Wisconsin Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 16, 2018


The fishing season appears to be winding down with only a handful of anglers venturing out after muskies. With cold weather in the forecast, that likely will come to an end as well. Deer activity has picked up based on the number of deer being seen along roads and reports from archery hunters.

Lucky Baits, (715) 268-6231.


Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay fishing is excellent, but there are few anglers on the water. Smallmouth bass are in their usual deeper spots and the rock pile is producing the most action. Trollers report excellent fishing from Houghton Point to the Onion River, catching a mix of steelhead, cohos, splake, brown trout, and even some northern pike. Fish Creek still holds some cohos, along with a few steelhead and brown trout. 

Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.

River Rock, (715) 682-3232.


A few guys continue to fish for muskies with large suckers on Bone Lake, Deer Lake, and Sand Lake, but fishing pressure has been light. Duck hunting has been poor, but there are geese being shot in harvested fields. Archery hunters are reporting that bucks have started chasing does and rut is just starting.

Indianhead Sport Shop, (715) 822-2164


Guys are still fishing smallmouth bass on the upper end of Door County, where they are mostly using suckers for bait. However, most sportsmen are bowhunting the rut right now, and they are reporting plenty of action. Closer to Sturgeon Bay, there has been some good perch action on Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon, and Riley’s Bay.

Howie’s Tackle, (920) 746-9916.

Algoma Chamber of Commerce, (920) 487-2041.


Northern pike have moved to the deeper weeds now that the shallow weeds have started to die. Walleye anglers are catching pike on deep weed edges while jigging live bait. Walleyes are also being found on deeper rock piles. When it comes to muskies, every strategy is working – deep weed edges, off-shore structure, steep breaks off shoreline flats where ciscoes are spawning, or will spawn soon, live bait, rubber baits, and crankbaits.

Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.


Fishing pressure has been light, which is typical for this time of year.  Muskie fishermen are still getting out there and having some luck. For those anglers who don’t mind the cold weather and are looking for walleye, you’ll find them in deeper holes. Archers are starting to report seeing more bucks and hunters are gearing up for the upcoming Wisconsin gun deer opener.

Whisler Outdoors, (715) 528-4411.


With the water temperature dropping, walleyes have moved into the Fox River, and that has brought anglers to Voyager Park. All the anglers were targeting walleyes, mostly with success. 

At Bay Beach, anglers were after walleyes or muskies – and caught them despite the chilly weather. The rest of the boaters on the water were duck hunters. Duck Creek and Suamico landings were busy with duck hunters, but some fishing groups out of Suamico had moderate success on muskies.

Smokey’s on the Bay Bait, Tackle and Guide Service, (920) 436-0600.


Muskie action is good on most lakes, with suckers on quick-strike rigs the choice for targeting the big fish. In addition, some anglers are catching muskies by casting large baits along shorelines. Walleye action is good and anglers are catching some decent fish – and fishing for walleyes is certainly more fun when fish are aggressive. Anglers are using large minnows and plastics on jigs, minnows on Lindy Rigs, and by trolling No. 5 rattling crankbaits. Late afternoon into evening continues to be the best time for success. Northern pike and largemouth bass anglers are still catching fish in shallow and mid-depth weeds on spinnerbaits and plastics. Crappies are schooling on weed edges and fast jigging flashy baits is producing some good success. This is also a good time to scout out first-ice spots.

Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.

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


Water levels remain high, but fishing has been good for all species in most lakes; fish for suspended crappies, deep walleyes and muskies near steep drop-offs. When the water is calm enough, Lake Superior is producing fish. Grouse hunters are finding more birds than some may have expected. They are having a little trouble hitting them, though. Deer hunters are starting to see rut activity. A few more deer have been seen this year than in years past.

Turtle River Trading Co., Mercer, (715) 476-0123.


Walleye and sauger action continues to be good with a jig and minnow on the Mississippi River – work the current edges in 12 to 16 feet.

Schafer’s Boats, (608) 781-3100.

Bob’s Bait and Tackle, (608) 782-5552.


Very few anglers were seen in Sheboygan, aside from the Kohler dam where anglers reported high concentrations of lake trout, while some anglers have been catching small kings. The Pigeon River was quiet all week. The ramps haven’t been seeing much action in the past few weeks.

Fishing efforts slowed in Port Washington. Most efforts have remained constrained to the utility and harbor, but even so, there isn’t a ton of pressure from anglers. Those that have been fishing are using crankbaits and spawn sacs to target salmon and trout, and are having success catching the last of the kings coming in from the lake.

Anglers targeting salmon or brown trout along Lake Michigan shorelines from McKinley to Lakeshore State Park continue to see little action. Anglers do report many fish jumping at the surface throughout the day. Only a couple of brown trout were caught near the Summerfest Lagoon. Water levels and flow are lower than normal. Anglers did report landing a few lake trout near the North Avenue access and further upstream near Estabrook using spawn sacs. Anglers targeting salmon or trout along Lake Michigan shorelines from Jones Island to the Oak Creek Power Plant continue to see little action. 

