The good news is the spurt of jumbo perch in northwest Indiana and the odd news is the on-going ice and ice fishing in northern Wisconsin for this Midwest Fishing Report.
Capt. Mike Florey caught these with another fisherman Sunday in 50 feet off Gary Light with minnows and perch flies.
This is the extended online version of the lakes report of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.
Normally, I post Wednesday mornings, I am leaving early tomorrow to view flood damage and am wrapping this up tonight.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boaters started taking jumbo perch off Gary Light in 47-50 feet the past few days. Weather should hold, so fishermen can get out. Water is still ``dingy,'' so have orange glow flies to go with the minnows on the bottom, said Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch .
Because of postponements from last week's weather, four sectionals Illinois' high school bass fishing are later this week. Respect the young anglers, especially those who have had to be postponed this late. Both Chain O'Lakes sectionals were moved to Busse on Thursday. The sectionals at Skokie Lagoons and Des Plaines Conservation Area are rescheduled for Friday.
The old tradition on the Chicago lakefront of smelt netting continues through April. Virtually no smelt. Season ends Tuesday night. The usual Chicago Park District regulations apply, such as nets may go in at 7 p.m.; netters must be out of parks by 1 a.m.
I have received a slew of big largemouth from forest preserve and local ponds for Fish of the Week. Otherwise, crappie are the main bite, though we might see more bluegill action with the better weather.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton's report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:
(Head): Panfish hitting on the ice, with some nice open water walleyes being
taken, and wild turkey hunting season is proving to very good thus far; all
in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and
Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Editor's Note: The walleye and
northern season REMAIN OPEN on many of the waters of the central Wisconsin
area. Check with the DNR about the particular water you want to fish before
going out to make sure that water is open for walleye and northern.
In the central Wisconsin area, colder than normal temperatures are making
for a very late ice fishing season, but open water anglers are finding some
nice fish on the Wisconsin River system. Turkey hunters are finding that the
birds are still in very large groups.
With the late winter hanging around in central Wisconsin anglers are still
able to chase panfish through the ice. With conditions right, even for this
late in the year, good numbers of crappies, perch and bluegills are coming
from area lakes and impoundments. Most of the action is coming from fish
found in 4 to 8 feet of water associated with remaining green weeds. Tear
drop ice jigs tipped with waxies have been a consistent producer as have
Mooska style jigs that have been tipped with a small plastic like the wedge
tail or the Impulse Tapeworm.
Open water angles in the central Wisconsin area are finding walleyes on the
move and a pretty good bite going on. Most of the action is coming by
working jigs tipped with fathead minnows in eddy type areas with little or
no current as these fish are staged to move upriver at different intervals.
We are also catching a lot of fish in heavy current areas by running Wolf
River rigs baited up with floating jigs and large fathead minnows set near
Hunting report: Turkey hunters in the central Wisconsin are having a very
good season thus far. The birds are numerous and the success rate has been
high. The nice thing about this season is that once you find an area with
birds it's not just 1 or 2 birds coming in. It is usually 30 to 40 plus
birds piling into your set-up. With that many birds in your area you can
easily choose a nice one. The only is getting the one you want separated
from the group so you can take a shot without hammering the rest of the
flock. Patience is the key.
OK, I struggle on that 30-40 birds in spring turkey hunting. But I digress.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Boating is closed from the Montgomery dam to the Wisconsin line. Check for farther updates at the Fox Waterway Agency.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: Weather has the concessionaire on hold. The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m. currently. Braidwood is holding around 70 on the hot side, not much cooler on the cold. Bass are decent as Monday's high school sectional showed, primarily on crankbaits. Catfish, mainly fiddlers, remain good. Shore fishermen taking some quality bluegill. Water receded and is clearing at Mazonia lakes, fishermen are putting in time. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.
HEIDECKE: Water needs to warm, only one keeper was caught at Monday's sectional. Rains helped make the temporary launch more useable. Lake is open daily until sunset. Launch opens at 6 a.m.; bank angling, 6:30 a.m.
