Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
Midwst Outdoors February 2008

February's Forecast For Fun
By Joel “Doc” Kunz

If weather forecasters are correct we should continue to see the cold snowy winter we have seen so far this year. That should mean that winter time activities continue and the first thoughts of open water fishing will be limited to ICE BREAKER III or a chance at something on the Mississippi or Wisconsin River. The Wolf will most likely remain closed to open water fishing through the month of February with fishing action limited to those willing to go out on the ice. That’s normal for this time of year. I can actually only remember one February in the last 20 years where we were able to fish open water on the Wolf River. Usually I’m spending a February weekend at the “Dells” fishing open water instead of sitting on a bucket staring at a hole in Wolf River ice. Not that you can’t catch fish through a hole in Wolf River ice, it’s just that I have always preferred fishing from a boat and not a bucket. Oh, I’ll head up to Door County a few times to try my luck at ice fishing for a trophy walleye, but generally February is spent in anticipation of March fishing. That doesn’t mean I’m in a rush for ANY February day to be over. The gradual lengthening of the daylight hours is always welcome and February usually provides a glimpse of the spring weather to come, but in general, it’s a busy month in preparation of each years ICE BREAKER event.

If you want to catch some walleye, try long lining light weight jigs on transitions in the bottom either above or below deep water. What most anglers don’t know is that many walleye are actually on the move under the ice this time of year. Each bit of runoff that enters the system helps to move the fish towards their eventual spawning grounds. That puts fish on the move through the New London area and actually the entire lower part of the system. Large schools of walleye can become very active out on Lake Poygan. I’ve sat in sturgeon spearing shacks and watched uncountable numbers swim by. Anglers who find these schools with their tip-ups can do quite well with limits of nice eater size walleye being caught. White bass can also be a part of the catch at this time of year and a big pike is always making the brag board at the local bait shop. If we have good access to the main parts of Lake Poygan this February, expect fishing to be very good if the weather cooperates.

Perch fishing out on Lake Winnebago should also be in full swing this February. There are a number of large year classes of perch out in the big lake. At times anglers are forced to sort through quite a few smaller fish from the most recent booms in population, but patience and luck usually provide for a meal of fish. Anglers who find the right schools are having no problem finding a limit of 9 - 10 inch perch with some bigger ones mixed in at times. As I’ve written lately, Winnebago has the potential to become a “destination fishery” for perch fishing. If it does, it could help to develop an all new tourist industry that would be good for the area and provide a needed boost to the economy.

ICE BREAKER III should continue to be the place to be for the best possible information on fishing the Wolf River and Winnebago system. A great mix of local talent mixes with a line up of the nations best walleye pros to bring you a schedule stocked with fishing info. I will once again act as emcee and help to provide information through the popular panel discussions held after each seminar. The panel discussions allow for a variety of answers and insights into what it takes to catch walleye here on the system. Local experts join the panel with the traveling pro’s many of who call the Wolf River and Winnebago system home waters. Montello’s Daryl Christensen is one of those. This long time professional angler/writer/educator is one of the best known live bait fishermen there is. Daryl is a master at understanding structure and how the walleye relate to it and a long time fisher of the system. His years of experience should provide a wealth of information as he leads off our Sunday line up March 9, 2008. On Saturday March 8, 2008, Wisconsin boat manufacturer YAR CRAFT has stepped to the plate for a second year in a row to provide our head liner. This year YAR CRAFT / MERCURY Pro Team Member and 2006 PWT CHAMPION, TOM KEMOS will be there to pass along a portion of his knowledge on walleye fishing the Winnebago system. Tom cut his teeth fishing Wisconsin’s largest lake and has turned a love of fishing in to a dream come true as PWT Champion. A delightful young man to listen to, you are in for a treat as he passes a portion of his knowledge on to those who come to this FREE sports show. Local “bago” fishing specialist “Axl” Ehricke will once again be a part of the line up as will ice fishing expert Troy Peterson, “Mr. Bluegill”. Because of the timing of the show, Troy is perfect lead off man, discussing the late ice opportunities for perch and walleye that the Winnebago and Wolf River system provide. He’ll know where the bluegills are biting too, so make sure to come early if you’re going to catch all the action. ICE BREAKER III should also be a GREAT place to get a deal on all sorts of fishing equipment or supplies. Our hosts for the event, Wolf River House and Critters Sports, have gone to numerous sports shows over the years with LARGE bulk displays of fishing tackle. Because this is their first “HOME” show, being able to save the money of booth space and travel will provide money saving opportunities for all. Numerous reps, tackle manufacturers and distributors have already committed to be there to offer special pricing and information on the newest products. Local fishing clubs will be represented and there will be a super selection of all sorts of fishing tackle from retailers such as The Sportsman in Appleton and Fort Fremont Marine. Add a fine list of boats such as YAR CRAFT, TUFFY, TRITON and TRACKER and you’ve got the “DON’T MISS” walleye fishing show to be at. YAR CRAFT will also be sponsoring a trout pond and there will be a casting area to provide activities for anglers of all ages. The Wolf River Country Calendar girls will be there to introduce their new publication and help provide a fun atmosphere. Other area favorites such as Northwoods Sausage will be there as will numerous guides and outfitters. Winneconne Wisconsin is the place to be March 8 & 9, 2008, be there.


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