In Racine County, anglers report catching small jacks with spoons. Most Root River anglers were staying near the dam and Lincoln Park. Lower water levels have made for easier sighting fish. Most anglers switched to slightly brighter colored flies now.

In Kenosha County, boaters in the harbor were floating skein for kings and browns. They witnessed lots of fishing swimming and jumping. Shore anglers are using skein, with a few casting spoons and cranks. Most fish have been caught on skein. It seems like a lot of browns have moved into the harbor.  

On inland lakes, the muskie action was best around weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Fishing deeper structure produced as well. Most muskies have been caught using suckers on a quick-strike rig. Anglers fishing the Rock River reported catching a few walleyes and crappies. The crappies were found around fallen trees and wood. Walleyes were on the edges of deeper holes. 

DNR hotline, (414) 382-7920.

Smokey’s Bait Shop, (262) 691-0360.

Dick Smith’s Bait, (262) 646 2218.


The rut is going pretty good, so most sportsmen are hunting instead of fishing, and they’re shooting deer. However, walleyes and white bass are hitting on the river, and a lot of perch and bluegills are being caught in the channels. Meanwhile, waterfowlers are shooting a lot of divers on lakes Poygan, Winneconne, and Winnebago. Duck hunters also report seeing big flocks of mallards, but a lot of them have stayed high.

Critter’s, (920) 582-0471.

Fox River Bait, (920) 233-7409.

Dutch’s, (920) 922-0311.


Bucks are starting to move, with many reports of car-killed deer and bucks seen checking rubs and scrapes during the day. In Jefferson County, anglers have been catching walleyes and bass from the Rock River in Watertown, Jefferson, and Fort Atkinson. Water levels have dropped, but waterfowl hunters are still finding it difficult to find hunting spots where ducks are returning regularly. There are plenty opportunities to get out on public hunting grounds to pursue pheasants. The following properties are stocked: Waterloo, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Rome, and Princes Point. 

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

Dorn Hardware, (608) 244-5403.


In Marinette County, high fishing pressure was observed near the Hattie Street dam area. Good numbers of anglers targeting walleyes and trout were observed fishing from the walkway and by the dam on both sides of the river. Many anglers started before daylight. There has been good action for walleyes off the bridge until about sunrise and then fishing slows down. A few boats were fishing in the bay, near the mouth of the Menominee River. Peshtigo River fishing pressure was low at the dam area.

In Oconto County, there was high fishing pressure at Oconto Park II (North Bayshore Recreation Area). with good catches of yellow perch, with reports of 35 to 40 perch caught to get the 15-perch limit. Shore and boat anglers were having good success on perch up to 10 inches. High fishing pressure was observed at the Oconto breakwater pier, with smaller perch being caught. Some sorting of smaller perch was needed. Shore anglers were having luck catching yellow perch at the Oconto River municipal ramp. 

Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.


Following a too hot and wet September, then a cold, wet, windy October, the first three days of November were incredibly nice, weather-wise. Rain, snow and wind then came crashing back to the Northwoods, with temps not forecasted to reach above freezing until the deer opener on Saturday, Nov. 17. Lake surface temps, up in the mid-40s, will start to fall again over the next two weeks. There are not very many anglers out there, but muskie action is good. We’re still seeing good action on suckers, slow moving glide baits, jerkbaits or rubber baits.

Crappie:  Good – Not numbers but big slabs this week to 15 ½” over drowned wood of 14-18’.  Medium and large fatheads under slip-floats best.

Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Big Smallies!  Most of 18”+ with fish to 21 ½” stacking up along deep water transition areas.  Larger minnows (suckers, chubs) best.  Not many anglers targeting, but those that do – great fishing!

Walleye:  Fair – Action slow.  Fish at many depths, from 24-75’, but tough to convince to bite.  Best on live minnows near wood in 18-24’.  Deeper, mud flats use jigging Raps or Lindy rigs with larger suckers or chubs. 

Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.

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


The Flambeau River water level is still high. The oaks are the only trees left that have some leaves still in the canopy so grouse hunters are finding good visibility now. Grouse, fall turkey and archery hunters are finding varying levels of success. Most migrating birds seem to be gone, but there are still a few ducks and geese are around. The elk are feeding heavily to fatten up in preparation for the winter months. Six elk were seen feeding in a clear-cut with a big bull in the group. The elk calves weigh about 120 pounds now and are about the size of an adult doe. Buck activity has increased. Tut is on.

Bridge Bait and Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.

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


Waterfowl hunters are shooting more geese than ducks and archery hunters are shooting quite a few decent bucks. There could be some ice forming this week on the small lakes a bays of larger lakes.

AAA Sports Shop, (715) 635-3011.

Categories: News, Wisconsin Fishing Reports

Outdoor News Store

26 Issues For
Subscribe Now!

Shop our online store for products and gear: Print of the Year, Outdoor News History Book, Outdoor News Clothing and more!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
What outdoor activities interest you?

Outdoor News Blogging Team

[gt_popular_posts count="6" title="Most Popular Articles" posttypes="post"]