Arden Katz said lake is up three feet and launch water is dirty, but bluegill are outstanding on Mini-Mites and small bobbers in southern channels with some smaller crappie.
LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--of Lithia Guide Service reported fishermen taking some walleye in the evenings below the dam, but the outflow is wide open now. All launches open as of Tuesday. He said crappie are fair in 18-20 feet, should come shallower soon. Only the Wolf Creek cleaning station is open; others should be going soon. NOTE: The IGRC United Methodist Men's Crappie Tournament is May 3, 7 a.m.-2 p.m, out of the 9th Street boat launch. Sign-up there. Entry is $50.
POWERTON LAKE: The reopening date is now Friday, May 3. If they get the levee work done sooner, that could be moved up.
EVERGREEN: The 2013 passes are available. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.
Another sign of spring, Mike Steffa sent this:
Bait Shop & Boat Rental Opening For The Season at Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park.
The Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park Bait Shop & Boat Rental will be opening for the Season on Saturday, April 6, 2013.
Bait Shop Hours will be: Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Boat Rental Hours will be: Friday - Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Monday - Thursday
Expanded hours for both beginning the end of April.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR report had this:
Green Bay Fishing Report: April 22, 2013
West Shore: Along the lower West Shore of the Bay, the ice is breaking up more and you can see an ice shelf about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile out. Both the river and the landing in Suamico are free of ice, but it might be a few days before boats can head out. At Geano's Beach, the bay is free of ice up to about 1/4 to 1/2 mile out, but the landing still has ice. The Lower West Shore of the Bay was very quiet. There was no one fishing.
Fox River: Due to poor weather conditions, the Fox River was not very busy throughout the week. Shore and boat fishermen were targeting walleye and were experiencing less success than in previous weeks. Fishermen were using Rapalas (fire tiger, black, gold, silver, and blue/orange in color), jigs with artificial twister tails, and crank baits (blue/silver in color) for bait. Boat fishermen were fishing in about 20 feet of water. Other species caught were Whitefish and White Suckers (very low in numbers) and all were released. Fishermen from shore reported that the average size walleye being caught were in the 18-20 inch range.
Winter is slowly losing its grip on the eastern shore of Green Bay. As of Sunday there is open water from the mouth of the Fox River up to the Red River Park area (Kewaunee County). However, there remains a considerable amount of ice that starts on the shoreline and extends out into the Bay several hundred feet. Due to the ice shoves, shore fishing in the Bay is impossible from Bayshore Park up to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. In addition, all harbors and boat ramps from Bayshore Park to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal are ice locked and unusable. The only real action that was seen this week has been a small sucker run at Red River Park and Sugar Creek. Using dip nets, anglers have been able to catch a decent amount of fish, but no major run has occurred yet.
Both the boat launch and the shoreline at Potawatomi State Park were ice locked for most of the week. As of Sunday morning, the boat launch and shoreline are now accessible to fishermen. Boaters should be wary of both the low water levels and floating ice chunks when leaving the boat launch. A few boats were seen trolling the shoreline with planer boards; no fish were caught. The fishing pier at Potawatomi State Park has not been placed in the water yet.
Wind, snow sleet, cold temperatures, and wind could not deter the fishermen this past week. Walleye has been the main species targeted by the many shore and boat fishermen. Fishing pressure has been heavy with catch rates good; water temperatures are in the low 40's. All boat landings are open, but ice flows are still prevalent on the Bay. The Stiles Dam area is seeing the most fishing pressure with anglers casting floating Rapala's and jig heads with twister tails for walleye; success rates are good. Pike in the 30 inch + range are also being caught by the Dam. Other hot spots on the Oconto River are just below the Highway 141 Bridge and the downstream side of the County J Bridge. People fishing out of the Oconto Breakwater are seeing far less action.
