Search This Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Musky Mikes

Musky Mikes is Open Again
Just a quick post today, update will follow. I just wanted everyone to know that the shop is now open in its new location.

(Just down the street, to the east, on the south side of the road.)


Monday, December 14, 2009

Fishing Report

Disclaimer: Take everything I say at your own risk. Use a spud bar,a pfd and a buddy when heading out on the ice. Take it from me, going through is no picnic.


Okay, that out of the way, let's get down to business. The cold snap at the end of last week and over the weekend has really gotten things going in terms of freeze up. Shallow protected bays are frozen on the bigger lakes, and smaller lakes with shallow water have closed up entirely. Expect between 2-6 inches of ice on the frozen areas, but mainlake and deepwater areas remain open on many lakes. I'll have a full round of ice conditions lake by lake in the weekend update.

Panfish are starting to bite, especially in the mid afternoon. Waxies, spikes and mousies on a tear drop or ratfinkee seems to be the key. The fish are running on the smaller side still, but I think people don't have them dialed in just yet.

Pike are starting to bite, but again, the limited number of people out has kept information a little on the sketchy side for now. I'll have more for you this weekend.

Stay Tuned,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Early ice-Fishing Report


The weather has certainly taken a turn towards winter the last couple days. Very low temperatures mean ice is starting to form.

I would advise caution if you're planning on heading out in the local area though. The ice is still pretty sketchy by all reports. A few days and nights of this cold weather should get things started however.

For now, consider looking for panfish in protected areas with still green weeds. Crappies and bluegills will bite on a variety of small live bait or plastics around shallow weed clumps. The fish will not have set up their feeding schedule as of yet, but you can expect to catch fish in little spurts. If you have three holes going, chances are one hole will outproduce the rest. Spread out your gear until you connect, then fish hard through the most active holes.

Early ice walleye action can be great, but I'd give things another couple of days before heading out to exposed areas or flats adjacent to open water.

Stay Tuned.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Extra month this year/Fishing Report

Musky season is usually wrapping up in our local area as the season typically closed the last weekend in November. This year however, the season is open until December 31st in the southern zone.

Lots of fish are being caught on the local lakes, with suckers obviously being the best option. Look for the fish to be anywhere, but don't be shy about looking for them in relatively shallow water, especially on a warmer sunny afternoon. As the season progresses to this point, I like to focus my attention on rocky transition areas. I don't have the science behind it or anything, but I can usually find some active fish near to mid-depth rocks, especially in the afternoons.

If you're heading into the shallow water, you might also want to keep your eyes open for some panfish that are making an early transition move towards winter water. Crappies and bluegills will start to stage in shallow protected bays with cover this time of year.

And if you're in the mood for some walleyes, the Rock and Wisconsin rivers are in the midst of the late fall run.


Friday, November 20, 2009


From JSOnline.COM:

32 DNA samples for Asian carp found past barrier

By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel

The Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged Friday that tests taken earlier this fall revealed 32 positive DNA samples for Asian carp above the electric fish barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, some within 10 miles of the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

The Journal Sentinel first reported the apparent barrier breach Thursday, though the Army Corps refused to acknowledge it until Friday morning.

There is now apparently nothing left standing between the supersized, ecosystem-ravaging fish and the world's largest freshwater system other than the gates of two heavily used navigational locks, and it may be only a matter of time until the fish are jumping and flopping in Lake Michigan waters from Chicago to Door County - and beyond.

"It's a disaster," said Dan Thomas, president of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council. "Heads should roll for this."

The Great Lakes commercial and sport fishing industry are valued at over $7 billion annually, and the region has more than 4 million registered recreational boats, many owners of which may have to learn to live on a different and dangerous set of lakes; hockey helmets are considered standard safety gear for some boaters on infested waters of the Mississippi River basin.

No actual fish have been found above the electric barrier, which itself is about 20 miles south of Lake Michigan. But biologists say the water samples provide some compelling - and distressing - evidence that the fish imported decades ago by an Arkansas fish farmer and subsequently let loose during federally funded sewage treatment experiments finally busted past the electric barrier. It is a barrier that has never been turned up to its full capacity due to concerns it would disrupt barge operators and recreational boaters on the Chicago canal.

"We're assuming (the fish) are there because we have to," said John Rogner, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "It's the best data we have."

The biologists responsible for detecting the fish with cutting edge "environmental" DNA testing agreed. "There is no reason to think that there aren't carp present when the DNA is detected," said David Lodge, a University of Notre Dame biologist.

Lodge said no DNA tests have been conducted on Lake Michigan itself, but he said there is still reason to be optimistic.

"As a biologist and somebody who has spent decades now studying many different kinds of invasive species, we should not assume all is lost because there may be some silver and bighead (carp) above the barrier," he said. "There are lots of cases, well documented from many parts of the world, where a small number of organisms may invade new areas, but they may die out before they establish a sustainable reproducing population. So it's very important to keep the numbers of individual organisms as low as possible."

