Coho finally going in southern Lake Michigan and local lakes improving, especially for crappie, headline this lakes report of the Midwest Fishing Report.
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,
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual rescue of muskies below Shabbona Lake is tonight. Meet at 5 p.m. at the archery hunting area on Shabbona Grove Road.
The Daley Derby is open. Here are the details:
RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL SPORT FISHING DERBY
Rules and Regulations
Tournament Time Period: May 1 - September 30, 2012
Please read these Official Tournament Rules and Regulations carefully.
The Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby is a fishing contest in which winners are determined by the weight and length of specific species of fish submitted by the contestants.
The Tournament is open to all ages. There are no fees to the public, although participants 16 years and older must have a valid Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fishing Licenses, purchased prior to the submission of a fish to the contest.
Eligible Fish Entries: Fish caught in the Chicago River, the Chicago Park District Lagoons and along the Lake Michigan shoreline and harbors within the city limits of Chicago are eligible to be entered in the contest. Contestants may fish from shore or watercraft. Fish caught from Charter Boats or personal boats on Lake Michigan must be caught from boats that leave from and return to a City of Chicago boat launch or harbor on the day the fish was caught. Fish must be fresh - they cannot have been frozen. The judgment of whether or not a fish has been frozen and is thus in-eligible for entry in the Tournament remains at the discretion of the weigh-in station. The Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby reserves the right to retain any and all submitted fish. Contestants registering perch the month of July must be under the age of 16. An ID will be required.
Seven species of fish are eligible to be entered into the contest: Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Steelhead, Perch, Carp, Catfish and Panfish (defined as Bluegill, Rock bass and Crappie). Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, Northern Pike and Gobies are not eligible.
Prizes: There are First, Second and Third place prizes for each of the seven categories of fish. First, second and third place are determined by the weight of the fish in pounds and ounces. In the event of a tie in weight, the longest fish as measured in inches to 1/8 of an inch, will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie in length, the winner will be chosen by drawing from the names of the entrants of the fish. The name drawn will win the place for which the fish qualifies: the other name(s) will go to the next place down, bumping the winner of that place to the next place down the list. (Example: If two Perch are the same weight and length, and both would qualify for First Place, a drawing would determine which fish is first. The other fish would automatically occupy second place. The Perch originally sitting at second would be bumped to third place fish and the third place fish would drop out of contention).
First place pays $100, Second place pays $75, and Third place pays $50 for each period. An angler can win 1 cash prize only during entire contest. Contest postings are updated each day and available for public viewing a Henry=s Sports & Bait Shop, 3130 S. Canal St., Chicago, Illinois. For more Tournament information call Henry=s Sports & Bait (312) 225-8538 or email email@example.com. Prize money will be awarded in the form of checks at the R. J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby Awards Ceremony, Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Henry=s Sports & Bait at 11:00a.m. All cash prizes not picked up that day will be mailed to the winners within 5 days of October 27.
Registration Location: Henry=s Sports & Bait, 3130 S. Canal St., (312)225-8538, Park Bait Company, 600 W. Montrose Ave., (773) 271-2830.
The five prize periods are: May 1 - May 30, June 1 - 30, July 1 - 31,
Aug 1 - 31, and September 1 - 30, 2012
Eligible Fish Monthly
MAY: PERCH,COHO & CHINOOK
JUNE: CARP, CATFISH, PERCH, COHO, CHINOOK & STEELHEAD
JULY: CARP, CATFISH, COHO, CHINOOK, STEELHEAD & PERCH (under 16 yrs of age)
AUGUST: CARP, CATFISH, PANFISH, STEELHEAD, PERCH & CHINOOK
SEPTEMBER: CARP & CHINOOK
From photos and reports sent to me in the last week, crappie have become the top bite. Bluegill should be close behind. But there's plenty of good bass reports from local ponds and lakes, too.
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): Warmer weather means exploding walleye action, with ancillary
catches of northerns, smallmouth and catfish. Turkey hunters enjoying a
very good season with lots of nice toms being taken; all in and amidst the
lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties
(near Mosinee and Wausau).
