door county fishing report


Door County Fishing Report

Wisconsin is famous for its natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. One of the most celebrated regions in this state is Door County, located in the northeast corner of Wisconsin on a peninsula that is surrounded by Lake Michigan. Door County is a popular tourist destination because it offers something for everyone – the picturesque coastline, the vibrant art scene, and the varied culinary delights. However, what sets it apart from other vacation spots is that it offers some of the best fishing in the region. The diversity of fish and the excellent fishing sites make Door County a prime fishing destination in the USA.

Wisconsin is home to 15,000 lakes, including three of the largest in the United States. The Great Lakes offer an abundance of fish species, and Lake Michigan, the fourth largest fresh-water body in the world, is one of the most productive fishing lakes in the country. The waters off the Door County peninsula provide an exceptional opportunity to catch a wide variety of fish. Anglers can expect to find a variety of salmon, trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, and musky, among many other species.

The Door County fishing season runs from late April until late September or early October. Different fish species can be targeted with varying degrees of success depending on the time of year. In late April, early May, and early June, anglers can expect to catch brown trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, and lake trout. These species migrate to the shallower waters off the Door County Peninsula to spawn and feed. Later in the summer, anglers can find more smallmouth bass, musky, and walleye around the rocky shorelines and deeper waters with hard bottoms.

Door County offers a diverse set of fishing experiences for anglers, ranging from wading in fast-flowing streams to trolling for trophy-sized fish in deep water. Additionally, there are fishing guides and charters offered throughout the county for those who want the expertise of a seasoned angler to show them the best fishing spots and techniques.

In recent years, Door County has implemented a “Catch and Release” policy to preserve the fish species and ensure they remain healthy. The policy promotes the return of fish back to the water after being caught by anglers. This effort has been successful in maintaining the fish population and making Door County a sustainable fishing destination.

Overall, Door County is a paradise for fishermen who are looking for an exceptional fishing experience. Its varied fish species, clear waters, and breathtaking scenery make Door County an excellent destination for anyone looking for a great fishing trip.

Fishing Season

Fishing Season in Door County

When it comes to fishing in Door County, anglers are in for a treat. The Door County fishing season starts in May and ends in October, giving plenty of opportunities for anglers to cast their lines and have a great time outdoors. However, the peak season starts in June and ends in August. This is the best time to catch most of the popular game fish species in Door County.

During the early parts of the season, fishing in Door County is generally slow, and anglers might have to work hard to catch a few fish. The water is still cold, and the fish are in deeper waters. However, things start to pick up in June as the water temperature rises, and most of the fish species start to move towards the shoreline. During this time, anglers will have better luck fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, and the elusive musky.

In July and August, the water temperature is at its warmest in Door County, making it the perfect time to catch a variety of fish. These months are the peak season because the fish are active and feeding. Anglers will have good luck fishing for trout, salmon, bass and other species at this time of year. However, it is worth noting that due to the high number of visitors to Door County during peak season, anglers may have to compete with other anglers to find the best spots.

September and early October are the best months for anglers who love catching trout and salmon. During this time, the fish start to move to their spawning grounds, and anglers can find them in abundance. It is also worth noting that during the fall, the water is cooler, and the fish are more active, making it easier for anglers to catch them.

In conclusion, Door County offers a range of opportunities for anglers, regardless of whether they are experienced or beginners. The fishing season in Door County is generally from May to October, with peak season being June to August. Anglers can catch a variety of species, including trout, salmon, bass, musky, walleye, and other game fish species.

Targeted Fish Species

smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and lake trout

Door County, Wisconsin is a renowned destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. Home to a diverse array of habitats, including lakes, rivers, and bays, it offers ample opportunities for anglers to try their hand at catching some of the region’s most sought-after species. Four fish species in particular are commonly targeted in Door County: smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and lake trout. Here is a closer look at each of these species and what you need to know to catch them.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass fishing in Door County is nothing short of exceptional. Found in virtually every waterbody in the region, smallmouth bass are known for their hard-fighting nature, making them a favorite among anglers of all skill levels. Spring and early summer are prime times to target these fish as they move into shallower waters to spawn. Soft plastic lures, jigs, and crankbaits are all effective when targeting smallmouth bass. For the best results, look for rocky shores or drop-offs, as these are favorite hangouts for these fish.



