Sheboygan Wisconsin Charter Fishing Reports
Provided by Captain James Schlegel of Sea Dog Sportfishing Charters of Sheboygan, with contributing reports from other area anglers.
2005 Fishing Reports
SHEBOYGAN CHARTER FISHING HARVEST 2004 - by Captain James Schlegel, February 20, 2005
Sheboygan area charter captains had another banner fishing season in 2004. This fact was supported by the Wisconsin DNR charter harvest report just released this week. All indicators were up again this year. The report shows 25 licensed guides fishing out of Sheboygan, one more than in 2003. The Sheboygan charter fishing fleet reported 1690 trips for the season, an increase of more then 8% from the prior year. The fish harvest numbers showed 14,638 fish caught aboard Sheboygan charter boats, an impressive increase of 17% compared with the 2003 results, with the majority of the fish being Chinook salmon. Sheboygan charter captains recorded 3 straight seasons of double digit harvest increases while charter fishing trips to the area have continued to grow. The 2004 fishing season was also my busiest year to date. I had the good fortune of running more trips and catching more fish than ever before. For the first time ever as a licensed guide, I recorded over 2000 fish for the season. I also had the privilege of personally guiding a record 248 trips this season, which included a fishing marathon of 78 straight days in a row on the water. Not only did we catch a lot of fish this year, we also managed to hook some big ones. The boat "Sea Dog" also had the lucky hand this season, landing both the area's largest trout and largest salmon of the year. A Lake Trout weighing 23.18 pounds was caught by Jim Vercouteren on 7/26/04, and a Chinook Salmon weighting 26.76 pounds was caught by Jamie Dickrell on 7/3/04. Both anglers were recognized for their fish and received a trophy from the local fishing club which sponsors the area's "Big Fish Contest". For the past several years I have provided a detailed report of the area's charter harvest to the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen's club for review. I am pleased to submit a report that once again surpassed all expectations, and confirms what the area fishermen already know. More people are discovering the fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan and 2004 was one of Sheboygan's best. I'm looking forward to the 2005 season in hopes of more of the same.
APRIL 3, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Stay tuned, fishing reports will be provided soon. The weather is now warming up and preparations are in the works to get the boats in the water and ready for fishing. As a reminder, the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen’s Club will be sponsoring their third annual Fishermen’s Swap Meet scheduled for Saturday April 9, 2005 from 9:00am to 1:00pm. The event will be held at the Sheboygan South High School cafeteria located at 3128 S. 12th Street. If you’re looking for some early season bargains on fishing and boating related items, this event is for you. Cost for admission is only $2 at the door and free to all Great Lakes club members. To reserve a table for items to sell or additional details contact event chairman Don Baumann at 920-457-4995. As always, all proceeds go towards the improvement of Great Lakes fishing in the Sheboygan area.
MAY 1, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
The boat went in the water this week and is now ready to go. Fished for the first time on Saturday to double check that all the equipment is working. After discovering I left a few fishing rods at home, we tried fishing off the Pigeon River for a couple of hours. Caught a nice brown trout and lost 2 others. Fished in 20 foot of water. All the bites were on Thundersticks.
MAY 7, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Started this morning fishing north of the harbor in 20 to 30 feet of water. We caught 5 fish for the trip, 3 brown trout and 2 chinook salmon. Caught a brown trout and a salmon in about 30 feet of water straight off the Pigeon River on a side pole with a silver JB spoon with green and glow tape. We ended our trip back near the harbor where we had a good flurry of bites catching 2 more browns and a salmon with an attitude. Water temperature was about 42 degrees everywhere.
MAY 8, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught exactly the same today as yesterday. Fished back and forth from the lighthouse to the north nun buoy and caught 3 brown trout and 2 chinook salmon. The largest salmon weighed 15 pounds. All the fish were taken on diver rods and downriggers using spoons. Tried all kinds of body baits on the surface, but they just wouldn't work for us today.
MAY 14, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 6 fish this Saturday morning. Started around the harbor and caught a rainbow and a brown trout using spoons on diver rods after a few passes. The harbor area had to be clear this morning on account of the Rockets for Schools program which brought hundreds of science students to the lakefront. Sheboygan's Lake Michigan harbor was now clear of all boats for a distance of a mile and a half and turned into the recovery area for a variety of rockets launched all morning long. We then moved south to the power plant as rocket after rocket was launched from shore. We had some good action when we reached the power plant landing 4 more brown trout. All the fish were caught on spoons this morning. The water was cloudy due to the past three windy days and the lake water temperature was 42 degrees.
MAY 15, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 6 more fish today right in front of the harbor. Didn't have to travel far to catch a variety of fish. Ended the afternoon trip just one lake trout short of a Great Lakes Grand Slam. All the fish were taken on JB spoons. Best colors are silver, blue, green and glow.