Wind, snow sleet, cold temperatures, and wind could not deter the fishermen this past week. Walleye has been the main species targeted by the many shore and boat fishermen. Fishing pressure has been heavy with catch rates good; water temperatures are in the low 40's. All boat landings are open, but ice flows are still prevalent on the Bay. Fishing pressure at the Dam in Peshtigo is heavy, as is the boat pressure downstream at the Peshtigo Municipal Landing. Catch rates have been excellent the past few days with most fishermen keeping male walleye in the 18 to 22 inch range. Rapala's and jig heads with twister tails have been working extremely well. Farther downriver and at the mouth of the Peshtigo pressure has been light with much lower catch rates. Suckers are starting to appear at the Dam in Peshtigo. The Menominee River is seeing its share of anglers also but catch rates have been a bit lower. Shore anglers are doing best during low light periods (early mornings, evenings) casting Rap's and jig heads. Boaters on the Menominee River are starting to concentrate from the Turn Basin to the mouth of the River using jig heads tipped with Gulp Alive or minnows.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Henry's reported best browns and coho from shore is at 63rd. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good lakers (best bite) with some coho and browns around Chicago breakwalls and Montrose horseshoe. The lakers above came from the Gong.
Park Bait reopened. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported more browns (15-30 feet) than coho (scattered in 30-100) being caught, but every day changes.
CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Good time to remember the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available at Henry's Sports & Bait.
CHICAGO FISHERMAN'S PARKING: The fisherman's parking pass--$10 for two months and available at Henry's Sports & Bait--is needed to park south of the main building at Northerly Island. . . . That's the same pass good for the small fishermen's lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Click here for any updates from D&S Bait.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop sent this:
This crazy April just won't quit! Following low temps in the single digits Saturday (4/20), overnight temps into Monday morning were a full 30 degrees warmer. An afternoon of driving and drilling the lakes of this area (LDF, Minocqua, St. Germain) found that truck travel is done. It's not the ice thickness that is the problem, but the access. The little warmth we have had at times combined with the rain run off has made nearly every landing I visited too brittle for trucks. Many would be fine for ATV (though two landings I broke through on foot).
Things in the Lakeland area are slushy on top (though reports from Lake Gogebic in the U.P. have very good travel). Measured ice ranges from 23-26". A lack of anglers during the week due to bad weather limited reports, but Saturday and Sunday anglers did get out.
Crappies: Good. Not the reports you would expect from this late on the ice. Anglers willing to walk out on some of the lesser known crappie lakes catching nice slabs to 14". Tip-downs a favorite, tipped with regular crappie minnows or rosie reds. For those not wanting to haul as much equipment, just dipping Little Cecils, Rembrandts, smaller Russian Spoons tipped with waxies, Chena or white plastics doing very well in 7-10' weeds. At times, crappies just under the ice. On windy days, a 4-5mm tungsten jig is needed to keep bait in water. Tip with a Wedgee plastic in white or glow. Orange has been hot at times.
Perch: Good. Getting to them is half the battle. Nice perch of 9-11" out over mud flats taking wigglers on pimples or crappie minnows on tip-downs.
Bluegills: Good. Hot action at dawn, then again at dusk. Smaller tungsten jigs tipped with spikes, waxies or plastics in red, purple or black. Northland's Impulse plastic shaped like small insects have been hot! Typically mixed in same areas crappies are found. Some very nice catches of 7-8" fish with a few anglers reporting 9-10"ers from some of the lakes less traveled.
While a forecast for rain Monday afternoon may eat down the slush, scattered rain/snow reports will probably keep conditions status quo through Thursday. Forecast for temps in the 50's and 60's starting Friday (4/26) will make conditions for the opener a day by day call. For now, keep your tip-ups handy.
