Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd. hosts a fishing tackle rummage sale

clip_image002Feb. 28 - The Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd. hosts a fishing tackle rummage sale at Yesteryears Pub and Grill, 9427 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, WI. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. Both club members and vendors will sell fishing equipment. For more information call Cliff at 414-453-9913 or George at 262-408-8919. Free to the public. Hot food & free pool too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Outdoor Report as of February 17, 2011

A major warm-up in the last week has caused snow conditions to deteriorate rapidly across the state, but especially in the south. Some areas of the state saw a change in temperatures of more than 40 degrees in one day. Temperatures have been in the 40s to low 50s this week, and snow cover has dropped from 18 to 24 inches last week across the state, to a foot to 18 inches in the north, down to 3 inches in some areas of the south.

Snowmobile trails are now closed in roughly the southern two-thirds of the state and in just fair condition in the northern counties that remain open. Some counties closed trails in hopes of retaining snow on trails so they could be re-opened if temperatures drop as forecast for this weekend. Snowmobilers should check the Department of Tourism snow conditions report for updates or call ahead to their destinations for the latest conditions. Cross-country ski trail conditions have also deteriorated, and some parks and forests are asking skiers to voluntarily refrain from using the trails, again with hopes of retaining what grooming and snow remains.

Big fish and challenging travel conditions were the story during the first five days of the Lake Winnebago System sturgeon spearing seasons. Through the end of spearing hours Wednesday, 1,105 fish had been harvested, with 67 of them weighing more than 100 pounds, including a 185-pound, 80.2- inch female sturgeon was taken Feb. 14,

The Upriver Lakes were still open on Thursday, but could close if the harvest trigger is hit, otherwise the upriver season will be open at least through Friday. The Lake Winnebago closure is not in sight. There were reports of lots of water and very rough going on the roads off Oshkosh. Nine more fish over a hundred pounds were registered Wednesday, largest percentage of trophy fish on any single day in the history of the fishery. One spearer registered one of the infamous "white" sturgeon come on Wednesday. Not a true albino as the eyes were not pink.

Ice fishing on inland lakes remained slow, and travel became very difficult because of the melting snow and build up of slush. Ice conditions can change very rapidly in these warm temperatures, especially near inlets, outlets or natural springs, so people should be using extreme caution venturing out on ice.

Anglers with ice shacks still on the ice should consider removing them now or risk a big hassle getting them off if they sink into the slush and then cold temperatures re-freeze the ice later. The first ice fishing shanty removal deadline is next Sunday, Feb. 20 for Iowa-Wisconsin boundary waters.

Along Green Bay, the Peshtigo Harbor area saw an influx of northern pike anglers pre fishing for

a tournament next weekend. The Oconto breakwater saw a lot of activity this weekend, with some whitefish and a few perch caught along with some good numbers of smelt. Along Door County, Sturgeon Bay anglers had some success fishing perch but most have been small. Little Sturgeon Bay anglers were having success on whitefish.

After the warm weekend the ice conditions below the dams on the Mississippi River are becoming extremely dangerous. Run-off water is also entering many other rivers and the flowing water under the ice can rapidly deteriorate ice. Ice is also breaking up below dams on the Rock River and some decent walleye action was being reported.

Birds heard singing recently include tufted titmouse, house finch, cardinal, and white- breasted nuthatch. Waterfowl are getting more active with longer days triggering increased hormones, and bald eagles have been seen in the north carrying materials back to repair nests.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deadlines approach for ice fishing shelter removal

MADISON – The first of a number of deadlines for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters is this weekend. All ice fishing shelters must be removed from Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by Sunday, Feb. 20. This date, affecting the Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, is set to correspond with Iowa regulations.

The deadlines for the other two boundary waters are March 1 for Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters and March 15 for Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

For inland Wisconsin waters, ice fishing shelters must be removed daily and when not occupied after the first Sunday following March 1 for waters south of Highway 64 and after the first Sunday following March 12 for waters north of Highway 64. For 2011, those dates are:

  • Sunday, March 6 for waters south of Highway 64.
  • Sunday, March 13 for waters north of Highway 64.

One exception to this rule is that on the Fox River downstream from the DePere dam in Brown County, ice fishing shelters must always be removed from the ice daily and when not in use.

At this point in the season, ice conditions start to deteriorate and make removal unsafe and difficult. A shanty that breaks through the ice can create a safety hazard for boaters and anglers during open water season.

Failure to remove a shanty or ice fishing shelter by these deadlines could result in a forfeiture of $263.10. Additional costs may be incurred if the DNR must arrange to have the shanty removed or if the shanty or ice fishing shelter breaks through the ice and must be recovered and disposed of.

After these dates for removing ice fishing shelters from a frozen lake or river, an angler may continue to use a portable shelter but must remove it daily and when it is not occupied or actively being used.

2011 Spring Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearing questionnaire available online

MADISON – The questionnaire package for the 2011 Department of Natural Resources Spring Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearing and Annual Conservation Congress County Meeting and the list of meeting locations is now available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website.

