• FISHING UPDATES

The 2021 Sport Fishing Reports will return on air for the year Friday, May 28th through Labor Day...tune in to WCUB 980 at 6:20 am, 7:20 am, 8:30 am and 9:30 am Fridays & Saturdays...and on holiday weekends we will air them also on Sundays!

7/22/21 local report:

Dan of Manitowoc.  Who has been listening to the sport fishing reports has decided to try it out with his new boat and gear.  He was fishing in between 110 to 200 feet of water he caught mainly Kings and Rainbows using spoons in various shades of blue in the lower depths he was trolling in. Many of the fish were hard to find.  Patients was key to his catches.  About midway up he was able to catch some Cohos and rainbows. They were caught on Spoons and Flasher Flies or on a combination.  He was trolling between 2.3 to 3 Knots.

 

Kieth of Willie Bee charters has been starting out before sunrise for his catches. Kings and Rainbows were biting usings Glow Spoons with UV tape.  They were set up on down riggers between 80 to 120 feet down in 140 feet of water. Dipsies were pretty much the same. using spoon in about 150 feet out.  The water is pretty warm now so a lot of catches were down deeper. 

7/19/21 local report;

Dumper Dan Charter Fishing and Lodging.

Fishing straight out of Sheboygan and having some good luck.  Fishing between 150 to 300 feet of water.  Trolling speed at 2.6 MPH GPS speed.  Catching Steelhead, Cohos. Kings and Lakers.

Water temperatures were 60 to 65 degrees near the surface. Spoons worked well for Coho, Steelhead and Rainbows.  Flasher fly combos worked well for Kings and Rainbows as well.

 

Charlie Blish of Average Guy Fishing.   Fishing north of Two Rivers.  Fishing between 50 and 150 feet of water.  The catches depended on the wind and time of day.  Flasher Flies did well for deeper water for Kings.  Orange spoons were used to catch Cohos higher up.  Charlie did note that the Cohos seem to be thinning out.  Rainbows were being caught about midway.  

DNR Fishing Reports 7/8/21:

Green Bay waters. The smallmouth bass fishery along the Green Bay waters of Door County is well known for its outstanding abundance and robust size structure.  Although the 2020 creel data are not yet available, smallmouth bass sport fishing catch per effort declined substantially between 2018 and 2019.  Angler catch rates decreased between 2018 and 2019 from 0.89 to 0.63 smallmouth caught per hour fished; a level just slightly below the previous 15-year average of 0.64.  The most recent netting surveys of the spawning populations in the Sturgeon Bay area in 2017 indicate mixed trends in catch per effort (measure of relative abundance).  Recruitment, measured as first or second year spawning fish, was good in the Sawyer Harbor/Sturgeon Bay area, while the Little Sturgeon Bay population continued to struggle compared to several years previous.  Overall, the Door County smallmouth meta-population is in relatively good condition in both numbers and size structure.  Current regulation:  The rules vary by location and date; anglers should check the smallmouth fishing rules in the Tributary Streams to Green Bay and Lake Michigan and the Lake Michigan sections of the regulation pamphlet for season and harvest rules.  Anglers should also note that a new rule implemented in 2020 created a Fish Refuge in the Mink River beginning with the normal March gamefish closure until June 15.  Access information:  There are many boat launches in the area including several in Sturgeon Bay and Little Sturgeon Bay; Peninsula State Park is one of the sites that provide access to areas in northern Door County.  Anglers can refer to a map of the area for boat launch sites or go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess for a listing of some of the launches in the area.  One of the better shore fishing sites is the George K. Pinney County Park (formerly the Olde Stone Quarry Park) that is located at the north side of the mouth of Sturgeon Bay.   

Little Lake Butte des Morts includes from Neenah-Menasha dams downstream to Appleton Lock 1. 1,200 acres Little Lake Butte des Morts provides multi-species angling opportunities and is known for its northern pike fishery.  In the spring of 2020 DNR fisheries crews set fyke nets on Little Lake Butte des Morts to assess the northern pike population.  There were 674 northern pike captured with an average size of 27.0 inches for females and 21.4 inches for males.  The presence of quality- sized northern pike was also observed with 30 fish surpassing 32 inches and the largest fish measuring 38.8 inches.  Good opportunities exist for quality-trophy sized fish, particularly during the ice fishing season.  Anglers should make note of the recently implemented northern pike regulation and be sure to check ice conditions prior to venturing out.   Current regulations: The current open season on northern pike is May 1, 2021 to March 6, 2022. Only two northern pike may be kept, and pike between 25-35” must be released. Access Information: There are numerous accesses around Little Lake Butte des Morts.  Consult a system map or the DNR’s Boat Access Website to search for launch information near where you want to fish (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess). -Adam Nickel, Fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

