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Walleye Anglers Offer River & Lake Fishing Tips; Will Visit Winneconne
Fishing from Winneconne, Wisconsin for the first
Optima/Gulp! Pro-Am anglers will experience the famed Fox and Wolf
walleye runs. The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT)
professionals and amateurs will fish Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
21 - 23.
With the early ice-out, this will be a post-spawn
Anglers will discover the migratory nature of Lake Winnebago walleyes,
make springtime jaunts of 100 or more miles to spawn. They move
lakes into the Fox and Wolf Rivers, then into grassy marshes to complete
their spawning rituals, a process that was nearly complete by Easter
These marshes are fed by river water. Current
carries the newly
hatched fry through the outlets, and downstream. Anglers should
Walleyes for Tomorrow conservation organization for their dedication
dollars spent refurbishing the marshes. Their efforts have created
of additional acres of spawning habitat, which translates to more successful
Local Winneconne resort owner and "walleye observer"
Doug Nelson said, "This is the most prime this system has been for
in 30 years." He said the great 1996 hatch now consists of many
excess of 24 inches and males from 17 to 20 inches. Recent hatches
The tournament will be conducted from downtown Winneconne,
of Oshkosh. The PWT is a Pro-Am, and amateurs share and fish
with the pro's
gear in the pro's boat and at the pro's best spots for three days.
they catch together count for both partners. The top 40 amateurs
win $240,000 in great prizes, including a $17,000 Lund/Mercury to the
winning amateur. The top pro starts with a $64,000 first-place
Lessons learned from the pro anglers will add to
the wealth of
knowledge about the system. Several pro anglers were asked their
and opinions about the upcoming event. As an Artificial Challenge,
winning pro will receive a cash bonus from Pure Fishing (Berkley) of
if at least half the fish brought to the scales were caught on Gulp!,
PowerBait or Frenzy lures. The three amateur partners of the
will receive $1,000 each.
Daryl Christensen, Montello, WI: "Live bait
may be a thing of the
past, because I intend to fish hair jigs most of the tournament.
I'll swim and bounce them in current or pitch them on top of sand bars
slide them down the sides."
Larry Smith, Berlin, WI (area guide: 920-361-4996):
"This will be
won on jigs, 3-way rigs or pulling flies. The mouth of the Wolf,
Winneconne area and the river in Oshkosh will be primary spots.
When I pull
flies, I use one rod with two flies on a 3-way system. I run
two flies off
the 3-way, keeping the line at 45 degrees, and slowly pumping them.
two different colored streamers."
Ken VanOss, Oshkosh, WI: "In high water, fish
where the Wolf dumps
into Poygan, because the fish head downstream right after spawning.
and minnows, but probably jigs and plastics with larger shad bodies
my choice. The possibility of shallow crankbait trolling in Poygan
ThunderSticks) could be a factor."
Carl Grunwaldt, Green Bay, WI: I'll probably
be trolling cranks
shallow in Poygan and the up-river lakes. The area from Duck
Inn west to
the river mouth is a favorite spot. Best lures are shallow Shad
Raps or #5
Shad Raps in clown or shad colors. If the timing is right, we
some really good weights."
Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, WI: "Like most spring
walleye runs, most
people fish numbers (small males). I think the winner will figure
catch bigger females. For instance, pitching jigs or casting
might be the answer. The shallows I like are rocky shoals, perhaps
beds, with a sharp break for fish to feed against. In high, muddy
then I'll look for clean water."
Gary Gray, Oshkosh, WI (guide: 920-426-2577):
"I predict this will
be won between Winneconne and the Highway 41 bridge. The big
fish use Lake
Butte des Morts as a staging area. It warms quicker and has less
the fish disperse and feed heavily here. This may be a jigging
could be a 3-way rig or trolling small cranks. If conditions
slip bobbers on the reefs could work."
PWT pro anglers, all with their names on both sides
outboards, will be restricted to no-wake speed (maximum of 5 mph) in
Wolf River from the railroad bridge at Gills Landing upstream to New
This speed limit will be imposed from Friday, April 16 through the
competition day, Friday, April 23.
Weigh-in festivities (free-of-charge) will be held
in the Winneconne
park just south of the bridge, on the west side of the river.
Be there at 3
p.m. daily, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 21-23. To "watch"
weigh-in at home or work, follow along with immediate results as soon
anglers cross the stage on the Real-Time Mercury Scoreboard on the
The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman
headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America's leading
producer of targeted media. PWT sponsors include: Mercury Marine, Lund,
Berkley Gulp!, The Outdoor Channel, Trilene, Optima Batteries, Realtree,
MotorGuide, PowerBait, Lowrance, MinnKota, Frenzy, Gander Mountain,
Fox, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Coleman,
Storm, Boat Buckle, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt, Rejuvenade,
Trailers, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Drift
Control, Aqua-Vu, Plano, Beckman and Stowmaster.net.
Media Photo Ops:
1. Pros will be in the schools Tuesday afternoon, April 20.
2. Pros will conduct a special session to meet youngsters in their
Saturday, April 17, at Winneconne Middle School, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
3. At daily weigh-in festivities, 3 p.m., April 21-23
4. At morning take-off, 6:45 a.m., April 21-22-23
5. At awards ceremonies Friday, April 23, 5:30 p.m.
6. Fish with a pro prior to the tournament? Call PWT now to arrange,
7819 Highland Scenic Rd.
Baxter, MN 56425
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