On Monday, April 11, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each Wisconsin county starting at 7 p.m. where individuals interested in natural resources management will have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed hunting and fishing rule changes and advisory questions. Printed copies of the questionnaire will be available after March 1.

The hearings, held annually, are combined with the county meetings during which residents can vote on and introduce their solutions to natural resources related issues.

The spring hearings cover three major areas: elections for county Conservation Congress delegates; proposed wildlife and fisheries rule changes that have been developed through previous Conservation Congress meetings; and Conservation Congress proposals for future rule development.

Among the wildlife rule proposals being considered are: eliminating the archery deer hunting season closure during the traditional November firearm season; allowing normal hunting hours for pheasants on weekends at stocked properties that otherwise close at 2 p.m.; establishing a September firearm and archery hunting season for elk that would run concurrently with the first 30 days of the archery deer hunting season that would be held after the elk population reaches 200 animals; extending each of the spring turkey hunting periods by two days; and allowing landowners, lessees or occupants of private land, or other people with their permission, to shoot a cougar that is in the act of killing, wounding or biting a domestic animal and require that the carcass of the cougar be turned over to the DNR.

Among the fisheries rule change proposals are: increasing the musky size limit on about 600 inland waters from 34 to 40 inches; increasing the minimum size limit from 15 to 18 inches and decreasing the daily bag limit from five to three fish in aggregate for walleye, sauger, and hybrids for most waters in 19 southern Wisconsin counties; requiring the use of “quick-strike” rigs when fishing with minnows 10 inches or longer as bait; and creating a continuous hook and line fishing season for cisco (lake herring), whitefish, and hybrids in the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters with a possession and daily bag limit of 10 in total and no size limit.

In addition to the department's rule proposals, there will be a wide variety of advisory questions that the Congress will be asking citizens to gauge public support on various natural resource issues.

During the Conservation Congress county meetings, county residents have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their views regarding natural resources issues on the Conservation Congress, the citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process. Information about the process is also available on the Conservation Congress pages of the DNR Web site.

52 fish over 100 pounds speared in first three days of sturgeon season

OSHKOSH - Big fish and challenging travel conditions were the story during the first three days of the Lake Winnebago System sturgeon spearing seasons.

Genske sturgeon
Josh Genske of Sheboygan speared this 185 pound, 80.2 inch female sturgeon Feb. 14, the largest fish taken in the first three days of the Lake Winnebago System seasons.
WDNR Photo

Through the end of spearing hours Monday, 881 fish system-wide had been harvested, with 52 of them, or 5.1 percent, weighing more than 100 pounds, according to Ron Bruch, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor.

That includes the 185-pound, 80.2-inch female that Josh Genske of Sheboygan registered at the Calumet Harbor Station on Valentine's Day, and the 172.7-pound, 76.9-inch female registered by Jeffery Nozar of Oshkosh on opening day.

Those fish weigh in as the third and fifth largest sturgeon speared since DNR began keeping harvest records in 1941. Registration of all harvested fish began in 1955.

Seven of those top 10 fish have been speared in the last three years, Bruch says.

"The big fish we see now began growing into the ‘big fish’ category (100 pounds or more) just at the time when our new regulations were put in place to provide greater protection to them," Bruch says. "That's resulted in the impressive numbers of big fish in an expanded population overall of lake sturgeon we currently have in the Winnebago System."

Bruch says it's possible that the season could run the full 16 days allowed under law.

"Given the changing travel conditions on Lake Winnebago, it appears spearers will have many more days, possibly a full 16 days this year, to add to the top 10 list of biggest fish."

A list of the top 10 largest fish can be found on the Lake Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Season page of the DNR website.

Travel will likely be difficult for spearers

The deep snow and drifts spearers encountered on opening day of the seasons, Feb. 12, made it difficult to get around on the lake. That problem was compounded when warmer temperatures melted snow and made travel very sloppy. Windy conditions forecast for this week will push ice around, although colder temperatures forecast for the weekend may freeze up the slop and improve travel conditions by next week. "There's going to be a major adjustment for spearers to contend with over the next few days," Bruch says.

Spearers were closing in on the number of adult females that would trigger closure of the Upriver Lakes season. After Monday, there were 16 adult females left before hitting the trigger for the Upriver Lakes adult female harvest cap.

Lake Winnebago spearers after Monday were about one-third of the way to hitting the trigger for adult females on the big lake. Current updates are available on DNR's Lake Winnebago 2011 Sturgeon Spearing Season page.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sturgeon Spearing Season Opens This Weekend - February 12

We're getting right down to the wire now, and I thought you might be interested in some new Lake Winnebago water clarity reports our crew collected over the weekend. As of Saturday February 5, the water clarity has generally improved somewhat across the lake since my last water clarity report two weeks ago, from 12 to nearly 13 feet on average (see report below). The best water appears to be in the south and along the east shore, although I have heard that there may be some other local areas of exceptionally clear water, and some areas where the water is somewhat turbid. The biggest change in the last couple of weeks is the increase in snow on the ice.  [Full Story and More]

GBAGLSF Announces February Speaker

Our February Speaker will be Dale Stroschein, perhaps one of the areas most
recognized fisherman. Dale prides himself on educating fishermen who want to
learn how to fish in Door County and Green Bay waters. Dale has fished the
Pro Circuit for 12 years and has been a Charter Captain for more than 20 years.
Come early to see this great speaker, seats will fill up fast. Don’t forget the meeting is on WEDNESDAY this month.

