Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
Midwest Outdoors March 2010

ICE BREAKER 5 Opens The 2010 Walleye Run
By Joel “Doc” Kunz

Once again I am blessed to be writing about my favorite time of year. It’s referred to as “March Madness” and it brings with it an intoxicating array of college basketball and walleye fishing. As February wanes, lengthening days and the suns warming affects soften the ice throughout the system. That fresh flow of water works with the longer days to draw walleye from the lakes and in to the Wolf and Fox River systems. Many of those fish will make a good portion of their trip under the ice but most will wait until spring thunderstorms bring a stronger current and warmer water. Once that happens, the ice will begin flowing and the “UP RUN” will be in full progress.

I like fishing the first part of the season. I spent years as a young man waiting for the ice to break up enough to get to my favorite spots. We would sit on an inside bend and fish in 3 feet of water with wolf river rigs. Once the owner of Tuffy’s Bait Shop taught me the art of jigging the shallow water, I really started producing walleye. Night fishing was the key so catching the basketball games wasn’t a problem. I’d even bring my own TV and antenna so that I could catch the games in the cabin I rented at the time. The games would end after dark and all but a few fishermen would be off the river. That would be to our advantage and we would rarely see anyone else unless they were bound for the boat ramp. And we would catch fish. Well, most the time anyway. Even with the best game plan, there needs to be fish moving through the area for you to be successful. If you are on the right sand bar when a school is moving through, you might catch fish all night long.

Since I’ve moved to the area I’ve been able to cherry pick my times a lot better. I’ve also missed some great nights of fishing because I didn’t make the effort to go when fishing had been slow. That’s the price of age for some and the luxury of not having to drive 2 hours to get to Wolf River Country. I’ve learned a lot in the last 35 years of fishing the Wolf. I’ve learned that the “up run” can last 7 days or 4 weeks. That is, the open water opportunity to catch pre spawn walleye. Water temperature is the key and if Mother Nature gets it to the point of spawning, the fish are going to try. I’ve also learned that trying to predict what the fish are going to do on a yearly basis is impossible but if you stick to certain basics, you are going to catch fish.

One of those basics is inside bends during the up run. Simply, the fish want to avoid as much of the current as they can. They will rest below and around inside bends, especially before or after long straight stretches and places of high current. That is why they are targetable in that area. The first drop off from shallow water is always a good zone. Flooded grass nearby is always good too. During the day I like to fish in 6 to 9 feet of water and at night 3 foot or shallower. A light jig tipped with a minnow, worked at the edge of the lantern light will usually catch fish if there are any in the area. Carp and suckers can be a nuisance and is a call to move to a different part of the bend or to another spot.

If you are looking to better yourself and your knowledge of the Wolf River, ICE BREAKER 5 is the place to be. Here anglers will be able to learn about fishing “up run” walleye as well as walleye fishing throughout the year. It’s a FREE Sports Show put on to give anglers a chance to learn from some of the best local guides, anglers and touring professionals. Fishing the Wolf River, Fox River and Winnebago system is the topic for 3 days of seminars and panel discussions. ICE BREAKER 5 is being held this year on March 12, 13 & 14, 2010 in Fremont Wisconsin at Channel Cats / Fremont Event Center and is sponsored in part by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. Boats, ATV’s and fishing tackle of all sorts will be on display. Seminars on Muskie are set for Friday but expect walleye fishing to dominate the subject matter Saturday and Sunday. Speakers include Daryl Christensen, Mike Gofron, Chase Parsons, Scott “Axl” Ehricke, Rick Zachowski, and DNR Fisheries Biologist Kendal Kamke with his “State of the Lake” presentation. Check out for more information and a complete lineup.

Because of the depth of knowledge available, many visitors literally sit in and take notes during every seminar. Topics include fishing the reefs of Winnebago, trolling with crawler harnesses, tactic for Lake Poygan walleye, spring summer and fall walleye fishing. If you can’t get your Wolf River or Winnebago fishing question answered here, then there is nowhere it can be answered unless by yourself on the water.

Check WOLFRIVERCOUNTRY.COM for information and a link to our facebook page. Links to exhibitors and information about the event will be available there. Joel “Doc” Kunz is a field editor for Midwest Outdoors and 2005 Readers Choice Award Winner. He is also a member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. To keep up with Doc’s fishing adventures please visit his web site


© Copyright 2009 - 2011 ~ Joel "Doc" Kunz - All Rights Reserved
No Use Or Copy Of The Material In This Website Allowed Without Written Consent By The Owner
Web Site Hosted By The Big Palm