The Army Corps agrees, and said Friday it will steam ahead with plans to poison the Chicago canal just below the barrier to kill all the fish in a several mile downriver stretch in early December so the barrier can be shut down for a day or two for regular maintenance in early December. "This new information reinforces the importance of preventing any further intrusion of the Asian carp via the largest pathway, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal," said Army Corps Maj. General John w. Peabody.

Army Corps officials said Friday they also would continue DNA testing above the barrier and will consider poisoning options in the areas where DNA is detected.

They also said they would consider changing the way they operate two busy navigational locks near the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

"All options are on the table," said Rogner.

Officials said research is already under way to try to manage carp populations in the Great Lakes, similar to the Great Lakes lamprey sterilization program that keeps numbers of that invasive parasite in check.

"We anticipate that some day this kind of operation may have to occur with carp," said Charlie Wooley, deputy regional director for Fish and Wildlife.

Army Corps officials declined to speculate how the fish might have made it passed the barrier.

One possible reason is that it wasn't operating at a higher strength until August, when the newly developed DNA tests first detected the fish within several miles of the barrier. Previous fish-shocking surveys had showed the carp stalled for more than a year about 20 miles below the barrier.

The Journal Sentinel reported late last year that the new barrier, designed to operate at four volts per inch, was only going to be allowed at one-volt per inch, not a power high enough to deter small juvenile fish.

The Journal Sentinel reported on Aug. 7 that the DNA tests revealed the fish were on the move. The Army Corps turned up the power on the barrier to two volts later that month after conducting a round of safety tests. They said at the time tests showed two volts, with the proper pulse frequency, is strong enough to repel all sizes of fish.

Conservationists Thursday said the only thing left to do know is to close the navigation locks to determine with certainty if the fish have indeed breached the gates. And if they have, it's time to try to kill those fish. "The important thing now is to make sure no fish get into Lake Michigan, and since we've got those structures in place that will help us do that, that is where we've got to focus," said Joel Brammeier of the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

North Lake Access


North Lake public access project starts next summer
By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel

Nov. 6, 2009 4:23 p.m. | Construction of the first public access to North Lake in Waukesha County is scheduled for summer 2010, a state Department of Natural Resources official said Friday.

The 437-acre lake is the largest water body in the county without public access, said Jim Ritchie, DNR public waterways access coordinator.

The DNR purchased the former Whitey Krause property on Reddelien Road in the Town of Merton for $1.125 million in 2005. The 6.5-acre parcel includes 233 feet of frontage on the northwest shore of the lake, Ritchie said.

Construction of the access site, with boat ramp, dock and parking lot for 16 vehicles and trailers will cost $475,000.

"Development of this property will ensure that anglers and recreational boaters have permanent year-round public access for open water and ice fishing on North Lake," Ritchie said. "There's been a strong demand for access to this lake for many years."

Great weekend ahead.

There's a great weather outlook for the next couple days, and you should consider hitting the water. The warmer temps will bring a variety of fish into the shallow areas, especially those with rock or sand bottoms, in the early afternoon.

Live bait is always a good option this time of year, especially suckers and shiners, but don't over look crankbaits. A thinner profile bait that wiggles instead of wobbles, always seems to catch some decent fish when the conditions are like this this late in the year.

Look for rocky areas adjacent to deep water. The fish will be laying on the rocks, on patrolling the bottom transition just next to them.

Good Luck

Monday, November 2, 2009

Musky Mikes has been sold.

Musky Mike's Baitshop in Okauchee has been sold to new ownership. The store will remain open in its current location through November 30th. Live bait will continue to be available at the current location through November 30th, and all tackle is on sale for 40% off.

The store will continue to operate under the new owners, but will be moving to a nearby location during the week of December 1st.

It has been our pleasure to serve you, and we look forward to seeing the store continue under the new owners.

Chris, Eric and Ray

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still time to get out....

The weather outside is just right for musky fishing on the inland lakes, and the walleye run will be biting on the Rock River.

Still plenty of time to get out in the boat. Give me a call if you'd like a last chance to hit the water this season.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Now contributing to walleye central.

Hey gang, has asked me to provide reports for Lac Labelle. I'll be contributing to them on a regular basis.

Stay tuned for more information.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fishing Report: October 4, 2009

Well its fall, and I have some good news.

Water temps are peaking out below 60 degrees in the afternoons. Okauchee, Oconomowoc and Lac Labelle all clocked in the high 50's late today, which means now is the time to hit the water for some musky fishing. The bite has been a bit slow, but certainly steady. Two large fish were caught on Okauchee in the last week, and we've had numerous reports of high 30's and low 40's fish coming to the boat.

Some advice: The lack of rain this season allowed the weeds to grow deeper than is typical for our area. Likewise, a fair number of fish are being caught in deeper water than is typical for this time of year. Trolling has been producing, especially in areas with baitfish in 18-25 feet of water. Good use of your electronics is essential right now.

