Prepare for an atypical opener this yearIn some areas of northern Wisconsin, hats, mittens and an ice auger might be a good idea for this weekend’s Wisconsin fishing opener.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
In some areas of northern Wisconsin, hats, mittens and an ice auger might be a good idea for this weekend’s Wisconsin fishing opener.
The prolonged winter season across parts of northern Wisconsin continued Thursday with several more inches of snowfall. Anglers are still waiting for ice out on some area lakes, and on those lakes that are clear, the fish aren’t likely to exhibit their usual early-May behavior.
“It’s been a long winter and people are eager to get out fishing and enjoy the excitement and tradition of opening day,” said Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s fisheries director.
“The key will be for anglers to use early season fishing tactics, since many fish species likely won’t have finished spawning.”
Walleyes are often a prime target for anglers in the opener. If the fish are spawning, anglers will have better luck close to shore.
Anglers are also encouraged to have a back-up plan in case their favorite fishing hole is still iced over.
Bud Grant, who was in Superior this week for an awards ceremony, said he’ll be spending the opener near his cabin in the Gordon area.
“I will fish in Wisconsin,” Grant said. “If the lakes aren’t open I’ll be trout fishing in the streams — the streams are open.”
If the lakes can’t be fished, Grant said he’ll be looking for brook trout on the smaller streams.
And if the fish aren’t biting?
“Who cares? Any day you get a day to go fishing, who cares?” Grant said.
Daily bag limits
Anglers should also be mindful of this year’s daily walleye bag limits for lakes within the ceded territory. The preliminary limits will be posted at boat landings.
In Douglas County, Lower Eau Claire Lake and Lake Minnesuing both have a one-fish limit. Minnesuing had a daily bag limit of three walleyes last season, and Lower Eau Claire Lake had a two-fish limit.
Six other lakes in Douglas County are currently listed with a two-walleye daily bag limit. They are: Amnicon, Bond, Dowling, Nebagamon, Upper St. Croix and Whitefish.