Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sturgeon Video

Pictures from the River Dance

Nows the time to look at the camera. They are really moving the boulders around and going at it. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

STURGEON: Mother Nature's River Dance

Well the time has come for the great beasts of lake Winnebago to make there pilgrimage upstream to their spawning grounds on the wolf river. A couple of cameras have been installed on the river.Watching this  is super addicting ! I hope you  enjoy   Mother Nature's idea of   River Dance

 Shiocton 1
Live TV : Ustream

 Shiocton 2

Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV
A little warmer weather today and a few glimpses of the sun this afternoon made a lot of difference with pushing the lake sturgeon along their path towards ramping up their spawning activity today.  We tagged fish most of the day again along the Sturgeon Trail on County Highway X west of New London, and then at Pfeifer Park in New London on the Embarrass River.  The fish were coming in most of the day at these two sites, as well as at about 4 or 5 other sites on the system in the New London and Shiocton areas.  Water temperatures went down from highs reached on Monday due to the cold rain yesterday, but the higher temps we saw on Monday were enough to get fish going at a number of sites.  Despite seeing more fish, we did not collect any eggs today for our restoration projects since we only captured a few females and most of these fish were not yet ovulating or ready release any eggs - we'll take eggs at Shawano this weekend hopefully.  A female will come into a spawning site a few hours before she is finally ready to ovulate and begin releasing her eggs.  The males aren't overly interested in her at this time, although they know she is there and will hang around her hoping to be one of the first males to be in the best position to begin spawning with her once she does begin to ovulate.  They will hang with her for quite some time, unless there are other females also in the area that are more attractive because they have already begun ovulating and releasing eggs.  Once a female begins to ovulate she will blast out about 1000 eggs every 90 seconds or so until she is empty - 8 to 10 hours after she started releasing eggs.  At this point she is pretty much exhausted and may hang around the spawning site for perhaps an hour or two or so before she leaves the sites and begins drifting back down towards the Upriver lakes and/or Lake Winnebago.  The males will continue to hang on the spawning site for days or weeks to continue spawning with other females.  So - lake sturgeon are polyandrous (one female spawning with numerous males) and polygynous (one male spawning with numerous females) - Mother Nature's way 

Pre Scout for Trout

The awaited catch and keep portion on Wisconsin trout fishing season starts Saturday May 7 at 5:00 am and there are a few things you can do to insure a great opening day. Many fisherman have been fishing the catch and release season but remember that closes May 1 at midnight. I fish the driftless area of western Wisconsin but I live in Fond Du Lac. For me its a 3 plus hour drive so I have a few tools that I use which helps me save gas and time.If you can get out the week before that is ideal.Taking a walk on your favorite stream is a great way to spot trout holding in pools on your favorite creek. It also gives you an opportunity to look for human sign and see how heavy its been fished in the pre- season. But what if you simply can’t get away early.

My favorite scouting tool is Google earth and something new for me, Bing maps. I use these tools along with, WDNR STREAM to scout streams all over Wisconsin. If its finding a new stream to fish or new spots on your same old stream these are fantastic tools. Here is an example of Bing maps . Bing maps. The detail here is great but their coverage area for some of Wisconsin is limited. This is a great way to find the exact location of bridges that typically have posted regulation changes on DNR signs.Next, check if the DNR is going to do any stocking in your area . Here is the link STOCKING. We know up front that this is ”put and take” type fishing so take your son or daughter along and I guarantee a day on a trout stream will keep them wanting more.
Lastly,  Read your rules before you go. Know ahead of time what you can keep and what lures you can fish   in the area you are fishing.  The rules are Not really complicated if you take time to read them and do a little research beforehand. Take a camera along and get some great stream pictures and please pick up any garbage you see on the stream.  This will keep the experience great for every one .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | Wisconsin FINtastic Outdoors » Can you remember your first fly rod?

 The Frugal Fisherman is going incognito for  Gannet  Newspaper and the people of Wisconsin.   Thats right,
Wisconsin FINtastic Outdoors. I will be writing on a weekly basis.  and  covering everything from 100 lb sturgeon to 10 ounce bluegills. | Wisconsin FINtastic Outdoors » Can you remember your first fly rod?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bluegills on Lake Winnebago

Lake Winnebago is giving up some tank bluegills this year. 

Although the property owners are not fans ,the new weed growth along the shore line is  so beneficial to the system.