MAY 17, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Free Boat Rides Today! This event is sponsored by the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen’s Club which has been involved in local fishing and boating related issues for over the past 30 years. Free boat rides will be provided aboard area charter boats starting at 6:00 pm Tuesday May 17, 2005 along the Sheboygan Riverfront. Visit with Sheboygan charter captains and enjoy a boat ride and a few fishing stories as you travel to the light house and back. No reservations are required, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Discover how the local Great Lakes Sports Fishermen’s Club has been involved in community projects and what new events are scheduled for this year. Try a variety of fish recipes from smoked to grilled salmon, review our new cookbook and sign up for some great door prizes. Last season was one of the best years for fishing on Lake Michigan and more and more people are visiting the area for just that reason. Please take this opportunity to join our membership in celebrating our local sport fishery, boardwalk and riverfront.
MAY 21, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Consistency, is the best way for me to describe this years early fishing. Again a variety of fish were caught right outside the lighthouse. Caught two rainbows, two browns and a nice chinook salmon. All were caught on spoons working around the river water. More boats were on the water today then I've seen all year. Lake water temperature was around 45 degrees and the lake was flat calm.
MAY 28, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 7 fish this morning in 240 to 260 feet of water. All the fish were caught in the top 30 feet of water. We landed 2 coho salmon, 2 chinook salmon and 3 rainbows. It couldn't have been a nicer day on the water. The sun was shining and the lake was flat calm on this first day of the Memorial Day weekend. Surface water temperature was 49 degrees out of the harbor and gradually dropped to the low 40's as we went deeper. As a reminder, May 30th is the starting day of the season long club fishing contest sponsored by the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen's club.
MAY 31, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 9 fish this morning and 11 yesterday morning. Very little boat traffic this morning, everyone must be back to work after the holiday weekend. Most of the fish were cohos, but also caught some good sized chinook salmon and some rainbows. Best action was in about 190 feet of water fishing south of the harbor. The majority of fish were taken near the surface using a variety of spoons behind planer boards. The kings were hitting large glow JB spoons run on downriggers set 60 to 90 feet deep. Again the lake was flat calm and the surface water temperatures have been warming up a few degrees the past few days.
JUNE 3, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 15 fish today in deeper water. Most of the fish were caught on the surface behind planner boards using a variety of spoons.
JUNE 6, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Had some good luck this evening catching a few nice sized chinook salmon. Huge schools of bait fish gathered around the harbor this evening and the salmon were there in numbers.
JUNE 9, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 14 fish this morning in 160 to 220 feet of water. Our catch consisted of 2 lake trout, 5 cohos and 7 chinook salmon. The larger salmon were taken on downriggers set at 90 feet deep while the rest of the fish were caught on a variety of spoons near the surface.
JUNE 14, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught a variety of fish this morning for our 2 person limit of 10 fish. Caught 2 lake trout, 2 rainbow trout, 5 chinook salmon and a coho. Fished just south of the white fish trap nets located straight out of the harbor in 80 to 120 feet of water. Noticed a nice 10 degree temperature break in that area and worked it east and west. The larger salmon hit glow JB magnum spoons set on downriggers 50 to 60 feet deep. The rest of the fish were taken on a variety of spoons trolled behind planer boards.
JUNE 22, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Had a great day on the water this morning catching a variety of fish with a couple from Minnesota. We caught 5 chinook salmon, 2 lake trout, a rainbow, a coho and a lamprey. Large magnum spoons worked the best for us today on downriggers and side poles, but no real fishing pattern was apparent. We caught the fish from the surface to the bottom. The lake trout hit rattle spoons trolled on the surface behind planer boards. Go figure? This Saturday June 25th is the Junior Coho Derby for children 7 to 15 years old. The Derby is scheduled to begin at 6:00 a.m. and all boats will be back at the dock by 12:30 p.m. for weigh-in, prizes and a lunch. Many area fishermen and club members have donated their boats to this event.
JUNE 29, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Had a good day fishing the harbor area this morning. The whole gang was on the water this morning and we all had a lot of fun on the radio with the rest of the boaters. Things are getting busy here in Sheboygan as the fishing is in high gear. Caught 14 fish this morning working in and out of the harbor with several doubles and a triple and just one fish short of our limit. Right now this fishery is about as good as it gets. We have been getting our limit almost every trip the past several days. Pictured below is yesterdays limit catch. Jason Baumann of Pontiac, Illinois, while fishing aboard the Sea Dog this Saturday morning, registered a 21.84 pound chinook salmon which is currently top fish in the "Sheboygan Big Fish Contest". This contest is sponsored by the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen's Club and awards a trophy for the largest fish caught out of Sheboygan each year. The contest is open to the public and all must be officially weighed at the Wharf. "See the Big Fish Contest" page above. Lets see a 30 pounder top the list this year.
JULY 2, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
The Tom Abraham gang fished with us again this year. Had a great time on the water and on the radio with all the boaters. Had some success fishing around the harbor picking up 6 salmon out of about 12 fish on. Then went offshore in about 60 to 100 feet of water and picked up 6 more fish for the morning trip. Plenty of boat traffic on the water today due to the Manitowoc fishing contest and the holiday weekend. More fish have been registered in the "Sheboygan Big Fish Contest". A 11.22 lb. coho and 15.92 lb. rainbow have been entered. See the sign-up board at the Wharf or at "Sheboygan's Big Fish" above.
