Sheboygan Wisconsin Charter Fishing Reports
Provided by Captain James Schlegel of Sea Dog Sportfishing Charters of Sheboygan, with contributing reports from other area anglers.
2001 Fishing Reports
SHEBOYGAN CHARTER FISHING HARVEST 2000 - by Capt. James Schlegel Feb. 23, 2001
Sheboygan charter captains saw huge increases in harvest and catch rates for the year 2000 fishing season. Total fish harvest was up 24% from an already productive 1999, along with catch per trip up an impressive 20%. This information has just become available from data gathered by the Wisconsin DNR from sport trolling reports filed monthly by all licensed captains detailing their fishing activities. These reports have been generated since 1976 and have helped to show the general health and condition of the fishery by the effectiveness of the charter fishing fleet. This news is no surprise for those who fish the area, but confirms the fact that this has been one of the most productive years for Sheboygan anglers in quite some time. The 2000 season has seen it's best charter harvest in almost a decade. It has also been our top season to date. The weather cooperated early in the year, making it possible to get out on the water a little earlier than usual. In fact, my crew and I were able to boat the first Sheboygan charter caught fish of the new millenium, as well as the last, with a whole bunch in between. I had the privilege of guiding our guests to 1657 fish for the season. My personal best in 18 years as a charter captain and tops in port for the 4th straight year. Our part time guy, Captain Brian Klein, who gives me a break from time to time and runs the second boat, ended the season with a remarkable average of 12.5 fish per trip, again best in port. A special thanks of course goes to all of our guests throughout the year who did most of the work, that being having to reel in all those fish. 2001 will certainly have one tough act to follow, but promises to be another good one. It will definitely be a challenge to maintain those types of numbers. Our entire crew will be back with us again this summer in hopes of doing it all over again. If you ever get the opportunity to experience this type of fishing, chances are it's something you never will forget. It has truly been a rewarding experience introducing the thousands of people to this bountiful sport fishery, and working with the same enthusiastic crew year after year. Every day is a new adventure and this year promises to again be full of surprises. I'll do my best to keep you informed on current fishing activity and conditions by submitting timely reports from a number of area charter captains throughout the year.
MAY 7, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Best options for fishing the Sheboygan area lately have been working the warm water discharge around the Power Plant for brown trout or 75 feet of water for rainbows. The weather has been unpredictable this past week, making it tough to see whats really going on out there. The water is starting to warm up slightly, and better fishing should be right around the corner. Best of luck.
MAY 18, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Best fishing today was found in about 140 feet of water straight east of the harbor. Our catch consisted of 3 lake trout, 1 rainbow trout and a nice 20lb chinook salmon. Most fish were taken on the surface using rattlesnake lures. The chinnok salmon was caught on a downrigger 80ft down using a pro-king. More of these salmon will be moving into the area as the water continues to warm up. Look for increased fishing action to continue.
MAY 27, 2001 - by Capt. Brian Klein
Cold water made for some tough conditions on Sunday, water temps varied from 41 to 43 degrees on the surface. We trolled from 35 feet of water to 140. When we hit 100 foot we managed to kill the skunk by landing a nice rainbow. The fish came from the surface on a yellow rapala. That was it, one for one. As a side note, I would like to warn everyone that as of Sunday there were commercial nets in 100 foot of water just off Black River.
MAY 31, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fishing has improved as the surface water is slowly starting to rise. A number of charter boats were out today working the 150 to 200 feet of water and everyone had success. Rainbows made up the majority of the catch, but lake trout and chinook salmon were also being caught. I had my best luck in 170 foot of water off the power plant using silver and red rattlesnake lures trolled on the surface. Downriggers 60 to 80 foot down were effective on the lake trout and salmon, but I was unable to find the right combination today. There are still commercial fishing nets in 100 feet of water in that area, so keep a close watch for the orange flags and stay clear. Surface water temps today were 43 to 46 degrees.