The water temp is still in the mid forties . Looking at the weather pattern  for this weekend,fishing should be fantastic !

Look for the Crappies to come in the channels next week when the water hits 50 degrees !  Good luck 
 Take a kid fishing! 
Photos and story.
all rights reserved 2011
John J McArdle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A little music to Brighten your day!

Will 70 degrees every get here?Until we get some warm weather
I'm forced to post comics!  ENJOY!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cold Front Bluegills

We have some of the worst weather the last three days its almost become depressing .Today the temps are hovering in the low forties but the water  still remains warm enough for bluegills to bite. It takes a lot to cool the water down and push fish back into the main lake. Fish the north banks of muddy channels and you will find gills.The bite today was from  1 to 3, the warmest part of the day.When cold weather hits the feeding window on these gills is smaller but they still feed. The only reason to get out early is to secure your spot on the bank.  Lots of people fishing! Fish caught on my new design of finesse  plastics. These are hot.
Good fishin

Stories and picture
by John McArdle
all rights reserved 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

PCB and Mercury in Fish? Blah blah blah...

Living by Lake Michigan for years and even now lake Winnebago , the DNR has warnings put on the lake about PCB and mercury levels and want you to limit consumption of fish . The average person hearing this is even afraid to dip a toe in the lake in fear of some form of contamination. I 've talked to many people about it and ,after pulling a drag from their Marlboro said "I wouldn't eat such a thing". SO, I looked up some facts about fishing and what you go through in a day to get your  fish. Everyone has standard hazards they face every day and we need to keep the "Fish Scare "in perspective. Here in Wisconsin, a Friday night fish fry is tradition .

 So you want to go fishing ?
1.Get up early in the morning, before sunrise.
 The odds of getting out of bed, falling and suffering a fatal skull fracture  1 in 20,000

2.Showering ...Risk of dying in the bath tub  is 1 in 12,800

3. Shave.  the odds of injuring yourself while shaving seriously enough to require medical attention are 1 in 7,000

4. Going down stairs ...the stairs are considered the riskiest part of the house with some 2,000,000 Americans taking a serious fall each year

5. Breakfast  ...Household accidents are widespread and the kitchen is common location (small kitchen appliances and ovens account for almost 97,000 injury accidents each year according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). If you eat a hearty breakfast (lifetime odds of choking to death = 1 in 1,087) that includes eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, hot cakes, syrup and coffee. There are health risks associated with many foods. This includes the risks related to heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure and many others (according to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 2,000,000 fatalities annually).

6. Drive to the Lake.  Car crashes killed 33,808 in 2009 down a whopping 10 percent!
   1.4 million accidents in the U.S. per year.

7. Lets Fish ... How about Wading a trout stream and falling..Falls kill some 15,000 Americans per year. Another 3,500 die in submersion drownings -- National Safety Council

8. Lunch anyone? 
                             odds of death from eating peanut butter are 1 in 3,300
9. The After Lunch Smoke.... 
based on research from the American Cancer Society, each year smoking, claims more than 400,000 lives in the US

 I bet you never knew  fishing was so dangerous. Ok,  so you say I'm no expert on PCB or Mercury levels and I'll agree with that but neither are some of the people pushing these laws and regulations.Should I be happy that someone is looking over my shoulder and protecting me from all of life's hazards?.Maybe .  What I am an expert at is perspective.If we don't keep things in life in perspective we often loose sight of whats really important . If you have never shared some smoked salmon or a piece of deep fried walleye with family or friends you really missing something.My advise to you , go fish and don't be afraid to eat your catch.
Photo and story
by John McArdle
All rights reserved 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wolf River Camera See some walleyes!

Today big pig Wisconsin Walleyes are cruzin up for spawn. Check this Out!

Live TV : Ustream

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Al Bundy !

Ed O'Neill, The man who was Al Bundy turns 64 today.
 Although I don't think he fished a lot ,he was one of the best or worst liars out there. I think every  married man with children  that loves to  fish, at times , can relate to Al Bundy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Migration Ambush Outdoors




Sunday, April 10, 2011


From World Fishing 

This can put a little flavor in those rainbows!


