Open-Water Winter Trout
Show Date: March 7th & 8th, 2009
Location: Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Guide: Eric Haataja [414-546-4627 |wibigfish.com]
This week we don't travel very far from home to find some really great fishing. We are guided by charter captain Eric Haataja, fishing the Milwaukee harbor for trout. This is the fishing that is non-stop until your arms are sore. Eric tells us that there are many options when fishing the harbor, casting, trolling and vertical jigging, and casting. All of thar options can be used to catch all different species of fish.
Heading out in the morning we encounter a good amount of icebergs that the wing blew in overnight. We have to navigate through the ice before we can get to our spot. It's no easy chore, from week to week it can change from ice to open water fishing, all winter long. Once we get to our first spot we tie up to the wall and cast for trout, and it isn't long before we get our first bite. Our rods continue to bend all morning, this is great sport fishing, some of the best in the world.
In the afternoon we head to deeper water to target lake trout. We are vertical jigging to lure these beautiful fish off of the bottom. They fight with vigor, and it seems like we get tired before they do. It's a great day of fishing, and Eric says it's avaiable all year long wheather it be open water ice.
Show Date: March 14th & 15th, 2009
Location: Mississippi River; Genoa, Wisconsin
Guide: Pro Guide Larry Smith [920-361-4996 | walleyeguide.com]
It sure is nice to get off of the ice at the end of a long ice fishing season. Nobody is happier to wield a spinning rod than our good friend and pro guide, Larry Smith. Larry ice guides over 150 days each and every winter, so he is more that anxious to get out on the open water. Speaking of open water, many of the pools that dot the Mississippi River as it flows toward the Gulf are open all year long. This is why we headed to pool #9 in Genoa, Wisconsin, to seek out any walleyes that might have arrived early. We get some much needed assistance from a man that guides the Mississippi all year long, Brett King. Brett is an expert in the “no-jigging” jig bite, meaning that very subtle moment is all that is need. Brett tells us that we indeed are a little early, but in March it will ramp up and get red hot.
We are fishing with the winner of the Shoreland Community Church auction, a benefit for the church. Thank you John for your support!
We start up jigging closer to the dam, the classic split-shot with a gold hook and a tail-hooked minnow. We get constant action all morning catching a slew of walleyes and saugers. Where we are fishing there is a 6 fish limit between the walleyes and saugers, and the walleyes must be over 15 inches. Larry loves the 14-16 inch saugers, and he defiantly worked hard to catch them on this trip.
At midday we head down stream to target catfish, and catch a bevy of eater-size cats. Is anybody getting hungry? The bottom is so littered with catfish that our graph has a hard time finding the bottom. This is a good opportunity to exercise you blade-bait skills, as we are pulling up a cat on every cast with the ZIP.
We finish the day back where we began, up by the dam, and catch some of the larger walleyes that eluded us in the morning. It was nice to get back on the water after yet another cold, cold winter.
Newton Lake in the Spring
Show Date: March 21st & 22nd, 2009
Location: Newton Lake, Newton, Illinois
Guide: Matt Bichanich, Uncle Josh Bait Company [unclejosh.com]
We head south to Newton Lake for our annual early spring large mouth bass show. Newton Lake is a beautiful 1,775 acre lake with pristine shorelines located in central Illinois. This lake is a power plant lake, and the water never freezes. A lake like this will see the spawn happen earlier than lakes in Wisconsin, so we get to use spring tactics even though it is only mid-March. We have some unusually warm weather for this time of year; it’s a nice reprieve from some nasty ice fishing weather we experienced only a month ago.
Heading out on the lake armed with spinner baits, swim jigs, and wacky worms, we hit the wind-blown shorelines where these bass are headed to spawn. It is high blue skies both days we fish so it is the morning and evening bite that is the best. Our hose, Tab Walker of the Outdoor Sportsman’s Lodge, tells us that the overcast days are the best. Our guide Matt Bichanich even says if it’s raining that the bite can really turn on, so we have our work cut out for us.
All the work is worth it, we boat some really nice quality fish. Every fish we boat puts up a great fight, which is why we always look forward to coming again next year!
Late Ice Yamaha Outing
Show Date: March 28th & 29th, 2009
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI; Bay of Green Bay
Guide: Pro Guide Dale Stroschein, [920-743-5731 | wackywalleye.com]
It’s always an adventure when we head out to fish each week, and this week is no exception. We are out for some late ice fishing on the bay of Green Bay with Pro Ice Guide Dale Stroschein. We are certainly glad that Dale is guiding us today, late ice can be dangerous, and Dale has all the area we are traveling checked for safety. Once we get out to our spots, as usual, the fishing is excellent.
Dale has us on a multi-species bite across a day and a half of great angling. In the afternoon we set up to target whitefish, and the target must be huge, because we ice them non-stop. The whitefish that we are catching are the same that you can find at any restaurant, and when you can keep 10 a day, that’s a great meal!
The whitefish is only a warm-up compared to the trophy walleye fishing that Dale has us on. Every time with out fail, Dale has us out late, and up early to get on the hot walleye bite. The best bite at night is an hour and a half before dark, and in the morning, we are set up long before the sun rises. It’s is however all worth it when you see the monster once-in-a-lifetime trophy walleyes that we are icing.