible. So, fishermen are finding room to work out there. Those reports came from both sides of the lake. Anglers on the east side trolled in 10 feet of water for some walleyes and perch, while others speed jigged plastics on top of rocks for similar success.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.

MADISON AREA

Fishing has been pretty good throughout the Madison chain, as well as on Lake Koshkonong and Lake Wisconsin. On the chain, Lake Mendota perch have been hanging on weed edges and the walleyes are on mid-lake humps. Northern pike have been active and the muskie bite is going strong now with water temps cooling. The Mendota perch bite slowed, but is still considered very good, mostly on weed edges. But if they’re not there, move inside first and then off the weeds. Largemouths are in shallow weeds. Anglers have found good walleye action on all the off-shore bars and humps, including some nice-sized fish. Smallmouths have been mixed in with the walleyes on the off-shore structure. Fishermen have been drifting in 30 to 70 feet of water on Lake Monona for bluegills and perch. The Monona Terrace wall has also been a good bluegill spot. Lake Waubesa has been turning out some muskies on the south end. Walleye trolling has also been decent on Waubesa. Lake Koshkonong anglers have been catching panfish and smallmouths.

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

MARINETTE/OCONTO AREA

In the Oconto areas, Geano Beach boat anglers caught walleyes, yellow perch, white bass, white perch and sheepshead. The walleyes were caught on crawler harnesses and Flicker Minnows. The yellow perch were caught on nightcrawlers and minnows. Anglers had the best luck for walleyes in 25 to 30 feet of water, with the fish running 18 and 25 inches. Walleye and perch fishing was good on Green Bay out of Oconto. Walleyes were caught in 20 to 40 feet. Perch fishing was good out of Oconto Park II in the weeds and by the rock piles in 10 to 12 feet of water. Crawlers seemed to be working best. 

In the Marinette area, walleye fishing was good off of Green Island. Anglers were having luck casting Shiver Minnows and trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses. Most walleye were 21 inches or larger. A few brown trout and salmon were caught off Little River by the trout bar. 

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

MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA

Lots of sun and little wind made things tough for some anglers chasing walleyes last week, but some other species responded well to the warmth.

Bluegills: Very good to good. Good numbers and size was found in 8 to 12 feet over cabbage beds that are showing no signs of dying back. Fan cast small Mepps or Beetle Spins to locate them, then ste up with slip bobbers.

Largemouth bass: Good to very good. Late mornings through afternoons have been the best on wacky rigs and jig/creature baits. Those hotter evenings provide good topwater action.

Smallmouth bass: Good. Anglers will have to search a bit as they move back and forth between rock humps and coontail edges. It changes lake to lake and day to day.

Muskies: Good to fair. Fish location depends on lake type. On big, deep lakes the fish are suspended and following schools of bait fish. On shallower lakes, the fish have been on inside and outside weed edges.

Crappies: Fair. On flowages, fish the wood, but keep in mind loose schools also cruise the flats. Try drifting slip-floats with fatheads at varying depths.

Walleyes: Fair. The best action has been on the larger lakes on 27- to 30-foot gravel edges using chubs or crawlers on jigs. When fishing these depths and deeper be careful to work fish up slowly.

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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

PRICE COUNTY AREA

Northern pike action has been decent on spinnerbaits and bucktails worked through weed beds in 3 to 10 feet.  Largemouth bass fishing has been good, with spinnerbaits working best for big fish. A lot of middling fish are being caught on crawlers under bobbers around weeds. Smallmouths are on deeper rocks and points, with “deep” varying by lake. Crappies have been less willing, but some anglers caught them on shallow bars next to deep water.

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

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

SIREN AREA

Northern pike action has been steady, shallow or deep, on suckers, spinnerbaits, spoons, and trolled crankbaits. Points, flats, and weedlines hold good numbers of fish. Largemouth action was solid last week, with many of the fish found near shore in shallow lily pad beds or around docks, while others are on deep structure feeding on bluegills. Smallmouths are on deep rock piles and fishing remains solid on drop-shot rigs and Ned rigs. 

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

SPOONER AREA

Walleye action dropped off a tad, with fish in most lakes sitting deep. Anglers are trolling crankbaits and crawler harnesses. Live bait will soon be a factor with the cooling temperatures. Crappies are still hanging over the deep basins – or holding in weeds. Take your pick, but try small jigs and minnows, plastics and small crankbaits. Bluegills are plentiful – from off the docks to deeper weedlines. 

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

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