JUNE 1, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fishing again has shown signs of improvement. We pretty much had steady fishing action throughout the day in 150 to 200 feet of water 5 miles south of the harbor. Our catch of 17 fish consisted of 13 rainbows and 4 lake trout. All of the fish were caught in the top 10 feet of water. The best bait by far was a new spoon I tried called a JB' Lure (silver). I picked one up the day before at The Wharf bait shop located on the riverfront, along with a bunch of silver rattlesnakes. As it turned out, almost half the fish caught were taken on this one and only silver spoon. I only wished I had more on the boat that day. Surface water temps today were 44 to 46 degrees
JUNE 4, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Monday afternoon we had the opportunity to take the guys from Lake-Link.com out fishing for a business review and to show them first hand what charter fishing out of Sheboygan is all about. Lake-Link.com is the busiest fishing related web site here in the Great Lakes area and is planning to unveil it's completly new and improved site June 15th. Check it out, it has great fishing reports. Unfortunately it was not the most productive fishing that afternoon, but we did manage to boat 2 of the 3 rainbows that were interested in our baits. All 3 fish went after surface baits behind offshore planning boards. Water trolled was between 110 and 150 feet just off the powerplant. A silver rattlesnake took 1 fish while the other 2 went after a silver JB's Lure, named after the the owner of the locale bait shop. Surface water temps today were again 44 to 46 degrees.
JUNE 6, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Today we almost ended the day with a Lake Michigan grand slam, meaning at least one of the 5 main species of fish. We came up short one brown trout, but still had a good catch of 10 fish. Our catch consisted of one nice chinook salmon, our first coho of the year, 3 rainbows and 5 lake trout. The lake trout and chinook came on downriggers while the coho and rainbows all came on dodgers and flies. The fly which seemed to work the best was what we call the Chrismas tree fly (red/green). I fished in 100 to 130 feet of water south of the power plant. Surface water temps today were 44 degrees. As the weather begins to improve I hope to see more of the charter boats on the water covering different fishing locations, thus giving everyone a better idea as to where the fish are. If you happen to get out on the water this weekend and find some good fishing action, please give me a call. The charter boats in Sheboygan are always on the VHF talk channel 11 and are more than welcome to share information when available. Also be aware of a lot of logs and debri in the river and harbor area due to the recent rain.
JUNE 8, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Today we started the morning with intentions of going after some rainbows. Just after setting up in 100 feet of water straight off the power plant our first downrigger took off. It turned out to be a nice chinook salmon that gave us a good fight and our interest quickly turned to salmon. We ended the morning trip with 6 fish. Four lake trout and two chinook salmon, one of which went 20lbs. All our fish were caught 70 foot and deeper in 100 to 120 feet of water. Best baits used were Evil Eyes and Pro Kings. We did not get a single bite on the surface. Alot of boats were on the water today but according to reports on the radio things seemed to be a little slow all around. The lake was flat calm and the sun was shinning which made the fishing very enjoyable compared to all the rains we have been having.
JUNE 10, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Weather was great this weekend and it was good to see all the boats on the water for a change. Fishing varied depending on were you fished. Rainbows and suspended lake trout have been caught on the surface in water depths beyond 200 feet. Chinook salmon and some lake trout were also caught in the 100 to 150 feet of water using downriggers. Saturday morning fishing was tough fishing for us but the afternoon turned arouind and we managed to put 6 nice rainbows in the cooler. Sunday we caught rainbows and lake trout, and ended our trip with a double header on lake trout. Water temps varied from 49 degrees to 55 depending on location. Better fishing appears just ahead.
JUNE 13, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
A number of young anglers have been fishing with us the last few days and the fishing has been good enough to catch them all a few fish. Rainbows have made up the majority the catch, but chinook salmon and lake trout are also biting. Best bet for rainbows have been fishing the surface in 200 feet of water or deeper using fly and dodgers or JB spoons. Chinook salmon and lake trout have been taken on downriggers using pro kings in 110 to 200 feet of water. No real defined temperature breaks have been found forming offshore which tend to hold rainbow trout. Rainbow fishing should get even better when these breaks appear. Surface water temperatures have been in the low 50's.
JUNE 17, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fishing has remained the same over the weekend, with some anglers having better luck than others. Rainbows have still made up the majority of the catch and have been available fishing the surface in 200 to 300 feet of water. Again some chinook salmon and lake trout have also been taken. Marine radio reports have been plentiful this weekend due to the great weather and the amount of anglers on the water. The reliability of the reports however may be questionable due to the fact that the Sheboygan Rotary Coho Derby is coming up this weekend. Worth noting was a 17-3/4 lb rainbow caught on Sunday morning by skipper Don Beeck of the boat Moby Don. It sounded like Don and his crew had trouble hanging on to quite a few fish that morning, but did manage to get the one that would have most likely been in the prize money for the derby. Information on the Coho Derby to be held June 22-24 2001 is available by calling the Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 457-9497. Tickets this year are $35 each which includes $10 towards food or beverage and are available at The Wharf (733 Riverfront Drive). Remember $4 from every fishing tournament ticket purchased is donated to the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sports Fisherman Club for enhancement of the fishing in our area. Anyone interested in Lake Michigan sport fishing is encouraged to join this outstanding club and to call the number below for membership information. Meetings are held at 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Sheboygan outboard club. Best of luck to all the participants in the derby this weekend. Surface water temperatures have been in the low 50's.
