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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:50 pm 
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If anyone would like to know current ice conditions on individual lakes in the Tomahawk area, let me know and I'll try to get you an update.
Lake Mohawksin in Tomahawk finally froze completely over last night. Lake Alice has been froze over for some time and, while I haven't actually checked it, I understand people have been fishing on Willow Flowage bays.
Looks like the ice is here to stay.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:09 am 
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Heres my story from the U.P. I have one one them 2 man pocket boats, 11' 6'' 2 man 110 lbs's. I was fishing on the dead river basin using a home made spinner bait, you know a mold and lead from wheel weights, and of course a BUCK TAIL from last years harvest, hooked into a 62 inch pike. This small bobber of a boat I had there was no way to take it inside the boat, needless to say I had to tie it on the side of the boat like the old whale'ers done and drive her to the ramp, as I was pulling into the dock, she decided that she would take 1 more run, My friend, lets call him " Wade" reached down to stop it by grabing the CHAIN STRINGER pull the pike to shore and ended up with an small walleye and the pike "walleye in the mouth, she didn't even want to stop feeding, I must say the walleye tasted better then dat old pike, hehe.Thats my story and I have the memories and pics forever.
We got sum biggen's up here folks!
Say Hi to Kip Koth fer me!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:38 am 
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Wow Steve, I'd like to see a picture of your 62-inch pike. I'm not sure I've ever seen one that big.
Many anglers took to the ice for the first time this past weekend. I had 6-inches where I was fishing on Lake Alice - both in shallow and in deeper water along the channel. I recommend people still use caution when moving around on the ice, since strong winds caused different bodies of water to freeze at different times. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some areas only had a few inches while other areas are frozen hard.
Over the past weekend, I fished walleyes in the deep during the afternoon and moved my tip-ups into shallower water before dark. Both Saturday and Sunday night resulted in five walleyes each, with the biggest being 16 inches. I tried shiners, but caught all my fish using sucker minnows.
The DNR is enforcing extended VHS rules that will have a large impact on how anglers go about fishing this winter.
IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO REMOVE LIVE BAIT (MINNOWS) FROM THE LAKE AFTER FISHING
The rule includes water that was used to store bait as well to keep fish fresh - the fine for removing live bait from a lake is over $300 and $228 for leaving with water.
The DNR suggests anglers leave bait on the shore and return with a separate bucket each time additional bait is needed. Again, no aquatic live bait can be transported from a lake once it has been taken onto the ice.
These new rules will be a challenge to abide by once lakes are frozen hard enough to drive on - I'm not excited about leaving $6 worth of bait unprotected at a boat landing and having to pull my tip-ups and equipment each time I need additional bait. But the alternative is much worse. As anglers, we need to do everything we can to protect our waters and fisheries, and VHS undoubtedly has the potential to destroy our pastime. Plus, a $500 combined fine for illegally leaving the lake with water and bait isn't something I want to experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:27 am 
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My latest and last ice report this year is simply that there is a lot of it. It's been several years since I can recall such a cold start to the winter. I've heard of people already driving vehicles on lakes when only a few weeks back we were talking about first ice.
Normally I'd spend the first couple weeks of first-ice fishing walleyes and then switch to panfish after a few more inches had formed. I think this year lakes went from two inches to 10 inches in about a week, so it'll be interesting to see if this has had any affect on the panfish bite.
On a side note: For the longest time I've heard people disagree about whether or not it is legal to set tip-ups out and watch them from the cabin. I spoke with a local DNR warden recently and asked about this question. His response was that it is legal to watch tip-ups from inside the cabin as long as you keep an eye on and respond within reasonable time after a flag is tripped. He said wardens will trip flags and then wait to see how long it takes before anglers respond. If the tip-up is up and not tended to for more than 20 minutes, then the angler may receive a ticket. But if anglers are alert and respond relatively quickly, then no tickets will be written.
Just thought this might clear up any concern anyone else was having about this rule.
Good luck, keep safe and keep warm fishing this week and weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:38 pm 
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Now that is my idea of ice fishing. Sitting inside where it is warm, watching the Packers beat the team of the week and sipping a cocktail. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:46 am 
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Old Scout,
The reason I asked the DNR warden whether it is legal to watch tip-ups from the cabin is precisely because of Sunday afternoon fishing. It has been a blast killing two birds with one stone this winter, while watching the Packers destroy rivals and looking out the window for flying flags. I also enjoyed watching the Dallas Cowboy's star flicker this past weekend. Not to take anything away from Romo, but you can almost see his youth, a new coach, and TO's hot head starting to derail America's Team. Hopefully the culmination will take place well into the playoffs on the Frozen Tundra, and hopefully for our sake, Jessica Simpson will be their to watch. When looking at their remaining schedules and how each team has been playing, a supernova explosion seems to be aligning in the Packers favor.
But back to fishing. This past weekend produced some amazing perch fishing in bays that still had some weed cover - in anywhere from five to seven feet. The feeding pattern altered significantly each day, and those heading out should take note before ending the day early.
Friday: The high temp reached the mid-teens and the ski was clear and sunny. Perch fishing was very slow until the evening bite, at which time, the fish went on a feeding frenzy.
Saturday: The high was again in the mid-teens, but this day the ski was overcast. The fish were active all day long and the bite slowed significantly during the evening.
