The Future of Northern Wisconsin Walleye Fishing Declining?

1/2/17 @ 12:13 PM
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Red Eagle
Red Eagle
USER since 12/17/16

I just read an article/study and found it very interesting of the future of Wisconsin Walleye fishing. And the article does not bode well for the foreseeable future of Northern WI Walleye.

/http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/09/study-predicts-global-warmings-effect-on-wisconsin-walleyes/

Personally, I remember Walleye fishing in Vilas County in the late 80's and early 90's when I was in my teens and being able to catch at least 3 legals in an outing. Back then I was much more of a novice then with inferior equipment. I made different 5 trips to Vilas county in 2016 at about 4 days per trip and caught a total of 9 legals!!! That averages to about a .5 legal per day. We can't put all the blame on the tribes which has been beaten to death but I'm also seeing less people Walleye fishing too. 

Spending $40 in bait and then gas and equipment just doesn't make sense for an occasional legal. I release all Walleyes over 20 inches too. How many people have made the switch to a different species or just fed up with Northern Wisconsin Walleye fishing all together? 



Edited on 1/17/17 11:16 AM
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 59 Posts
2/1/17 @ 11:37 PM
wallywood
wallywood
USER since 1/1/02

All hardcore walleye fishermen know northern wi. is a joke.Alot of the guides are now targeting crappies because there clients want to catch something.The average size of the crappies has gone down because the added pressure.My deceased father ( a great walleye fisherman ) is probally rolling in his grave.Paying guides to catch 9''-10'' crappie.Don't blame it on global warning we know its from over harvest by hook and line and native americans.

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1/19/17 @ 8:35 AM
.Long Barrels
.Long Barrels
USER since 12/9/14

Perch pop is down in certain areas,  but from what I saw,  i'm not convinced it's lake-wide.  I did well,  I didn't see any difference in numbers from the last few.   I just don't jump on the internet and tell people I don't know. People beat up the south side of the lake,  that is a fact.  Same with the crappies.  thousands a day I bet

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1/19/17 @ 7:25 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

I remember Big Arb, that guy was crazy.  Posting exactly where he was and what he was catching.  Looked like a hobo village out there.  The worst is when they are easy to access spots.

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1/18/17 @ 4:18 PM
stl ken
stl ken
USER since 2/22/10

Sorry LongBarrels, fairly new to the Northwoods, never been on 'Bago.  Going by what I read on lake link guys saying the fishing is great and it will always be, no need for slot limits or reduce harvest.  Several years ago , stacks bay on lake Minocqua must of had 50+ shacks and bunches of other portable shelters. Everyone was loading up on 'Gills.  a year later, they were on Big Arb loading up on crappie.  So I know what you mean Lakeshiner, word gets out, fish get hammered. 

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1/18/17 @ 2:43 PM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

Don't forget the perch.  Few years ago everybody and their brother was hammering on them.  I didn't go this year but people I talked to said its not close to what it was.

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1/18/17 @ 1:55 PM
.Long Barrels
.Long Barrels
USER since 12/9/14

"soon" over-harvest will happen on bago???  It did three years ago.  The last 2 years and been very poor for 14-18 inch fish.  Three years ago a crackhead could catch a walleye.  Shad population plummeted,  less food in the lake,  clearing water,  the walleye's took an absolute beating.

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1/18/17 @ 10:05 AM
stl ken
stl ken
USER since 2/22/10

One word, "overharvest" !   Sooner or later it will happen, even on 'bago .   The number of anglers has doubled in the last 40 years or so, but fishable acres hasn't changed.  Fishermen migrate to the "hot" spots, then move on when it cools to the next "hot" spot.  More people live on or near lakes.  Not enough anglers practice C & R, no where near bass and musky anglers.  Soon, most lakes will require annual stocking to maintain a fishable population. Look at the lakes receiving extended growth walleyes, most notably Minocqua/Tomahawk chain. Hopefully the DNR can keep up with the need.  Would like to hear other opinions or ideas, important subject.

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1/17/17 @ 9:48 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03

Lakeshiner...the best walleye guide up there, for decades was Tom Newcomb out of Boulder Junction.  He taught my dad how to fish and although I was really young when I fished with him, he also taught me a lot.

Tom wouldn't fish the same lake in consecutive years.  Except for one lake, Trout Lake.  

He said exactly what you typed....guides needed to respect the lake and allow it to replenish itself.

Come to think of it, my dad has about two dozen lake maps that Tom marked up for him.  I should probably try to grab those before they sell the house....

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1/17/17 @ 9:45 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03

I don't get to Vilas as much as I used to, but....there are tons of walleyes in the lakes.  I've had no problem catching many of them when I am up there and targeting them.  The issue is size.  

I love the "tic" of the bite too.  I love to jig fish.  Twin is just loaded with eyes.  But consistently finding fish in the 16-20 inch range is really tough.  But man, that lake can kick out a volume of eyes.  DNR told me that they thought Twin was the best lake in the state for natural reproduction of walleyes.

Maybe it is because I spent so much time up there that I know what it used to be.  And now I'm a little bitter.  I'll take big water fishing in the Bay versus the small lake fishing in Vilas.  

That and I'm an avid musky guy.  DNR is trying to turn GB into the next big thing concerning the musky bite.  Like a Lake St. Clair.

I'll still get north, but man I'm excited for bigger fish and bigger water.

Once I was on Twin in the spring with my wife.  38 boats were around us fishing.  My wife outfished them all in an hour and a half.  She caught 25 walleyes.  I got 7.  No one else around us (all 38 boats) caught more than 5.

We had about 10 boats within a cast length to our boat.  Finally we left and one nice gentleman asked what we were doing differently and then he asked if he could have our spot.  We let him on top of us, I showed him what we were doing and my wife gave up her secret.  He got one instantly and was super happy.  I hope he had a good time and it is rare to find someone with manners on that lake in the spring.

Can't tell you how many times I've been crowded off of a spot by an old guy who rents a place up there.  Always the same boat.  

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1/17/17 @ 9:44 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

I've said that myself on a few threads.  Tried to be polite about it, but I agree.  Many guides post pics of their client's limit plus their own.  When they do that 5x a week, that 1 boat pulls a lot of fish over the course of the season.  Say they did not do well and only averaged 2 a trip.  10 a week, 40 a month.  Now say they do decent and average 5 a trip, now you are at 100 a month.  Numbers are obviously variable but 1 boat can harvest a lot of fish over the course of a season.  Maybe before spearing it didn't matter as much because there were those extra fish in the system.

Edited on 1/17/17 9:45 AM
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