Northern Wisconsin Panfishing
Shoe Date: March 3rd & 4th, 2018
Location: Part 1: Vilas County, Wisconsin - Part 2: Hayward Area, Wisconsin
Guides: Part 1: Rob Manthei [715-477-2042 | robmanthei.com] Part 2: Josh Teigen [715-813-0575 | joshteigen.com ]
On this week's episode, we head to northern Wisconsin to target panfish. A lot of snow fell in this part of the state, so we had some issues getting to spots. Along with the slow fishing this past 4 weeks, we ended up needing to fish two different areas.
With the close of game fish season at the end of February, panfishing is a great option to get out on the ice and have some fun. Late Ice can be especially good for panfish.
Part one of our adventure takes us to Vilas County, where we are joined by the winners of a competition amongst all Mills Fleet Farm stores. The winning store that improved sales of CLAM products the most from last year was the Wausau location. Tracy, Laura, Tracy & Kevin from the sporting goods department were picked to join us to film a show. The bite was tough, and the spots were difficult to get to, but we found fish. We caught some beautiful perch, and enjoyed a nice sunny day on the ice. We had a blast with our winners, who fished hard the entire time! Thanks for joining us to see that it's not always easy.
In part two, we're in the Hayward Area with Josh Teigen looking to jig for crappies. The fun part is when the school comes through, and seeing who's got the hot hole.
Fast Fishing on the Fox River
Show Date: March 10th & 11th, 2018
Location: Fox River, De Pere, WisconsiN
Guide: Brett Jolly [715-581-5678 | captainjollycharters.com]
It’s finally time to get back in the Recon! We had quite the exciting trip this week on the Fox River, near Green Bay, fishing walleyes with Charter Captain Brett Jolly. Brett’s buddy Avery, and show regular Matty B join Blake and I for this fast action river trip.
Just a week before we launched the boat, people were ice fishing here. This is the first of the “walleye runs” on this river, and they are running this time of year! There are special regulations until the season officially opens on the first Saturday in May, so we aren’t keeping anything, we’re just fishing for fun.
We try different presentations, from live bait to plastics, and they all seem to work pretty well - it comes down to personal preference.
Chasing Trout on Lake Michigan
Show Date: March 17th & 18thg, 2018
Location: Lake Michigan, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Guide: Captain Caleb Zorn [Wacky Walleye Guide Service - 920-743-5731 | wackywalleye.com]
March is a great month to get out on Lake Michigan. All of the ports from Chicago, all the way up to Door County can hold fish. These shoreline bites hold brown trout, steelhead, and possibly lake trout. The water on most of the lake is still pretty cold, so finding warm water discharges can be key to finding fish. The day before we fished was very windy, and muddied up the water pretty bad, so the water discharges will have warmer as well as cleaner water. We end up fishing the Oak Creek power plant. The power plant is expelling warmer, cleaner water that's used to cool it’s generators.
What seems to be working best is spawn sacks, they’re small bunches of fish eggs tied together with netting. The trout hit the eggs out of instinct, because they only want their eggs to survive, so if they find eggs that aren’t theirs, they eat them. We also catch a few on crankbaits, the hit you get on a crank is amazing!
Lake Newton Spring Trip
Show Date: March 24th & 25th, 2018
Location: Newton Lake, Newton, IL
Accommodations: The Outdoor Sportsman’s Lodge [ 618-752-5075 | outdoorsportsmanslodge.com ]
We love getting out in the boat to fish bass, especially when we can do it a few months before anybody else. We are fishing Newton Lake in southern Illinois, which is a power plant lake. This means the lake never freezes because the powerplant is always putting warm water back into the lake after it’s used to cool the generators. Since the water doesn't cool off as much in the winter, the fish in this lake are well ahead other lakes in the spawning process. These fish also grow a lot faster than other lakes.
As usual with our annual trip to Newton, we get to try a lot of different baits and lures. We catch fish on plastics, jigs, crankbaits, and tubes.
Huge thanks to our wonderful hosts Tab and Vicki at the Outdoor Sportsman’s Lodge, they’ve got a beautiful place to stay just minutes from the lake. They provide guide services as well, so you don’t need to bring your boat either.
Spring fishing in the Dells
Location: Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells
Guide: Pro Guide Big Dave Ehardt [414-803-7160]
Accommodations: Rivers Edge Resort [608-254-6494]
We're back on the river with Big Dave Ehardt looking for walleyes as they are moving up river to spawn. We always know we will catch fish when we go out with Dave. We like to have the great action, weeding through the small ones, and catching some legal ones during the trip.
Dave has a lot of spots that we check out, and we get to try a lot of different baits on those spots; from live minnows, to Jerk Minnows, to Grubs, to crankbaits, and vertical jigging blade baits.