Sunday, February 26, 2012

Battle on Bago 2012

Well the 2012 Battle on Bago is in the books, despite poor ice conditions making ATV or foot travel the only options to get on the lake the event nearly doubled in size!  There were around 2000 participants in the 5th Annual Battle on Bago, many of which chose to get on the lake near Menominee Park in Oshkosh.

The high volume of anglers using the same launch site to access the lake resulted in many anglers choosing to use the lake as a parking lot.  With 100's of cars parked side by side on only a foot of ice, it was only a matter of time before the ice gave way and sank.  This is exactly what happened, which placed at least 25 vehicles in the lake, anywhere from several inches down to some even having water halfway up their doors.

The fishing itself was productive for most anglers, as Whitebass dominated the catch, along with Walleye, Perch, and even Eelpout.  Many anglers reported catching their fish jigging with Swedish Pimples and Jigging Rapalas, while others chose to set tip ups with minnows to catch their fish.

Official results for this years event have not yet been posted, but should be shortly at

Since I had planned on fishing the event, I took a half day of work on Thursday to search for some fish and a spot for Saturday.  From noon to dark, I managed to catch 25 Whitebass and 5 Walleyes, which ranged in size from 14"-19".  I also lost a couple nice Walleyes below the hole and marked many others on my flasher.  Things were looking good for the weekend, but of course on Saturday these Walleyes were nowhere to be found in this area!

Notice the "Humpback" Walleye on the left

Since the Walleyes had disappeared, I had high hopes of lucking into 200th place, which was a Lund 1825 Rebel XL Sport boat powered by a 115 Horsepower Mercury Motor.  I paid close attention to last years results and chose to weigh my smallest Whitebass rather than my largest since last year .85lb took 200th place.  My small Whitebass weighed .83 pounds , which I was very pleased with!  Little did I know, .83 pounds wouldn't even make the top 400! 

A nice Winnebago Sauger (Which couldn't be weighed in the Tournament)

Despite my over analysis of the event, my group still had a fun time on the ice catching 20 Whitebass, 4 Saugers, and a nice Perch.  We hope to fish the event again in 2013 and hope to find the big ones next year!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Opening Day Sturgeon Spearing 2012

Despite the winter of 2012 being the winter that never was prior to the Sturgeon Spearing opener, many anglers still chose to brave the variable ice conditions on Lake Winnebago in hopes of spearing a Lake Sturgeon through their Sturgeon Hole.  

Opening Day 2012 was the least productive opener in over a decade, with only 39 Sturgeon Registered on all of Lake Winnebago.  There were 5 Juvenile Females, 18 Adult Females, and 16 males harvested on Saturday.  There are several factors contributing to the quiet opener, including inconsistent ice conditions making for unsafe travel on the ice, poor water clarity compared to most years, and frigid cold, snow, and blustery winds on the day before the opener which kept many spearers off the lake.

Truck travel is not suggested on the lake this year, since the ice depth is currently varying from as little as 4" to 18" in some areas.  There are still trucks going out on certain parts of the lake, but extreme caution is advised, as no fish is worth your life!  Four wheelers and snowmobiles have been the most common means of transportation on the ice this winter, but remember you are never 100% safe on the ice.  Working cracks have been the primary source of vehicles falling into the lake. 

For more up to date information on the status of the season and harvest cap numbers, check out the DNR website at