Friday, March 30, 2012

The Hidden Gem

I have a trout stream where I live , almost in my back yard. Its small and in tough shape as far as streams go. Banks are eroded and much run off exists from farm fields which it suprises me it has trout at all. I fished it when I was younger and it never gave up many but I fished it recently and I killed em. It was full of wild flowers and trees with unusual bark which I had three . It had beautifully shaped rocks that danced in the sun and sounds of small songbirds which I had two of.So I had 5 in all,....ah.... my limit ... Of course I'm not talking about a limit of fish. When I was younger I never new that these sights and sounds were part of my daily bag. So along with my lone brookie I had a limit of........

I never knew leaving could look so good!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Opening Weekend

My son and I arrived in the Driftless with a snow storm baring down on Wisconsin and we thought we were in for a wasted trip but the western part of the state was spared from any real accumulation. We were greeted Saturday morning with temps in the low 20's and winds over 15 mph which made things a little challenging . We thought brook trout would be biting right off so we targeted them for a large portion of the day, After fishing what seemed like several miles on the stream and nearing a huge berm that climbs several hundred feet ,my son looks at me and says,” I'll race you dad” and up the hill he ran..Man,I wish I was 13 again.

Many people have the misconception that early season is brutally cold , standing in the water and waiting for hungry trout to bite but its really very cozy. For me there is something very peaceful about the stream no matter what the season. This year with little snow cover we moved down the riverbank fairly quick so that helped us stay warm. Catching fish helps and we found many hungry trout for the weekend. My son caught a fish on the very first cast of the year . He also caught the most and the biggest . I took him on his very first trout fishing trip when he was five and he has become a very good angler. I love sharing the stream with him and I think I have him hooked for life. Yahoo!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sturgeon Spearing Under Way

Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Report – Opening Day Saturday February 11, 2012
by Ron Bruch WDNR
Opening day of the 2012 sturgeon spearing system on the Winnebago Lakes lived-up very close to pre-season expectations: Significantly reduced numbers of spearers on Lake Winnebago and fair water quality resulted in a modern record low harvest for an opening day on the big lake, while close to normal effort and clear water resulted in a higher than average opening day harvest from the Upriver Lakes lottery fishery which began in 2007.
Today’s totals:
                                    Juvenile Females – Adult Females – Males
Lake Winnebago   5                                    18                            16
Upriver Lakes        17                                 66                            88
System Total          22                                  84                           104
Grand Total for System for the day and season thus far: 210
Nine more adult females need to be registered on the Upriver Lakes to trip the 90% closure trigger on those waters. If 17 adult females are registered on the Upriver Lakes tomorrow (Sunday), the 100% trigger will have been tripped and the 2012 Upriver Lakes season will close tomorrow at 12:30 PM, and spearers will have till 1:30 PM to get to an URL registration station to register their fish. Given 66 adult females were registered today on the URLs, it is very likely 17 or more adult females will be registered there tomorrow hitting the 100% closure trigger to close the Upriver Lakes season at the end of fishing tomorrow.
On Lake Winnebago we are a very long way off from tripping any harvest closure trigger and likely may not trip any trigger before the season maximum of 16 days is reached.
Opening Day Totals since 2007 (first year of the Upriver Lakes lottery fishery)
Despite purchasing a record 12680 licenses for the 2012 season, many spearers elected to stay off Lake Winnebago this opening day due to variable ice conditions and less than optimal water clarity. Spearers that did go out primarily used four wheelers and snowmobiles to get to the 2197 shanties on Lake Winnebago, while a mix of 4 wheelers and vehicles were used by spearers to get to the 418 shanties on the Upriver Lakes. Normally spearers set over 4,500 shanties on Lake Winnebago, and about 500 on the Upriver Lakes. Water clarity was good on the Upriver Lakes. A record 4597 spearers applied for a 2012 Upriver Lakes license. The Department authorizes the purchase of 500 licenses for the Upriver Lakes each year through a lottery drawing. Spearers who applied but not drawn receive a preference point that increases the odds they will drawn for a future season.
The registered harvest today of 39 fish on Lake Winnebago was the lowest since 2007 when 183 were registered opening day that year. The registered harvest of 171 on the Upriver Lakes ties the most fish recorded opening day on those waters since the lottery began in 2007 when 171 were also registered opening day that year.
Out of the 210 fish registered system-wide today 12 fish were 100 pounds or larger in weight (5.7%), 2 from Lake Winnebago and 10 from the URLs, with the largest a 79.6 inch, 179.9 pound female taken by a lady spearer Chris Haedt of Oshkosh. Chris’s fish is the 5th largest fish on record since the fishery began in 1932, now number 5 on the all-time list right behind a 180 pound fish taken by Elroy Schroeder of Appleton in 1953 that stood as the Winnebago record until 2004. The current record is a 212.2 pound fish speared in 2010 by Ron Grishaber of Appleton. We have consistently seen fish in excess of 200 pounds in our spring spawning assessments over the last 10 years so we know they are out there and it is merely a matter of time before another 200 pounder shows up in the harvest. We estimate our Winnebago sturgeon stock is probably in as good of shape it has been since the 1800s.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Fish Fry!