Warmer weather in the central Wisconsin area has caused an outstanding
walleye bite on the Wisconsin River. We've had explosive action for lots of
eater sized fish in the 15 to 20 inch range, along with several fish in and
over the 20 to 28 inch slot size. Most of the fish have been coming from
shallow water in one to three feet, associated with rocks and gravel. These
are spawning walleyes that are up shallow and they can be caught by running
light 1/16th and 1/32nd ounce jigs baited up with fathead minnows. The
lighter jigs are necessary in the shallow water as the heavier 1/8th and
one-quarter ounce jigs will just get hung up on the rocks and snag the
We have also started picking up a few non-target species, with smallmouth,
northern and a few catfish now showing up. Most of these fish are coming
while we are targeting walleyes but are still just as much fun to catch.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
As of Monday, all three zones on the Chain went to no-wake, one of the best times to fish the Chain because you don't have to fight other boaters. Check for farther updates at the Fox Waterway Agency.
Greg Dickson at Triangle said best is crappie in the back channels. But oddly enough, probably high-water related, there's white bass and walleye in some of those channels also. Bluegill is picking up. Muskie and bass guys started getting out, no reports yet.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: Hatchery staff reported 73 at the intake (cool side) on Tuesday. Weather has the concessionaire on hold. The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset. Fishermen are pouring into the Mazonia lakes. The next couple weeks will be prime. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.
HEIDECKE: Water is near prime. It was at 58 degrees early int eh week. Prime is in the low and mid-60s. So probably next week will be prime. The lake came up 11 inches with the rains, so the temporary launch is much better, however, it is only one ramp so be patient and be ready. Lake is open daily until sunset. Launch opens at 6 a.m.; bank angling, 6:30 a.m.
DELAVAN'GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN
DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Reports May 6 through May 13
The largemouth bass have been in pre-spawn and spawn patterns for the past week. They
can be caught while sight fishing or casting the shallow flats where there is a hard sand bottom.
A lot of the fish are being caught on tube baits or All Terrain Sticks. The best location has been
by the outlet or on the west end by the island. Many of the pre-spawn fish are over five pounds.
The crappie fishing has been excellent. Most of the fish are caught pre-spawn on the first
weedline break. The best bet is 12-15 ft of water. I've been catching most of my fish on small
plastics, either yellow or purple. Yellow has been out-producing the other colors. Look for the
crappies by the no wake buoys by the island or just off the gray condos.
Northern Pike fishing has been great in the shallow weed flats. Trolling large spinner
baits or shallow diving crank baits has been producing most of the action. Fire Tiger crank baits
or white spinner baits are the best option. I work a depth between 8 and 10 ft of water.
Bluegills are in a water depth of 4-5 ft. They are biting on wax worms or leaf worms.
Try fishing them with an ice jig with a bobber. The best location is by the gray condos or
Walleyes are biting in the 8-12 ft depth range due to the water temperature. The water
temperature is 50 degrees and they haven't become uncomfortable so they've staying in the
shallows. Slip bobbers fished with fat head minnows are the best bet.
Good Luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe
Daily Fishing Reports
5/5/13-Whitewater Lake- Sunny, 75 degrees, Southwest winds at 10 mph- Fished Largemouth
bass in 3-5 feet of water. Fished green Pumpkin Senkos with great success in 2 hours of fishing
we boated 10 nice bass. Best location was by the bogs.
5/4/13- Turtle Lake- Opening Day- Partly cloudy,70 degrees, Southwest winds 10mph- Trolled
crankbaits along the drop-off in 12-15 feet, Silver and Black produced two largemouth and on
northern pike. Went to the shallows and caught 15 bluegills on red worms fished beneath a
5/2/13- Delavan Lake- sunny, 78 degrees, winds light east, water temp 49 degrees- Fished
panfish in the shallows by the outlet in 3 to 4 feet of water. Caught about 30-40 bluegills on
waxworms and red worms. Bobber and an ice jig worked the best. Fished crappies in the main
lake caught 15 on small plastics fished on a 1/32oz jig, purple was the best color.
GENEVA: Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Reports May 6 through May 13
Due to the cool spring, fishing on Geneva has remained relatively slow. Most of the action has
been coming in shallow waters, 3-4 ft deep.
Largemouth bass have been biting in Geneva Bay, Trinkes and Abbey Harbor. Most of the fish
are coming in and around the boats. Use a split shot rig nightcrawler or an All Terrain Stik in Green
pumpkin. Some consistently warm weather will turn on the fish and make them more active.
Smallmouth bass have been really spotty. They are suspending out with the pods of bait fish in
12-15 ft of water. The ones that are being caught are biting on a small hair jig or a Kalin's grub fished on
a darter head. The best color is smoke and black or avocado pepper. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or
by Crawford's bar.