Look for the bite to move shallower and into the available green weeds, but don't over look rock bars adjacent to mid depth weeds, especially on warmer sunny afternoons, as fish will move up to warm up and digest food.

Fishing with suckers is never a bad idea this time of year. We have suckers and custom quick strike rigs in stock right now.

Other happenings:

Smallmouth fishing will pick up on the area lakes, and now is the time to chase down a trophy sized fish with live bait. Slip-sinker rigs with walleye suckers or large shiners drifted or trolled very slowly around the deep edges of structure can surprise you. If you find fish, you'll very likely be over a good school of them. fish that area hard, and pay attention to your electronics. Subtle bottom changes will concentrate fish.

Walleye fishing has been slow, but is starting to pick up in the Dells and along the Jefferson Dam to Blackhawk Island stretch of the Rock River. Water is seasonably low this time of year, so watch your prop, but look for fish in the current, in the shallow water near deeper holes. They will likely be actively feeding, rather than holding in the deep water. Jig and Minnow, Lindy rigs or jig and twister are good producers.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fishing Report 9-22-09

The water is in the mid to upper 60's on most lakes in our area. Weeds are still green, but showing some signs of thinning out and the algae blooms are starting to clear up. There are schools of bait in both deep and shallow water, both of which are drawing attention from the gamefish right now.

Largemouth are holding along clumps of weeds on the shallow weed flats. Others are still hanging along the deeper weed edges. Smallmouth are relating to weed clumps near or adjacent to rocky and sandy areas with a drop off. The deeper fish will bite best when they make a move into the nearby shallow water, typically something they will start to do a couple times a day. When the water and air temperatures begin to cool down some more, fish will use rocky areas in the early afternoons.

Your best lure options right now are wacky worms, large jigworms, skirted grubs, jig/chunk, texas rigged plastics or lipless crankbaits. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits can also produce. Wacky worms and skirted grubs are great around the rocks. Jigworms, texas rigs and jig/trailers are great around the scattered weeds. Lipless crankbaits are great in both areas. Browns, greens, orange or black are usally the best colors for plastics (pretty much as they are all year) but white, shad, bluegill or silver colored crankbaits can really produce.

Walleye: Stick with live bait unless fishing over submerged weeds in the evening when you should consider throwing minnow-baits like rapalas and rouges. Look for walleyes to be in the sandgrass or in breaks in the weeds in 10-15 feet. Some fish will be deeper or shallower on our local lakes, but the best approach to locating fish is to slowly troll with a slip-sinker or lindy rig with a big minnow.

Northern: Most northern caught this time of year are caught while targeting other species, especially bass and musky. But they can still be caught and in good numbers. For bigger fish, try Deep diving crankbaits in bluegill, perch or white/shad color patterns. Hot N Tots, wiggle warts and the rapala deep divers are my favorites for trolling, while Norman D-22's or lipless crankbaits are better options for casting.

Musky: The fish are starting to make fall transitions, but the action is still a little slow. I'd expect that to make a rapid change after this week. Most fish are being reported from 10-15 feet of water. Casting bucktails, gliders, swimbaits or jerkbaits all will draw some attention, but don't forget to keep a sucker or two out on a quick-strike rig. Many fish that follow a bait to the boat will turn on for the sucker hanging nearby.

Good Luck

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Musky Trips

The fall season for musky fishing is right around the corner.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall Runs

From the DNR:

50 places to fish from shore within 60 minutes of Milwaukee

MADISON – Like clockwork, it’s that time of year when trout and salmon begin staging in the river mouths and harbors – ready to run the course back to their spawning grounds.

And anglers looking to fish these spectacular runs can visit the new Lake Michigan Fall Fishing page of the Department of Natural Resources Web site for informational resources that highlight 50 places to fish from shore within 60 minutes of downtown Milwaukee.

“No need to put the fishing gear away just because summer is nearing its end,” says Brad Eggold, Department of Natural Resources Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team supervisor. “The spawning runs represent tremendous opportunities -- they’re close by, you don’t need a boat, and you have a high chance of success.”

“We developed these materials because we wanted to make it as easy as possible for anglers to find places to fish during these events.”

The resources include:

* A downloadable pocket-size brochure that lists the 50 locations and the dominant species available, and, and gives directions, distance and driving time from downtown Milwaukee. Printed copies will be available in the coming weeks at DNR service centers in southeastern Wisconsin.
* Google map showing photos of the fishing sites and detailed driving directions
* Advice on the fishing gear to use and the best times to go.