Kurt's Island Sport Shop
EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, Creative Brilliance sent this update for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): Ice fishing still going strong, with crappies, bluegills and perch
putting on a good all day bite. Wild turkey hunters anxiously await warmer
spring weather, and savvy hunters are starting to scout out new ruffed
grouse hunting locations. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Winter conditions hanging on in the Eagle River area. Ice conditions remain
good, with 20-30 inches on the lakes (lake dependent). Travel is pretty
good, with snow and slush pretty light. Four wheelers and snowmobiles are
being used to get out, with little or no motor vehicle traffic - -as even
with the winter-like conditions, there is some shoreline erosion, and
thinning/cracking ice areas. Caution is very strongly urged, and the best
way to insure your safety while getting lots of fish is to hire one of Eagle
River's excellent, knowledgeable guides.
Crappies, bluegills and perch are putting on a good all day bite in the
Eagle River area. Fish two areas; 10 feet of water or less in and around
old weed growth, or main lake mudflats in 12-30 feet of water. The perch
will be tight to bottom. Crappies and gills are suspending up and down the
water column. Their travel pattern and depth varies daily - -and often many
times during a one day period. It's lake dependent. Right now as a
"guesstimate" figure that the crappies and gills will be around half-way
down plus or minus. But remember, that can and will vary. It's a starting
point. Use your electronics to locate the depth that the fish are hanging
out in on any given day or time period during that day. Be mobile and drill
lots of holes. The fish are there. Also, the crappies and gills have not
really started their normal spring migration upward towards the surface, as
the conditions are just not right for them. They migrate upwards when the
sun melts the ice, making the surface water warmer, and oxygenating the
surface area water. That's not happening yet. Use a spike, waxie, wiggler
or crappie minnow under a slip bobber, small jig, or use a tip-down.
Hunting report: Like everyone else, turkey hunters are anxiously waiting
for some warm spring weather. But there are still significant amounts of
snow in the Eagle River area. Logging roads and trails will be difficult, if
not impossible to navigate, and you will need snowshoes to move around in
the woods. But the turkeys are easy to spot on the white background and
tracks will stand out clearly.
Nobody is thinking about grouse hunting right now, but savvy hunters know it
is the best time of the year to scout for new hunting locations. In the
Eagle River area, the peak of ruffed grouse drumming activity is normally
the last 10 days of April (the weather will push this back a week or two
this year). By driving back roads early in the morning you can find pockets
of birds by listening for their drumming. Peak activity is from dawn to
about 9 AM. Ideal conditions are mornings that are overcast but without
any precipitation - -and no wind. Make stops that are from 1Ž2 mile to a full
mile apart, and turn off the car. Active birds will drum ever 2 1Ž2 to 4
minutes, so make your stops long enough so that you don't miss any drummers.
Make notes of where you are hearing the most birds, and return these spots
in the fall. On a calm morning, the sound of a drumming grouse will carry
about 1Ž4 mile. So if hear any birds, they will be close. The birds will
continue drumming well into May.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance
interviews with Eagle River guides "Muskie Matt" of Wild Eagle Lodge,
"Ranger Rick" Krueger of Guide's Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: email@example.com
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner "Ranger Rick" Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
For perch, see top. Coho and browns have been so-so.
Bill Lanham sent this on Willow Slough:
It's crappie time Dale.
We are enjoying the catch a real nice mix of panfish at Willow slough.
They get crazy hungry during the low light hours of dawn and dusk and lots of "Oh Boy's" can be heard echoing across the water's surface between the now never ending honks of the mating Canada geese and the trumpeting creeks and purrs of the Sandhill cranes.
It's a trip for the senses.
NOTE: Motorized boats are restricted to idle speed or lower on the Barbee and Tippecanoe Lake chains.
Water is clearing, but remains cold. Only one keeper was caught in Monday's high school bass fishing sectional. Lakeside will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.
