Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
Midwest Outdoors June 2008

June, Family Fishing Time In Wolf River Country
By Joel “Doc” Kunz

At this point there is no reason to believe that springs high water will continue through June. Water levels, key to most river system fishing, have been high so far. That has been good for fishing for many reasons. Flooded shorelines provide many times the available shallow habitat that baitfish need then what is available during normal water levels. The flooded grass, wood and rock that would normally be out of the water now provides food and shelter for young of the year fish. Those areas also warm quicker and provide the catalyst for the growth of zooplankton and other small creatures needed to sustain the life of the young of the year. In the long run that should help the 2008 year class develop and continue to provide a future of quality fishing on the Wolf, Fox and Winnebago system. That’s good for business in the Wolf River Country area and helps to support countless families, college students, wives, fathers, sons and daughters of those living here. But there is a baseline of activity that must continue if fishing is going to continue to be an important part of life here, and that is, family fishing.

The guy that take his family fishing is to me, FAR MORE important then any professional angler, TV host, outdoor writer or “weekend warrior” tournament angler. The contribution made by those willing to take the time to fish with their family lasts longer and has a greater impact on the future of fishing then the shine and glitz of tournament and TV fishing. Oh, we still need those guys. It’s at the tournament and guide level where most of the innovation in fishing is done. Those who depend on fishing technology for a living tweak and engineer the available resources to come up with the new products used by everyday anglers. Those innovations in turn help us catch fish, and in essence, make it easier to take your son or daughter fishing. After all, if you can get the fish to bite, it’s easier to take your child fishing. Kids bore quickly if the fish don’t bite. That’s not because of video games either. Believe me, it was the same before they ever were invented. The correlation between fish activity and kids having fun is very close with size and species of fish far less important then number of bites. And, although numerous “pros” help with kids fishing clinics and other informational sessions, they are often too species specific for beginners. Still, even with the best information, if Mom and Dad don’t follow through and take the youngsters fishing, the lessons learned will most likely be wasted. That makes the most important cog in the wheel the person in your family who takes the time to take the youngsters fishing no matter if it’s Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma or uncle Charlie.

So why is June so Important to this formula. Well first may be the “free fishing weekend” offered by the Wisconsin DNR, usually held on the first weekend in June. (That’s June 7th and 8th this year.) This is the one weekend a year when there is no need for a fishing license to fish. That gives families a chance to go out and try a little fishing without the adult having the extra expense of a license. That makes taking your child out just a bit easier and gives you a chance to see if fishing is something you can do and enjoy with your kids. In support of this there are many fishing clinics and other activities held around the state where you can take your children to fish and learn. For more information on Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend you can always visit

Another positive June factor here in Wolf River Country is the great fishing and usually slow down in the number of anglers on the river and lakes of the area. With the “run” fishing pretty much over, the crowds of anglers who come here for walleye and white bass start to dwindle. That’s because April and May are the months most anglers associate with these fish and the Wolf River. Still, June fishing for both walleye and white bass is usually very good in the river and Lake Poygan really starts to heat up as post spawn fish return to the lower lakes and start to put on the feed bag. Those with boats can usually find active fish and plenty of action. Trolling is popular but there are many ways to catch fish that require less equipment. Drifting and casting small crank baits is a great way to catch fish as is just drifting along with a few slip bobbers out. The cane beds and shallow shoreline rocks also hold fish that can be caught by pitching jigs or by letting a bobber drift with the wind along the face of these structures. Walleye, white bass, northern pike, catfish and both small mouth and large mouth bass can all be caught. Same goes for the river. Walleye and white bass are still available but northern pike, catfish and bass are plentiful. Normal patterns for catching these fish apply and there are plenty of backwaters, bays, points, logs, rock walls and other structures to try. For those who don’t have a boat there are numerous places that rent fishing and pontoon boats in Fremont and Winneconne listed on my web site, Here families can rent a boat and get some advice as to where the fish are biting. One of the easiest to catch and hardest fighting is the catfish. Although flathead numbers are down, channel cats are plentiful, provide a good fight and a tasty meal. Just find deep water on just about any bend in the river, ball up a night crawler on the business end of a Wolf River rig and wait for a tug on the line. There are also plenty of bluegill, perch and crappie in the system. Again, a trip to the bait shop will help you find these fish or you can hire a guide to show you any of the afore mentioned species. Early mornings or late are best, (especially for walleye) due to increased pleasure boat traffic, but fishing can usually be good all day long.

If you don’t own a boat or care to rent one, there are plenty of shoreline fishing opportunities along the river starting with the famous Winneconne fishing bridge. Fremont has public docks and New London has literally 100’s of yards of shoreline fishing locations. From the park in town to the area by the utility company and the areas west of town on County X near the Sturgeon Trail, New London has some of the best shoreline fishing in the area. A stop at the bait shop will help you find the right bait and can help direct you to these spots.

So get out and take your family fishing. The future of fishing lies in this simple activity. Don’t forget to take the sunscreen and plenty of snacks and beverages to keep your child happy. If your child is new to it, keep the outing short enough to have fun and concentrate on action, not trophy fish. Find a kids/parents clinic, outing or activity and make sure to keep it simple as long as you can. I’ve seen some of the proudest faces I’ve ever seen holding a fish created by an active school of sheephead. It sure isn’t what “Joe Pro” angler wants to catch, but it’s a hard fighting tug on the line that just might be the trigger to creating the next Babe Winkelman. Fishing is a great and wholesome family activity, please go out and enjoy some.


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