JULY 7, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
It's been limit after limit every trip the past few days. Caught our limit again this afternoon after just 4 hours of fishing with as many as 4 fish on at the same time. What's that called when you get 4 fish on at the same time going in all different directions? It really didn't matter what, where or how we fished! Now is a good time to Sheboygan.
JULY 10, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Got'r done this morning! Got our 3 person limit by 5:30 am this morning. It was again non-stop action from the moment we put a line in the water. Started fishing in 60 feet of water just off the power plant.
JULY 21, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Same old story. Got our 2 person limit by 5:30 am this morning. Non-stop action from the moment we put a line in the water. Fished straight out of the harbor. The secret to successful fishing the past few weeks has been to get out early or stay out late due to the current weather conditions.
JULY 24, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Sounds like a broken record. Got our 2 person limit by 5:50 am. Fished in 70 feet of water just south of the harbor. Fishing has been good evenings too. Had non-stop action Saturday night catching 10 salmon all in the same area. Dodgers and spoons worked well set between 40 to 60 feet deep. Trolling speed has been the key.
JULY 28, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Had a group of kids from camp Anokijig out today from 6:30 to 9:30 am. It was a lot of fun and plenty of action. Went 9 for 12 in 90 to 110 feet of water north of the harbor. All fish were taken on dodger and flies as well as some magnum spoons set at 50 to 70 feet deep. The water has warmed up around Sheboygan and the fish have moved out deeper.
AUGUST 4, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Had non-stop action all morning. Got our 4 person limit by 8:30 am. It did not matter what baits we ran. Fished right out in front of the light house. Cold water has moved in and the fishing has been incredible.
AUGUST 7, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 13 salmon around the harbor this morning. Cold water is still close to shore keeping the fish shallow.
AUGUST 9, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught 18 fish trolling around the harbor this afternoon. Started the trip with 4 fish on our first pass. Caught our 2 person limit this morning by 6:45am. This years fishing has been the most consistent I've seen in 22 years in the charter fishing business. Every bait we trolled caught a fish.
AUGUST 16, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
It was non-stop action this morning the moment we put the first rod in the water. Fished the harbor area today and put 24 fish in the cooler. Just could not get that 25th fish in the boat even though we had many chances. Plenty of bait fish still all around the harbor. When asked what is the best baits to fish with? I reply "just put something in the water and your bound to catch one". The water around the shoreline the past few days has been crystal clear. We fished north off the golf course yesterday afternoon in 10 to 20 feet of water and the water was so clear it looked like an aquarium. We could see the lake bottom, rocks the size of automobiles and hundreds of salmon and trout swimming around. I can't say how long the water clarity will remain, but if you are in the area with your boat, it's definitely worth taking a look at. It's no wonder the fishing has been so good this year.
AUGUST 23, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Warmer water has moved into the area driving the fish out deeper in search of cooler water. Good fishing has been the norm, and we continue to catch our limit of fish on most trips. Caught 21 fish this morning working the 100 foot range south of the power plant.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Warmer water is still located along our shoreline requiring us to move offshore in search of fish. Caught 12 fish this morning in 80 to 120 feet of water just south of the harbor. As always, the girls landed all the big ones. All the fish were hooked deeper in the water column using glow spoons and some J-plugs. West winds are forecast for the next few days which should move the cooler water closer to shore.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
The cold water has moved back to the shoreline and so have the fish. Got a late start this morning but still had a great catch fishing right around the harbor.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
The same old story. The cold water is located along the shoreline and the fishing has been fantastic just outside the lighthouse. Started the morning with a few doubles and triples. The fish just kept on biting all morning long. We finished the trip with 1 coho, 1 brown trout and 16 good sized chinook salmon.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
The same old story. The cold water is still located along the shoreline and the fishing has been fantastic around the lighthouse. Started the morning with doubles and triples. The fish were biting all morning long. We finished the trip with 2 cohos and 15 chinook salmon. We should of caught a few more, but every time I grabbed for a rod the fish got away. I tried blaming the first mate for bent hooks but that was not the case. Some of the salmon now are moving up the river.
OCTOBER 15, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished this morning in 90 to 100 feet of water. Went 10 for 13 for a variety of fish consisting of 4 chinook salmon, 4 rainbow trout and 2 lake trout. All the fish were caught on spoons. The best colors were silver and green. Surface water temperature was around 52 degrees and it was another bright sunny October day. Quite a few boats on the water this morning for this time of year.
OCTOBER 22, 2005 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished this morning in 90 to 100 feet of water just north of the harbor. Went 9 for 14 catching 8 kings and 1 rainbow trout. Downriggers took all the fish but one trolled between 40 and 80 feet down. Magnum glow spoons worked well today. Surface water was a constant 49 degrees everywhere we trolled. The lake was flat calm with occasional drizzle all morning long.
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