JUNE 21, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Good fishing just in time for Coho Derby. This morning two anglers from Minnesota came in with one fish short of their limits. Our catch consisted of 3 lake trout and 6 rainbows all caught on the surface in about 280 feet of water. All of the fish but one was taken on the surface behind planer boards. On Tuesday afternoon a young angler from Tennesee named Luke Liska boated a 10-1/4lb coho. This is one of the largest cohos caught out of the port Sheboygan to date. Surface water temperatures have been in the low 50's.
JUNE 26, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
The 31st Annual Sheboygan Rotary Coho Derby is now history. It was the best weather weekend we had this year and one of the best in the history of Coho Derby. The fishing was considered good to average during the three day tournament with just over 1300 fish registered. The largest fish entered were as follows: Coho, 8.56lbs Jeff Smith of Cleveland, Chinook, 23.94lbs Don Tiarks of Waukesha, Lake Trout, 25.28lbs Todd Landry of Plymouth, Rainbow Trout, 14.46lbs Paul Voss of Sheboygan, Brown Trout, 15.66lbs Frank Kushnier of Sheboygan. All of the above first place prize winners received $1000 for their efforts while Frank Kushnier was the grand prize winner and received $5000 for the brown trout selected at random. Pictured below is a participant in the derby, Adam Riesz of Milwaukee we had out on a charter Sunday afternoon with his first ever Lake Michigan chinook salmon. Monday morning we had a group out from Oshkosh and boated 11 fish in about 280 feet of water just south of the harbor. Our catch consisted of 9 rainbows and 2 lake trout. All the fish were caught in the top 50 feet of water. There was absolutly no pattern or one lure which did any better than the rest, but 50 and 30 feet of cable on downriggers worked well. Fish were also taken on dipsy divers and offshore planner boards. A special thank you goes out to all the participants and non anglers who attended this years Coho Derby. Any money raised by this event goes back to the community for a variety of projects. Please consider joining the Sheboygan Rotary Club or the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen if you would like to get involved in this activity. Contact information is listed below.
JUNE 27, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Our afternoon trip today started out great. We powered straight out to 240 feet of water where another boat (Tonka Toy) just had on a 25lb king and lost it at the back of the boat. My first mate Troy just started setting the second downrigger when the first one took off. A lake trout 60 foot down on a red and silver Pro King. Just as that fish was in the boat a surface lure (orange JB spoon) took a nice rainbow. Then off goes another downrigger, one more lake trout. After the dust settled and we had all our lines back in the water our guests then asked the question, whats the limit by the way? We explaind 5 fish per person and continued fishing with expectations of alot more action. We trolled for quit some time without another bite and when in about 140 foot of water we had some more action. Four more fish were hooked that afternoon, but all four managed to shake loose. I could swear I saw the last one flip us the tail right after he threw the hook back at us. Those first three fish where the last to be boated that afternoon. The conditions were great on the water as they have been for the past week. Water temps have warmed up the last few days to the upper 50's. The Wharf and Dockside have just started a Wednesday night fishing league to be held every week throughout the season. Entry fee is $15 per boat and is limited to the first 25 boats signed up for that week. Fishing time is 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There is a nine line limit and payout is 60% with the rest going towards a banquet at the end of the year. Call the Wharf at 920-458-4406 to sign up or for more information.
JULY 2, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fishing has remained the same for the past week, meaning no real high concentrations of fish in particulary one specific area. There are a number of fish being caught but you must be patient and cover some ground to pick up the fish which are at the moment just scattered. Saturday June 30th we were 4 for 9 in the am and 7 for 9 in the pm (pictured below). All rainbows and lake trout in 150 to 250 feet of water. Surface water temperatures have been 50 to 60 in that area with our best luck in the 52 degree range.Sunday July 1st a cold front moved through with northeast winds and blew everyone off the lake. With the upcoming holiday, plenty of boaters will once again be on the water and the charter boats will be busy, making good fishing reports available by listening to the marine radio. It might be some time before I get a chance to add another report, so if in the area feel free to stop by the boat or call on the marine radio (usually on channel 11). Best time to visit the boardwalk to see the catch of the day is 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM when the charters return from there half day trips. Also scheduled for this week is the Venetian boat parade at sunset on Tuesday and the fireworks display on Wednesday. Have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.
