Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - September 8, 2020
In general, fishing reports will be updated once per week, usually on Tuesdays. This may change based on availability of reports and work schedules of field staff. This fishing report information comes from our creel survey clerks, who work in the lakeshore areas from March through October, and in the tributary rivers seasonally in spring and fall. Creel clerk schedules are random and vary in the days and times they are scheduled to be in a specific location, which allows us to generate statistically valid fishing effort and harvest information. Information for these reports are only based on days and times of the week that creel clerks are present. Additional fishing information can be found by contacting local bait shops, charter captains, marinas, etc.
REMINDER - Anglers must carry a paper copy of their license/stamps while fishing on the waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and the WI/MI, WI/MN and WI/IA boundary waters.
- Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Fox River and Green Bay Creel Report
- Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure was moderate during the week and increased going into the holiday weekend. Anglers targeting chinook salmon focused their efforts inside the break wall and had the best success trolling j-plugs and spoons. Those looking for rainbow, lake trout, and coho generally had success fishing from 125-220ft of water using flasher-fly and spoons.
- Sheboygan Harbor, Piers and Shore: West winds continued to prevail throughout the week lowering water temperatures and bringing salmon near shore. Temperatures near shore ranged from 60-68 degrees on the surface. The South pier continues to be closed due to construction. Anglers fishing the north pier reported catching salmon casting blue and silver spoons on the lake side of the pier. Fish were observed jumping in the harbor, along the north pier, and at the mouth of the Sheboygan river. Anglers fishing at the base of the south pier had success fishing spawn sacs on the bottom as well as casting crank baits.
- Sheboygan River: The fall salmon fun is in full swing! Fishing pressure was high and catch rates increased during the holiday weekend with the majority of the effort taking place between the 8th Street Bridge and the mouth of the Sheboygan river. Anglers targeting chinook salmon were seen casting spoons, crank baits, and bottom fishing spawn sacs. Those fishing spawn on the bottom seemed to have better success and reported more fish hooked and caught. Anglers reported great catches of salmon Sunday evening. Fish have been observed jumping at the mouth as well as the Kohler Dam.
- Pigeon River: No anglers were observed fishing the Pigeon River during creel times this week.
- Port Washington Ramps: Boaters primarily focused their efforts inside of the north pier and reported catch rates of 1 to 10 chinook salmon trolling J-plugs and using vertical jigging techniques. Anglers not fishing near the gap chose to fish between 45 and 250ft of water and had success trolling spoons and flasher fly setups. Rainbow, lake trout, coho, and chinook salmon were all reported caught.
- Port Washington Harbor, Piers, and Shore: Anglers choosing to avoid the crowds at the utility discharge had moderate success fishing on the north pier, the east harbor wall, and the boat slips. Floats fished with spawn or skein below produced a few chinook salmon in the boat slips. Temperatures were in the mid 60’s going into the weekend. Crank baits cast off the east wall at the entrance to the harbor produced fish in the early morning, while spawn dominated the bite in daylight hours. Schools of bait fish can be seen on the rocks in and around the harbor. Anglers also reported catching warm water species such as channel catfish, freshwater drum, northern pike and smallmouth bass while targeting salmon.
- Port Washington Utility: Catch rates were low at the discharge throughout the first part of the week and began to pick up as the weekend progressed. West winds brought colder water and more salmon closer to shore. Water temperatures fluctuated between 63 and 80 degrees on the surface, with cooler temperatures leading into the weekend producing moderate catch rates. Fishing pressure was high with the majority of anglers fishing spawn or skein on the bottom as well as casting spoons and cranks. Many of the anglers who were interviewed reported catching up to three chinook and coho salmon. Fish can be seen jumping at the discharge in great numbers.
- Sauk Creek: No anglers were observed fishing Sauk Creek during creel times. Water levels are low and fish passage may be limited at this time.
- Milwaukee Harbors and Piers: Fishing pressure along the shorelines of Milwaukee harbors and piers was high over the holiday weekend. Spoons continue to be the lure of choice for Chinook salmon, with several anglers having success using yellow and orange colors. Fishing live shiners is also a decent option for trout. Water temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Milwaukee and Oak Creek Ramps: Many anglers opted to fish within the harbors rather than out in the open water this weekend. Large numbers of Chinook salmon were caught via jigging in the harbor, while others had luck casting spoons. Orange and yellow continue to be good options.
- Milwaukee River: Salmon have not yet begun to move into the rivers in Milwaukee. Water temperature on the Milwaukee River was 70 degrees below the North Avenue Dam, and 72 degrees above. Due to this, fishing activity on the Milwaukee River was low. Anglers were seen fishing at Kletzsch Park and below the North Avenue Dam. Anglers who were interviewed did not have any success.
- Menomonee River: Water temperature on the Menomonee River is even warmer than the Milwaukee, at 75 degrees. Fishing activity on the Menomonee River was extremely low. No interviews were recorded.
- Racine Piers and Shoreline: The shorelines in Racine saw steady activity this week. Anglers were fishing inside the confines of the harbors as a storm and south winds left the piers unfishable. Those that were seen fishing in the harbors were mostly targeting salmon. Even with lots of fishermen out trying to catch salmon, success was limited. Two hookups were witnessed during my shifts this week, but neither fish was landed. Fishing should continue to improve as water temperatures are steadily dropping.
- Racine Ramp: The ramp in Racine experienced little to no boat activity over the course of the week. A rainstorm and south winds over the weekend resulted in tough fishing conditions. Big waves kept anglers off the lake.
- Root River: It is still very early in the salmon spawning run so very few salmon have made it into the river. The majority of the anglers who fished on the river this week were targeting catfish or anything they could catch. Water on the river is cloudy and very low in some spots. The water temperature at the end of the week was about 69 degrees.
- Kenosha Piers and Shoreline: Many anglers were seen putting in time along the piers and shorelines this week. Those who were trying their luck were seen using a variety of baits including spoons, crankbaits, and spawn. Most anglers were targeting salmon, but others were targeting trout as well. Unfortunately, even with all the activity, no fish were caught during creel times. The amount of fish seen jumping in the harbor has been increasing, which is a good sign that more fish are coming in shore. Water temperatures continue to drop in the harbor as well. The surface temperature at the end of this week was roughly 62 degrees.
- Kenosha Ramp: The ramp in Kenosha was very quiet this week. A storm and strong winds over the weekend resulted in treacherous conditions on the lake. No boats went out and no fish were caught during my creel shifts.
- Pike River: There were very few anglers spotted on the river this week. It is still early in the salmon spawning run so very few fish have made it up the river. The only activity that has been seen has occurred at the mouth of the river. No catches were recorded during creel shifts. Many stretches upriver remain very shallow. The water temperature at the river mouth was about 72 degrees.
- Manitowoc: At the Manitowoc ramp boat anglers caught chinook salmon using green ladder back crankbaits, green and blue fly dodger combos, and orange spoons. Anglers also reported catching coho salmon, brown trout, and rainbow trout using the same lures that the chinook salmon were caught on. At the Manitowoc harbor a northern pike was caught using minnows. At the Manitowoc pier one chinook salmon was reported being caught. In the Manitowoc river a few smallmouth bass were caught using green crankbaits. Water temperature reports ranged from 49° to 69° at the surface.
- Two Rivers: A 25 lb chinook salmon was caught by a boat angler using an alewife at the Two Rivers ramp. Additionally, a few coho salmon were caught using watermelon, gold/red and green/white spoons and rainbow trout were caught using gold/red and green/white spoons. In the Two Rivers harbor two northern pike were caught using a #4 Mepps bucktail spinner and a 34-inch carp was caught using boilies. Water temperature reports ranged from 62-63° on the surface while 50 feet below the surface the temperature dropped to 50°.
- Northern Door County, Green Bay: Fishing pressure was low from anglers fishing the shore all along the east side of the bay. Most of the anglers fishing from shore were targeting smallmouth bass. Anglers caught smallmouth bass, among the various ports, using worms or drop shots with plastics. One group of anglers fishing in Egg Harbor using minnows targeting yellow perch had 4 caught in the first hour of fishing. There was very little fishing pressure from anglers in boats this week due to strong winds throughout the week.
