Sheboygan Wisconsin Charter Fishing Reports
Provided by Captain James Schlegel of Sea Dog Sportfishing Charters of Sheboygan, with contributing reports from other area anglers.
2007 Fishing Reports
SHEBOYGAN CHARTER FISHING REPORT 2006 - by Captain James Schlegel, March 15, 2007
Sheboygan area charter captains had another banner fishing season in 2006. This fact was supported by the latest charter harvest report just released by Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Anglers, with their boats and trailers, were lined up at the launch ramps like never before and area captains were overwhelmed by one of their busiest seasons to date. All indicators of an abundant harvest were up again this year. The harvest report shows 34 licensed fishing guides operating out of Sheboygan, three more than in 2005. The Sheboygan charter fishing fleet reported 2,130 trips for the season, an increase of almost 10% from the prior year. Area charters hauled in a whooping 22,013 fish in 2006, which is an amazing 32% increase from a year ago. The majority of the catch being Chinook Salmon, the prized sport fish also known as the King. This is the fifth straight season that Sheboygan charter captains recorded double digit harvest increases while charter fishing trips to the area continued to rise. There has been a renewed interest in Great Lakes fishing the past few years and our area captains and lake shore businesses are seeing the benefits. The 2006 fishing season was also my busiest year to date, booking more trips and catching more fish than ever before. This season also included a personal fishing marathon by guiding 92 straight days on the water as well as leading all area guides in fishing trips for nine straight seasons. The excellent weather conditions during the spring and summer contributed to the success. Not only did we catch a lot of fish this year, we also managed to hook some big ones. This year’s "Sheboygan’s Big Fish" winner went to John Ahsasd who caught a 29.9 pound Chinook Salmon aboard the boat Jaws on 8/05/06. It was the largest documented fish caught out of Sheboygan waters this season and up more than two pounds from last years record fish. John Ahsasd along with many other area anglers have been recognized for their trophy fish and received an award at the Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen's club banquet. The Sheboygan Great Lakes club has been supporting the local fishery and holding events for over 30 years and has sponsored the "Sheboygan's Big Fish" contest for the past 6 years. For many years I have provided a detailed report of the area's charter harvest to the local fishing club for review. I am pleased to be able to submit a report that once again surpassed all expectations, and confirms what area fishermen already know. More people are discovering the fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan and that the 2006 fishing season was one of Sheboygan's all-time best. It’s no surprise that Sheboygan was recognized as the top spot for salmon fishing according to the August issue of Field & Stream magazine. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season and can only imagine what new records will be set.
APRIL 28, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Went 10 for 10 my first trip of the season for our two person limit. Took a left turn at the harbor mouth this morning to the golf course and fished in 12 to 15 feet of water. Caught 10 brown trout in less than 2 hours using a variety of small stick baits trolled behind planer boards. The largest trout weighed about 7 pounds. Water temperature was 48 degrees and the lake water was cloudy. What a great start to the season.
MAY 5, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
More brown trout north of harbor the past couple of days. Fished around the Pigeon River area in 10 to 20 feet of water this afternoon and went 7 for 7. Most of the fish were caught on a variety of stick baits and small Rapala's trolled behind planner boards. Water temperature was 52 degrees close to the shoreline and the water was cloudy due to the east winds. The Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen's club is planning it's third annual "Ride a Charter Boat Day" starting at 6:00 pm. on Tuesday May 15, 2007. Free boat rides are provided courtesy of our club members charter fishing boats. Boarding will begin along the boardwalk originating from the Wharf. This is a great opportunity to visit with Sheboygan captains, ask questions, review their vessels and meet with our club membership. This years event includes live music, raffle drawings and a variety of free salmon recipes for you to enjoy. The Great Lakes club has a long list of summer fishing activities and always welcomes new members. Hope to see you there.
