Best Places to Fish in Wisconsin: Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay and the Door County Peninsula area offer a variety of facilities and attractions for recreational boaters and tourists. Scenic shorelines, marinas, campgrounds, motels, unique gift shops and restaurants are present throughout the area.

Sturgeon Bay supports a diverse fishery, including an abundance of coldwater and warmwater species. This area is noted for having one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in North America. Special regulations exist for bag limits and seasons on smallmouth bass. Check current Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fishing regulations for current season and bag limit restrictions for all species.

Interactive Lake Map

For a more detailed lake map and up to the minute fishing reports connect with the Sturgeon Bay waterway page on Fishidy.

The Wisconsin DNR harvests eggs from Chinook salmon on Strawberry Creek, during fall. These eggs are used for stocking operations throughout Wisconsin. Charter fishing for salmon and trout species is popular. Ice conditions are often dangerous especially early and late in the season. Winter ice anglers should check with local bait shops for current ice conditions before venturing out on the ice.

Here are some tips for locating and catching fish in Sturgeon Bay:

  • Jigging weed bed openings with a 1/32 to 1/16 ounce jig is a popular presentation for walleye. Tip the jig with leeches or nightcrawlers for the most action. A quiet approach and light line (4 to 6 pound test) will increase success in the shallows.

  • Walleye will remain near the deep weeds until late summer before moving out to offshore reefs and steep dropping shorelines. These areas will hold fish through fall. Troll deep-diving crankbaits along the edges of the drops and the reefs. Thundersticks, Rebels and Rogues are all effective for locating walleye.

  • During summer and fall, tandem spinnerbaits can be effective for catching smallmouth bass. Choose a spinnerbait that has gold or silver blades matched with a white or white/chartreuse skirt.

  • From early summer through fall, rock piles in depths ranging from 6 to 20 feet will hold smallmouth bass. Trolling crankbaits near rock piles is an effective way to cover large areas to locate where bass are concentrated.

  • Minnows will produce the most perch during fall. Look for fall perch to be located in the 20- to 40-foot depths. During winter, offshore reefs and deep water humps will hold both perch and walleye. Swedish Pimples and small jigging spoons tipped with minnows should be used.

  • Pike leave the shallow bays during summer and can be difficult to locate. By fall, many northern pike return to shallow bays containing cabbage or coontail. Tandem spinnerbaits, “twitched” crankbaits and in-line spinners should be worked over the weed tops. Pike will also return to the ship canal during fall.
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This entry was posted in Fishing