Crappies have been hit or miss. One day they are in by the boat docks thick and the next
they've moved into deeper water. Look for the fish by the Geneva Inn or by the Williams Bay piers.
Most of the fish are being caught on slip bobbers and small fat head minnows.
Bluegills, like the bass, are searching for the warmest water. They can be caught in Trinkes Bay
or in Abbey Harbor. The variable water temperatures have also made them spotty to catch. The best
approach is a small leaf worm fished underneath a bobber.
Northern Pike have been caught in the shallow weed flats. Look for the fish in 6-8 ft of water in
Trinkes bay or Williams Bay. They can be caught on shallow diving crankbaits in perch pattern or slowly
trolling large spinner baits in white. The best speed is about 1 ½ mph.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-
POWERTON LAKE: Reopening is postponed indefinitely because the record flooding delayed the work on the levee trees.
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: May 6, 2013
Fishing pressure in the Fox River and along the West Shore declined this week due to cooler temperatures and rain storms. The water temperature was about 48 degrees, down from 54 degrees last week.
West Shore: Along the Lower West Shore of the Bay, fishing pressure was very low. At Suamico Landing, there were a few trailers with boat fishermen targeting Walleye. A few were caught (average size was about 24-25 inches fishermen were reporting) on crank baits (chartreuse in color) in about 10-12 feet of water. The docks are put in at Geano's Beach now.
Fox River: On the Fox River, boat and shore fishermen were targeting Walleye using crank baits (variety of colors), jigs, and night crawlers. Walleye numbers were low for both boat and shore fishermen. Boat fishermen were fishing in about 10-20 feet of water and a few Sheepshead were also caught. Shore fishermen are starting to catch more Carp, and more Walleye are being "snagged" than caught.
Fishing pressure for walleyes has increased on the East Shore this past week. The number of fish being caught has also increased over the last week, but anglers still have to work to get a few fish. Most anglers that caught fish were trolling the shore line near Bayshore County Park, however walleyes are also being caught by Potawatomi State Park. Fish have ranged from 18-30+ inches with most being 23-26 inches.
Saturday marked the opening of the game fish season in Wisconsin. Little Sturgeon Bay and Potawatomi State Park saw an increase in fishing pressure as anglers looked to land a few bronzebacks. Unfortunately, cool weather limited the number of fish that anglers were able to catch.
The sucker runs at Red River Park and Sugar Creek have both gone past their peak and are almost done. Still, if anglers want to get a bucket of suckers it would be possible.
There are one or more launching piers in at Bayshore, Chaudoirs, Little Sturgeon Bay (Carmody Park), and Potawatomi Park. As of Saturday the fishing pier at Potawatomi Park had not been put in the water.
Fishing pressure remained strong this past week despite the cool wet weather. With the opening of the fishing season this weekend boaters and shore fishermen were out in full force with over 100 trailers at both the Oconto Park II landing and the Oconto Breakwater launch. With the cooler temperatures in the past week catch rates were slower than expected. Catch rates for walleye, trout, and pike at the Stiles Dam were low due in part to high water and the sucker run. Fishermen out of Oconto Breakwater and Oconto Park II were mainly fishing for walleye. Trolling was the most effective method using stick baits or crawler/harness in 4 to 8 feet of water. A few bass and pike were also reported being caught. Boaters were reporting a water temperature on the Bay from the upper 30's to the low 40's. Shore fishermen at Oconto Breakwater are catching a few pike using large shiner minnows or dead smelt fished on bottom, catch rates were low. Some walleye are being taken by shore anglers at the Municipal Landing, casting crank baits and Rapala's. Bullheads are being caught in the landing area at Oconto Park II.
Fishing pressure remained strong this past week despite the cool wet weather. With the opening of the fishing season this weekend boaters and shore fishermen were out in full force with over 100 trailers at both the Oconto Park II landing and the Oconto Breakwater launch. With the cooler temperatures in the past week catch rates were slower than expected. Anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo River are keying on the post spawn walleye using live bait and casting cranks and sticks with good success. Fishermen at the Dam in Peshtigo are dealing with the peak of the sucker run and catching little else. A few small boats are launching from Little River to pursue brown trout with some success. The Menominee River has been raging, with 2 to 4 dams open, fishing has been difficult. A few walleye and many suckers are being caught off Stephenson Island using Rap's and Crank baits. Most boaters are jigging the Turn Basin or the mouth of the Menominee using gulp alive or minnows.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
Rickards reported walleye best, when weather allows, northeast of Kelleys shoal or suspended by Green and Rattlesnake, a lingering bite just outside of Port Clinton.
