Lake Michigan fishing report (5-22)
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 21, 2012
Pleasant weather has had fisherman out in large numbers. Those fishing from shore have had their best luck casting spoons or soft plastics while soaking live bait on the bottom at low light conditions. Anglers were catching browns, coho, and a few Chinooks from the pier and in the harbor. Trollers have had success with dipsey divers and flies along with trolling spoons in anywhere from 50 to 90 feet of water depending on the day. Anglers were catching lots of coho and Chinooks, with additional rainbows and lake trout as well.
North Shore: Large numbers of trollers have been out on the lake recently. Fishermen have been fishing for Chinooks and cohos with limits of Chinooks not uncommon; a few lake trout have been picked up as well. Most trollers have been focusing in 80-115 feet of water with baits about 40-60 feet below the surface. The best baits have been spoons of various colors and flies. In addition, due to very light winds nearly all size boats could fish the water depth of their choosing. Also, trolling flies has lead to catching a few cohos as well. Fishing action on McKinley pier has slowed down in recent days, but the coho and Chinooks caught taken on alewives. Casting spoons has picked up an additional Chinook as well. The shoreline along Summerfest is producing small browns with the most successful presentations focusing on minnows and a few additional fish being caught on spoons. South Shore: With light winds, trollers have been out of south shore with success. Trollers have been catching a variety of species including: coho and Chinook salmon along with rainbow and even a few lake trout. Spoons in a variety of colors were landing Chinooks, and flies were bringing in coho. Trollers were anywhere from 75-115 feet of water with baits running on 5-7 color lead core or down riggers set about 40-60 feet below the surface. Fishing under the Hoan Bridge has been slow. A few boats have been seen trolling at Bender Park. The Bender Park boat ramps will be under construction for the next three to four weeks, however one launch lane will be open daily.
Port Washington Ramps: Moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting chinook salmon, coho salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout and whitefish in 65-180 feet on flies and spoons. Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Low recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting brown trout and a few coho salmon on alewives. Port Washington Pier: Low recorded angler activity. Anglers have low successful harvest of brown trout and coho salmon on alewives.
Sheboygan Ramps: Moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting chinook salmon in 65-105 feet of water on spoons and flies. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers are having successful harvest of chinook salmon, brown trout, whitefish, rainbow trout and coho salmon on castmasters, spinners, glow-in-the-dark cleos, alewives, spoons.
Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 21, 2012
Lake Michigan: King fishing is hot off the Manitowoc County shoreline. The strong winds, generally in the afternoons, have been keeping some boats dry or in the harbors as of late. Boats are setting up in 80 to 170 feet of water from north of Two Rivers to south of Manitowoc, and in between. Kings have been hitting throughout the water column with more success from lower lures. Some anglers are targeting steelhead, and many over 30 inches have been caught. Flasher/flies as well as spoons have been equally effective for kings, and many different colors and styles are being used along with the occasional J-plug. Cohos are showing up mixed with king catches. Leadcore, copper line, dipsey divers, and downriggers are all working to help catch fish. Trolling speeds of 2.5 to 2.9 mph were reported to be effective. Some of the larger kings have been hitting the 18 pound range. Piers: Fishing has been slow from the piers in Two Rivers and Manitowoc. Angling pressure is very light. Water clarity near shore is better since the heavy rains a few weeks ago. Wind direction needs to change to bring cooler waters and fish nearer to shore for pier fishing to pick up. Piers to the south have been giving up some nice salmon. Some alewives have been seen around the Manitowoc piers and near shore. Rivers: Water levels have dropped considerably in the last week. There have been good numbers of smallmouth caught on the West Twin River. Bullhead fisherman have been very successful on the West Twin River with live bait. Some large channel cats have been caught in the Manitowoc River, though anglers say the catfishing is still slow. Carp anglers are doing well on the East and West Twin Rivers. Bass, carp, and panfish should be presently spawning or already done.
