Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wolf River Walleye Fishing Rafts

Since I was 4 years old, I have been fishing off of a raft on the Wolf River each spring for the Walleye run.  The Wolf River is very unique in the fact that it is the only River in the nation that allows "Raft Fishing".  For those of you that are not familiar with a fishing raft, it is simply a house boat designed to anchor along shore and fish off of.  Today there are rafts with all the amenities of home, electric, couches, television, bathrooms, heat, and even internet!

As a kid my grandfather would take my dad and I on his raft, which was quite basic, when compared to some of the rafts on the Wolf River today!  He built the raft from an old pontoon boat frame, and then built a 12'x8' shack on top of that.  Inside the shack was a bunk bed, a small stove, a heater, 4 chairs, a small table, and a propane lantern for light.  The outside had railings on the front and back, the front railing was equipped with 2" rings and two nails every foot, which were used to hold the fishing poles.  A 200 pound propane tank was mounted to the side of the shack, and fueled the heater, stove, and lanterns both inside and outside of the shack.

Instead of regular fishing poles, we used cane poles with Wolf River Rigs to catch the Walleyes.  The cane poles were different lengths, so that they could be staggered and not get tangled with each other, well at least that was the idea!  As for lures, the original Floating Rapalas were the hot bait back then, with Black and Gold, Perch, and Orange and Gold being hot colors back then.

Growing up on the river each spring has given me an appreciation for the river and all of the different animals that call it home.  There were always Sandhill Cranes that would awaken us each morning at the break of dawn with their thundering calls, and Great Horned Owls calling back and forth in the silent moonlit night.  The marshes would come alive in the evenings with the sounds of frogs, Geese, and several different kinds of Ducks.  Every once in awhile Mr. Beaver would show his face, and I can recall my grandfather wanting to shoot the little bugger because it liked to chew on the wrong trees!

This time of the year is and always will be special to me, since even though my grandpa has passed away, the Wolf River still thrives and each spring the circle of life continues.

1 comment:

Walleye Lures said...

I was checking out your blog and saw this article. I am just getting back into walleye fishing and found this interesting. I will be giving it a try next season for sure.

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