JULY 8, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Best fishing action the past few days have been in 80 to 140 feet of water off the filtration plant. Our catches were made up of chinook salmon, rainbows and lake trout. Saturday afternoon we had 10 fish and Sunday morning we had 7. All fish were caught in the top 60 feet of water. Best baits used were black/glow Pro-kings on downriggers, Hooksters on Dipsy Divers and Slidedivers, and the orange/silver JB spoons behind Offshore planer boards. On Sunday morning, July 8th skipper Allan Ruge aboard his boat "Efishnsea" boated one of the largest chinook salmon caught out of Sheboygan this year. It weighted in at 25lbs and hite a blue/cracked ice Pro-king 33 foot down in 140 feet of water off the filtration plant. Allan spends as much time on the water fishing as most charter captains, and it is only fitting to have landed such a nice fish on his birthday. Congratulations Allen Ruge!
JULY 11, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Good fishing was again the report for the day. We boated 7 fish in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. The largest was a 15lb chinook salmon. We had a huge rainbow on, which was the the first fish of the morning, but after about a 20 minute battle it made one more run and spitt the hook. We fished almost straight out of the harbor in 70 to 100 feet of water over a huge debri line which seemed to hold a variety of fish. A bunch of seaweed was also found in that area, which had to be constantly removed from our lines. We caught all species of fish today except a the brown trout. All fish were taken between 10 and 60 feet down. We did not try running any surface lines today. Best bait of the day was a silver Nortport Nailer with a blue stripe used on a Dipsy Diver. Surface water temperatures have been in the mid 50's in the morning and upper 50's by the afternoon. No pictures today, I was in a hurry to get home and left the camera on the boat.
JULY 12, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Great salmon fishing has arrived. Pictured below is a group of Oklahoma fisherman who are here for a couple of days and have enjoyed some excellent fishing as well as some great Wisconsin weather. Our best luck came in 60 to 130 feet of water using downriggers and Dipsy Divers. Our biggest fish boated was a 23lb Chinook salmon caught on a JB Mirror spoon (green/silver with glow latter back) on a Dipsy Diver. Between fish we were entertained by Keith (pictured below) who's side job includes working as a clown and making animal shapes from ballons. Thanks for teaching my first mate Chris this new skill.
JULY 15, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Great salmon fishing has continued for the past few days. We managed to hook a few four-year-old chinook salmon every trip, and have now targeted this species exclusively every day. Saturday afternoon we took 9 fish in about 60 feet of water. Today we boated 10 fish in about 40 to 50 feet of water just north of the harbor. Biggest fish weighted in at 25lbs and was our largest Chinook salmon taken this year. All fish were taken on spoons, best color silver and green. Our best bait by far is a JB Mirror spoon (green/silver glow latter back) used behind a Dipsy Diver seven level-winds down. This particular set-up has boated our largest fish for the past several trips. Look for this action to continue now for some time. Pier fisherman are also starting to have some luck according to Brett Golding and Tyler Kruse who stopped by the dock to show us their Chinook salmon caught early that morning.
JULY 18, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
The 18th Annual women's Powder Puff Derby was held today with 175 women fishing aboard 47 boats. The weather and fishing was great. The top boat "Time Out" came in with a total weight of 110.5 pounds of fish. The largest fish of the season was also caught during this tournament. Angler Cindy Brown boated a 30-3/4lb Chinook salmon taken on the boat Waushara skipped by Captain Bob (Big Fish) Dumovich. This Derby is always held the 3rd Wednesday in August and information is available by calling The Wharf, who sponsors the event, at 920-458-4406.
JULY 22, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
This is the best opportunity to catch trophy Chinook salmon (kings). We have been able to boat at least a few every trip this past week. Best action has been during sunrise and sunset with this stable weather pattern continuing. Mid afternoon has also produced some nice catches. We have been fishing between 40 and 80 feet of water with downriggers and Dipsys. No specific depth has been better than another, but if you are marking baitfish and salmon on your graph be patient and sooner or later they will bite. Green/glow and green/silver spoons seemed to work best. Below are a few photos of this weeks trips.
