Door County Fishing Guide

Door County Fishing Guide

Fishing in Door County, Wisconsin, is a dream for many outdoor adventurers. Whether you are experienced or new to the sport, Wisconsin offers beautiful views and incredible catches. In Door County, you can spend a peaceful day on the lake and try your hand at catching smallmouth bass, trout, giant northern pike and a wide variety of other fish species. To help you get started on your fishing adventure, we created a Door County fishing guide.

Types of Fish You Can Catch in Door County, Wisconsin

The lakes and rivers in Door County are home to a wide variety of fish species. When you fish in this incredible area, you can catch the following:

  • Brook trout: The best time to fish for brook trout is in April, and the best places to catch them are Ephraim and Baileys Harbor.
  • Rainbow trout: You can fish for rainbow trout from Lake Michigan's shore from late April through August. 
  • Brown trout: The best times of the year to catch brown trout are between March and May, as well as the fall season, and you can catch them lakeside or from the Green Bay shoreline. 
  • Northern pike: You can catch northern pike bayside and in the Detroit Harbor any time of the year. 
  • Chinook salmon: Between May and September, you can catch chinook salmon lakeside or on Sturgeon Bay.
  • Perch: You can fish for perch year-round, and the best place to fish for them is in the inland lakes and the bay. 
  • Smallmouth bass: The best time to catch smallmouth bass is between April and October, and you can fish for them at Sturgeon Bay and on Washington Island. 
  • Whitefish: You can catch whitefish bayside between January and March. 
  • Walleye: Between April and June, you can fish for walleye bayside and in the inland lakes. 

Best Places to Fish in Door County

If you are wondering where to fish in Door County, Wisconsin, you will find the area is full of fun and exciting places to fish where you can cast your line for a wide variety of catches. 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is one of the most popular fishing spots in Wisconsin, and it's full of diverse fish and incredible views. To maintain the health of fish populations, the state stocks lake Michigan with millions of fish annually, so you are likely to get a big catch when you fish here. Whether you take a boat out on the lake or fish onshore, you are sure to have a great time. 

Baileys Harbor

Baileys Harbor is known as a gateway to Lake Michigan. Its sandy beaches, lighthouses and rocky banks make it a beautiful place to fish. Baileys Harbor is an excellent place to catch trout and salmon, and you can even fish in the winter if you enjoy ice fishing. No matter what kind of fish you wish to catch, you are sure to have a great time here. 

Rowleys Bay

Rowleys Bay is located on the edge of one of Wisconsin's most important wildlife habitats, the Mink River Estuary. Its diverse wildlife population makes it a great place to fish. With few crowds and distractions, you can enjoy a peaceful day fishing onshore or out on the water.

Detroit Harbor

A diverse group of wetlands makes up the Detroit Harbor State Natural Area. This area is home to Richter Bayou, a smallmouth bass nursery that makes the bayou and bulrush flats significant smallmouth bass spawning sites. Detroit Harbor is also an excellent place to fish for northern pike. 

Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay

Sturgeon Bay is one of the world's best bass fishing locations. Many bass anglers consider this location a must-visit destination for fishing, but you can also catch other fish species such as perch, salmon and walleye. Sturgeon Bay provides an excellent habitat to keep fish populations high, so you are likely to get some good bites on your line.

Green Bay is an excellent spot to catch walleye and brown trout. You can find luck fishing for both in the spring, but it's more common to catch walleye in the fall. 

Inland Rivers and Lakes

Door County's inland rivers and lakes are also great places to find your next catch. Some lakes, such as Clark Lake and Kangaroo Lake, are large enough that you can fish from a power boat. Other bodies of water such as Forestville Mill Pond, the Mink River and Europe Lake are perfect for fishing from small boats such as kayaks or canoes. 

Everything You Need to Fish in Door County

The most important thing you need before embarking on a fishing adventure in Door County is a Wisconsin fishing license. You can purchase a fishing license online, at a DNR Service Center or at various sales locations, and all you need to obtain a license is your driver's license and social security number. For a successful fishing trip, you will also need the following supplies:

  • A rod and reel
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Fishing weights
  • A cork or plastic bobber
  • Fishing lures or live bait

Fishing lures made to resemble live critters, as well as live bait such as crawfish, minnows and earthworms, are all excellent types of bait you can use to catch a fish. Fishing enthusiasts tend to have their own favorite bait for different fish species, so you can be creative and try different baits to find what works best for you. The most helpful type of bait depends on the type of fish you hope to catch

Whether you start with basic supplies and some simple earthworms or a large collection of fishing lures and bait, you are sure to find some great catches in Door County. The most important thing to do when fishing in Wisconsin is to have fun and enjoy your time on the water.

Where to Stay in Door County

Door County is full of incredible fishing spots, and you can enjoy all of the fishing fun Wisconsin has to offer when you camp at Kampgrounds of America. Door County KOA Holiday offers convenient and fun amenities, which include the following:

  • On-site fishing and nearby fishing locations
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Swimming pool
  • Mini-golf
  • Game room
  • Basketball court
  • Volleyball court
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Spray park
  • Pavilions
  • KampK9® dog park
  • Firewood
  • Snack bar
  • 50 max amp RV Sites and 60-foot max length

Camp at Door County KOA Holiday

Camp at Door County KOA Holiday to enjoy all that Door County, Wisconsin, offers. Fish at the campground catch-and-release fishing pond or spend a day on one of the many nearby lakes or rivers. Whether you are fishing alone, with friends or with your family, KOA offers a fun and comfortable place to stay when you plan an overnight fishing trip

Spend the day on the lake catching incredible fish and end your evening sitting around a cozy campfire. Book your stay at KOA to enjoy all that Wisconsin has to offer. 

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