I have had a couple article published here as of late. Makes me hungry reading it .Can't say enough about shore lunch!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First was the Best!

Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin plays host to a sturgeon spearing season every year.Here is my very first one and I have not been able to match it since.
It was 1995 at about 10:10 a.m.  and music from  the Jerry Schneider radio show was playing . After a 2 hour stint that morning and 6  previous  seasons   worth of looking down the hole  it  finally happened . A shadow appeared from the bottom of the lake and it lifted to meet my decoy.  I didn’t have much time to grab the spear and throw but I connected with a perfect mid body shot which drove three tines deep into the fish and then it was,” game on”.  The fish put up a nice battle  but I  was able to wrestled it out of the hole and  out the shack door. My first fish, a 86 lb beauty . I have speared several since but this one is etched inside forever!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Signed, Wisconsin

Certain things come to mind when you think Wisconsin. I would say people first think Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, Harley Davidson, Cheese, Wisconsin Badgers and America’s Dairy Land . But how does Wisconsin sign its name? What puts the ink in the stamp of Wisconsin .There are countless ways Wisconsinites punctuate their existence and sign their names.  Here’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long time! How about Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, 2089 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI. A Bloody Mary served with a cheese curd! Here’s a link 

Monday, January 16, 2012

First times a Charm

When his dad called  and quizzed me about my plans to take his boy out ice fishing I could hear the  hesitation in his voice.  The recent accidental  drowning  of  Packers coach , Joe Philbin’s  son and several other deaths  related to the  ice,  safety has been brought to the forefront for most fisherman.  I assured him we would be on our best behavior for his first outing.  Right now  Lake Winnebago has a few bays on the West Ice jigs Giveaway 219
side  that have ice but the main lake  basin is still looking like Swiss cheese.The bays have ice varying from 3 to 7 inches. I felt pretty honored that someone put enough faith in my  outdoor talents  to release their child to me for his very  first ice  outing.Its really the ultimate complement  for a guide or just a person in general . 
 Although fishing was slow Peter Streblow managed his very first perch through the ice. Ice fishing is as safe as you make it and taking chances usually ends up getting people in trouble fast. The recent cold snap is great for making ice but don’t get a false sense of security.Last week ,there was open patches on the lake  that now are iced over and covered by a layer of snow.  Who knows how much ice is under that snow so we still need to use caution . The fish are biting on  Lake Winnebago  and most can come up and enjoy it  if they use common sense and extreme caution . Ice jigs Giveaway 230
Contact the sport shops, talk to a guide or other local fisherman before you venture out. Go in a group and don’t be the great explorer . If you  have questions pertaining to Lake Winnebago I can be reached at or visit our site www. to see updated reports. We didn’t catch a lot today but the boys had fun .
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