Feb. 16th 7:00 PM

If you have questions about fishing the Bay of Green Bay – this will be a good one. Guests are afforded free admission but once you get a taste of what’s goin’ on – you’ll want to be a member. Plus there’s a raffle where you can win some great fishing gear.

Statewide Annual Spring WCSFO meeting

The Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations (WCSFO) hereby announces its Annual Spring Meeting on Saturday, March 19, 2010.  The event is held at Gander Mountain at 6939 S 27th St., Franklin, WI.  Meetings normally begin at approximately 10:00 AM and run until 1:00 PM.  Meeting attendees will get a discount on Gander Mountain merchandise.

Meeting participation is open to everyone interested in fishing, so membership in WCSFO is not required.  Since WCSFO is a statewide organization, we ask for your input on all issues confronting us at this time. This is the place and the time to voice your opinions.  We present the anglers’ views to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  You must be a member to vote.  New business, club and individual members are always welcomed. 

Fishing Club representatives must attend.

Here is a Typical Meeting Agenda:

  • Introduction of people present
  • Minutes from the previous meeting
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • DNR & Fishery problems, plus Annual Spring Hearing issues
  • Information on Walleye stocking in the Milwaukee River
  • Salmon Stocking – what is happening (why and where)
  • Updates on proposed Fishing Tournament rule changes and permits
  • Council matters – species updates
  • Website
  • Kids Fishing Klinics – etc.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are invited to attend and provide us with updates on our fishery.   “VHS” and “Silver Carp” will probably be hot topics. We hope to have representation for the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation as well.

Make your plans now to attend!  For further meeting information or if you want information regarding joining our organization, contact: John Durben – President at 715/745-2248 or


L.A. Van Veghel (Larry)

WCSFO, Secretary & Media Director

Milwaukee Fishing Examiner – fishing column; subscribe for free.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fishing Seminars at MW Marine in February

MW Marine

11901 West Janesville Rd.

Hales Corners, WI 53130

Toll free: (88787) 272-1653

M-W Marine's roots go back to 1959. Originally a hardware, implement and marine store in a small community outside Milwaukee, M-W Marine, Inc. went through many changes as the area developed and new products came to market. Today, marine equipment is the sole product sold at M-W Marine, Inc.

The strength of the company comes from its employees. Longevity of employment and the accumulated knowledge and expertise of its people create the right atmosphere for success. Our sales staff has over 150 years of combined marine sales experience.

M-W Marine is a total customer-care dealership. We have a fully computerized integrated system. This includes major unit sales, parts, service, and our accessory store


At M-W Marine, we involve our people in more than just selling products and services. We involve ourselves with our customers through fishing clubs and fishing tournaments. Every Saturday and Sunday in the month of February we offer free fishing seminars

During the fall we offer our customers free winterizing seminars at our service facility. We explain proper winterizing techniques for outboards, inboard outboards, trailer bearing re-packing, and winterizing the boat livewells. These seminars are usually offered in late September or early October on two separate days for our customers' convenience, and hopefully, trouble free boating.

2011 Fishing Seminars!

Sat. Feb. 5, 2011 Showtime- 11:00 A.M. Jason Przekurat Ranger Walleye Fishing Pro "Today's Tactics for Walleyes"

Sun. Feb. 6, 2011 Showtime- 12:00 P.M. Steve Miljat Mercury/Ranger Pro "Boat Control Means More Muskies"

Sate. Feb. 12, 2011 Showtime- 11:00 A.M. Cary Bever Ranger Bass Fishing Pro "What's New in Bass Fishing"

Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 Showtime- 12:00 P.M. Kevin Dahl Mercury/Ranger Pro "Open Water Trolling With Spinners for Walleyes"

Sat. Feb. 19, 2011 Showtime- 11:00 A.M. Walleyes Unlimited- Serving Johnsonville Brats John Gillespie, Host of "Wisconsin's Waters & Woods" "Fishing Hot Spots in Wisconsin"

Sun. Feb. 20, 2011 Showtime- 12:00 P.M. Walleyes Unlimited- Serving Johnsonville Brats Matt Bichanich Uncle Josh & Mercury Pro "Bass Fishing in Wisconsin" Tackle Giveaways

Sat. Feb. 26, 2011 Showtime- 11:00 A.M. Tom Kemos Mercury/Ranger Pro "Walleye Jigging Techniques- Early Season"

Sun. Feb. 27, 2011 Showtime- 12:00 P.M. Warren Zaren Mercury/Lund Pro "Bass Southeastern Wisconsin Lakes"