AUGUST 2, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Chinook salmon fishing is at it's best. The last couple of days we have been able to boat about 30 fish per day. Nothing seems to be changing, so this pattern of fishing should continue. Warmer water is at the surface which drives the fish down deep where the water is cooler. We have been having luck fishing in 80 to 130 feet of water, fishing the bottom 40 feet or so. Look for baitfish on your depth sounder, and when you spot the schools of alewives the salmon usually are not to far away. Best baits have been spoons. I usually run green/glow and green/silver colors.
AUGUST 11, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Sorry for the lack of reports the last couple of days. Our ISP has been affected by the Code Red virus and temporarily blocked update access to our web site. In general the fishing has been excellent. Late this morning aboard the Sea Dog, angler Chris Fitzharris of Minnesota, boated what is believed to be the largest Chinook salmon caught in Wisconsin waters in the past several years. The huge beast weighed in at 35-3/4 lbs. and took almost 40 minutes to land. All four anglers on board participated in the battle (with a lot of whining). The fish was caught in 80 feet of water just north of the harbor. Several 30 lb. plus fish are showing up in Sheboygan waters. This might be the best year in a long time to top the state record which currently stands at 44 lbs. 15 oz. which was caught in July of 1994.
AUGUST 13, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
A cold front moved through last night picking up the winds and making fishing conditions difficult. Warm water has moved in close to shore pushing the fish to the bottom. A number of fish were hooked this morning close to the bottom in 60 to 80 feet of water using glow-in-the-dark Pro Kings. We only managed to land one Chinook salmon due to the rough water conditions. We then tried the harbor where we boated one of three browns hooked this morning. Lighter winds are forecast for the evening and next couple of days, which should make for easier fishing. Salmon fishing has been good to excellent the past few weeks.
AUGUST 19, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
We're puttin' the spank to 'em now. On Saturday we've seen constant action all day long and boated 46 fish for the day. Captain Brian Klein ran the AM trip with 16 fish, while I ran the PM and evening trips with 20 and 10 fish respectfully. Most of the fish were rainbows and Chinook salmon in the 7 to 10 pound class, with the largest for the day going about 18 pounds. A Coho and some lake trout were also caught. Best action was in about 120 feet of water off the power plant, fishing the top 70 feet. Most of the action came on side poles and shallow downriggers using spoons. Best baits used were the silver/green, green/glo and red/glo Pro-kings on downriggers and blue/white on the Dipsy Divers. A big Northeast wind is blowing today which will keep us off the water and may change the excellent fishing conditions we have been seeing this past week. I can't wait for the wind to die down and get back on the water.
AUGUST 22, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
After the big blow on Sunday, the cold water close to shore has been replaced with warmer water all the way to the bottom. The water was measured from 65 to 69 degrees in the area I fished, 90 to 200 feet of water. I had my best luck in about 120 to 140 feet of water fishing below 50 feet. Monday afternoon we had a mixed bag of fish for a total of 9. Tuesday AM we boated 12 Chinook salmon, most where nice sized kings from 5 to 12 pounds. Tuesday PM only managed to boat 4 fish, which consisted of 2 Chinooks and 2 rainbows. No four-year-olds were boated on Tuesday. Another storm has passed through this morning keeping us off the lake but things should improve for the afternoon. If the warmer water stays around after the storm try fishing deeper and watch for where the baitfish are located. Find the baitfish and you will usually find the trout and salmon you are looking for.