Well, the weather forced the first Mega Big Fish Contest Weekend to be extended to include this weekend. Here are the details:
Mega Big Fish Contest Weekend
Shabbona Lake State Park
April 20th & 21st [this weekend added]
Over $1,500 in Prizes
Shabbona Lake - Illinois' Best Fishing Lake - Muskie Capitol Of Illinois - www.shabbonalake.com
Finally, a fishing contest for everyone, on the same day, in the same place and great prizes, what more could you ask for? And the best part it is FREE. All we ask is that you donate $5.00 to our Walleye Restocking Fund. No matter what your favorite fish is, you have a chance to win an all day weekday, Pontoon or Bass Boat rental, valid during the 2013 season. Like to fish for Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, you're in! How about Muskie, Walleye, Crappie, Catfish, Bluegill, Striped Bass, you're in!!!
On Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st, Shabbona Lakeside Bait, Tackle will host a Mega Big Fish Contest Weekend at Shabbona Lake. Hours are 6 AM - 7 PM both days. If you sign up on Saturday, you are also signed up for Sunday, no need to sign up twice. Shabbona Lake State Park is located in Southern DeKalb County, about 25 minutes southwest of DeKalb.
Catch the Biggest of the following individual species, exceeding the minimum length limits, and win an all day Free Pontoon Rental ($190.00 value) or a Bass Boat Rental ($165.00 value) at Shabbona Lake. (Monday - Friday, non Holiday) (Valid for 2013 Season.) Biggest will be determined by weight, except Muskie which shall be by length.
Winning Fish must exceed minimum size limits posted below.
Muskie Must be over 40" (We will measure it at your boat, do not bring the fish in, call 815-824-2581)
Walleye Must be over 18" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Large Mouth Bass Must be over 14" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Small Mouth Bass Must be over 14" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Striped Bass Must be over 17" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Crappie Must be over 12" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Bluegill Must be over 8" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Catfish Must be over 24" (Weigh in hours: 6 AM - 6 PM Saturday, 6 AM - 6 PM Sunday)
Here are the Rules:
1. You must sign up at Shabbona Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental prior to going fishing. Any fish caught prior to sign up, are not eligible to be entered.
2. You must donate $5.00 to the Walleye Restocking Fund.
3. All entries must be caught at Shabbona Lake, between 6 AM Saturday, April 20th & 6 PM Sunday, April 21st.
4. Fish must be alive when measured. We encourage catch & release, as soon as the fish is measured.
5. One witness must be preset to verify your catch, when you enter your catch.
6. In order to have more individual winners, you may win only one prize.
7. Determination of winning qualifying fish will be by weight, except for Muskie which will be by length.
Weigh In At Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental.
All Muskie must be measured at Catch Site; Lakeside will send a boat to your location. Call 815-824-2581to report Muskie catches over 40". Undersized Muskie (under 48") brought into Lakeside will be disqualified, as it is illegal to transport an undersized Muskie.
For more info call 815-824-2581 or visit www.shabbonalake.com
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Here is the Lake Michigan Fishing Report:
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: April 22, 2013
Shoreline: Fishing pressure was light as anglers focused more on local flooding than catching fish. A large amount of muddy water from the Pike River flowed into the lake this week as another round of heavy rain moved through the area. The muddy water along the lakefront extended nearly ¼ mile out from shore. Activity at the small boat harbor was light as a blanket of fog covered the lakefront on Thursday. Light snow, strong winds, and cold temperatures moved into the area on Friday. Along the rail at the small boat harbor, anglers reported a few brown trout taken using waxworms, spikes, and tube jigs with a very slow presentation. A few anglers worked the rocky shoreline near the 50th Street bridge with no reports of fish taken. Anglers are waiting for the water to clear up along the lakefront and for the weather to return to normal.
Pike River: - On Thursday, the Pike River flowed over its banks as heavy rain fell once again. Anglers and non-anglers stopped along bridges and roadsides to watch as large tree branches and debris washed downstream. The river flowed over the road at 13th Avenue near the Kenosha Country Club. Fish were seen swimming upstream across the road. Some of the athletic fields at Carthage College were covered by the river. The water at the mouth of the river was a dark, muddy brown. One local resident reported that his rain gauge contained 8 inches of new water from the previous four days. Petrifying Springs Park was closed on Thursday and Friday as the river flowed over the parking lots and into the golf course. The park reopened on Saturday as the water level quickly receded. Fly fishermen working the river on Saturday reported fast and dirty water with no fish taken. Anglers tried casting crank baits and soaking night crawlers at the mouth of the river with limited success. The average water temperature was 41F on Saturday.