More about what anglers need to fish the spawning runs

Timing is everything, and although heavy rains can sometimes trigger earlier runs, this schedule gives anglers a good idea of when the runs can begin, peak and end:

* Chinook salmon – Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, peak in late September
* Coho salmon – Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 peak in late October
* Steelhead – Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 peak in late September, very dependent on water flows, especially in August
* Brown trout – Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, peak in early December

If you’re new to fishing the runs, get properly equipped by reeling in this gear before you go:

* Rod: 8- to 11-feet long, medium to heavy action.
* Reel: medium-sized spinning reel with good drag system.
* Line: 8- to 10-pound monofilament.
* Lure and tackle: Heavy duty ball bearing snap swivels for use with spoons like krocodiles, cleos, castmasters and daredevils will work great off piers and breakwalls.
* For bait fishing: Small hooks in sizes 4 to 6 with slip bobbers, split shot, three-way swivels and bell sinkers for use with spawn, minnows and wax worms.
* Miscellaneous gear: Long-handled landing net for fish up to 20 pounds, heavy duty stringer, needle nose pliers, extra spools of line, garbage bags, and warm clothes (weather conditions can change quickly on Lake Michigan).

Anglers 16 years old or older fishing Lake Michigan and its tributaries need a fishing license and Great Lakes Trout and Salmon stamp, or a two-day Sports Fishing License to fish for trout and salmon in the tributaries (up to the first dam or lake).

Check the “2009-2010 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations” for fishing regulations. Anglers should note that from Sept. 15 to the first Saturday of the following May, there is no hook and line fishing from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise in the tributaries.\


Salmon Fishing isn't really my thing, but I wanted to make you aware of the options.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Changes Ahead

Hey Gang, there are changes in the works and I wanted you to have some lead time on them.

First, and most importantly, the weekly fishing reports which have been posted on the baitshop blog will be moving to this site this fall. I'll probably start double posting them here as well. I'll keep posting the reports, but as of October 1st or so, you'll need to come here to get them.

Second, I'm in the process of putting together some content for another fishing related blog run by fishing pro Doug Cavin. We're still working out the kinks (well I am anyway) and there will be more news on this in September.

Finally, fall fishing is just around the corner. Judging by the weather, I assume that that might be a short corner. If you are looking to hit the water for some action this fall, I will have availabilities, but as I'll be working on my dissertation, I suggest that you contact me sooner to make sure you can have the days you want.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Shannon's First Fish.

Here's my son Shannon with the first fish he caught all by himself. Over the years I have helped many people catch lots of fish. I have guided people to trophy bass, musky and walleyes. I helped my dad to catch the biggest northern pike of his life. Personally I've caught a bass over 10lbs, a 48 inch musky and a 30 inch walleye, but watching him hook and reel in this potato chip sized bluegill was among the proudest moments of my life.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two baits for right now

Two Baits for Right Now.

As summer winds up, I usually find myself relying on two baits to produce fish. Our lakes have a plentiful baitfish supply by this point of the year, and I see no reason not to play along. With the crawfish molt over, gamefish will once again turn their attention towards baitfish. As the photocycle gets shorter, this change in attention gets more pronounced.

Therefore I recommend two lures that you should always have at the ready this time of year. Both are easy to use and will catch a variety of fish. The first is a lipless crankbait. There are tons of these baits on the market, and most crankbait manufacturers have a model available. Personally I like to stay traditional, and like the Bill Lewis (Rattle-trap) or the Rapala version (rattlin-rapala).

A lipless crankbait is an easy bait to fish. Cast it out and reel it back in. Its tight wiggle and small size easily imitate the baitfish that most predators are chasing. As for color, I like to keep it simple. On cloudy days I’ll throw a bluegill or shad colored bait, but if its sunny, I like to go for lots of flash and will rely on a chrome or gold. Casting lipless crankbaits along the outside edges of weed-beds is an amazing way to catch a variety of fish. I’ve caught bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and even channel catfish with nothing more than a cast and retrieve approach. One tip, when reeling in the bait, try to keep your pole at a 90 degree angle to the bait, it’ll be easier to detect strikes and follow through with a hook set. Tip #2: if you’re reeling the bait, and you feel it stop, set the hook. If it’s a fish, you’ll have them, if it’s a weed, changes are you’ll get a bite when you rip the bait free.

The other bait I recommend is a spinnerbait. Again I like to keep it simple, and tend to stay with white or white and chartreuse. Although they are very effective, I prefer not to use willow leaf blades, preferring instead to go with a Colorado or Oklahoma blade. On cloudy days I’ll use a bait with a painted or silver blade, but on sunny days I go gold. I don’t use a trailer hook very often, but I usually use a twister tail grub to add some bulk to the bait.

The approach is simple, throw it out and reel it back in. Look for clumps of weeds, and make multiple casts along the edges or over the top of submerged weeds and hang on. Pike strikes of spinner baits can be vicious. Bass and Muskie will also chase them down.

Keep it simple. Cast these baits out near weed edges, and reel them back in. I’m not promising that you’ll catch a giant, but you’ll certainly have a chance to catch some quality fish.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Golden Lake

Bob had so much fun on Monday, he wanted to go back out today. We wanted to chase some bass on Golden Lake, but the weather wouldn't cooperate. The pike however were a different story.