Sunday: Again mid-teens and overcast. I didn't spend much time fishing panfish, but the bite was active before the noon hour. Then it was off to watch the Packers man handle the Rams.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Happy Holidays to everyone, and safe travels to those who will be on the road or in the air this weekend!
We got the white Christmas, so along with an end to the war, I'm now dreaming of a 30-inch walleye. Looks like I might have to go spend some time on the Spirit Flowage.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:17 am 
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Action out on the Big Arb was exceptional Saturday evening before the big storm came blasting in - we got dumped on big time here in Tomahawk.
Using grubs in a weed covered bay, I was able to catch a nice mess of decent sized perch. The walleyes moved in later in the afternoon, and I caught and released a 27-inch fish and another 20+. Both walleyes were caught on sucker minnows.
If the forecast is correct and temps stay warm, the panfish bite should remain active.
While people were driving on many Northwoods lakes, I would recommend caution, since there was water on the ice and now there is roughly a foot of fresh snow on top of that. Combine a big drift and slush, and you have the perfect recipe for getting a vehicle stuck - not to mention a miserable outing. My advice for the time being is to bring along a shovel and stick close to roads on the lakes. Happy holidays and enjoy your Northwoods ice time.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:05 am 
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Here's a picture of a 27-inch walleye that I released on the Big Arb last weekend. Along with a mess of perch, this fish was caught fishing shallow weeds.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:42 am 
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Vehicle travel is very limited on local lakes and reservoirs as a good deal of slush remains under several inches of snow.
I checked a couple of boat landings in the Tomahawk area
Dec. 31 and saw very few signs of people driving vehicles on Lake Mohawksin, Lake Alice or the Spirit. Mostly ATV and snowmobile.
I did drive my truck on Big Arb last weekend, but I ended up parking and walking from the plowed road to where I wanted to fish. Blasted slush turned the area around my portable ice shack into a slop hole. Caught some panfish and decided to leave the lake before dark. I think I made the right choice, since later that evening I learned a trail groomer broke through on the lake. Thankfully no injuries were reported.
I would strongly recommend to those who plan on driving vehicles onto the ice this weekend to take along a shovel and cat liter - to spread under the tires incase you get stuck.
This coming weekend I'm hoping to fish walleye on the Spirit (if I can drive out) and also to make a trip over to Buckskin Lake. If forecast predictions hold, the warm weather should lead to an exceptional bite.
Good luck to everyone and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Got a nice reminder of what makes the Northwoods so special while fishing walleyes on Lake Alice Sunday night. Just after dark I heard a pack of coyotes playing just down the shoreline from where I had my tip-ups set. Moments later, the howling was matched by another pack of animals from some distance away on the opposite shoreline. Their encounter was only brief, but it sure added to my wonderful evening of fishing.
Warm temperatures this past weekend really had the fish active. From perch on Buckskin Lake to crappie and walleye on Lake Alice, all species were feeding for extended periods of time.
Temperatures look like they will be falling heading into this weekend, so I'll be concentrating on finding active fish. This means a lot of moving around, but the lakes should be in much better shape because of the warm temps. Hopefully everything above the ice will have melted and frozen by the time the weekend roles around.
Good luck to everyone heading out and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:12 pm 
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The Seattle Seahawk's defense wasn't the only thing getting repeatedly drove on in the state this past weekend. Lakes across the Northwoods are now in decent shape for vehicle travel.
Fishing conditions were less than ideal Friday and Sunday, but my Saturday morning game plan to travel to find active fish paid off with a nice catch of perch.
One way I like to catch big perch, and it paid of this weekend, is by using fatheads on tip-ups. I use light line and a small trebble hook and set my (Polar) tip-ups as light as possible. Along with jigging, this allows me to catch fish from a school that is cruising a certain area. I'd recommend you give this a try next time you're out perch fishing, since it can be a very effective way to catch big perch on certain lakes.
Send me an email at jbuelow@tomahawkleader.com if you'd like more info on this fun perch catching technique. Now I'm off to fish the Spirit Flowage's evening walleye bit. I hear of some big "eyes" are being caught from this body of water.
Enjoy you Northwoods ice time. Go PACK!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:24 am 
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Tomahawk's two main ice fishing contests are sure to offer plenty of fish and fun for the entire family.
On Feb. 2, the Lake Alice Association will kick things off with its annual Alice in Winterland fishing tournament from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for the three largest fish caught in five different categories ($75, $50 and $25 for third). Food and beverages as well as a warming tent will be available at the tournament headquarters located between the boat landings off Horseshoe Road on County Rd. A and Angler's Road on County Rd. D. The event is open to the entire public, and entry into the fishing tournament is $5 per angler and $10 per family. Those registered will have chances to win door prizes and raffles open to all attendees will be held throughout the day.
Taking place the following Saturday (Feb. 9) from
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., youth anglers will take to Lake Mohawksin's ice for the non-profit Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited Inc.'s annual Kid's Ice Fishing Contest. For the second year in a row, the contest, which offers pre-drilled holes, will take place at Bradley Park in Tomahawk - look for directional signs on South Tomahawk Avenue. The contest is open to all youth at no costs.
Free hotdogs and hot chocolate will be available and each young angler will receive a grab bag filled with fishing supplies. Trophies and prizes will be awarded for the biggest fish caught in two separate age categories.
Good luck to everyone taking part in the upcoming fishing contests.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:35 pm 
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do much hard water fishing on gin clear lakes?


