Wild Things: Some of the Best Fishing in Years
Walleye action on Green Bay has been phenomenal
by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected], Peninsula Pulse contributor
A lot of Wisconsin anglers make annual walleye fishing trips to Lake Erie, but Lance Lavine of Howie’s Tackle & Archery Shop wonders whether they’re missing the boat.
“The walleye fishing has been crazy good this spring,” Lavine said. “They’re definitely in a post-spawn feeding pattern.”
Lavine said walleyes are being caught during the day and night, both from shore and boats. Stickbaits, jerk baits, crankbaits and jig and minnow combos are all working, with some shore anglers also doing well with spoons and spinners.
It’s not just along the southern Door County shoreline, either, Lavine said, with good reports coming from Sturgeon Bay north of the stone quarry and even some of the Northern Door bayside shorelines.
The same is true for post-spawn northern pike. In fact, Lavine said, “It’s probably as good as it’s ever been.” The stretch from Little Sturgeon Bay to the Sturgeon Bay ship canal is most popular, but there are many other solid spots. Crankbaits, spoons and sucker minnows are the top baits.
Smallmouth bass are moving in to spawn, with some nesting in the shallows of smaller bays and harbors, and many still cruising the reefs and shores on the main bay. Jigs, jerk baits and tubes are among the many baits getting smacked.
Yellow perch fishing is closed on Green Bay, Lake Michigan and tributaries. It will reopen in the bay May 20, and in Lake Michigan and its tributaries June 16.
Muskie season is closed on the bay and lake until May 27, and smallmouth bass are off limits in Lake Michigan tributaries north of Highway 29 until June 17. Bass fishing is closed within one quarter of a mile of all the islands in the Town of Washington Island until July 1.
Big Day for Birders
Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day, regarded in some birding circles as “opening day” of the bird-watching season.
Surveys indicate that about one-third of Wisconsin adults identify as bird-watchers, and Wisconsin eBird (ebird.org/wi/home) – an online data and reporting platform – says that since 1900, more than 400 bird species have been documented in Wisconsin. Of those, more than half were confirmed as nesting in Wisconsin.
SOS Save Our Songbirds – a group dedicated to raising awareness about declining populations of some songbird species – has tips to spur people to take three easy actions at home to help. Learn more at sossaveoursongbirds.org.
Fillet o’ Fake Fish?
An Israeli firm, Steakholder Foods, says it has created 3D bio-printed and ready-to-cook cultivated grouper, boasting that the taste and texture are the same as wild-caught fish.
A spokesperson said the product was achieved using grouper fish cells from a partner company, Umani Meats. Umami’s CEO, Mihir Pershad, said the product “flakes, tastes and melts in your mouth exactly like excellent fish should.”
If accurate – and affordable, healthful and accepted by the public – the innovation could be a sustainable solution to increase food security. Pershad said the company would announce plans for bringing the cultivated fish to market “in the coming months.”
Duck, Duck, Goose
The state Natural Resources Board recently approved the 2023 migratory bird hunting season framework and regulations.
One of the changes includes an updated definition of the Open Water Duck Zone boundary, which now incorporates adjacent rooted vegetation, floating cattail mats and Green Bay’s Long Tail and Little Tail points as part of the mainland shore.
The early teal, early Canada goose and mourning dove seasons open Sept. 1, and the youth duck hunt is set for Sept. 16-17. After that, the woodcock and Northern Zone duck hunts open Sept. 23, and the Southern Zone duck season – which includes Kewaunee and Door counties – opens Sept. 30. The Open Water Zone season starts Oct. 14.
The Sturgeon Bay Bass Tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Sawyer Park. The weigh-on-the-water event will still have plenty of action at the pavilion, including shots from the boats, a silent auction and a tackle sale.
See the schedule at sturgeonbaybasstournament.com, and get updates during the event at facebook.com/sturgeonbaybasstournament.
Then the 33rd Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament is set for May 19-20 at Sawyer Park, with weigh-ins and activities on the grounds. Find the details via a link at northamericanbasschallenge.com.
Leave Wildlife Wild
The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay is already receiving baby wildlife brought in by well-meaning individuals, but wildlife officials say that in most cases, it’s best to leave wildlife in the wild.
If you’re not sure what to do, visit this site for tips: baybeachwildlife.com/1314/Animal-FAQs. The Department of Natural Resources also offers advice at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/orphan.
Fourth Trout Meeting
The fourth in a series of public meetings of the Lake Michigan Lake Trout Commercial Harvest Stakeholder Group is set for Tuesday night. Find the Zoom and phone options to tune in at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/lakemichigan/LakeMichiganLakeTroutManagement.