MAY 25, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
After a number of windy days, we finally got the chance to head out to open water. The lake was flat calm this morning and the sun was slowly warming up the surface water. Fished this morning straight out of the harbor in 175 to 225 feet of water. Had some good luck hooking a number of nice sized Rainbow Trout. Went 10 for 17 this morning catching 7 Rainbows and 3 Chinook Salmon. The largest Rainbow weighed in at 13.4 pounds and the girls caught all the big ones. Most of the fish were caught trolling orange spoons on the surface behind planner boards Also had some good luck using dodger and flies and a variety of magnum spoons on downriggers as deep as 120 feet.
MAY 27, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
We fished the lake all weekend and had good luck catching both kings and rainbows on every trip. We worked the area from about 100 feet of water to about 240 feet. We ran a variety of orange spoons on the surface for rainbows and magnum spoons and dodger flies on our downriggers for kings. The surface water temperature this weekend was in the low 40's everywhere we fished and noticed no defined temperature breaks or thermoclines. We just put in our time and tried to cover as much area as possible. Trolling east and west worked the best for us. Every now and then we hooked a fish, and sometimes a double. Pictured below is our catch from Sunday afternoon's trip. We had a nice catch of 4 rainbows and 6 chinook salmon. The big salmon weighed about 18 pounds and was our largest so far this season. All the fish put up a good battle and looked good and healthy. This is a good indication of a great season ahead.
MAY 30, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Went 8 for 11 fishing this afternoon. Fished straight out of the harbor in 100 to 220 feet of water. Caught 2 Cohoes, 1 King and the rest Rainbows. Best area was between 140 and 160 feet of water fishing the surface with orange spoons behind planner boards. The Cohoes and King were taken on dodger flies about 70 feet deep. Surface water temperature was around 46 degrees today.
JUNE 2, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught everything but a brown trout this morning. The Hogan family had their first experience with some non-stop Great Lakes Salmon fishing.
JUNE 4, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
How can fishing get any better? All Great Lakes species have been biting the past few days. Fished this morning in 100 to 130 feet of water just south of the harbor. We were a brown trout short of our Great Lakes Grand Slam again this morning, as we have been the past few trips. Caught 17 fish today with the largest chinook salmon weighing 19 pounds. The lake was flat calm again, and the water temperatures are warming up fast to around 52 degrees. We had our best luck using a variety of dodger and flies on downriggers, as well as orange spoons on the surface behind planner boards.
JUNE 5, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our evening outing with a 10 fish catch from a family from Nebraska. Fished in about 100 feet of water straight out of the harbor. Caught all Great Lakes sport fish except the elusive brown trout.
JUNE 9, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our Saturday afternoon outing. The weather was great and the fish were biting all afternoon. After this group, I think I know how it feels to be a kindergarten teacher, but we all had fun.
JUNE 16, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our Saturday afternoon Company outing.
JUNE 20, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Started out trying the harbor area this morning. After about 45 minutes with not a single bite we switched to plan "B" and headed out to deeper water. Set up in about 90 feet of water and trolled east. After a slow start we finally found a pocket of fish in about 120 feet of water and just kept going in circles. It was steady action all morning long catching fish from top to bottom. Large green dodgers with blue flies took a few kings near the bottom while orange rattlesnakes trolled behind planner boards on the surface took the rainbows and cohos. We put 18 fish in the boat in about 3 hours of fishing and caught everything but a brown trout today. The lake was flat calm today and the surface water temperature was around 47 degrees. These guys were great, and it was my pleasure to treat them to some fantastic fishing this morning. The Kids derby is scheduled for this Saturday morning. If you own a boat and would like to take some kids fishing please contact the Wharf at 920-458-4406. As of today there is currently a waiting list of kids waiting for volunteers with boats.
JUNE 29, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our first "Great Lakes Grand Slam" of the season. Caught all five great lakes sport fish today fishing south of the power plant in 120 feet of water.
JULY 1, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished around the north wreck this morning and caught some big ones. Started the morning with a triple, and had good action for most of the trip. We ran all kinds of dodger and flies today. Downriggers and diver rods took all of the fish.
