Kevin Naze column: 32-pound trout caught off Algoma pier

Sep. 26, 2013

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Bearcat’s Fish House in Algoma weighed a 32.4-pound brown trout caught off the pier by Karl Kemmer of Green Bay last week.

Kemmer’s trophy hit a blue and silver Krocodile spoon about an hour after sunrise on the lake side of the north pier. It was 37½ inches long and had a 25½-inch girth.

It was by far the biggest trout in Kemmel’s four decades of Lake Michigan fishing and is another in a long string of giants hooked in the past 15 years, including a trio of state records larger than 35 pounds at Algoma and Kewaunee and a former world record 40-pounder hooked off Racine.

While the shore action has been far from hot and heavy, it’s still good enough to lure dozens of anglers daily at Algoma and Kewaunee. Fish are being caught in the lake and harbor, and in some of the upstream holes.

Chinook salmon dominate most days, but there are also a solid mix of cohos and browns. Skein spawn, spawn sacs, spawn/marshmallow combos, nightcrawlers, Power Bait, spoons, stickbaits and spinners are drawing occasional strikes.

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When they can get out, trollers have done well on rainbow trout and younger chinooks in 100 to 200 feet of water. One Algoma charter had 25 in a morning trip last weekend, and in a four-hour fun run Wednesday morning hooked another dozen.

Closer in, pre-spawn salmon and browns have been caught from just outside the river mouths on out to a half-mile from shore or so.

On Green Bay, it’s prime time to catch perch, walleyes, bass and muskies. The Dyckesville, Chaudoir’s Dock, Little Sturgeon Bay, Sherwood Point and Sturgeon Bay areas are among the most popular spots.

On the hunting scene, Neil Sealey of Forestville was one of the lucky ones in the early stages of the archery season with a main-frame 8-point that had a double brow tine and several kickers and could gross close to 150 inches of antler.

The early goose hunt is over, but there’s a two-bird daily bag limit for the remainder of the Exterior Zone season.

Some good action was had in the youth waterfowl hunt weekend and northern zone opener last weekend. The southern zone duck hunt begins Sept. 28.

Those who like to plan ahead should note that this year’s youth gun deer season is set for Oct. 5-6.

Open house Oct. 5

The C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility will hold an open house Oct. 5.

Naturalist/educator Whitney Alsteen said the event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include salmon egg collecting demos, guided facility tours, wagon rides between the parking area and the facility, fish-print a T-shirt and many other fishing displays and activities.

“We will also do our Adopt-a-Sturgeon during this time,” Alsteen said. “For a $5 donation, you can release a sturgeon into the Kewaunee River and get a certificate of adoption with that specific sturgeon’s tag number.”

Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoor writer. Call him at (920) 883-9792 or email

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