AUGUST 29, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
The waters off Sheboygan Wisconsin are again infested with large Chinook salmon. We have been loading up daily on trophy size Chinook salmon as well as a few rainbows which are hanging around the 100 foot depth straight out of the harbor. It really does not matter what time of the day is best. Every little wind shift or pressure change seems to trigger them. We have continued to fish the same general area for the past couple of weeks with the same excellent results. Be patient, the fish are there and will eventually bite when the time is right. Kevin and Julie Schmitz of Hilbert Wisconsin had a group out Monday morning, and experienced some fast paced salmon action. Julie had her first fish on at sunrise, but needed some additional help. The highlight of the day was when four downriggers took off, all with big fish and all four anglers where battling fish at the same time. I was hoping for one more so I would get a chance to reel one. All four were landed, and we ended the day with 17 nice fish. Not to bad for about 4 hours of work. Our afternoon trip was just the same, boating 10 fish with the biggest weighing in at 24-3/4lbs. Our best luck has been on downriggers between 50 and 80 feet down using green/glo and red/glo Pro-kings or similar spoons. We also caught some fish using a big white dodger and a big green fly my first mate Chris tied himself. I have also heard of some reports of rainbows now being caught in about 220 feet of water. I personally have not fished that area in a long time due to the presence of the bigger king salmon in shallower waters, but a friend of mine named Allen Ruge was out Tuesday afternoon between 11:30 and 4:00PM reported his 2 man limit of 10 fish. Nine rainbows and one good sized king. August has been an excellent month and the great fishing should be here to stay for quite some time. This has been my best month this year, boating well over 400 fish for my guests. A variety of species are now active, which makes for good fishing almost anywhere in the lake at this time of the year. Thanks for all of the positive e-mails as of late, I hope some of this information helps you to experience some the exceptional fishing we have here in Sheboygan right now.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Chinook salmon have been gathering around the harbor the last few days. We made one pass in front of the lighthouse on Thursday evening and had five big kings hit at once. It was crazy at times, but we did manage to boat all five fish with the help of some young anglers pictured at the top of this page. Every species seems to be biting at this time. The last couple of days we fished the Harbor for big kings, 100 feet of water for three-year-old kings and 200 feet for rainbows, all with successful results. The surface water temperatures have been in the mid to upper 60's but the cooler water below has been where the most active fish are located. This time of year the fishing activity can change fast, so if you are marking fish and baitfish be patient. This is the best time of year to stop at the docks to see some of the huge fish being caught by our charter fishing fleet. The Wharf's Wednesday night fishing league ended this week with the boat "Lady Luck" taking first place with 225lbs of fish and "Crusader" in second with 201lbs. Both boats fished every week of the contest. A party for all participates will follow. Today is also the last day to register fish in the yearlong Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sports Fisherman contest.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Same old story, big Chinook salmon (kings) have gathered around the harbor the last few days. Evening trips have been very good lately providing plenty of action. The lake has turned over and as of today there is 48 degree water right outside the harbor. Fishing the area between the river water and lake water has been very productive. On September 5th, Jim Jordan of Racine boated a 24lb Chinook salmon which was my 1000th charter caught fish of the season (pictured below at left). It did not come easy. The story to this fish is that it ran out all sorts of line past an aluminum duck boat, a rubber raft and two jet skis. After all that chaos, we did finally boat the fish in the marina with some additional help from a number of other courteous boaters. Thanks for the help.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
On a rain soaked Sunday afternoon Rich Frohmader Jr. of West Bend Wisconsin boated a 36" long 25-1/2lb brown trout. It is the largest brown trout caught out of Sheboygan this year according to the Wharf bait shop were it was weighed. It is also the largest brown trout I have boated in 18 years as a fishing guide. Numerous 20 pound plus browns have been reported this year. It was hooked in 50 feet of water just north of the harbor. We had a mixed bag of fish that afternoon, 2 browns, 2 rainbows, 2 lake trout and 5 chinook salmon for a total of 11 fish. Congratulations Rich!
SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
It was another good day of fishing in Sheboygan. We concentrated our efforts on trophy chinook salmon around the harbor and were rewarded with numerous hookups throughout the day. These fish are experts at shaking hooks, so be prepared to loose quit a few fish. Chinook salmon have continued to gather in and around the harbor area in preparation for their spawning run up the Sheboygan River. It has been a very busy area as of late, with many boats targeting the same area for there chance to catch one of these monsters.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Thursday through Saturday we fished the harbor. Once again the harbor was loaded with Chinook salmon as well as a few Cohos and brown trout. When these fish become active and decide to bite is always somewhat unpredictable. But when they do decide to go on a feed, such on Thursday, Friday and Saturday just before sunset, things can get very exciting. The boat traffic was again heavy with everyone getting their share of the action. Sunday the weather was great, and we decided to fish offshore for a change of pace. We were immediately rewarded with plenty of good fishing action. We fished 160 to 200 feet of water straight out of the harbor. Every downrigger and dipsy diver we ran had a bite. There was no apparent good depth or bait, everything we ran just seemed to hook fish. We lost our share of fish that morning but did manage to boat our limit of 15 fish by 9:30am. Mostly rainbows with some kings and lake trout. Top 35 feet of water seemed to be most active. Surface water temperature in the area we fished was 59 degrees. A reminder that Tuesday September 18th is the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fisherman meeting to be held at 7:00pm at the Sheboygan Outboard Club, public is invited.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2001 - by Capt. Brian Klein
It was "Two for Tuesday" on the 18th. Just about everytime we hooked up with one fish a second one followed. We had steady action all day, with the exception of 12-1:30. We were able to end our full-day trip 20 minutes early with a 5-man limit. Our catch consisted of 10 kings, 2 lakers and 13 nice sized bows. Action came from 150-260' with 180 being most consistent. Dipseys and downriggers to 70' down, with just about any color spoon, green being dominant.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fished 60 to 120 foot of water south of harbor this morning. Fishing was a bit slower than expected, considering limit catches the last couple of days. The gusty north winds on Wednesday, which kept us off the lake, seemed to have mixed things up. We did managed to boat 4 rainbows and a 17lb king. All fish came on Dipsy Divers and downriggers in the top 50 feet. No color pattern. Surface water temperature around 53 degrees. Captain Bob Dumovich fished the harbor area this morning and had a nice catch of 5 kings, a brown trout and a rainbow.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Fished the harbor this weekend and filled the cooler with big kings. Gary Wilson and company has enjoyed fishing here in Sheboygan for years and usually fishes a couple times a season. Once again his party was rewarded with a good day of fishing Saturday morning. They all took pleasure in "Puttin' the Spank to 'Em!" this last day of summer. Gary (background) was 0 for 3 for the day but fortunately the rest of the group had some luck getting their fish in the boat. Cliff (center) was just a fishing machine and landed most of the fish pictured (not really). The afternoon trip went just as well for a father and son group from Minnesota, boating their 2-man limit of 10 fish. Sunday morning we fished the same area and came in with 9 fish, 5 kings and 4 cohos. Our best luck came using stick baits trolled on the surface, but spoons on downriggers also took a few. Gale force winds moved in around 1 PM chasing everyone off the lake and cutting our afternoon trip short.
OCTOBER 1, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
Friday through Sunday the weather and lake conditions were excellent, but the fishing was tough. We fished the harbor the majority of the weekend. We gave it our best shot, and did manage to pull a number of big chinook salmon as well as a huge brown from the area. However, it has not been as productive as it has been in weeks past. The four-year-old chinook salmon are still thick in the area but just did not appear very active. Maybe due to the very stable unchanged weather pattern the past few days. The boats fishing offshore were reporting the same, slower than expected results. After another slow morning fishing the harbor on Sunday (0 for 2) we decided to head out deep in hopes of changing our luck. We trolled between 240 to 330 feet of water just south of the harbor and our luck finally changed for the better. With alot of hard work and constant lure changes, we were able to provide a little activity for our younger anglers. We boated 7 fish that afternoon. A couple of the fish came on downriggers as deep as 140 feet down. Glow Pro-kings seemed to have worked best. Historically, this is one of the best and most consistent times of year for offshore fishing for rainbows and chinook salmon. This year however has been very unpredictable. One day we'll boat our limit of 25 fish and the very next day only 2. I guess we'll just keep trying.
OCTOBER 4, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
On Wednesday morning we decided to fish the harbor for some big kings at sunrise. Tried a couple passes, lost one fish on a downrigger and another on a planner board. After about an hour with no more luck we decided to head offshore in hopes of finding a few rainbows. Setup in 120 feet and trolled east to 220 feet of water. No rainbows were found, but we did manage to boat 4 kings and a brown trout for the kids this warm and sunny day of fall. All fish were taken on downriggers using glow Pro-Kings as deep as 120 to 140 feet of cable. Fished the same area in the afternoon, but a cold front moved through and seemed to have turned off the fish for the moment.
OCTOBER 23, 2001 - by Capt. James Schlegel
That's all folks. It's another end to a successful and memorable fishing season. The boat has been put away, and preparation's are in the works for next year. I hope the information provided by these timely reports have helped to improve your fishing odds as well as providing some insight on this wonderful resource we have here in Sheboygan. Stay tuned throughout the year for additional information regarding important dates, activities, and a summary of the 2001 season. Our local fishing club (Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen) meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM to discuss important issues concerning this fishery and ways to help make it even better for all to enjoy.
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