JULY 3, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Caught some of the largest fish of the season this morning. Fished in about 100 feet of water straight out of the harbor and trolled north. Fish were biting on anything we threw at 'em today (mostly dodgers and flies). These were a bunch of first timers recommended by their brother-in-law and a long time guest of mine. They were treated to some of the best fishing this lake has to offer and went home with some great memories and a ton of salmon fillets.
JULY 11, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
More of the same fast and furious fishing this morning. We netted our last fish at 7:30 am and headed for the dock. Fished in 50 feet of water just south of the harbor. Every single rod on the boat took off today. I don't think it really mattered what we ran for baits, they all seemed to work. Cold water moved back to the shoreline and the fish seemed to move in with them. Caught 2 cohos, 2 rainbows and the rest were chinook salmon. What more can I say, this has got to be the hottest fishery for salmon right now.
JULY 23, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Now where catching the big fish! Fished this morning in 50 to 80 feet of water north of the harbor. Good action early in the morning using a variety of J-plugs and dodger fly combos. Caught one fat lake trout and the rest where some good sized chinook salmon. Yesterday afternoon angler Brian Sucharski landed a 23.16 pound chinook salmon, our largest of the season and the largest chinook registered this year out of the port Sheboygan (See Sheboygan Big Fish Board above).
JULY 29, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our big fish catch today with the gang from Minnesota.
AUGUST 18, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Our 15 fish limit of Chinook salmon caught this afternoon. Fished in 100 to 125 feet of water around the Pigeon River area. Best action was using a white J-Plug trolled at a depth of 80 foot. Also had some luck using the large plastic dodgers at or around the same depth. Had no bites trolling at depths above 30 feet. The surface water temperature was around 67 degrees but cooler water was located down deep.
AUGUST 22, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Fishing now can only be described as unbelievable! Caught our limits on all three trips today. Fished today in 100 to 120 feet of water using mainly J-Plugs with a few dodgers. Fish were being caught all over the water column. Pictured below is our non-stop afternoon trip catch. All the chinook salmon were caught in less then 3 hour of fishing and the boys from Chicago are going back with plenty of fillets.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished all week around the harbor area. Cooler water along the shoreline is attracting the mature chinook salmon. Caught 12 fish this morning in and out of the harbor using J-plugs and spoons. We were doing real well until someone mentioned that "we did not lose any fish today". That was all it took to change our luck, we then lost the next six in a row. This is the forth trip of the season for this party, and in July they limited out early. I guess they just wanted to do the full 5 hour tour this morning since it was such a nice day on the water.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished close to shore this morning, as we have the past few weeks. Caught 13 fish using mainly J-plugs and some spoons trolling in and out of the harbor where the salmon are concentrated getting ready for their spawning run up the river. Many boats have been trolling the area for weeks and pier anglers are out in force as the salmon are all drawn to our river at this time of year. Cold water is still close to shore and a good variety of fish are being caught. On September 12th we caught all five of the Great Lakes sport fish right around the harbor.
OCTOBER 3, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Fished the harbor area this afternoon for just a few hours and caught 9 fish. Had some good luck catching a variety of fish (Browns, Cohos and Kings) using j-plugs trolling in and out of the river water. Last week Thursday mornings trip we had a Great Lakes Grand Slam. What's interesting is that all the fish were caught inside the harbor. I can't remember ever having caught all 5 Great Lakes species inside the harbor during a single trip. Just goes to show that our harbor is a magnet which attracts a variety of fish on any given day.
OCTOBER 8, 2007 - Captain James Schlegel
Still great fishing around the harbor. Caught 11 fish this morning and another Great Lakes Grand Slam (All 5 Great Lakes sport fish) fishing around the harbor. Best luck was trolling a variety of J-Plugs behind planner boards and on diver rods. Noticed tons of baitfish up the river and in the harbor. Cold water in the upper 40's is still all along the shoreline. Caught 20 fish around the same area on Sunday mornings trip. No picture today, for some reason my camera did not work this morning?
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