Lakefront: Heavy rain drenched the area again this week causing local rivers to rise even higher than last week. Muddy water from the Root River flowed into the lakefront for another week, transforming the water along the lakefront into a brown, cloudy mess. After the rainstorms moved out, anglers were challenged by strong winds gusting to 35 mph, temperatures in the 30's, snow showers, and hail. A thick blanket of fog covered the lakefront on Thursday afternoon, keeping boaters off the lake. At the Pershing Park boat launch, boaters reported coho and brown trout taken while trolling near the Oak Creek power plant using fluorescent orange and white/green northport nailers. The wooden boat pier has been installed in the Pershing Park boat harbor. Some anglers tried casting spinner baits from the pier while others fished with spawn sacks with no reports of fish taken. The Reichert Court fishing pier is in the water and ready for anglers. Cold temperature and stiff winds made short fishing trips for the few anglers who tried to fish on the North Pier this week. The surface temperature on the lake was 42F on Saturday.
Root River: Heavy rainstorms moved through the area again this week. By Friday, the flow rate at the Horlick Dam was over 3,800 cfs and the water level reached 7.21 feet. Flood stage is at 7 feet. Anglers reported seeing large trees falling over the dam and flowing downstream. The flow rate at the dam was below 1,700 cfs by Sunday. At the Horlick Dam, a few anglers tried fishing with spawn sacks close to the shoreline with reports of only suckers taken. At Quarry Park, the water was too fast for anglers as the kayakers returned to ride the standing waves and curlers. The parking lot at Colonial Park is open, but the river was flowing over the some of the pathways. The road to Lincoln Park was barricaded but opened again on Sunday. The river threatened to flow into the Steelhead Facility for the 2nd consecutive week. Several anglers were casting bright green flies below the weir with reports of only a few suckers taken. The parking lot at Island Park is closed again due to high water. No anglers were seen at Washington Park this weekend. The river temperature was 41F on Sunday. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, April 15. Both Chambers Creek and Ganaraska strains were spawned, and 89 steelhead were released upstream. A total of 164 steelhead have been passed upriver so far this spring. Our processing scheduled for Monday, April 22 was postponed to Monday, April 29.
North Shore: Lighter winds have made trolling and jigging easier in the area, but the number of fish being caught were still relatively low. Boats were reporting very few brown trout being caught trolling the gaps and the harbor with spoons. Jigging for browns has been very slow. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline did see an increase in the number of fish caught in recent days due to the improving water clarity from the west winds blowing debris and dirty water out of the harbor. Anglers had mild success catching brown trout while fishing shiners or spawn sacs under a float, while casting spoons did produce a few additional brown trout. There were no anglers fishing for perch in the area.
South Shore: Trollers only reported a few brown trout in the gaps either trolling spoons or jigging when the winds were light. A few fishermen under the Hoan Bridge were fishing for browns with the best presentation either being a shiner or spawn sacs under a float or casting small spoons. The number of anglers fishing Grant Park has increased in recent days. The number of Rainbow trout being caught is fairly steady with fly fishing with small flies being the best presentation. Oak Creek power plant has been slow with very few anglers fishing the pier and no reports of fish being caught.
Milwaukee River: The river has dropped in recent days but it is still at a relatively high level. The overall water clarity is still rather poor as well. The water temperature was approximately 40-42 degrees. A few anglers were seen fishing below the North Avenue dam for walleyes but with no reports of fish being caught.