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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:36 pm 
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BRRRRRRRR. On Monday I was out on Lake Alice catching crappies. Now today, you couldn't promise me my limit to get me out on the lake. Last night it got down to -19 with wind chills in the -60 range, and it hasn't warmed up much since.

Fortunately, it sounds like the temps are going to rebound nicely before the two big fishing tournaments take place this weekend. The last two years I took part in the mega-tournament on Pelican Lake. Yes, I was there when dozens of vehicles nearly fell through the ice. I recall seeing a guy walk by wet up to his @#%, and when I asked him what had happened, he said his vehicle almost broke through. He added the water was up over the wheels, and he didn't appear to be too happy with the notion of having to spend the rest of the day out on the lake wet. Then last year you had to park on shore.

This year I'll be taking part in Alice in Winterland on Lake Alice. Something about being able to sit in a warm ice shack relaxing with friends just seems too good to pass up. If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, I'd recommend heading out to this tournament come Saturday.

Franny, a couple of clear lakes that I often fish are the Big Arb and Lake Metonga near Crandon. Both are good lakes, but as with any clear lake, I go about fishing them different as I do stained water.
Good luck to everyone taking part in tournaments this weekend. Enjoy your Northwoods hard water time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:06 am 
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What a fun weekend in the Northwoods. Congrats to all those who did well in the Alice in Winterland and Pelican ice fishing contests. This upcoming weekend offers another opportunity for families to get involved in the sport of angling as Tomahawk Fishing Unlimited Inc. hosts its annual Kid's Free Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday (Feb. 9) at Bradley Park in Tomahawk. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and each child who is registered will receive a free grab bag full of ice fishing gear. Bring the children out for free hot chocolate, hot dogs, a chance at a trophy and a memorable good time.

This weekend also marks the beginning of the 2008 sturgeon spearing season on the Lake Winnebago Chain. For many, the early Saturday morning start is just as anticipated as the opening of gun deer season. Latest reports are the water on the big lake is gin clear, which is good news for those of us who will be awaiting one of nature's most beautiful creatures to swim by. Now the only question is to focus on the shad or worm beds.

Here's a photo of a lucky Tomahawk angler from Alice in Winterland. Ryan Kufahl, 11, holds up a 30-inch pike
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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:36 am 
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Nice job Holly Paulson in catching this dandy 29 1/2-inch walleye from a Tomahawk fishing hole on Jan. 27. A trophy for you and motivation for the rest!
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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:04 pm 
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...about the picture of Ryan Kufahl and his new friend.

