Walleyes Inc. Action packed adventures in walleye fishing on the internet.

Walleyes Inc. and quick links to our proud sponsorsGo to Ram Mountings Systems Just RAM ITWalleyes Inc. Your one stop fishing resourceHambys bumper system the keel protector of the pro'sBait RigsLindy Little Joe Simply the best in fishing tackleDaiichi HooksTru turn HooksBuilding Legends one at a time Ranger BoatsIllinois's number 1 Ranger DealerMercury Outboards The Water CallsGoldeneye Marine products
Check out the Walleyes Inc. pro staff
Tournament information and results from around the country
Fishing tips from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Fishing reports from around the country
Hot links to fishing resorts from around the country
Hot links to guides and charters around the country
The latest in fishing articles from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Links to fishing clubs around the country
Hot new walleye products for sale through Walleyes Inc.
100's of Links to other fishing sites around the world
Hot new products in the fishing industry
100's of used boats for sale
Message board
100's of links for, boats, motors, fishing tackle, electronics and more
Hot new press releases from the fishing industry

Contact Walleyes Inc.
Walleyes Inc. home page
Click on the image to vote for this site.
The Top 1000 Fishing Sites
Want to join The Top 1000 Fishing Sites, click here!
Want to view the list, click here!
Visit the Fishingtop50

 
 

 

First open water fishing in Wisconsin

By Wisconsin Fishing Guide Mike Mladenik Fishing the Menominee River in Marinette, Florence, & Oconto Counties Wisconsin

In northern Wisconsin when it comes to fishing in March most peoples thoughts are on late season ice fishing. March action can be good particularly with panfish. On both natural lakes and flowages, crappie and bluegill put on the feed. These feeding periods are predictable and last for long periods of time.  Not only can the action heat up but the temperatures as well. Although nights are cold, days become progressively longer. By the middle of the month we may even see temperatures breaking 50 degrees.  Along with fishing in comfort you can also encounter some of the largest panfish of the winter. 
 Panfish action in March can be great, but walleye action is a different story. In most places walleye fishing closes the last day of February. However there are a few exceptions. In Northeast Wisconsin the Menominee River is open but there is only a one fish bag limit. During the past few years much focus has been on the Marinette-Menominee area.  Each year the walleye fishing is improving especially in quality. This last spring there was a 13-pound walleye caught.  This early season is prime time to land a trophy walleye. Even in March if the walleyes are biting you will find clusters of boats downstream from the Interstate Bridge. 
Personally I like to avoid the crows. Some of the best walleye fishing in March takes place on the upper reaches of the Menominee River.  On the Menominee River there are a series of Power Dams. These dams are the key to river walleyes in March. While it is impossible to launch a boat since even river landings are buried under a few feet of ice, shore fishing conditions are ideal. The Power Company plows the snow so they have access to the dam leaving only a short walk to the dam. You might however have truck through deep snow before you start fishing. 
In winter water levels are low until the snow begins to melt.  Low water also makes for easy access to prime fishing areas. Later in spring the river rises and shore fishing can be wary difficult and wading treacherous.  Personally I feel wading is the most effective way to fish below a dam.  Rocky shorelines can make fishing from shore difficult and you may be limited as to where you can fish. A good pair of insulated waders is a must even if you hug the shoreline. Waders will also keep you warm as you walk to deep snow to get to the river.  If you get wet from snow before you fish, it will be a miserable day.  It is important to dress warm even putting on insulated underwear under your waders. Keep in mind that even tough the air temperature may seem warm the water will be between 35 and 38 degrees. 
 During low water conditions walleyes will stack up in deep holes. Below every dam there is some sort of wash out. This deep water can be 15 feet or deeper.   On smaller dams even an 8 to 10 foot hole will hold walleyes.  In this cold water walleyes are catchable but you will need to use the proper presentation.  Avoiding the current is critical to success. Even though current flow is minimal walleyes will hold directly out of the main current. 
Fish as slow as possible and if you fail to get a strike slow down even more. Light 1/16-ounce jigs and fathead minnows should be your first choice if you are looking for action.  When light strikes occur try using a stinger hook. Cast upstream and let the jig and minnow drop in the hole. Keep your line tight and watch for the slightest movement.  Keep you eye on the line and not on the rods tip. A slight twitch in the line signals a strike. If you are using a stinger hook set the hook immediately. If you donít have a stinger hook wait a few seconds before setting the hook. Donít wait to long since this will result in the walleye swallowing the hook. If a fish is under the legal size limit you will release a dead fish. When setting the hook use a direst upward sweep as opposed to a fast hard set. 
If you are looking for larger walleyes try using a shiner minnow. I use a 1/16-ounce jig with an oversized hook.  There is trophy potential if you are willing to work at it. On occasion walleyes will mouth the minnow and even a stinger hook won't help. If this happens try a number two Aberdeen hook with a split shot and let the bait set on the bottom. 
The best action will occur during the warmest part of the day. Bright sunny days are also the most productive. A rise in the water temperature of only one-degree can trigger a strike.  I have had a number of days when I kept getting light bites until the sun is high. Most fishermen would have left before the walleyes started to bite. 
By the end of March the snow begins to melt and the river starts to rise. Once the ice breaks up you can easily launch a boat and fish below the dams. There are also a number of rapids and falls on the river that are hot in late March and early April. Last Year we caught a number of walleyes in the 8 to 11 pound class fishing below the rapids. 
Bridges will also hold winter walleyes. Similar to a dam there is always deep water associated around a bridge.  With a little effort you can usually access most bridges in winter. Due to the low water you can cast to the deep hole from the shoreline. Try to cast as close to the bridge column as possible. 
Whether wading or fishing from shore travel as light as possible. A few jigs, hooks and sinkers are all that is needed.  Take a rope and attach the end to a floating minnow bucket, which you can hang around your waist.  Use a six-foot medium action rod like a Lamiglas GS 6L. 
So when the sum is bright and the days start to warm do some exploring. Find a few dams or a bridge or two and give them a shot. It always feels good to make that first cast into open water each 
year.



Join Walleyes Inc. mailing list! To receive notice of updates in the Walleye fishing world from your one stop resource Walleyes Inc.Enter your email address below,then click the 'Join List' button:
Powered by ListBot

Walleyes Inc. website is maintained by Randy Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters Walleye Circuit and the Team Walleye Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2000
Please visit these site sponsors

Daiichi/Tru-Turn Hooks, Lindy Little Joe, R-A.M Mounting Systems, Ranger boats, Mercury Marine, Bedford  Sales and Hamby's Beaching Bumpers, Goldeneye Marine products, Panther Marine Products