We caught and released more than 20 pike between 15-32 inches today. Here's Bob with one we caught before the rain made us put the camera away.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Silver Lake

Here's Bob with today's nice bass from Silver Lake, one of 25 Largemouths we caught on today's guided trip:

Weekday and Weekend Trips are available. Call 262-893-2183.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On the water in August....

Trips are available for bass, walleye, panfish, catfish and musky. Give me a call 262-893-2183.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I will be contributing to another fishing blog starting August 1st. Details will follow. In the meantime, stay tuned to the shop's blog for fishing reports.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fishing Time Ahead

I've been busy with exams this summer, but I'll be on the water heavily during August, September and October this fall.

In the meantime, stay up to date with fishing reports on the baitshop blog.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's go fishing

The water is finally up to seasonal temperatures, and we have some great fishing weather ahead. Let's go catch some fish.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maybe its not catch and release but that they're getting smarter.......

Nine-spined stickleback share the human ability to copy each other's behaviour if it's to their advantage.

They're small in size but big in mind: sticklebacks display a remarkably human-like intelligence when it comes to searching for food, according to scientists in the UK. By comparing their own experiences with the behaviour of their fellow fish, the sticklebacks are able to improve their success rate.

The discovery of this sophisticated type of social learning in sticklebacks, known as a "hill-climbing" strategy, suggests that such cognitive tricks might be more common among non-human animals than previously thought.

The study also shows that big brains like humans' might not be the only way to produce a cumulative culture within a species.

"Small fish may have small brains but they still have some surprising cognitive abilities," said Jeremy Kendal from Durham University's anthropology department. "Hill-climbing strategies are widely seen in human society whereby advances in technology are down to people choosing the best technique through social learning and improving on it, resulting in cumulative culture. But our results suggest brain size isn't everything when it comes to the capacity for social learning."

Kevin Laland of St Andrews University, who also took part in the study, said: "Nine-spined sticklebacks may be the geniuses of the fish world. It's remarkable that a form of learning found to be optimal in humans is exactly what these fish do."

In the experiment, reported in tomorrow's issue of the journal Behavioral Ecology, scientists caught 270 nine-spined sticklebacks from the Melton Brook in Leicestershire. The fish were placed in a tank with two feeders, one of which supplied a lot more food than the other, known as the "rich feeder".

The fish that learned to prefer the rich feeder were then allowed to watch their fellow fish feeding in a separate test but, this time, the two feeders had been swapped. After watching for a while, the observers were allowed to choose a feeder for themselves and around 75% were able to work out from their observations that the feeders had been switched.

Lots of animals learn from their more experienced peers to gain skills such as hunting, foraging or evading predators.

"But it is not always a recipe for success to simply copy someone," said Kendal. "Animals are often better off being selective about when and who they copy. These fish are obviously not at all closely related to humans, yet they have this human ability to only copy when the pay-off is better than their own. You might expect this ability in animals who are closely related to humans. In the case of the nine-spined stickleback, they have most likely adapted to their local ecology."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sounds Like a Good Problem

Largemouth bass overpopulating many lakes

By Associated Press, Posted: Jun. 13, 2009

Spooner - Wisconsin wildlife officials say bass catch-and-release might be working too well.

The Department of Natural Resources says a mail survey of bass anglers found they kept only 550,000, or 6%, of the 10 million bass they caught in 2006. In contrast, state anglers kept about 2.2 million of 7 million walleye caught, or about 30%.

DNR fisheries biologist Larry Damman in Spooner says high minimum size limits coupled with catch-and-release has resulted in many lakes with overabundant, stunted bass populations in which few largemouths ever reach legal size.

Fisheries managers want anglers to harvest more bass in northern Wisconsin, especially in Polk and Washburn counties, to keep population numbers in balance and improve growth rates.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hot Bites Right Now

I like to pass on good info when I have it, and I have a couple pieces of it right now.

1.) Trolling bite: Koshkonong. Pulling cranks and stickbaits is producing a mixed bag of walleyes, whitebass and pike.

2.) Fowler Lake: The stocked trout are biting very good. They are suspended in the deep basin, but you can find them with your electronics.

3.)Lake Kessus: Crappies are biting, big time. I don't think this will hold up as this news came to me late, but you might want to give it a go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spotted Musky Improvement Plan

From the DNR

MADISON – The 1,100 fingerlings that made the road trip from Ontario, Canada, to their new homes in three northeastern Wisconsin lakes are among new efforts this spring in the decades-long quest to restore a self-sustaining population of the Great Lakes strain spotted musky to Green Bay.

These young fish will eventually serve as broodstock for Green Bay.

Taken as eggs from Georgian Bay and later certified disease free, they were raised in the small, Sir Sanford Fleming College hatchery in Ontario, Canada and stocked into Elkhart Lake, Sheboygan County, and Anderson and Archibald lakes in Oconto County.

