Report from the Dock
There have been more hunters than anglers out recently, but the weather was nice and those who went fishing did well. Walleye action continues to be best with a jig and minnow statewide in shallow and deep water – it just depends on the lake. Crappies remain active, being found suspended over deep water on most lakes. You need to be looking at areas that you’ll find crappies over at first ice. Muskie reports have not been that solid, at least not as good as they should be this time of year, but the fish being caught tend to be hitting large suckers.
Large suckers are triggering muskies on weed edges throughout Lake Wapogasset, the Apple River, Bone Lake, and Deer Lake. Panfish and walleye reports have been limited. Deer, especially bucks, have become more active. Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks – mainly in fields.
Country Store, (715) 268-7482.
A few browns and cohos had been reported in front of rivers, such as the Sioux and Onion. Smallmouth fishing is still good on Chequamegon Bay, with reports of fishermen still catching more than 20 bass a day. Walleyes have been reported here and there, but they’re tough to find right now. Inland fisherman are catching some crappies. Some trout and salmon are being caught in the 20- to 60-foot range north from Washburn to the Sioux and Onion rivers.
Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
River Rock, (715) 682-3232.
DOOR PENINSULA AND ALGOMA/KEWAUNEE AREA
Anglers have had to deal with a lot of wind the past two weeks, so the reports have been limited, but perch fishing remains very good when you are able to get out there. Try the Sturgeon Bay ship canal, Sawyer Harbor, Riley’s Bay, and Little Sturgeon. The pike fishing has been fantastic and that fishing should stay great right though ice-up. The Sturgeon Bay ship canal, Riley’s Bay, and Little Sturgeon are all great options for pike. The nighttime walleye bite is kicking in as it usually does in the fall. Trolling crankbaits along the rocky shoreline drop-offs usually works well in the fall. The bass fishing reports have been very good when folks can get out there. Fish around steep shoreline drops and off-shore structure near the wintering spots. The Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers continued to show low water levels with clarity 2 feet deep in the rivers and 4 to 6 feet deep closer to the mouth of the river. King salmon were the dominant fish caught, and a notable number of anglers were having luck with flies. Other anglers used spawn sacs and other spawn imitations.
Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.
EAGLE RIVER AREA
We have completed the process of turnover on most lakes, but you will be seeing some “muck” floating on some of the bigger lakes. Current temps are in the upper 40s on most bodies of water. With leaves down, sightlines for hunters are good. We’ve heard reports of some big bucks in the area. Walleye fishing is good. The fish are in the deep holes on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. This makes them pretty easy to find and when you do, they are quite willing to feed. Jigs and minnows have been the trick, and some anglers are using suckers. Most are using large fatheads. On bigger lakes off the chain, the fish are on the breaks on hard-bottomed areas in 20 to 35 feet. Muskie action is good to great. The sucker bite has been very good. If the days remain cooler, the bite will stay. Slow moving baits work best now – jerkbaits, rubber and twitch baits will work.
Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.
GREEN BAY/APPLETON AREA
Walleye fishing on the Fox River and Green Bay is very good, with several different bites going now to please the troller or jig fisherman. Jigging lures like the Wapsie Ripper Minnow and Tyrant Jiggn Raz have dominated catches in the Fox River. Cast deep holes in the main river channel. Bat Lures blade baits, Smokey’s custom blade baits and hair jigs are also catching walleyes on the Fox. The trolling bite below the Hwy. 172 bridge has been good, too. Perch fishing has been good, with decent catches taking place in Suamico, Deadhorse, and Oconto. Muskie fishing is good both in the bay and in the Fox River. Shore fishing is still going well at the metro launch and Voyager Park.
Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 593 1749.
Jigs and suckers are producing walleyes along the 10- to 15-foot weed edges on Lac Courte Oreilles, Round Lake, and Grindstone Lake. Suspended crappies are over deep water on Round and Long lakes and over the deep cribs on the Chippewa Flowage. Muskie anglers are doing well with a one-two punch of bucktails and suckers on the Chippewa Flowage, Big Sissabagama, Moose, and Lost Land lakes. Archery hunters are reporting that they’re starting to see smaller bucks chasing does.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
LAKE MICHIGAN/METRO AREA LAKES
In Racine, some brown trout were caught near the public boat launch using spoons. The water temperature was around 57 degrees last week. On the Root River, cohos, kings, rainbows, and browns were all caught throughout the week from Horlick dam to Pugh’s Marina. Anglers were using a variety of flies, spawn/skein, spinners and beads.
In the Port Washington harbor, anglers are catching cohos and kings, with the occasional rainbow and brown trout mixed in. The surface temperature averaged 59 degrees. Anglers mostly used beads, jugs, flies and skein. Sauk Creek saw low water levels and a noticeable decline in angler numbers. Port Washington boaters caught some kings north of town in 80 to 150 feet of water on blue and green spoons.
Sheboygan River anglers were using spawn sacs and flies to catch kings and cohos. Evergreen Park has closed for the season, limiting easy access to parts of the Pigeon River. Wind and waves kept boat anglers from the lake last week.
DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.
Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.
Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.
LAKE WINNEBAGO AREA
Prior to the warm-up, anglers were going wild on walleyes and white bass in the river, but that scene has all but disappeared. Now that things have cooled a little, things seem to be picking up a little bit again in the river, with white bass leading the way. Anglers have been catching some walleyes and smallmouths on Lake Winnebago, but those fish have been scattered. Right now, most everyone is hunting waterfowl or deer.
Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.
Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.
Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.
Shallow-water action has picked up for all species, but some walleyes have been caught on Lake Mendota bars. Lots of 20- to 30-inch northern pike have been caught on Cherokee Marsh. White bass have been caught on breaks and points. Lake Mendota has given up some 40-inch pike. Lake Monona has seen some nice perch in the weeds and on weed edges. The Lake Monona muskie action has improved.
D&S Bait and Tackle, (608) 244-3474.
Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.
Shoto remains a hot spot for salmon, as well as the public access park in Manitowoc. However, the salmon have now spawned out and are either lying dead in the river bottoms or are at the end of their life cycle and are decomposing. There is still an abundance of cohos and younger kings to be caught, however. Other anglers are waiting for the salmon run to wrap up to then capitalize on fall steelhead and brown trout fishing.
Popp’s Harbor Town Citgo, (920) 682-4047.
In Oconto County, the Geano Beach landing was not very busy last week. Many days of drizzle and rain kept anglers off the water. Most activities were from shore at Oconto Park II, the Oconto River at the city docks and at Pensaukee River. Those areas had lots of yellow perch being caught, but not many keepers. The area launches were busy over the weekend with duck hunters.
In Marinette County, water temperatures on the Menominee River dropped to 49 degrees last week. Cooler water temperatures and higher flows brought in some brown trout below the Menominee dam, with one angler catching four browns using spawn sacs or jerkbaits. The pink salmon run was winding down, but a few fish were still seen in the Menominee and Peshtigo rivers. Several king salmon moved into Little River last week and could be seen at the crossings at Krause and Little River roads. Water levels were rather low, and fish were struggling to get further upstream on Little River.
A&K Bait & Tackle, (715) 732-9595.
MINOCQUA/WOODRUFF/LAKE TOMAHAWK AREA
Muskies: Very good to good. Midweek action was hot with lots of multi-fish days on artificials and live bait, with suckers holding a slight edge. Muskies are moving on outside weed lines now that colder temps have pushed bait fish out of the shallows. Suspended fish have also been active on large rubber baits and big twitch baits.
Walleyes: Very good. Pods of fish are on deeper gravel slides and soft bottom along edges to these slides. Vertical fishing chubs and jigging Shiver Minnows and Jigging Raps (No. 7 and No. 9) have all produced well.
Crappie: Very good to good. Calmer days lead to easier fishing. Deep water crappies bit well on medium fatheads under floats in 20 to 24 feet of water.
Smallmouth bass: Very good to good. After an absence, anglers found hot action on gravel humps in 22 to 32 feet of water on fish up to 20 inches.
Remember, most state-owned piers have been pulled, so wear knee boots for launching and make sure the bow rope is attached!
Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
PRICE COUNTY AREA
Muskie anglers running suckers are catching fish, but casting lures is still a great way to catch fish. Work any structure, but if fishing weedlines, stay on deep edges with suckers and cast to the weeds. On rocks, points, or islands, work baits very shallow and keep suckers off the back of the boat. Walleye reports have been light, but jigs and minnows are working.
St. Croix Rods, Park Falls, (715) 762-3226.
Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.
Northern pike will hit just about any offerings at this time, from minnows on jigs to 12-inch crankbaits more than half their size. Pike can be on any structure and at any depth, so fish anything that looks good. Largemouth bass reports are sparse, but spinnerbaits and fatheads under bobbers should produce. Look for fish relating to weeds in shallow bays with warmer water. Crappies are suspending near bottom in deep basins. Jigs and minnows on slip bobbers get down fast to stay on the schools. Bluegills and perch are in shallow bays with green weeds. Minnows on jigs under spring or slip bobbers are great choices this time of year.”
Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports Shop, (715) 349-2400.
Walleye fishing remains quiet. Some anglers are catching fish in 30 to 40 feet on the big lakes. Others report fish shallow in the evening, where they will be through late fall and early winter. During the day, deep live bait rigs are the ticket for walleyes. At night, shallow crankbaits and jerkbaits in the shallows will pull feeding fish. Northern pike fishing is good. Pike are roaming into shallow water, with some sitting deep alongside walleyes. These fish are feeding on bluegills and perch that ventured too far from cover. Live bait rigs and aggressive jigging work well in deep water, while jerkbaits and swimbaits hold true in mid-depths. Crappies should start moving more. Look for fish suspending above main lake basins, eating the bugs that appeared with the warm weather. Others are tight to structure in 15 to 25 feet.
AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.