Similar to last week, reports on Chinook salmon fishing on Lake Michigan are still very positive. Both charters and private anglers have continued to catch high numbers of fish with the Chinook averaging 8 to 15 pounds and up to 20-pounds. Chinook continue to make up the bulk of the catch, but some rainbows and lake trout are also being caught. Best depths have ranged from 80 to 240 feet of water, 40 to 100 feet down. On calm, sunny days, anglers are still getting some bites outside of the dawn and dusk flurry by using leadcore, copper wire or 8 and 10-oz. weights off of magnum-size planer boards well away from the boat, or deep downriggers in the 70- to 150-foot down range. Flasher and fly combos, spoons, small J-Plugs, Cut Plugs and even flasher and preserved herring cut bait combos all are attracting strikes.
Northern Door Co. and Sturgeon Bay (Lake and Bay sides)
Because of the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament this past weekend most of the fishing pressure in Green Bay was for smallmouth bass. Smallmouth are in various stages of spawning activity from south to north. The Sturgeon Bay City Dock, Ole Stone Quarry Ramp, Ephraim launch and Rowley’s Bay launch saw the most action this week. There are reports of great bass catches by boaters in 5-10 feet of water using a wide variety of artificial lures including soft plastics and suspending stickbaits; live bait in the form of crawlers has also been working. Pressure in the Sturgeon Bay area up to Sister Bay continues for walleye with reports of catches in both the morning and evening hours. Boaters are reporting outstanding catches of Chinook on Lake Michigan from Sturgeon Bay north to Bailey’s Harbor, fishing in 80-200 feet of water, using flasher fly combinations and spoons. A few rainbow trout have also been caught in this same range. Pier and shore anglers are fishing the Sturgeon Bay canal shoreline, the Ole Stone Quarry shore and piers, Fish Creek piers, and the piers at Ephraim with reports of decent smallmouth bass catches casting tube jigs, grubs, and other soft plastics; a few walleye have also been mixed in the catches. Perch opened on the Bay of Green Bay this past weekend with anglers reporting little success so far. There are no reports of anglers fishing in area creeks.
Green Bay Fishing Report: May 21, 2012
Bayshore Park and Chaudoir’s Dock: It was very busy at Bayshore Park and Chaudoir’s Dock at the end of the weekend. They were targeting walleye out of Bayshore Park mostly, but some were also going for perch, and the same for Chaudoir’s Dock. Minnows and night crawlers were used to catch the perch and walleye. Lots of drum, some catfish and gobies were also caught. Sawyer Harbor: It was moderately busy in Sawyer Harbor at the end of the week. Fishermen were targeting smallmouth bass, and they were using rubber worms (green) for bait. Little Sturgeon Bay: On Little Sturgeon Bay, the fishing pressure was high with fishermen targeting smallmouth and catching good numbers of them. The bait of choice was plastics and spinners for the smallmouth bass; red/brown or purple in color were the most used. The water temperature was about 64 degrees, and the fish were caught in about 6 to 10 feet of water. The weekend was busy in Sawyer Harbor and on Little Sturgeon Bay. Smallmouth bass were still the main target, but some fishermen were starting to target bluegill and pumpkinseed. Some fishermen were also starting to catch rock bass as well. There were more pleasure boaters showing up on Little Sturgeon Bay too. Other locations: There was no fishing activity at Red River Park, Sugar Creek and Fish Haven.
With the warmer weather we saw an increase in fishing pressure, mainly on Green Bay for walleye. Water temperatures are in the the low 60’s, and when the wind allows fishing has been good. The fishing in the Stiles Dam area remains good with panfish and smallmouth being the main attraction. Live bait has been working well, as have tube jigs and crank baits mainly for bass. The walleye bite from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II was good with fishermen catching limits of fish in the 17 to 24 inch range. Trolling with crawler/harness has worked well, fishing in the 6 to 12 foot range. Some of the bigger walleye are being caught using stick baits in 20 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are also plentiful in shallow water along the bay shore; tube jigs and crank baits are working well.
With the warmer weather we saw an increase in fishing pressure, mainly on Green Bay for walleye. Water temperatures are in the the low 60’s, and when the wind allows fishing has been good. Peshtigo Harbor fishermen have been catching walleye trolling south from the mouth of the river in 6 to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth action has picked up along the shore line and in the Peshtigo River up by the Dam in Peshtigo. The fishing on the Menominee River has been slow due to low water. Fishermen are reporting some walleye being caught trolling below the Turn Basin.