The $59,000 project, funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, money from the Fox River environmental restoration settlement, Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin, Muskies Canada and Titletown Chapter of Muskies Inc., is aimed at increasing the genetic diversity in Green Bay’s spotted musky population, which in turn will yield healthier fish, according to fisheries biologist David Rowe.

“Greater genetic diversity helps to protect a population from changes in their environment,” Rowe says. “If all the fish have the same genotype, they are all likely to succumb to the same illness or an environmental change like a warmer climate. If there is a great amount of diversity, the changes that impact some fish will not affect all fish in the population. This means the population can better adapt to changing conditions, and then they pass those stronger traits on to their offspring.”

The three receiving the Canadian fish have a 50-inch size limit to protect them, giving DNR multiple years to collect eggs before the musky would be vulnerable to harvest, according to Rowe.

A $200,000 grant from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment that resulted from the Fox River environmental settlement will allow the DNR to stock the Ontario-raised strain of musky into the recently established brood lakes for the next four years, which will continue to increase the genetic variation and abundance of the re-established Green Bay population.

Spotted musky are native to Green Bay, but the population collapsed in the early 1900s due to over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction. Thanks to stocking efforts that began in 1989, the population in the bay is older and larger than ever, according to Rowe.

“The musky have grown fast in Green Bay’s waters,” Rowe says. “We estimate the population in the lower bay somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 musky and just this spring we handled about a dozen fish larger than 50 inches in our nets.”

Even though the musky population has been revived and anglers are finding opportunities for trophy fish, biologists, who have been looking for signs of natural reproduction for 20 years, are just now starting to see hopeful results.

“Last fall, for the first time, we collected two, unmarked fingerling musky in the lower Menomonie River,” Rowe says. “We know from genetic analysis that these two had the same genetic markers as the adult fish from Green Bay, meaning they are Great Lakes Spotted muskies, and the first evidence of natural reproduction.”

To help determine why the DNR hasn’t seen more spotted musky reproduction, fisheries crews have begun a two-year study funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Program and several musky angling clubs including; Dave’s Musky Club, C&R Musky Club, Winnebagoland Musky Club, M&M Musky Club, Titletown Chapter of Muskies Inc., and the Between the Lakes Chapter of Muskies Inc.

This spring 20 female musky were inserted with miniature radio transmitters when they were captured during DNR fyke-netting. When those females spawn and expel their eggs, the transmitter will also drop, pinpointing their spawning location. This information will allow biologists to identify the area and see if there are any problems that might be hindering natural reproduction such as habitat degradation, poor water quality, or invasive species.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fishing the WMT

I'll be fishing the WMT tommorrow. I'll post when I get back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Now is the time... hit the water. Lots of big fish are being caught. Call me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Night Big Bass League

Tonight's prediction: I'll take the over. No question about it.

There's going to be a ton of fish brought in tonight, but somebody is going connect with a large fish on or near a spawning area. Tonight could be the night somebody breaks the 6lb barrier this season.

I was almost dead on last week, but I'll venture the winning fish will be between 4.5-5lbs and anything below 4lbs won't be anything but a point fish this week.

Good Luck,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now is the time get out. Fishing will be fantastic the next week to 10 days.

I have some openings if you want to get out.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BBL: Week 1

Ray and I got off to a rocky start, but I put us on a working pattern by 7:15 and he ended up catching the winner a 4.58lb largemouth.

I didn't bring in a legal fish, but had one of my best nights of musky fishing ever. I caught one, had two more hooked up and had a follow from a high 30's fish. Everything was chasing a black and blue jig and chunk.


Monday, May 4, 2009

In the shop....

Eric's fishing a WABTA tournament in Madison this weekend. As a result, I'll be working in the shop Saturday from 5am until Noon.

Stop by and say hi!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday Trip

Thursday is my 35th birthday, and I'm going fishing. A report will follow!

New law restores longtime bass and musky season structures

MADISON - Wisconsin’s longstanding season structures for bass and musky have been officially restored and the early-season barbless hook requirements eliminated for some catch-and-release seasons under a bill Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law earlier this month.

As a result of the changes made by 2009 Wis. Act 6 (Assembly Bill 4):

* The normal musky season opening dates will remain in effect. This means the northern zone musky season opens May 23 this year and no person may actively fish for musky before that date in waters north of Highway 10. Southern zone musky season opens May 2.
* The largemouth/ smallmouth bass season opens May 2 on most state waters. In the northern zone, anglers may fish for bass but as in the past, must release all bass they catch until June 20. Anglers are NOT restricted to barbless hooks and artificial lures during this catch and release portion of the season in the northern zone or on other waters which have a catch and release bass season.

This bill was initiated and adopted in response to a statutory change – not a Department of Natural Resources rule change -- in the 2007 budget bill that would have required the DNR to create an early musky catch-and-release season and required anglers to use barbless hooks during that season and any bass catch-and-release season.