Report AbusePosted On July 29, 2010
Oh my, I have so many years of eating and cooking fish, I don't even know where to start. Let's start with Cedar Plank Trout which should be a National Dish along with Maple Salmon... and I'll tell you why EH. Canada is the biggest producer of Cedar, and the world record for Lake Trout is from Great Bear Lake EH, you see what I'm getting at here????? Uh Ha....
After this...Your dinners will never be the same. Follow simple MAN steps below and ENJOY….Wait....wait...wait....purchase a 6 pack first, and then follow these steps below EH!
1. NOTE: You will need something that could house burning charcoals and it MUST have a lid (for smoking purposes, Charcoal BBQ will work wicked good EH)
2. Purchase a bag of charcoals at any camping or home-hardware store EH!
3. Purchase Cedar Planks at any camping or home-hardware store EH
4. Soak Cedar Planks in water at home for at least 6 hours…(cedar planks will absorb water, the more water it absorbs the stronger cedar steam will be produced, hence better tasting Cedar Trout)
5. Place and light charcoal in something with a lid (step 1), burn charcoals until VERY HOT. This will take up to 30 minutes.
6. Sit down, have a cold beer, EH!!!!!!
7. Prep Trout….. I like to gut my fish, then remove head and tail. "Split" the fish along the spine to flatten it. You could also gut and stuff the fish with lemon/lime, dill, some onions and garlic…. Explore this option, sky is the limit.
8. Place previously soaked Cedar Planks on the grill above the burning charcoals, place Trout onto Cedar Plank. Squeeze fresh lime/lemon, sprinkle dill, grind black pepper.
9. Close the lid and smell the magic…
10 The smoking process may take up to an hour, pending on the fish size. Keep checking the fish meat for tenderness.
11. Sit down and grab a cold beer out of the wheel barrel which is filled with ice. Ok, have another one.
TIP: the longer you smoke it, the better it will taste, BELIEVE ME……I would say a 6 pack, time wise EH!
Let me know, how it goes..... Cheers

Sheboygan's Onion River

Yesterday I went to the onion river. Its a rehab river in Sheboygan county

and Its only about a 20 mile drive from my house. I'm always hesitant about

rehab sections because I never do well on them. I was pleasantly surprised

at the area. What a gorgeous stream. I got some nice browns and the smallest 

trout I ever caught. I'm hoping that means there is some natural reproduction going on.

The reason I'm really excited is I have cut my drive time in half to a trout fishing fix.

The next closest place is a one hour drive for me so I will enjoy this one I think! The

area is nice and clean and very natural looking. Great job people!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can you remember your first fly rod?

 After years of fishing walleye and bass tournaments and having three kids I knew the pace of my fishing was going to come to a screeching halt. There wasn't a weekend that went by and I was off on some pre fishing trip or at home fishing Lake Winnebago fine tuning my tournament approach. Often friends would ask how I got started fishing and my mind always
shot back to trout fishing on the Mecan River in Wisconsin when I was eleven.   To this day I can remember the very hole and that first "thump" on my pole. I'll never forget throwing that trout on the bank and looking at the colors and thinking how beautiful it was. It was cold that day and my fingers were froze and my toes were so cold in my rubber boots. I also remember the guides freezing up and how good the sun felt on my face when it finally shined on the river bank. 
  I trout fished on and off over the next thirty or so years but it was never anything meaningful and it always felt like a race to the stream and back home again. One Christmas a few years back my 8 year old son so proudly gave me a neatly wrapped package that he bought at a school charity event. Every year his school ran a "Elf's are Us" event where the children bought presents for their
moms and dads and proceeds would go to help cut cost of tuition. So I unwrapped my gift and low and behold my first fly rod...... a seven dollar fly rod. I looked it over, hugs and kisses where exchanged and Christmas went on and a new tournament of sorts was on my mind.  I needed to catch a fish on that fly rod. 
 Well come spring, our annual trips to the Driftless area of Wisconsin was the perfect place to give my new fly rod a whirl .So it was packed among other spinning gear and I made halfhearted efforts over the next five or six trips to catch a trout and I was unsuccessful . What I didn't realize was happening as time went by was that I was finally slowing down and soaking things in. I stumbled onto a fly shop in Virouqa WI called the Driftless Angler. I knew in my mind if I was going to catch a fish on this rod I needed to seek "Professional Help", so to speak. So I talked to Mat and Geri, the shop owners, and they hooked me up with a few basics, They fixed this thing you call a leader and tippet and asked if I had a thermometer at which point I held up  my index finger . A few pink squirrels, blue wing olives and a midge or three later out the door I went with more confidence than ever. Map in hand, I headed to the north fork of the Bad Axe. After working out a few casting issues I proceeded to catch my first brook trout on that  fly rod.
 Since then, I make even more trips to the driftless area with my two sons and always have my fly rod along. I  have moved on from the seven dollar version and I will never buy one of those thousand dollar sabers. I still am very frugal and just like that trout I caught when I was eleven, I will never forget my first fly rod. 