Walleye are often considered the prize catch of Door County. These fish are known for their delicious white meat and are a popular target for both recreational and commercial fishermen. They can be found in lakes throughout the region and are most active at dawn and dusk. Walleye are an ambush predator and prefer to hide in submerged structures such as weed beds and rock formations. Live baits such as leeches, minnows, and nightcrawlers are effective, as are jigs and crankbaits.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Northern pike are a favorite among anglers who are looking for a challenge. These fish are known for their aggressive nature and can grow up to 30 pounds in weight. Northern pike are typically caught in the spring and fall, with the best times being early morning or late afternoon. These fish are ambush predators and prefer to hide in weed beds or other aquatic vegetation. Large spoons, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits are effective when targeting northern pike.

Lake Trout

Lake Trout

Lake trout are a cold water species that are typically found in deeper waters. They are often caught in the summer months when they move into shallower waters to feed. These fish are known for their size and strength, making them a favorite among experienced anglers. Trolling with lures or using live bait are both effective when targeting lake trout. For the best results, look for areas of the lake with colder water temperatures or underwater structures such as drop-offs or humps.

Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, Door County offers something for everyone. With an abundance of fish species to target, stunning natural scenery, and a welcoming local community, it is no wonder that this region is considered one of the best fishing destinations in the Midwest.

Popular Fishing Spots

Sturgeon Bay Fishing

Sturgeon Bay Fishing is one of the most popular fishing spots in Door County located in the northeastern part of Wisconsin. The bay is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, perch, bass, pike, and even trout. The shallow water and rocky bottom make Sturgeon Bay an ideal location for anglers trolling or casting from boats.

Potawatomi State Park Fishing

Potawatomi State Park

Potawatomi State Park offers fishing opportunities in the waters of Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor. It is known for its impressive catches of lake trout, chinook salmon, brown trout, and steelhead. Anglers can enjoy shore fishing or launch a boat at the park’s public ramp.

Bay of Green Bay Fishing

Bay of Green Bay

The Bay of Green Bay is another popular fishing spot in Door County known for its fantastic walleye fishing. The bay’s clear waters offer a variety of fish, including perch, pike, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. Visitors can cast their line from shore or boat, with many local charters available for hire.

Washington Island Fishing

Washington Island

Washington Island, located off the tip of the Door Peninsula, offers some of the best fishing opportunities in Lake Michigan. The island offers shallow waters that are great for targeting smallmouth bass and perch, as well as deep waters offshore for anglers seeking lake trout and chinook salmon. Washington Island also has several public boat ramps for visitors to launch their boats.

Overall, Door County offers a variety of fishing experiences for every angler, from shoreline fishing to boat angling and charter tours. The area’s gorgeous scenery, diverse fish populations, and excellent fishing conditions make it a must-visit destination for any angler.

Trolling Techniques

Trolling Techniques in Door County Fishing

Trolling is one of the most popular fishing techniques used in Door County. This method involves dragging a line with bait or lures behind a moving boat. Many anglers use downriggers or planer boards to help keep the bait at a consistent depth and distance from the boat. Some of the common baits used for trolling include spoons, crankbaits, and live bait such as minnows or nightcrawlers.

When trolling for salmon and trout in Lake Michigan or Green Bay, anglers will typically use heavy-duty rods and reels. This is because these fish can grow to be quite large and strong, and require a lot of strength to reel in. During the summer months, anglers may have success trolling for walleye, pike, and musky in some of the inland lakes of Door County.

Jigging Techniques

Jigging Techniques in Door County Fishing

Jigging is another popular technique used for catching fish in Door County. This method involves dropping a weighted jig or lure to the bottom of the water and then repeatedly lifting it up and down to attract the fish. Anglers can use a variety of jigs and lures, including bucktail jigs, leadhead jigs, and soft plastic baits.

Jigging is especially effective for catching walleye in Door County’s many inland lakes and rivers. Anglers will often focus on fishing around drop-offs, underwater ledges, and other structures that walleye like to use as cover. Jigging can also be effective for catching smaller panfish like bluegill and crappie.

Casting Techniques

Casting Techniques in Door County Fishing

Casting is a versatile technique that can be used to catch a wide variety of fish species in Door County. This method involves using a rod and reel to cast a lure or bait out into the water and then reeling it back in. Some common lures used for casting include crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater plugs.

Casting can be especially effective for catching bass, both smallmouth and largemouth. Anglers can target these fish around weeds, rock piles, and other structures that bass like to use as cover. Casting can also be used for catching trout and salmon in some of Door County’s smaller streams and creeks.