“Both of these statutory requirements caused considerable consternation among the angling public, and we are grateful that those laws have been repealed before the May 2 fishing opener,” says Joe Hennessy, the DNR fish biologist who coordinates fisheries regulations

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Musky Photos and Video

Eric and I got the camera setup below the Oconomowoc River dam this morning. I'm editing the video and it will be posted soon, but here's a still of a head shot we caught on the tape.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time to hit the water

The crappies are biting and the bluegills won't be far behind them....

Give me a call if you're getting the itch. I'll put you on some fish.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hook N Look TV Show

Is doing a smallmouth episode this week on Lake Delavan.

April Show Schedule
7th, 8th, 10th "Sight Fishing Smallmouths" Love it or condemn it... Kim takes an in-depth look into the highly controversial art of sight fishing for bedding bass. The clarity of Wisconsin's Lake Delavan offers an ideal location to demonstrate the technique and provide awareness. Kim emphasizes the importance of "Immediate Catch & Release" and presents a conservational perspective in regards to reducing the likelihood of brood predation. A Texas rigged Strike King "Bleeding Tube" is the featured lure in episode two.


Friday, April 3, 2009


Due to a cancelation, I have open days thursday and friday (april 9th and 10th).

If you want to get out late next week, give me a call or send me an email, let's work something out.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saw this on the Rkld Blog.

fishermen wade out along the swamped riverbank below the Jefferson dam in search of walleye. — Jim Furley photo.

Yes, the water is that high again this year.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Article is up

The JS online article is up. Paul's got a great sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

River Fishing Tips at Musky Mikes Website

We've posted an article on spring river fishing at the baitshop's home page. Here's a link:


Rock River

I hooked up with Paul Smith from the Journal-Sentinel today. We headed down to the Rock River.

Launched at Kmart around 11am, and we fished a few spots downstream from the 106 bridge. Connected with around a half dozen walleyes and saugers and a buffalo. Saw a couple other walleyes get caught on green plastic/jig combos in the same area we were fishing.

Slack water, 3 way rigs with a very short dropper line and a short leader was the key. Bigger fatheads and large rosies were working better than small ones. Bite was very light on all but one fish.

Flow is fast and heavy, the water is very high. If you're going to drift, you'll need some heavy jigs and a solid trolling motor to control. Water at the Kmart launch is at the top of the ramp, and the concrete "bumpers" are underneath the water. The pier was not in.

Water temps between 34-38. Wind was brutual at times.

The article should be in the Sunday Edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Heading out....

...Tommorrow with Paul Smith from the Journal-Sentinel. A full report when I return.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

High Water?

I was just looking over the flow charts from the National Weather Service, and its looks like the flows will be heavy again this year on the rock river.

Stock up on some heavy jigs and three way rigs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rock River Resources

I added a series of links for the Rock River, including the best threads, the Rock-Koshkonong district webpage/blog and a link to the DNR boat launch website.


On the water...

I'll be out after this batch of warm weather and rain. Stay up to date with reports here and on the shop blog.

I'm happy to trade information or point you in the right direction, just call or send me an email.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's Go Fishing

Stretches of the Wisconsin and Rock River's are open for fishing. There's some nicer weather on the way. Give me a call and let's hit the water.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Upcoming Fishing Related Events

Madison Show: This Weekend

JS Sport Show: Next Weekend

Close of Gamefish Season: Next Sunday

Musky Mikes Ice Fishing Sale: Through March 15

Musky Mikes Fishing Equipment Collection for the DNR Loaner Program: On Going till free fishing weekend in June.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spearers take 1,512 sturgeon in Fox Valley lakes

From JsOnline

By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 21, 2009 6:02 p.m. | The 2009 sturgeon spearing season closed today after spearers took a total of 1,512 of the fish from lakes Winnebago, Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts.

The count included 301 juveniles, 596 males and 615 adult females, which was 97.6% of the 630 quota for adult females allowed this season, said Ron Bruch, sturgeon biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources. The season opened Feb. 14.

Spearers took 89 sturgeon on Lake Winnebago today before the season closed at 12:30 p.m., Bruch said. The lake's season total of 1,237 sturgeon fell below the record of 1,854 set in 2004.

"A snowstorm and strong winds created white-out conditions on Lake Winnebago today," he said. "But that didn't stop large numbers of dedicated sturgeon spearers from driving out on the ice to their shacks this morning."

The season on lakes Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts ended Wednesday. Spearers took 275 sturgeon from those lakes this season.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Some Items of Interest:

1.) The Milwaukee Journal had an article today that discussed controlling the water flows through the dams on the Oconomowoc River Chain. After last year's massive flooding, the issue again has returned. Personally, I'm not sure how they hope to fix the problem with the dams built the way they are. The Okauchee/Oconomowoc dam and the Fowler/Lac Labelle dam are designed to only hold back so much water. The Okauchee dam can be opened to increase flow when neccessary, but that wouldn't have changed the downriver effects much with all the water last year.