John McArdle
ALL photos and stories copyright@2011 and can not be reproduced without written permission.. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Salmon Anyone?

Now this takes the cake! Never knew the bears were such a problem!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't eat yellow snow UNLESS

Thank God the snow has melted. Here is my last  salute to   winter!
Now to get some night crawlers!

Nice place to have on hand!

Welcome to the Hans Weilenmann

4796 patterns by 262 tiers, fully illustrated & described

The Flytiers Page

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fishing for a great Deal . EBAY

Fishing for a deal on EBay?

   EBay can be a great place to find many deals when it comes to fishing, hunting and camping equipment. I have bought and sold tons of things on eBay and I’m happy to say I have had only one or two bummers in 5 years. Is everything a bargain? Absolutely not!
 First off, a PayPal account is a must if you’re going to use eBay. PayPal is a super safe connection that allows you to have a bank account on- line that you can use about anywhere. Many online stores now are taking PayPal because Millions are using it and they don’t want to give up valuable sales. The most popular lure parts companies are taking PayPal so Its really the future in online sales.Would I keep thousands of dollars in a PayPal account ? No, but that’s just me.
     Feedback score is the next important thing as a buyer that I look at. It has to be flawless or I don’t buy from that seller. There are way too many sellers out there to risk buying something from a bad Ebayer. Chances are if you look around someone else has the same thing.
  Shipping is not free and don’t think it is. Sellers will add the cost of shipping to the product and call it free. BUT, You can adjust your search setting to list all products with the lowest cost and lowest shipping first. That way you can see if shipping is way out of hand. Many times, if I think it’s too high, I will ask if the seller will ship it any other way. Some will and some won’t but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
 Another great feature of the advanced search on eBay is you can buy close to home. There is a section that asks about a radius from your zip code. Adjust it for within 20 miles of your zip and see who is selling near you. I have bought some really great stuff right down the block.
   High ticket items such as bamboo fly rods and antique baits can go for thousands of dollars on-line. I don’t feel comfortable buying something like that unless I can actually touch it. You might receive it and the product won’t meet your expectations and then you’re stuck. Ebayers will return your money sometimes but many times they will exchange it for equal value products in their own store. I’m not trying to scare you from shopping but I just want to make you aware it is still a buyer beware type of sale. Other things like rubber worms, ,finesse plastics,jigs and spinners are super buys on eBay.
Black Foot Trader is one place I shop and you can find some great deals for anything outdoor related.
Crosslake sales is another great spot I have found many great buys.
One more I have bought from.
 I have no affiliation with the stores above but I have bought many things from each of them . For me they have all sent quality items .I really think with the price of gas today and the convenience of shopping for someone who lives in the sticks, eBay can help you become a frugal fisherman.

Good Fishin

Saturday, April 2, 2011


So the last few days I chased steelhead around my neck of the woods. Milwaukee one day and Sheboygan the next and I have just stunk it up something fierce . As a matter of fact my last three trips have been total blow outs . The thing about spring fishing is its either chickens or feathers and lets just say at least the feather coat has kept me warm while I'm fishing. Started the season off great but its has taken a serious turn for the worse. I'm in a bad funk right now and I think I need to head to the driftless area to shake it off. Don't know what I'm not going to catch next but like always I'll post a report of whats not biting. Taking a break till next weekend!(maybe)

Good fishin


Friday, April 1, 2011

Milwaukee Wi Steelhead Report

Fished Miller Park today  on the Menominee river in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Since the Brewers are stinkin up Cincinnati we thought should keep some smell here and stink it up we did! 
Saw fish crusin but none interested in our baits. Threw spawn sacs under slip bobbers
all day and came up empty . Never saw a fish caught. We are getting some needed rain
here  and hopefully it will  pull some more fish up the river. Locals said suckers showed up and the bite has slowed since then. Till next time 
      Good fishin John