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Park Bait reported good coho all over at Montrose, best by powerliners with large fatheads or crawlers, casters catching a few on the horseshoe. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported great coho shallow (25-30 feet) from Montrose to 31st. Lakers remain outstanding in 35-45. Park Bait is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good coho shallow on the color line.
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:
Well, this was the WORST opener I can recall. Not only were the opportunities limited, but, on the few places anglers could fish (either by boat or ice), the bite was terrible.
Ice Fishing: For the most part, ice fishing is over almost everywhere. Reports of two anglers falling through on Big Arb on Saturday. Reports of ice from 13" to 17" but punky and soft ice. Both anglers got out ok. Some small crappies being caught, just a few walleyes. Even the bluegill bite on Carrol shut off.
Open water: Very poor. Anglers at Murray's Landing pitched a complete shut out according to reports. Same on the Rainbow Flowage. The only good reports came from Tomahawk where water temps in low 40's (vs. mid to upper 30's up north) put walleyes in a biting mood.
The one bright spot. Casting Rattlin Rogues and Floating Rapalas after dark from shore has produced some big walleyes from 25-29". These full of spawn females were released, but the few fortunate anglers working this bite also caught some eater males. This method should work well all week.
As of this morning (5/6), nearly every lake is still ice covered but the ice is black and melting quickly with the 70 degree temps. The bite is soon to go from 0-60 as shallow water temps hit that 42-45 degree mark. These female walleyes have been holding their eggs a long time and are more than ready to spawn. Expect some fantastic fishing by mid week and through the weekend.
The Willow Flowage by the dam is open to launch, but too much ice to get anywhere. Pike Lake is open to the south, but can't get to Turner or Amik. We will continue to update our website regularly as conditions change.
Kurt's Island Sport Shop
EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, Creative Brilliance sent this update for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): 90% of the lakes still have ice, with some anglers still ice fishing
on the bigger lakes, and some open water perch and walleyes being taken in
back bays and on rivers. Wild turkeys increasing gobbling and strutting
activity, with grouse drumming and woodcock well into their mating ritual.
All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
This season's fishing opener didn't go as planned in the Eagle River area.
There is still ice on 90% of the lakes, with erosion and break up occurring.
Lynx Lake, a small lake on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (the largest
freshwater chain of lakes in the world) is open, and anglers are also
getting out on the rivers and in some of the shallower back bays. But not
that many anglers are going out. While the shorelines of a number of lakes
have ice erosion, anglers can't really get out to fishing spots. Indeed,
one can surmise that some of the walleye are spawning under the ice, with
others waiting for warmer water and weather.
Open water anglers fishing the rivers in the Eagle River area are getting
some walleye who are locating around structure relating to current in 6 feet
of water or less. Other anglers are fishing shallow back bays that have
opened, in 4 to 5 feet of water, and getting some nice perch. Anglers in
both areas are using small jigs tipped with a crappie minnow or fathead.
(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:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: email@example.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner "Ranger Rick" Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
Willow Slough remains the hot spot in the area for panfish, particularly bluegill. Evening bite has been good. Perch reports slowed, probably because of weather as much as anything. Smallmouth have been outstanding around East Chicago Marina area. Mik-Lurch reported good coho on boards around the Hole-in-the-Wall.
Clint Sands at Lakeside reported crappie coming up in no-motor zone and by handicapped pier; a few legal walleye being caught and muskie are active.
Lakeside will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.
For more info, check www.shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Here is the Lake Michigan Fishing Report:
Ramp: One local resident reported seeing lots of boats heading out from the Simmons Island boat launch this week but returning without any fish. A local angler reported that some of the charter boats haven't gone out on the lake yet this year. One boater going out for the first time this year trolled the breakwater outside the harbor with little success. On Sunday, another boater trolling the harbor with stick baits landed a couple small brown trout near the base of the South Pier. As the temperature warmed into the 80's on Wednesday, hundreds of dead and dying alewives began to wash up on the Simmons Island boat ramp. The alewives disappeared by Sunday as the temperature dropped back down to the 60's.