Either way, here's a cut and paste link to the article:

2.)I'm doing some garage cleaning and I have several bass and musky combos I'd like to sell. They're all st croix rods with abu garcia or shimano reels. A couple have never been used. If you want more information, please email me and I'll send you a complete list.

3.)Looks like this weather is going to slow down the transition to open water. Two things. First be carfeul when on the ice after the fresh snow as it may cover up some old holes or stress cracks. Second, since we'll be ice fishing a few more weeks, now would be a great time to stock up on ice fishing gear at the shop.

4.)The open water fishing that's available right now appears to be surprisingly consistent. The open water areas on the wisconsin river below the dams in the dells and at petenwell are producing fish for guys willing to put in the time. Large ice flows are still reported, and I'll make sure to keep you updated on conditions as information comes to me.

5.) For those of you who asked, Kelly will be having the baby next week. Its our second, and I can't wait to meet my daughter Quinn. Big brother Shannon, my son, also seems excited.

Good Luck and stay safe,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Open water!

It has begun....

Early reports from the dells have fish biting in the open water stretches. Lots of ice flows are reported, but guys are out.

I have no solid data on open water access on the Rock River, but the warm temps and rain have busted up some of the areas below the dams. A few anglers are reporting some success fishing from shore.

The Milwaukee harbor area is also open. I'll be checking with some sources, but I saw boats out there this morning when I was down on the southside of Milwaukee.

I'll be prepping the boat this weekend. If you have to stratch the open water itch, we can get out on weather permitting days starting next week. Give me a call.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Open Water

Dells: The Launch at Rivers Edge is open.

Petenwell: Laucnhes at HWY 21 and at the Dam are open.

I'll keep updating as I get information. If you want to get out, I could go this weekend or next week.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Open Water ?!?

There's reports of open water below the dam in the dells.

Check out the river-cam at


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dreaming of open water

I'm dreaming of some open water fishing. I don't really mind winter and i really like living in this part of the country, but I hate that my fishing season is shorter than in other places.

I drove over the crawfish and rock rivers the other day, and boy its going to be a late thaw this year.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I get emails

...and they help me pass the winter months. National Geographic is promoting a program called Hooked on Bass.

The largemouth bass is more than just Americas most sought after freshwater fish. It fuels an entire culture of followers that pursue the bass at all levels for different reasons: weekend hobbyists, professional tournament anglers, and obsessed record hunters. Some fish to spend time with family and for relaxation, some for the challenge and the connection with nature, and others for the money and obsession. The pursuit of the bass has a $60 billion dollar effect on our economy by the 30 million bass anglers, a sport which has become the most popular outdoor activity in America. Three stories typify the culture of bassfishing, and happen on three different lakes across the country. In Texas, on Lake Sam Rayburn, weekend angler Rusty Clark fishes in one of the worlds largest amateur bassfishing tournaments. In New York, on Lake Oneida, Kevin Van Dam tries to secure his year-long quest to be the top professional in the sport. And in California, on Dixon Lake, three world record hunters obsessively hunt one fish that they believe to be the biggest bass of all time.

Monday, February 2 at 10pm ET/PT
Saturday, February 28 at 8pm ET/PT – Encore Presentation

Here's some videos to keep you thinking spring.


See you soon!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ice Fishing

I'm may be on the bench for the winter, but Ben's out there and he's catching people fish. Here's a few from a recent Milwaukee Harbor outing.

There's a link to Ben's website on the right. His number is 414-477-2972.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections on 2008 Season

I had a quiet New Year's Eve, and I was up early this morning. There was a bunch of fishing shows doing their end of year retrospective episodes, and it got me to thinking about my 2008. Fishing wise, I think it was a pretty good year.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that catching a 10+ pound largemouth wasn't a highlight of the year, but I'd also be lying if I din't say that my entire Texas fishing trip at the end of February wasn't fantastic.

Taking Paul Smith, the new Journal-Sentinel outdoor writer out for an article was great, as was the plug that the shop and I received in the Milwaukee Magazine article.

The local open water season started good despite the very high water, and my first trip out after the opener brought in a trophy smallmouth for my clients. I also spent alot of time guiding on Silver Lake this year which resulted in lots of days with a solid number of fish caught. I had three days where my clients caught more than 100 fish there.

The flooding kept me off my usual Lac Labelle trips during late May and early June. It also cut down on the time I spent during the early season on the Rock River. My best walleye fishing ended up being in the late part of summer on Lake Koshkonong when the bite got hot. I had some really fantastic days pulling spinner harnesses over the rocks and sand.

All of these things were great, and I'm grateful that people give me a chance to share my knowledge with them, but the highlight of the year has to be the times I spent with my son, Shannon, in the boat and fishing off the pier when we took a short family vacation up to Eagle River. He wasn't even two years old for the trip, but he took to fishing the way I had always dreamed that he would.

Sitting on the pier, catching potato chip sized bluegills with my son, was for me, better than everything else that happened on or off the water this past year.

See you on the water in 2009!