Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend Fun on Winnebago

Had the opportunity to get in the boat one last time with my wife and in-laws this past Sunday for a few hours on Lake Winnebago.  We did a combination of fishing, joy riding, and swimming to cope with the warm temperatures, lightwind, and punishing sunshine.

It was enjoyable to be able to "fun fish" for a change, since I am done with tournaments until August. We began fishing near the launch off Asylum Bay in the weeds, That's where my father in law managed to hook into this nice Largemouth Bass.  There was absolutely no wind in the bay, so after 20 minutes we headed out to the main lake in search of a breeze!

Our joyride took us south towards Menominee Park, where we decided to troll Flicker Shads and Wally Divers in 8-10 feet of water in search of some good eating sized Walleyes.  We barely had the lines in the water when a board went back.  The fish ended up being a beautiful 16" Sauger.  By the time we got that line back in it got bit again, this time the board went back with authority!  After a good fight, my father in law landed an eight pound Sheepshead!  This was the first of several big Sheepshead we would catch on this outing as another board pulled back while we were pulling the first Sheepshead out of the net!

We continued our troll to the south picking up a few 13-14" Walleyes along the way when another board pulled way back, briefly going under the water.  My initial thought was big Sheepshead, but we were pleasantly surprised when I saw the fish surface while unclipping the planer board.  To make things even more dramatic, we just happened to be trolling in front of Menominee Park where the tournament boats were coming in for their weigh in.  We netted the fish, took a measurement and a few pictures, and then released the 23.5" Walleye in the midst of the tournament boats.

After the excitement of catching the big one, we all determined that it was time for a boat ride, as the wind died and we were all beginning to perspire.  We took a nice ride up to Garlic Island and tossed out the anchor and jumped in!  The water was surprisingly clean yet for this time of the year, and plenty warm!

After our cool off, we were ready for a little more fishing before calling it a day, so we headed out to the reefs East of Garlic Island.  There were lots of floating weeds in this area which made trolling difficult, but we still managed to catch a nice 20.5" Walleye on a purple #7 Flicker Shad. The weeds were just too much for us, so we decided to pull in our planer boards and exchange them for our jig rods.

I brought the boat back to the spot where we had just caught a Walleye trolling, and as we drifted over it I felt something pick my jig up off the bottom.  I let the fish take it for a few seconds before setting the hook.  To my amazement, it was another nice 20.5" Walleye!  These fish were sitting on a small hump on the reef, as my father in law also landed a 14" Walleye here also.

At this point the sun had taken its toll on all of us, and our stomachs were growling, so we decided to head for home!  It was great to enjoy the hobby I enjoy so much and share it with family.  The next time I get out I will be a father, which I am looking forward to!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lake Winnebago Fishing Update

Walleye fishing on Lake Winnebago continues to be very productive for this time of the year.  Walleyes are being caught all over the place right now!

When the wind blows, the west shore reefs have been productive for good eating sized Walleyes in the 13"-18" range, with a few bigger fish mixed in.  Fish are being caught on slip bobbers, jigs with nightcrawlers, and also trolling Flicker Shads and Salmos.

The mid lake mud flats continue to hold Walleyes, both spinners and crankbaits are putting fish in the boat.  The water clarity is starting to deteriorate, which will slow that bite in the coming weeks.  Bright colors have been producing best lately.

There has also been a good trolling bite on the east shore trolling in 8-12 feet of water.  This bite can go hot and cold by the day depending on wind and water clarity, wind is your friend while trolling in this area.

For those willing to put up with floating weeds, there has been a decent Walleye bite in the weeds all along the west shore of the lake.  These fish are being caught on both jigs and crankbaits and are ranging in size from 13"-24".

Lastly, the Fox River in Oshkosh continues to give up some of the largest Walleyes in the system, just not in big numbers.  These fish are being caught both jigging and trolling throughout the river and even under the highway 41 bridge.  Don't expect to catch lots of fish here, but if you put your time in you have a chance at a big one!

Make sure to check back for more updated reports, as I will be switching gears and heading to the bay in preparation for the next MWS tournament in August on Green Bay.