The Lake Winnebago System includes four lakes (Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan) and two main river systems (upper Fox and Wolf Rivers) and associated tributaries upstream to the first dam. Acres and River Length: 165,246 acres for the lakes and roughly 142 river miles. The Lake Winnebago System provides anglers with diverse fishing opportunities. Quality fishing for panfish species is generally seasonal with anglers having the best luck for bluegill and black crappie during the month of May while fish are in the shallows getting ready to spawn. Yellow perch can also be patterned in shallow vegetation while spawning in late March–early April, but peak yellow perch effort and harvest typically occurs between July and September. The annual bottom trawl assessment on Lake Winnebago dates to 1986 and results from the 2020 assessment suggest a bright future for panfish species. For starters, a record year class of young of year yellow perch was observed during the 2020 assessment. This year class will not be recruited to the fishery in 2021, but fish from the relatively strong year classes in 2018 and 2019 should provide anglers with harvestable yellow perch for table fare. The 2020 year class of black crappie was also very strong, registering as the 2nd largest year class observed on record. The catch rate of adult black crappie observed during the trawl assessment was relatively low, but there are still some slab sized crappies remaining in the system from the record year class in 2016. Bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are not commonly captured during the bottom trawl assessment. However, recent survey results indicate that quality-size bluegill and sunfish reside within the Lake Winnebago System and that fishing for these species can be good to exceptional at times, particularly when fish are concentrated during spawning periods and early ice. Current Regulations: The season is open year-round for panfish with an aggregate daily bag limit of 25 fish and no minimum length limit on any species. Access information: There are numerous access points around the Lake Winnebago system ranging from multi-lane launch facilities with ample parking to small unpaved town access at road ends. Many of the larger, more developed sites require a daily or seasonal launch fee. Consult a map of the system to see what access is near where you want to launch or go to the DNR’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access Website to search for access information (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess).

Green Bay waters. - Lake whitefish continue to provide much of the action for ice anglers on Green Bay since their major entry into the sport fishery over 10 years ago.  The bulk of the fishing takes place along the east shore at locations between Dyckesville and Sturgeon Bay; although areas along the west shore provide action as well.  Angler harvest has dropped considerably during the last two ice seasons, although the 2018 harvest was the highest on record; estimated at nearly 200,000 fish.  Anglers will likely see fish from the record high 2015 year class begin to enter the sport fishery this season. Current regulation:  The bag limit for lake whitefish is 10 fish with no length limit. Access information: There are a number of access points between Dyckesville and Sturgeon Bay.  Anglers can refer to a map of the area for boat launch sites or go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess for a listing of some of the launches in the area.  Anglers are advised to check ahead locally for ice conditions before venturing out.    In 2017 and 2018 more than 8,600 whitefish from several stocks were tagged during the November spawning season in the Fox and Menominee Rivers, North/Moonlight Bays areas on the Lake Michigan side of Door County, and Big Bay de Noc in northern Green Bay.  Tag recovery data to date indicate that most river-tagged whitefish do not leave Green Bay.  In fact, few Fox River-tagged fish stray north of Chambers Island.  While fish tagged in the North/Moonlight Bay area mainly stay in Lake Michigan, though a small proportion move into northern Green Bay.  To date all tagged fish recovered during the November spawning period were recaptured in the same location that they were tagged, suggesting high spawning site fidelity.

Green Bay and tributaries. - Fall 2020 fall shocking surveys in the lower Menominee River resulted in higher numbers of brown trout compared to recent years, with 38% being 29 inches or more. Those fish are probably 3 to 6 years old, while a Green Bay brown trout around 23 inches would likely be 2 years old. Brown trout stocked into the productive waters of Green Bay grow quickly. Lake Michigan harvest estimates for 2020 will be available in early 2021. Current regulation: Open all year. Daily limit is 5 trout/salmon in total. Minimum length is 10 inches. Access information: Anglers can troll for browns in the spring and summer months. There are numerous boat access locations along the shores of Green Bay. Check out this website for details. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. Brown trout make fall migratory runs into the Menominee, Peshtigo, and Oconto Rivers.  From late September into the winter months, shore anglers may have luck catching browns in these major tributaries.  Here is the website to find detailed tributary access information. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. From 2012 to 2019, DNR used the RV Coregonus to stock yearling brown trout offshore in Green Bay. In April 2020, due to COVID-19 issues, DNR did not stock brown trout offshore but instead fish were stocked directly into tributaries or harbors. Plans are to resume offshore stocking in spring 2021, pending resolution to the current pandemic. The goal is to increase survival of stocked brown trout, which are typically stocked in April when walleye are making their annual spawning runs into the large tributaries of the Bay. Since offshore stocking began, harvest rate has generally improved compared to the previous 8 years. Two exceptions are 2013 and 2014, which were late ice-out springs that prevented early season nearshore trolling for brown trout.

Practice Responsible Catch And Release

With fishing season in full swing, please remember to release responsibly. When catch and release fishing, it’s important to reduce the stress on a fish after it has been caught. You can increase a fish’s chances for survival by keeping a few things in mind:

  • Land the fish as quickly as possible.

  • Keep the fish in the water as much as possible.

  • Handle the fish as little as possible. Use wet hands or gloves.

  • If the fish is deeply hooked, cut the line and let the fish go.

  • Treat the fish gently throughout the release.

Never hold the fish upright by the jaw; it can hurt the fish. Instead, support the fish with two hands. By using these tips, fish appear larger in photos and you will also increase its chance of survival after release, allowing you or another angler to catch it again. 

For tips on how to release a specific fish species, visit the DNR's website.