Monday, February 28, 2011

Lake Winnebago Walleyes Preparing for their Spring Run

Its official, the Walleyes are beginning to stage in front of the Fox River in Oshkosh on Lake Winnebago in preparation for their annual spawning migration up the Fox and Wolf Rivers to the marshes they spawn in.  Each year hundreds of thousands of Winnebago Walleyes make the voyage from the big lake all the way to New London, Shiocton, Eureka, and some as far as Shawano! 

Lake Winnebago Sunrise
At the present time the fish are recognizing the longer days and are schooling up in the main lake, waiting for the next spring melt which will get the rivers flowing and thus drawing the Walleyes up river.  Fishing on Winnebago at this time of the year can be phenomenal if you can locate one of these massive schools of Walleyes. 
Last week I was lucky enough to stumble upon one of these schools and had the time of my life!  Thursday afternoon I managed 21 Walleyes in a few hours, without having to move once.  There was no fishing pressure on these fish besides the two of us, which allowed the fish to remain comfortable in the area.  The flasher was lit up with fish all over the water column, and at times there were 5 or more fish below the hole at once! 


Saturday was Battle on Bago, which is a large Ice Fishing Tournament that draws thousands of people every year.  The tournament increased the pressure on the lake, which caused the fish to somewhat scatter and move throughout the day.  I still managed to catch 20 Walleyes, all between 13"-19", as well as a few nice Saugers.  The key was to move to stay on the active fish.  It was almost like clock work after awhile.  Cut a hole, catch a couple fish, then move 50 yards and repeat.  It seemed like the fish were around right away when moving, and then after a half an hour they were gone.  This technique worked great, but it wasn't nearly as convenient as the fishing was on Thursday!

I also noticed that the schools of Whitebass seemed to be right behind the main school of Walleyes.  When you were in the right school you were catching Walleyes and Saugers, when they moved on you began to catch large Whitebass.  The Whitebass were your sign to move again.


The fish were caught on Swedish Pimples and Jigging Rapalas, the Blue and Chrome Rapala was good as well as the plain silver Swedish Pimple. 

The fishing is showing no signs of slowing down out there, but remember this time of the year the ice begins to deteriorate so play it safe out there, no fish is worth your life!  Good luck out there and be sure to keep moving until you find the motherload!

2 comments:

Greg said...

THANKS FOR THE GREAT REPORT, LANCE. REALLY LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE NOT ONLY HAVING SUCCESS BUT FUN OUT ON THE ICE AS WELL. APPRECIATE THE GUIDANCE YOU PROVIDE ON TECHNIQUE, AND ON TERMINAL TACKLE! THANKS AGAIN

GREG C., IN MENOMINEE

lance620 said...

Thanks for following Greg! Fishing has been great recently, catching that many Walleyes in a day is an absolute blast, wish you could experience it!