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Myrt

November/December Browns

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I have a few questions if anyone is interested in answering. I visit my inlaws in the Oconomowoc area a few times a year and would love to fish for fall Browns in the Milwaukee Harbor.

Question #1. I finally found the Milwaukee River boat ramp to the harbor, of the three which one would be the best choice in November/December.(McKinley, South Shore,or the one off the river.(Are they all open at this time, fees?, safe?)

Question#2. Is this dicharge from the plant along the river walls out to the harbor, is this spot a well kept secret one needs to find on their own?(I have no problem with this I just thought I would ask in case it is a well known spot)

Question#3. What bait shop between Oconomowoc and Milwaukee would be the best place to patronize?(in your opinion)

I ask these questions only because my stays here are not long, any helpful responses will be greatly appreciated! Thanks and Merry Christmas 2009!!!

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Sorry for the lack of response. Hopefully we can get some answers from a kind person visitng in here.

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Here is what I've found,

In the early fall the local browns come in and will be in for a couple months or more but not many in the harbor at any given time.

The next browns coming in will be Seeforellens (the big ones!). They will start showing up in Ocotber and continue through December. The real hot action is usually in late October and through November.

If you had one month to fish it would be November. You have the locals coming back out of the river (post spawn) and really hungry and the Seeforellens coming in pre spawn. November is Brown trout fishing heaven.

McKinley pier, the McKinley harbor, Lakeshore State Park estuary, the area behind the Amphitheater, and Jones Island are all good bets.

The Browns aren't shy in fall so if you don't get action in the first 1/2 hour, keep moving. For kids, the LSSP estuary and the area behind the amphitheater are very safe as far as not having to worry about little kids falling in.

Minnow baits like the original 4.5 inch Thunderstick and Husky jerk-baits are good bets. Small cranks like Berkely Flicker Shads, #7 Shad Raps or Deep Thunderstick Juniors are good in deeper areas. Smaller spoons like #1 Cyclops & 2/5th Cleos can also be good but the plugs seem better in Late October and November.

For live baits, a medium to large golden shiner or a spawn sack is a good option.

Hope this helps.

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Havin' Fun,

Thanks for your very helpful response. Sorry to respond so many months later. My inlaws live by Oconomowoc and I may try a November trip this year. One more question , would my rig be safe at the Milwaukee Harbor public ramp, or is that taking a big chance. Somewhere(I think Wisc. Game and Fish), I think I read that there could be a chance of vandalism there? I could always have my wife drop me off then go to the Casino, now there would be an expensive fishing trip!!!

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Myrt - I'm originally from Milwaukee, lived in MN for the past 16 years, and am planning on towing my boat down for Thanksgiving. I'm planning the same as you, to mostly fish the harbor area dragging lures.

I've only dropped a boat once before and did it at the river ramp. I found a parking spot no problem and that was in summer. I wouldn't worry too much about vandalism (I won't) but don't rely on me!

Good luck and maybe I'll see you down there!

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Shunked Again,

Thanks for the reply. I won't actually fish until Sunday after Thanksgiving, maybe you'll still be around? The ramp I'm talking about leads right into the harbor, I think, under the Hoan bridge, but my directions are not that great as I have only been by it once this past summer researching where to put in. I'm really excited to try this, I have not fished there before, nor fished for browns before. Probably won't do anything but hopefully learn plenty for the next time!!! Any suggestions would be great, it sounds like you pull plugs, I was planning on everything, plugs, spawn sacs, jigging spoons, jigs with gulp, hopefully for 2 days if not 3(sun,mon,tue). Good luck to you and have a great holiday while you're there!

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My wife is taking off the 23rd & 24th so we'll likely be heading back up on Sunday the 28th. If I remember I'll try to post a report on here. We'll probably fish on Tuesday or Wednesday, maybe Saturday. I found that you can purchase a 2-day Great Lakes sportfishing license for $14 (I believe) so we'll have to find two days that work best for us.

I'm only running a 16.5 Navigator with a 90hp so I'm sticking very close to shore. I don't want to be on the evening news during my first great lakes outing! I'll likely just pulled plugs and spoons since my gear is all for walleye and bass fishing. I don't have downriggers or anything to go deeper. It will be fun no matter what.

Good luck to you.

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Unfortunately I never made it out on the lake. I was at the Milwaukee by 6am, with the boat half in the lake. The wind was coming hard out of the east, with waves crashing into the ramp. My boat was violently bouncing up and down and slamming back into the trailer. I decided that this wasn't the time to fish and winched it back up. It was windy the next two days and then family events took over. So my boat got a nice 700 mile round trip tour of Wisconsin.

I hope that you had some luck myrt.

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I was able to get out Sunday and Monday from 12-4. 3 of us the first day, tried trolling, casting, to slip bobbering spawn sacks, only one 6 inch goby. The next day I netted a 14lb brown for my brother-in-law that smacked a x-rap right at the boat. I caught a 3lb rainbow, and right before 4pm I caught a 10lb steelhead. Only 3 fish, but for never having done this before we were very pleased. Caught all three casting minnow x raps and never went further than the opening past the Hoan Bridge. As long as my in-laws live in Oconomowoc this will be an annual trip.

That Brown inhaled the rap and the Steelhead broke my rap it hit so hard, what a rush. We were lucky with our weather, didn't even have bibs on.

Thanks for your info SA, better weather next time!!!

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Another year has almost gone by. I will be going to the monday night Viking

Packer game on Nov. 14. Sssooo, talked the wife into letting me fish the Milwaukee Harbor the sat/sun before. I am planning on casting xraps, spoons, and tube jigs,...boat fishing out of the harbor launch. Last year was only 3 fish,(14lb brown,10lb steelhead, 3lb rainbow) but enough to keep me coming back. Skunked Again...you heading out for the holiday this year? I'll leave a report. I'm hoping the fishing will be a highlight for the weekend...since I am from Minnesota(VikingFan), and my wife is from Sheboygan(obviously Packer Fan), and I am not counting on a win for me on that monday night.

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Go to the north east side of the hoan bridge and use a large shiner with a bobber (right along the wall out of the river). Can't believe that your going for the trout and not the 17" perch that are under the bridge in November!

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Hotime....thanks for the info. I did not know the perch would be in there at that time. Crappie minnow rigs off the bottom?

I will have to fish for both....looking forward to it.

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