Little kid, big fish, very cool hat :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:43 pm 
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If you're looking for some fun this weekend, I recommend going after crappies on the Wisconsin River flowage. The fish should be pretty active before the cold front moves in this Sunday. The best way to catch these slab crappies is by using tip-downs (available at Chuck's Bait Shop in Tomahawk) - I'm not really sure why, but I catch crappies three to one with tip-downs over using a jig pole.
Lately, I've been fishing crappies where the river channel meets stump-filled bays. The bays are pretty easy to find as you'll see logs and branches sticking out of the ice. I set up two tip-downs using "rosies" minnows and move around using a jig pole trying to locate active fish. By searching in the shallows and in the deeper river channel, I'm usually able to find the feeding fish. Be ready to run right before sunset, as your tip-downs should be receiving plenty of action.
This weekend I'll be focusing my attention on the 2008 sturgeon season on Lake Winnebago. My spearing friend is currently sitting in his shack on Asylum Bay. He said there are shad everywhere, which is great news for a spearer. Word is the water is so clear you can see a coffee can dropped nearly 20 feet down. Good news for the sturgeon hunters. Not so good news for the sturgeon.
Good luck to everyone heading out this weekend and enjoy your Northwoods ice time!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:07 pm 
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No catch & release in spearing.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:38 pm 
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A coffee can 20 feet down. I did not know that Lake Winneseptic had any area that deep! Which shore is Asylum Bay? Are fish still registered at Wendt's Bar on the west shore?

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Deb,
It sounds as if you're somewhat familiar with the area. Asylum Bay is on the west shore, adjacent to the Winnebago County Mental Health Center. Great place for Perch all year 'round. The "Lake of Stinking Waters" max depth is 22 feet.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:31 am 
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I don't know the lake well, but well enough. My husband grew up on the south shore. I grew up about 15 miles west of the lake. It's been years but we've fished that lake, "The Lake of Stinking Waters" or "Winneseptic", guess it must depend which shore you call home. My husband hasn't fished Winnebago in nearly 20 years, since we left the area. He has many fond memories of days spent fishing with his grandfather.

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Typically sturgeon spearing isn't a sport of catch and release, however my spearing buddy Andy found a way to let one off the hook Saturday morning.
Due to a slightly misguided spear, we were unable to bring home the estimated 100 lbs. fish he was aiming for. And as I suspect, since the season closed an hour and a half ago today and I haven't received a phone call from him from out on Lake Winnebago, my buddy probably didn't get a chance for redemption, and I probably won't be eating sturgeon anytime soon. However, the 2008 season won't be remembered for the one that got away, but instead, for the good times had while taking part in a tradition that dates back generations. As fishing goes, you learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them the next time given the opportunity. I'm sure next year Andy will aim a little further down the fish - and I'll be a little wiser as to the ways of successfully spearing a sturgeon.
As for the 2008 season, it was great to learn the number of spearers were up and the unique tradition of sturgeon spearing is alive and well in our state. I strongly recommend to those who take part in the sport to also get involved in Sturgeons for Tomorrow, a nonprofit group that watches over the fish as they spawn on the Wolf River. Covering a 12-hour shift making sure poachers aren't killing the fish for their caviar allows for a great give and take perspective and makes spearing a fish (I believe) that much more enjoyable.
Looks like it's back to panfish and walleye fishing in the great Northwoods for me, which should be a nice relief after starring down a 3X5 foot hole for the past couple days!

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 Post subject: Re: Living the dream
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:43 pm 
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How are the Winnebago spearers different from the Native Americans spearing walleyes & muskies in Northern WI? Your buddy probably wounded a fish that may be 100 years old in a fishery that is infected with the VHS virus. That's not a release, that may be a death sentence. Sturgeon only spawn once every 4 years. Spearers go for the biggest fish that they see. Guess which fish hold the most eggs when it's their time to spawn?

How many watersheds are the home of the Lake Sturgeon? I think we're it.

Why do we attack our fisheries at the time they're ready to reproduce? I'm so anti that I don't fish the walleye run on the Wolf & Fox Rivers each Spring or Door County Smallmouths until July. I feel that is as bad as spearing.

Deb, I may be full of hockey pucks, but I think that the lake's name refers to it's smell.

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