Shoreline: Fishing pressure has increased on the shoreline, especially on the North and South Piers, but it's been a slow week as far as the number of fish landed. Early Wednesday morning, anglers were casting spoons from the South Pier near the lighthouse with no reports of fish taken. Anglers fishing along the North Pier reported a few browns taken this week. One angler reported that one of his brown trout had five gobies in its stomach. Anglers tried bottom fishing with alewives along the South Pier but had only a few strikes. One young angler was seen working the area around the Pike Creek discharge pipe for bluegills. Another angler fishing with crappie minnows caught and released several small brown trout from the South Pier. Many of the anglers are looking south as they wait for the coho salmon to move up from Illinois. The average surface temperature along the lakefront was 50F on Sunday.
Pike River: Very little fishing pressure was seen on the Pike River again this week. A couple of anglers from Minnesota spent the entire day working the river at different points along Hwy A but reported landing only suckers. The water level and flow rate on the river are near normal for this time of year and the water is fairly clear. Once again, no anglers were seen in Petrifying Springs Park. A couple of anglers were casting rapalas near the mouth of the Pike with no reports of fish taken. Temperature on the Pike River was 53F on Sunday.
Ramps: A few boats made it out on Wednesday. One boater reported landing three brown trout averaging 7-8 pounds while trolling stick baits from the Racine water treatment plant to the mouth of the harbor. Another boater reported seeing large numbers of bait fish and game fish around the North Pier on his fishfinder. The boater trolled the area but could not produce a strike. On Sunday, one boater caught and released a couple of two pound coho salmon while trolling the mud line (line separating clear and muddy water) along the lakefront. There is a sign covering the launch fee meter at the Pershing Park boat ramp which reads as follows: "Piers need to be repaired due to record low water levels. Until then, passes are not needed & you will not be ticketed. *Be advised* If you choose to launch your boat without the piers, you are doing so at your own risk. For more information, please call the PRCS Department at 262-636-9131".
Shoreline and Piers: Fishing pressure increased along the lakefront this week but fishing success has been limited. More muddy water flowed into the lake from the Root River as another round of rain storms moved through the area. The line separating clear and dirty water along the lakefront is constantly shifting depending on the direction of the wind. Large numbers of bait fish were reportedly seen around the tip of the North Pier. Anglers tried casting cleos and crank baits for coho and browns from the North Pier with reports of a few fish taken. Casting a little cleo produced a nice size brown trout for one angler on the South Breakwater. Anglers fishing for panfish from the floating pier off Reichert Court caught lots of gobies. Anglers casting spoons from the South Pier reported limited success. One angler on the South Pier was fishing with a large salt cured smelt under a slip bobber but reported no action after three hours. The surface temperature along the lakeshore was 49F on Sunday.
Root River: Fishing pressure on the river was very light this week. The water level and flow rate are close to normal for this time of year, and the muddy water is finally beginning to clear up. There are still a large amount of suckers in the water below the Horlick Dam. Earlier in the week, anglers at the dam landed a few brown trout and steelhead from the gravel bar under the bridge. Some carp and a couple of northern pike were taken on Sunday. The most popular bait at the dam continues to be red or orange yarn flies. At Quarry Park, a few anglers used nightcrawlers to fish for rock bass. The majority of the anglers in the park were at Quarry Lake, fishing for stocker trout and largemouth bass. A few fishermen at Lincoln Park worked the river with dry flies but only a few suckers were taken. Washington Park was taken over by golfers this weekend. One of the best producing fishing spots in the park is now part of the 7th green. The river temperature averaged 54F over the weekend. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, April 29, and the facility is now shut down for the spring season. A total of 301 steelhead were handled at the facility this spring, and 179 were passed upriver.
North Shore: Light winds have allowed for excellent trolling conditions in the area, but the number of fish being caught was still relatively low. Boats were reporting a few brown trout being caught trolling the gaps and the harbor with spoons. Jigging for browns has been very slow with no reports of any fish being caught. The best area to catch fish trolling has been in the area where the dirty water meets the very clear water east of the gaps, with browns and even a few Coho have been reported caught. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline had mild success with anglers catching brown trout while fishing shiners or spawn sacs under a float, and casting spoons produced a few additional brown trout.
South Shore: Trollers only reported a few brown trout in the gaps trolling spoons. There were no reports of any success jigging for fish in the area. A few fishermen under the Hoan Bridge were catching browns with the best presentation either being a shiner or spawn sacs under a float or casting small spoons. There didn't appear to be any remaining anglers fly fishing for steelhead in Grant Park. Oak Creek power plant has picked up with more fishing effort resulting in a few browns being caught on crank baits and soft plastics. Trollers out of Bender Park reported some brown trout and coho being caught trolling with spoons though the fish were very spread out over the area.