Ice Fishing Techniques

Ice Fishing Techniques in Door County

During the winter months, ice fishing is a popular sport in Door County. This method involves drilling a hole in the ice and dropping a line with bait or lures into the water. Many anglers use tip-ups or tip-downs to help detect when a fish has taken the bait.

Ice fishing can be an effective way to catch a variety of fish species, including panfish like bluegill and crappie, as well as larger game fish like pike and walleye. Anglers will typically use small jigs or live bait such as waxworms or minnows when ice fishing. It’s important to check the ice thickness before venturing out onto the ice and to always wear appropriate safety gear.

Fly Fishing Techniques

Fly Fishing Techniques in Door County Fishing

Fly fishing is a popular technique used for catching trout and other fish species in some of Door County’s smaller streams and creeks. This method involves using a special fly fishing rod, reel, and line to cast a lightweight fly out onto the water.

Anglers will typically use a variety of different fly patterns to try and match the insects and other organisms that the fish are feeding on. Some of the common fly patterns used in Door County include nymphs, dry flies, and streamers. Fly fishing can be a challenging but rewarding way to catch fish in Door County’s beautiful natural surroundings.

Fishing Supplies

Fishing Supplies in Door County

If you’re planning to go fishing in Door County, make sure you have the right fishing supplies. Fortunately, there are plenty of fishing supply stores in the area that can provide you with everything you need for a successful fishing trip.

The most important items you’ll need to have are fishing poles, reels, and lines. The type of fishing pole you should use depends on the kind of fish you’re trying to catch. The staff at the fishing supply stores can help you choose the right fishing pole for the type of fish you want to catch. They can also give you advice about the type of reel and line to use.

In addition to fishing poles, you’ll need to have a variety of baits, lures and weights. The store will usually have a vast selection of baits and lures that you can choose from. They’ll even offer tips and suggestions on which bait and lures work best for targeting specific fish species.

Fishing gear isn’t the only kind of supplies you’ll need. You’ll also need to have appropriate clothing for fishing, such as waterproof jackets and pants, boots, and hats. The store may also have additional safety items you can take with you, such as life vests, first aid kits, and whistles in case of emergencies.

It is essential to keep in mind that most of the fishing stores offer rentals for people that don’t want to make permanent purchases. This is especially beneficial for people that are new to fishing and want to try it out before they invest in fishing gear. Fishing rental supplies will typically include the required fishing equipment, as well as bait and lures.

Finally, you may want to purchase a fishing license before you head out to fish. The staff at the fishing stores can also assist you with obtaining a fishing license. It’s essential to note that a fishing license is required to fish legally in Door County.

When you’re preparing for a fishing trip to Door County, visiting a local fishing supply store before you leave is a must-do action. They can provide you with everything you need to have a successful and enjoyable fishing experience.

1. Smallmouth Bass in Door County

Smallmouth Bass in Door County

Fishing enthusiasts are rejoicing as the smallmouth bass bite has been consistent in Door County. Anglers have reported good activity near the shoreline, rocky areas and underwater structures. The bass have been particularly active in the waters near the Sturgeon Bay and the Bay of Green Bay. Topwater lures have been successful in catching these fish, and many anglers prefer using jigs and soft plastic baits to catch the elusive smallmouth bass. The current fishing report suggests that it is a great time to plan a fishing trip to Door County if you are looking to catch some smallmouth bass.

2. Walleye in Door County

Walleye in Door County

If you are a fan of walleye fishing, then Door County should be at the top of your list. Recent fishing reports indicate that the walleye activity has been great in Potawatomi State Park area. Anglers have reported catching good size walleye in the late evening hours. Jigging with minnows, casting crankbaits, and trolling with crawler harnesses have been some of the most popular techniques used to catch walleye in the area. Overall, the current fishing report suggests that walleye fishing is at its peak in the Door County region.

3. Perch and Trout Fishing

Perch and Trout Fishing

Perch and trout fishing in Door County has also been a popular activity lately. In the waters of Green Bay, anglers have been having success catching perch using live bait rigs. Trout fishing has been popular in the Lake Michigan tributaries such as Rowley’s Bay, Jacksonport, and Fish Creek. Overall, the fishing activity in Door County has been fantastic. There are a variety of fishing options to choose from, and with the current fishing report’s positive outlook, it is the perfect time to plan a fishing trip to Door County.

4. Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing

Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing

Lake Michigan offers a fantastic salmon fishing experience. Fishing for salmon has been successful in the Door County region, including both the northern and southern ends of the peninsula. Trolling with spoons and flashers have been the most effective techniques to catch salmon in Lake Michigan. Anglers have reported good catch size in the area, and the fishing reports suggest that the fishing activity has peaked in the area.

5. Ice Fishing in Door County

Ice Fishing in Door County

Ice fishing enthusiasts can also enjoy the diverse fishing scene of Door County. Ice fishing opportunities abound in Peninsula State Park, Baileys Harbor and Sturgeon Bay. Anglers have reported good catches of bluegill and crappie in the area, and some northern pike and walleye have also been caught through the ice. Many anglers prefer using tip-ups, and jigging has also been successful. Overall, ice fishing in Door County can be a fun activity for those looking to try something different.

6. Charter Fishing in Door County

Charter Fishing in Door County

Charter fishing is a fantastic option for those who want to experience a professional fishing guide and the thrill of catching trophy fish. Door County offers some of the best charter fishing experiences in the Great Lakes. Guides operating out of Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor, and Washington Island offer charter fishing excursions for all skill levels. Salmon, trout, walleye, smallmouth bass, and perch are some of the most popular fish to target. Most charters provide all the necessary equipment and gear, and some offer licenses as part of the package. Make sure to book in advance as these popular charters fill up fast.

7. Fishing Regulations

Fishing Regulations

It is essential to review the fishing regulations before embarking on your fishing trip to Door County. Fishing licenses are required for all anglers above the age of 16. You can purchase fishing licenses online or from authorized retailers. It is essential to adhere to size and daily catch limits to preserve the fish populations and maintain healthy ecosystems. In addition, some areas may have specific rules and regulations related to fishing; make sure to check with the local authorities before starting your fishing adventure.

Top 8 Door County Fishing Spots for Anglers

Door County Fishing Spots

Door County is a fisherman’s paradise, with stunning waterways that boast rich populations of various fish species. Whether you are a professional angler or a novice, there are numerous locations where you can cast your line and have fun. Here are the top 8 Door County fishing spots worth checking out:

  1. Sturgeon Bay

    Sturgeon Bay

    If you’re looking for action, Sturgeon Bay is the place to go. It is home to a wide variety of fish, including walleye, freshwater drum, whitefish, and smallmouth bass, among others. Some anglers even report catching trophy-sized muskies here.

  2. Green Bay

    Green Bay

    Green Bay boasts phenomenal fishing opportunities, with a generous population of musky, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. You can easily catch fish from both the piers and the banks, especially near the park area.

  3. Ephraim


    This small village on Eagle Harbor is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, and you can get your hands on trout and bass here. Ephraim’s sandy shores and clear waters offer a tranquil experience for anyone looking to cast a line while enjoying picturesque scenery.

  4. Sister Bay

    Sister Bay

    Sister Bay is renowned for its trout fishing; you can quickly become dinner’s hero by casting a line for brown trout and lake trout. Plus, there are opportunities for whitefish and salmon fishing here.

  5. Alpine Resort

    Alpine resort

    At the Alpine Resort, you can explore the fishing piers on Kangaroo Lake, boasting panfish, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass, a perfect activity for families. The resort offers canoe, kayak, and boat rentals, offering you a different perspective when fishing.

  6. Jacksonport


    If you’re searching for an unparalleled fishing experience, Jacksonport is your go-to spot for brown trout, which swim in Lake Michigan’s shores. In the winter months, ice fishing is popular, with abundant populations of whitefish and cisco fish.

  7. Fish Creek

    Fish Creek

    Fish Creek offers an exciting fishing opportunity near The Ridges Sanctuary. At the sanctuary, you can fish for bass, panfish, and trout with fishing equipment rentals available. You will enjoy a fantastic experience with local enthusiasts while reeling in some of the biggest catches.

  8. Egg Harbor

    Egg Harbor

    If you’re just beginning your fishing journey, Egg Harbor is the perfect location. The waters teem with dinks Smallmouth bass providing beginners with an excellent opportunity to sharpen their skills.


Door County Fishing

Door County is undoubtedly a picturesque and serene location that all fishermen will fall in love with, and there are numerous locations where you can throw a line and catch some fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, the waters of Door County are a paradise waiting to be explored. So pack your fishing gear and head over to any of these top 8 fishing spots for an unforgettable experience.

About admin