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Kevin Naze's weekly outdoors almanac

Jul. 3, 2013
 

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Sam Wiese, 9, of Algoma, found young largemouth bass like this one to be willing biters and good fighters Tuesday on a small lake in Kewaunee County. / Kevin Naze/Press-Gazette Media correspondent

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Bass, walleyes are the hot bites

While finding fish isn’t as easy as it is in the spring, those who know where to look are finding plenty of 2- to 4-pound-plus smallmouths and walleyes. West-shore tributaries are fair bets, but a lot more fish are coming on crankbaits and crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water on the main bay.

The perch search has been heating up, but few anglers have had consistently good days. Minnows, leaf worms and crawlers in 15 to 35 feet of water are getting some hits.

Most salmon and trout trollers are working 80 to 180 feet of water or more on Lake Michigan. However, alewives and trout have been seen cruising near the piers, too. Shore casters could try at dawn or dusk with spoons or spawn.

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Some big chinooks have been caught 3 to 6 miles off shore, including several from 27 to 30 pounds off Door and Kewaunee counties. They’ve mainly been hitting flies and spoons 50 to 90 feet down.

■ Videos of three presentations made during a Low Great Lakes Water Levels Seminar held in Michigan this spring are available online at http://sustainability.umich.edu/events/low-great-lakes-water-levels-understanding-causes-and-potential-consequences.

Bass, panfish taking the bait

It’s not hard to get action from small to medium bass and panfish these days. They’re actively smacking leaf worms, redworms, nightcrawlers, wax worms and minnows over shallow to mid-range weeds, with dawn and dusk typically best for a shot at larger specimens.

Bobbers are fun to watch, but if you want maximum action, try using light line, small hooks and just one small split shot a foot above the hook. Cast the bait out and let it wiggle its way down into the weeds. If no bite within 30 seconds, lift it and let it settle into a new spot. Continue back to the boat slowly near bottom.

Walleyes are taking leeches, minnows and crawlers in deep holes by day before moving shallower after sunset. Daytime action is fair to good for smaller pike along the weed bed edges. Try spinnerbaits, spoons or jig and minnow combos.

■ Jim Hughes of Oshkosh and Matt Jacobson of Weyauwega led wire-to-wire to win more than $18,000 in cash and prizes in a Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament on the Lake Winnebago chain last weekend. Their 10-fish, two-day tourney limit weighed more than 40 pounds, topping the 118-team field.

The duo said their top tactic was trolling crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water near the mouth of the Fox River. They caught every fish that hit — five each day — proving every bite counts.

The average walleye brought in was in the 3-pound class, and only four of 568 caught couldn’t be returned alive in the catch, weigh and release format tourney.

No major changes for deer hunts

There are no major changes expected for this fall’s deer hunting seasons. Crossbows for all, eliminating the back tag requirement and phone/online deer registration outside the nine-day gun season are among the possibilities for 2014.

Antlerless quotas have been reduced by more than 25 percent, mainly across much of the north. That combined with the latest possible gun opener — Nov. 23 — should save plenty of whitetails.

■ The DNR has upgraded its sunrise/sunset hunting times app to include more species and easy access to hunting regulations. Using a GPS system, the 99-cent app tells you — to the second — the opening and closing time for various hunting seasons for your location.

In the Android Market, download the app by searching for Sunrise-Sunset by the WI DNR in the Google Playstore. For iPhone and iPad, you will need an iTunes account; search for “Wi Sunrise” and click download.

Youth waterfowl day set for Aug. 10

The Green Bay Duck Hunters Association in conjunction with Brown County Parks, Brown County Conservation Alliance, Cabela’s and Wisconsin Ducks Unlimited is sponsoring a youth waterfowl day Aug. 10 at Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico.

Those attending the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. event will see demonstrations on duck and goose calling, field hunting, water hunting and dog training. Everyone must register in advance for this free event by calling (920) 448-6242.

Apply for sturgeon, wolf, turkey tags

The deadline is Aug. 1 to apply for upriver lake sturgeon spearing tags and fall wild turkey, bobcat and wolf permits. Do so at any licensing agent, online (dnr.wi.gov, search “licenses”) or by phone at (877) 945-4236.

■ Fishing licenses are always free for youths 15 and younger, anyone born before 1927 and active resident members of the Armed Services. Discount $7 licenses are available for youths ages 16-17 and residents 65 and older, and daily $8 licenses are available for residents ($10 nonresidents). Two-day Great Lakes licenses ($14) allow residents and nonresidents to fish for salmon and trout.

■ If the sky is clear July 13, visitors to Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek will be able to learn about the night sky and view astronomical objects as part of the “Universe in the Park” outreach program conducted by UW-Madison’s Department of Astronomy. For more, visit www.astro.wisc.edu/uitp.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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