Milwaukee River: The river is about normal level for this time of year. The overall water clarity is fairly clear. The water temperature was approximately 47-50 degrees in the shallows. A few anglers were fishing for walleyes below the North Avenue dam but with no luck. A few fly fishermen were seen fishing for steelhead in Kletzsch Park but with no fish being caught.
Menomonee River: The river is running fairly low as of Saturday. The water clarity is crystal clear. The water temperature was approximately 48-52 degrees in the shallows. Fishermen were seen fishing for rainbows at Miller Park though their success rates were slim. Only a few steelhead were even seen in the river in the shallow water. A few people were seen fishing for brown trout and perch by MMSD, but no fish were caught.
Fishing pressure has decreased over the past few days, mostly due to the recent rains and high pressure system that moved into the area.
Port Washington Pier and Shore: Fishing pressure has decreased along the lakeshore and near the power plant, again mostly due to the strong NE wind. Anglers continue to catch small Browns near the power plant and in the harbor. Smelt netters have been having a bit of luck lately along the North Pier (who were netting more alewives than smelt) and south of the power plant. Although I only witnessed a handful caught, I've heard that some fishermen are catching around 50 Smelt per trip.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure has decreased; over the past three days wave action has decreased, but the season opener for bass and musky likely drew some anglers to inland waters. A strong NE wind is making the lakeshore quite cool. Water within the marina is dirty, and due to wave action, water near shore is also quite murky. Despite the decreased fishing pressure, fishermen had some luck, one group landing a 15 lb. Lake Trout in about 40 feet of water trolling spoons. Another group caught a nice Steelhead in 15 feet of water; the stomach contents revealed several alewives.
Sauk Creek: Water levels have increased about 4 inches since last week's rains; water temperature increased to about 54°F and water clarity has decreased. Fishing pressure has decreased over the past few days as catches of Steelhead have dwindled. Suckers can still be seen at access points, but their numbers have noticeably decreased.
Fishing pressure is steady on the rivers, but pressure remains low on the lake.
Sheboygan Ramps: There have been a few boats launched from the harbor ramp, but no fishermen came in during my shift. Because fishing in Port Washington was slow, I believe the high pressure system and NE wind created similar conditions for Sheboygan fishermen. Also, the fact that bass and musky opened this weekend probably reduced fishing effort on the lake. The fish cleaning stations at the Sheboygan Harbor ramp and the South Pier are now open. The 14th Street ramp, along the Sheboygan River, is now open. The huge snow pile remains in the lot, but enough snow has been removed to use the ramp. The 8th Street ramp remains closed.
Sheboygan Piers: Early last week a SE wind and large waves kept fishermen off the piers, while this weekend a stiff NE wind and a high pressure system seem to have reduced fishing effort. The South Pier was closed on Saturday, however, I did observe a handful of fishermen on Sunday.
Sheboygan River: Fishing activity remains steady on the Sheboygan River; the gage height for the river increased from 2.5 feet on May 1st to 3.5 feet on May 5th. Despite the increased flow caused by rains last week, water temperature has remained 56°F and clarity appears little affected. Anglers continue to report good catches of Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass near Kohler Dam, as well as downstream from Wildwood Park to the 14th Street bridge; fish are being caught on a variety of lures, namely shallow-diving Rapalas, plastics, and Mepps spinners. Steelhead are still being caught on flies near the Kohler Dam and in the Esslingen Park area.
Pigeon River: Water levels along the Pigeon River have also increased, by approximately 2 to 4 inches. Despite the increased flow from rains water clarity remains good and water temperature has held steady at 49°F. A few fishermen have tried their luck, some catching small Steelhead and Suckers on flies, while others caught Smallmouth Bass on spinners.
Weedens Creek: Weedens Creek water levels have increased slightly with recent rainfall, but it appears excess water is receding rapidly; water clarity has been little affected, and water temperature has increased to around 55°F. I did not spot any suckers in the creek this weekend and few people have reported catching them.
SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT/LAKES
Tyler Harmon messaged:
Well Cohos are starting to move offshore out on Lake Michigan, Good numbers are still being caught from many ports. On inland lakes Crappie have for the most part finished up spawning and are beginning to move back out of the shallows, Gills are still being caught in the shallows.
A 9-pound walleye was reported on the Indiana side. There are bass spawning.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
Water Dog Journal
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT