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Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - October 19, 2020

Fishing Wisconsin

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.

October 19, 2020:  Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report

Sheboygan County

  • Sheboygan Ramps: The marina is now void of boats as the last of them were hauled out this weekend.  That being said, the boats that are launching were targeting small mouth in the harbor as they await the arrival of brown trout.  Good catches of small mouth were reported using white twister tail jigs, spinners, and swimbaits while fishing along the rocky break walls of the marina.
  • Sheboygan Harbor, Piers, Shoreline: Angler activity along the Sheboygan shoreline has been sparse as the majority of salmon are well within the river system.  Anglers interviewed reported seeing coho jump in the morning at the mouth of the Sheboygan river and casted spoons and fished spawn sacs under a float with little success.  Over the weekend two groups of anglers were spotted fishing the DeLand ramp and harbor area, but did not report any catches.  Water temperature at the DeLand ramp was 54 degrees over the weekend. High winds throughout the week may have limited fishing opportunities.
  • Sheboygan River:  The expiration rate of fall run chinook salmon has increased dramatically over the past week and many can be seen dotting the river bottom and surrounding banks.  Fishing pressure has been limited to the Kohler dam and Town of Kohler sheds access points where anglers continue to have success casting flies, fishing spinners, and floating spawn sacs.  Water temperatures ranged from 59 degrees at the Town of Kohler sheds access to 54 degrees at the Kohler dam.  No browns or rainbows were reported during the creel shift, but anglers mentioned they had seen a few fresh fish holding behind the spawning salmon.  The majority of anglers interviewed were targeting late season spawning chinook, but a few focused their efforts on catching trout using beads pegged about a hook.  Recent rains did not raise river levels substantially and the Sheboygan remains low and clear.
  • Pigeon River:  Angler pressure on the Pigeon continues to be low during the creel shifts.  Those fishing the river are targeting fall run salmon and northern pike.  Spawn sacs, flies, and spinners are the most popular choice for those fishing for salmon and trout while stick baits, crankbaits, and spoons are thrown for Northern Pike.  Water temperature was 54 degrees early in the week, but dropped to 48 degrees over the weekend at the County Road Y access.  The water temperatures at the Quarry Park access was 54 degrees over the weekend

Ozaukee County

  • Port Washington Harbor, Piers, Shoreline:  Anglers primarily targeting chinook salmon continue to focus their efforts at the north slip of the marina fishing spawn sacs and skein under a float 9-13 feet down as well as jigging spoons near the dock. Chinook salmon continue to be caught throughout the day, but catches rates are starting to drop.  A few more sailboats have been taken out of their slips which has opened up additional fishing opportunities.  Water temperature was 59 degrees early in the week and dropped to 54 degrees over the weekend.  Water in the North slip was cloudy and turbid over the weekend and many expired salmon are starting to float to the surface.
  • Port Washington Utility: Anglers continue to catch fall chinook salmon at the utility discharge, but most are fishing the area in hopes of catching brown and rainbow trout that have followed the salmon in.  The most popular method continues to be a wolf river rig fished on the bottom with a quarter sized spawn sac, although some anglers are reporting success with chunks of skein. Water temperature at the discharge was a steady 62 degrees over the weekend.  Southernly winds and rainy conditions over the weekend raised creek levels minimally.  The flow at the discharge was heavy to begin the week, but dropped significantly over the weekend and using 1.5 oz weights should be sufficient.
  • Port Washington Ramps:  No boaters were counted or interviewed during the week at the port Washington Marina Ramp.  High south-southeast winds may have limited fishing opportunities throughout the week.  Water temperature at the ramp was 58 degrees going into the weekend.
  • Sauk Creek:  The creek saw a large increase in fishing pressure from the mouth to the first bend about a quarter mile past Ewig Bros Seafood market, potentially due to sustained winds out of the south.  The majority of anglers fishing over the weekend and reported high catch rates.  Low water levels and the ability to “sight fish” for salmon using spawn sacs, flies, and silver spinners contributed to the high catch rates of chinook salmon.  Water temperature was 54 degrees behind the high school over the weekend.

Milwaukee County

  • Milwaukee Co. Ramps: Some anglers have had luck trolling and casting crankbaits for brown trout and Chinook Salmon within the Milwaukee Harbor. Firetiger color is hot.
  • Harbor and Piers: Chinook salmon are very visible in the nearshore waters right now, but angler success has been relatively low. Those who seem to have the most bites are using skein for bait under a float. More and more brown trout are being seen and caught near shore. Crankbaits and spoons have worked well for browns so far.
  • Milwaukee River: Many fishermen were present at Kletzsch Park hoping to catch salmon, and many had success landing Chinooks on spawn, flies, and egg imitations. A few steelhead have been seen and caught as well.
  • Menomonee River: Angler pressure was low, with a few Chinook salmon observed in the river.
    Oak Creek: Fishing pressure has died down somewhat from extreme highs earlier this month. Anglers had luck catching Chinook salmon on spinners, jigs, and spawn.

Racine County

  • Root River: The Root River saw a decrease in angling activity during survey times this week.  The majority of the angling activity continues to be focused around the steelhead facility.  Most anglers are still utilizing fly fishing tackle in order to catch chinook salmon.  More coho salmon are being seen in the river now as well.  Even though there are plenty of fish in the river anglers had limited success.  A small handful of chinook were caught on a combination of flies and spawn.  Water levels on the river continue to be lower than normal which also leads to slow moving water.  The water temperature at the end of the week near the mouth was about 52 degrees.
  • Racine Piers and Shoreline:  The piers and shorelines in Racine continue to see little angling activity as the season progresses.  Windy and wavy conditions on the lake left the piers unfishable for part of the week.  When the piers were safe to fish only a few anglers were seen.  The few anglers that were out were targeting salmon, trout, and even burbot.  Anglers were seen throwing spoons and crankbaits as well as bobber fishing with spawn and minnows.  Unfortunately, no catches during survey times were recorded due to low fishing activity.  The water off the south pier at the end of the week was 50 degrees.
  • Racine Ramp:  The Pershing Park ramp in Racine continues to see no use.  The only trailers seen at the ramp the whole week belonged to people pulling their boats out of their slips for the season.  Conditions on the lake continue to be cold and windy, which isn’t favorable for fishing.  No catches were recorded.

Kenosha County

  • Pike River: The Pike River continues to see steady angling activity as salmon are still being seen in the river.  Most of the angling activity is still being seen at the mouth of the river as that is where the water is the deepest.  Most anglers were targeting salmon, with a few also hoping for trout as well.  Anglers were seen throwing various lures as well as fishing with bobbers.  Even though the angling activity was steady, no catches were recorded during survey times.  The water levels on the river continue to drop as we continue to get little rain.  The water temperature at the mouth by weeks end was 52 degrees.
  • Kenosha Piers and Shoreline:  The piers and shorelines in Kenosha continue to get a lot of interest from anglers.  Fish can frequently be seen jumping in the harbor as the water gets colder.  Many anglers are still targeting salmon, but some are starting to turn their attentions to brown trout and steelhead as there have been sightings of them in the harbor.  Anglers were seen fishing in a variety of ways.  Throwing spoons and crankbaits was common as was floating tube jigs or spawn under a bobber.  Despite fish frequently jumping in the harbor, success was limited.  A small handful of coho, brown trout and steelhead were caught on a combination of spawn and tube jigs.  
  • Kenosha Ramp:  The ramp in Kenosha continues to get little to no use.  Only one boat trailer was seen in the parking lot all week.  Rough weather continues to keep most anglers at home.  No catches were recorded this week.  The water temperature at the ramp was about 51 degrees at weeks end.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 19, 2020

Manitowoc County

  • A group of anglers was interviewed while fishing the Manitowoc River off 19th St.  They were casting spoons and did hook a couple chinook salmon, although they didn’t successfully land any.  The group reported having success for salmon there earlier in the week also.

Door County

  • Windy conditions made it difficult for people to fish around Door County.  Anglers interviewed in Egg Harbor were targeting smallmouth bass and rock bass from shore using worms under a bobber and managed to catch a few rock bass.  A group interviewed at the Sturgeon Bay city boat launch was targeting walleye and got a few hits but didn’t manage to land any fish.
  • Chaudoir’s Dock:  Chaudoir’s Dock followed a similar pattern with Bay Shore’s activity. There were two interviews this week. Monday I spoke with a two person fishing boat aiming for walleye. They caught and kept 2 using shiver minnows. The lengths were 20” and 22”. They also caught white perch, sheepshead, and round goby. On Wednesday, another two person boat was out fishing for walleye, but had no catch to report.

Kewaunee County

  • Most anglers were fishing on the Kewaunee River due to the salmon run.  Chinook salmon numbers in the river were reported as lower than previous weeks, but coho salmon are making up for some of that difference as their run continues.  Anglers reported catching coho salmon using firetiger-colored spoons and chinook salmon on bucktail jigs.  Anglers fishing from shore around the Kewaunee harbor reported catching coho salmon on blue and silver Little Cleos and chinook salmon on yarn balls.  Anglers fishing from the Kewaunee pier reported catching several catfish using worms.

Sturgeon Bay Area

  • Little Sturgeon Bay:  Little Sturgeon Bay was active on Friday with trailers in the parking lot, but most of the boats to come in during my shift were coming out of the neighboring marina for the season. Three interviews occurred. Two boats fishing for smallmouth bass and one boat split 50/50 between yellow perch and northern pike. There were no yellow perch to report, 21 smallmouth bass caught and zero kept, and 1 northern pike caught and released. The smallmouth bass were reported at 3-6 pounds, 19”-22” in length, and caught with minnows and artificials.
  • Sawyer Harbor:  Sawyer Harbor also had few boats to attempt to interview this week. I had one interview on Friday. The boat had two out-of-state residents fishing for walleye. Their report had zero walleye, but caught 4 northern pike keeping 1 at 28” in length.

Fox River and Green Bay Creel Report: October 19, 2020

Fox River and Metro Boat Launch

  • Good angler activity on the Fox River. Out of seven interviews of walleye anglers 15 fish were caught with only one kept. Several of the walleye caught were reported to be anywhere from 14 inches to 14.5 inches. Crank baits and trolling were not successful for walleye, however, jigging in the channel has been successful. Out of six interviews of muskellunge anglers only three were caught, one being a length of 42.5”, along with one northern pike catch. Only seven perch were caught out of three anglers targeting perch.

Oconto County

  • Angler activity was rather low this week with not many pleasant weather days being a factor.  Those that were out were trying for perch from shore.  Overall perch fishing was slow during the week with some better catches over the weekend.  Most anglers were averaging around 5 keepers with size being on the smaller size at locations including Oconto Park II and the ditches along County Y.  However one group had 30 keepers Saturday afternoon at Oconto Park II with some perch up to 11 inches.  Only a few boat trailers seen at the launches with most being duck hunters.
  • Geano Beach:  Low activity at the ramp over the week with only 6 trailers present. Out of those trailers, several were duck hunters.

Brown County

  • Bayshore: Bay Shore Park had zero to a few trailers each day I was there. There was traffic of people visiting to watch the waves or take their photos, but I only had three interviews at this location this week. On Wednesday a perch boat with one person caught 2 yellow perch and released them. On Sunday there was a pleasure boater and one boat fishing for yellow perch. The fishing boat had two people and they pulled their 30 perch limit. The perch averaged 8” in length and were caught with minnows.
  • Suamico: Extremely windy week, with an average max wind speed of 20 mph, led to low fishing activity. Again, lots of duck hunters launched from the ramp over the week.
  • Longtail:  Several duck hunters launched from the ramps. Even with over an inch of rain, that did not deter some to take on the elements of cool air, high winds, and some heavy rain.
  • Duck Creek:  Some recreational use of the ramps was present on the better weather days of the week, especially in the form of some late season magnet fishing. With the average high temperature being only in the mid-fifty’s and lows being the 30’s, not many people were out on the water.

Marinette County

  • Angler activity was rather low this week with not many pleasant weather days being a factor.  Those that were out were trying for perch from shore.  Overall perch fishing was slow during the week with some better catches over the weekend.  Most anglers were averaging around 5 keepers with size being on the smaller size at locations including Oconto Park II and the ditches along County Y.  However one group had 30 keepers Saturday afternoon at Oconto Park II with some perch up to 11 inches.  Only a few boat trailers seen at the launches with most being duck hunters.