Menomonee River: The river is running at a moderate level, though the current is still at a brisk speed. The water clarity has improved, but it is still relatively cloudy. The water temperature was approximately 40-42 degrees in the shallows. A few fishermen were seen fishing for rainbows at Miller Park, and a few fish were being caught on flies or floating spawn sacs in the slack water. A few people were seen fishing for brown trout and perch by MMSD, but no fish were caught.
Fishing pressure has increased with lower water levels on Sauk Creek and a brief respite from poor weather conditions on the lake.
Port Washington Pier and Shore: Fishing pressure is increasing. Although pressure on the piers is light, anglers have been fishing the rocks north of the power plant, as well as the mouth of Sauk Creek. Fishermen have reported catches of Browns and Steelhead at the power plant discharge (green spawn was the preferred bait), as well as suckers and carp. Water on the lake side of the piers has increased in clarity.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure is steadily increasing. A few boats were out this weekend (within sight of the marina), remaining on the Lake well into the afternoon. The only group I interviewed caught a few Browns (including a 9 pounder) trolling Shad Raps, 15 to 20 feet deep. Water within the marina is dirty. The cleaning station at Port Washington Marina is still closed.
Sauk Creek: Although water levels are still a bit high and clarity is low (temperature has risen to about 40°F), fishing pressure on Sauk Creek is increasing. Steelhead have been seen from the Moore Street walkway spawning; despite spotting fish, trout fisherman using flies and spawn have only been able to land chubs and suckers. The fish cleaning station at the mouth of Sauk Creek has been opened.
Fishing pressure is steady but low on Lake Michigan, and more people are fishing the rivers as water levels drop.
Sheboygan Ramps: A few hearty fishermen have gone out from the ramp; one group was skunked trolling in 10 to 30 feet of water with artificials, while another landed a couple Browns (about 3 lbs each) trolling crankbaits in about 10 feet of water. Again, fishing pressure is low likely because of the cold weather and strong easterly winds. The fish cleaning station on South Pier Road is still closed, as is the 8th Street ramp. The 14th Street ramp, along the Sheboygan River, remains under a massive snow pile.
Sheboygan Piers: There has been steady fishing pressure over the past few days, mainly on the South Pier using shiners and spoons, but few fish have been caught. Fish are probably still not biting due to the cold weather and strong easterly winds. Water on both the lake side and the marina has very low clarity.
Sheboygan River: There has been little activity on the river for the past few days due to high, fast, dirty water. A few fishermen have tried for Steelhead using flies and spinners but haven't had much luck. Water levels have gone down approximately a foot over the past week (approaching bankfull stage of 6 feet) with water temperature rising to around 40°F. The river is largely confined to its banks, but current is still fast with very low clarity.
Pigeon River: The Pigeon River has gone down about a foot over the past week and water temperature has risen from 38°F to 40°F, subsequently experiencing increased fishing pressure. White Suckers and Steelhead are moving upstream to spawn. A few fishermen have had success using dip nets from the County LS bridge for suckers, while trout fishermen continue to catch them on spawn and flies. One Steelhead was caught near the County Y bridge on spawn. The river is still a bit high, fast, and dirty and covers near shore areas. Access at Evergreen Park is still blocked, as is the wayside on County Highway LS.
Weedens Creek: Weedens Creek has experienced a similar drop in water levels and a rise in temperature from 36°F to about 38°F, but water remains dirty. A few fishermen have tried the creek and one landed a nice Steelhead (about 5 lbs.) using spawn.
SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Tyler Harmon messaged:
The rivers are currently hoovering right at flood level and should continue to slowly but steadily drop throughout the week. Water clarity has began to improve on the rivers as well. Inland lakes are still producing some panfish. This Saturday April 27 several seasons open. Walleye, Pike, Musky, and catch and release Bass seasons all open on that day. . . . Seems like I always forget something. Stream trout also opens this Saturday the 27. Action out on Lake Michigan has been slow.
The Illinois side had fair bass fishing Monday at the high school sectional.
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