Wild Things: You Don’t Need a Boat to Cash In on Area Fishing Opportunities

by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected]

Anglers hoping to score some fillets for a meal of fresh fish have a wide variety of options up and down the Kewaunee/Door County peninsula. 

In addition to miles of Lake Michigan and Green Bay shoreline, there are at least a dozen inland lakes, rivers and creeks that offer opportunities to cast. Some of them – such as the Ahnapee River and Clark, Kangaroo and East Alaska lakes – are very popular, but they aren’t the only waters worth fishing.

If you’re serious about catching more than round gobies, bullheads and miniature panfish, getting mentored by a longtime angler is best. If that’s not an option, visit a local bait-and-tackle shop for advice. While you’re there, you can learn what to use and what the likely catches are from docks and shorelines at county and state parks, or from public docks and piers in townships, villages and cities.

Panfish, bass and pike are among the species you’ll find in the nearshore shallows right now, offering an excellent chance at hooking up from shore. In addition, hundreds of brown trout were stocked in Scarboro Creek and the East Twin River in Kewaunee County last month, along with thousands of rainbows in Krohn’s Lake near Algoma.

Wisconsin has more than 1 million paid fishing-license holders, plus hundreds of thousands of people younger than 16 who don’t need a license yet. Nearly 90% of current participants got started in fishing before age 12, demonstrating the critical importance of introducing fishing early in life.

Catching fish for the frying pan is one of the lures, but research shows that many anglers fish primarily to enjoy nature while escaping the usual demands of life.

You can pick up a copy of the 2022-23 fishing regulations wherever licenses are sold, or find it online at

Trout Tournament

The biggest challenge during last weekend’s Steelhead Challenge in Sturgeon Bay was finding any willing takers because cold water and a late-spring spawning run up the tributaries had rainbows missing in action. 

All of the trout caught were lakers. The heaviest was a 21.97-pounder that was part of a three-trout, 50.9-pound total for the winning team, You Betcha, captained by Keith Murphy. Scott Francois of second-place team Rocks and Reels landed a 15.65-pounder, the second largest on the day.

Stay Safe on the Water

Whether fishing from shore or in a boat, kayak or canoe, plan for safe outings while enjoying the water.

Always wear a properly fitted, snug life jacket that’s fastened when you’re on or near the water. Life jackets will keep you floating if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, a wave or current overpowers you, or you fall out of a boat.

Stay sober, too: Alcohol blurs judgment, reaction time and abilities. Also watch out for sandbars, boulders, logs and other lurking dangers; keep an eye on the weather; and let someone know where you’re going.

Red-headed woodpeckers are some of the most spectacular visitors to suet feeders. Photo by Kevin Naze.

Project FeederWatch

Children will be able to participate in Project FeederWatch free of charge during the 2022-23 school year thanks to a generous gift from a longtime public school teacher and participant involved in creating Classroom FeederWatch.

Applications are being accepted through June 17. If you’re a teacher or know a teacher who might be interested in this opportunity, see FeederWatch in the Classroom at

To learn more about the K-12 education program for teachers and children, see

Learn to Hunt

During its first year back after COVID-19 restrictions shut it down, the Department of Natural Resources’ Learn to Hunt program attracted a modest 19 organizations and 117 volunteers to offer instruction and opportunities for more than 300 beginning hunters.

The program provides a chance to get after small game, waterfowl, wild turkey, deer and bear as participants hunt in DNR-approved events without a hunting license, provided they are within arm’s reach of an experienced volunteer hunting instructor who has passed a background check.

This spring, more than 500 volunteers coordinated Learn to Hunt events for wild-turkey hunting for nearly 500 participants. Learn how you can get involved with the program – as a mentor or participant – at

One Week Left to Apply

The deadline to apply to host a gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities has been extended to June 17 because of a technical glitch in the online application form. 

Sponsors should have at least 60 acres of land and agree to open their property to at least three hunters with disabilities to try their luck during this special Oct. 1-9 hunt. Find out more at

Boone & Crockett Club’s 2021 Yearbook

The Boone & Crockett Club’s 72-page 2021 Yearbook features more than 230 field photos of trophy big-game entries accepted last year. The book is free to members, or available for $9.95 to nonmembers. Learn more at

Weekly Water Levels

As of June 3, Lake Michigan water levels were up two inches during the past month, but still down six inches from a year ago and 26 inches below the monthly record set two years ago. Lake levels were 41 inches above the all-time June low, set in 1964.