- Northern Door County, Lake Michigan: Only one day was spent covering Lake Michigan this week and that was on August 30th that resulted in interviews conducted at Gills Rock, Rowley’s Bay and Baileys Harbor. The interview in Gills Rock was an angler fishing for salmon and trout who was targeting fish in 80 to 120 feet of water and they reported having a surface temp of 68 degrees. Anglers fishing out of Rowley’s Bay reported catching three smallmouth bass between two anglers. The anglers reported catching the smallmouth out on offshore shoals in Lake Michigan. While fishing in closer to shore northern pike dominated the catch. The anglers were using a wide variety of baits to catch the fish. Anglers fishing from shore at Rowley’s Bay reported catching one yellow perch while fishing for smallmouth bass. The perch was caught on a worm. Bailey’s Harbor had mild fishing pressure on Sunday afternoon, and it resulted in 4 boats being interviewed and three of the boats bringing in fish. The fish were caught ranging in 120 to 250 feet of water. Most of the fish were caught in the top 80 feet of the water column with a mixture of both spoons and flies taking fish. Most of the fish that were caught this week were rainbow trout.
- Sturgeon Bay Canal: Fishing pressure in the canal was higher than all other areas this week due the higher winds that occurred. Anglers were targeting smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and chinook salmon that are getting ready to spawn. Only a couple of anglers were interviewed from boats. One group of anglers reported catching 12 yellow perch and kept 9. Another angler was fishing for walleye in the canal but was only able to catch two yellow perch. The yellow perch were caught by the marinas throughout the canal on worms and minnows. Yellow perch were also caught from shore by anglers fishing by the DNR office. The perch were caught on both minnows and worms. One shore angler fishing by Sunset Park was able to catch a smallmouth bass using plastic baits. There were anglers fishing from shore by barge road for salmon who reported seeing salmon jumping and surfacing all around in the canal.
- Kewaunee: There is no creel report available this week. Please check back again next week for up to date information.
- Algoma: There is no creel report available this week. Please check back again next week for up to date information.
Fox River and Metro Boat Launch
- The fishing activity on the Fox River was relatively slow all week. Most boat interviews were pleasure boating. Boat anglers were perch and walleye fishing with nothing significant to report. Shore anglers saw white perch and sheepshead.
- Weather played a big part in fishing activity this week with high winds starting Wednesday and continuing into the weekend. By Saturday water temps had dropped almost 20 degrees from the start of the week. A few walleyes and perch were caught mid-week off Pensaukee and Oconto. Saturday had high activity from boat anglers out of Oconto Park II, Oconto Breakwater, and Pensaukee launches but fishing had slowed with the colder water. Lots of boats were running from spot to spot looking for fish with only a few perch reported caught. A few anglers were trying for salmon off the pier in Oconto with no luck.
- Oconto River: The upper Oconto River was busy over the weekend with kayaks and a few fisherman trying for smallmouth bass. A few adult chinook salmon were seen below the Stiles Dam.
- Geano Beach: Geano Beach saw perch and musky fishing. One boat, two anglers, caught 50 perch, keeping 25. The average length was 6-7 inches and caught with minnows. Of the three musky boats interviewed, one musky was caught and released.
- Suamico: Suamico River was slower than previous weeks with trailers, but there were still plenty of shore anglers throughout the week. One family was catching perch; 20 caught and 8 kept averaging 8 inches in length. Boats were fishing for perch and muskies. On Saturday, there were 38 perch caught and 10 kept averaging 8 inches in length from one group. One musky was caught and released.
- High winds kept most anglers in the rivers this week. Peshtigo River had several boats out of the launch on County BB. About half were waterfowl hunters with early seasons opening up this week. The other boats were fishing perch upstream from the launch and out to the mouth of the river. Most boats reported catching some perch about 5 to 10 in various sizes using crawlers. Adult Chinook salmon were observed below Peshtigo Dam last weekend
- Menominee River: Menominee River anglers were split between sturgeon fishing up towards the dam and salmon fishing between the piers. Both chinook and pink salmon were reported to be in the river with 1 pink salmon seen caught over the weekend. A few brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon were caught in the bay out from the mouth of the Menominee early in the week in 50 to 70 feet of water before the strong winds.