Ice Fishing

Would you have called the Warden hotline?

1/24/23 @ 9:40 PM
Bofish 3
User since 3/25/20

I went out fishing today on a lake around 80 acres that I like that does not see much fishing pressure. The lake has very, very few pike, some nice bass and gills and rainbows. The regulations and two signs at the boatlanding- state No use of Minnows. 

I am walking out on the lake today and see a group of 4 guys in the middle of the lake. They had about 8 automatic fisherman setup and were jigging with their flashers. I walked out to a spot I wanted to go to not far from them. I seen they had a minnow bucket and a cooler with a side aerator. I didn't see them catch any fish.

I fished for a little bit and then went over to see if I knew any of them and ask how they were doing. I didn't know them. One guy was friendly the others were quiet. They were packing up to walk to another spot on the lake. I hesitated to say anything about using minnows, but I know the warden stops out there from time to time. So, I said, I don't care at all, but I know minnows are not allowed on this lake. The one guy basically said, oh? I said, yea, no minnow probably because of the rainbows they plant in here. they started walking to their next spot and we both said goodluck, have fun.  

I fished another 2 hours and they continued to use minnows-(didn't see them catch anything).   Should I have called the warden hotline? Would you have?      

Displaying 1 to 13 of 13 posts
1/27/23 @ 2:51 PM
User since 8/1/01

Honestly I would have done what you did bofish. People do make honest mistakes. Maybe the guys lack of response was that he was embarrassed because he didn't know and felt stupid. And who knows maybe he stopped using minnows and his buddies continued and that's what you saw. Personally I think you did the right thing inform them then their on there own. When I'm out fishing I don't care for drama so I would have left it at that like you did. Just my opinion.

1/27/23 @ 2:26 PM
User since 3/21/14


Probably dating myself but years ago Delavan Lake was thick with carp and other "rough fish".  DNR drew it down and poisoned the fish, then let it refill.  Stocked in with panfish, bass, pike, and walleyes.  There were a few years when you could drift across deeper water with a crawler or leech and catch dozens of walleyes.  I threw all of the walleyes I caught back but it was not uncommon to see guys filling their coolers with 10-12" walleyes.  I called the DNR and received a "Yeah, we'll look into it," reply.  Maybe they did, maybe they didn't - I don't know but I got the feeling they were not going to investigate.  Fished there a few years ago and did see wardens checking bags and making sure that all minnows were properly disposed of so maybe they're more tuned into things.  I'm not sure I would tell some guy (let alone 4 guys) that they are violating regs but I likely would have called the wardens to give them a heads up.  Maybe they would be respectful or maybe they would be "unappreciative".  Do you want to put your gear, vehicle, or self at risk to play warden?  I'd say, it's not worth it over a few fish and it's not your job to enforce the regs -- leave it to the wardens.  My two cents.


1/27/23 @ 12:40 PM
User since 6/20/01

I agree with Glimmer.  However, if you are going to call in that situation then leave, get their vehicle license # and stay away for a while.

I have a CCW and if I'm going out on a remote lake or for the evening, you bet I carry.

1/27/23 @ 3:09 AM
User since 1/18/11

In a situation like that, where you and them are only anglers out, it’s touchy. They will know it was you and next time you are out alone do you want to worry about truck vandlized? Or worse yet the four of them coming after you? Do you want to “carry” on the ice?

Since they didn’t catch anything with minnows chances are try will try elsewhere and all be well. Lots of nut cases out there. You did a gutsy thing by just warning them. Chances are they had seen signs and didn’t care. It’s just a fish after all…

1/26/23 @ 5:27 PM
User since 1/7/02

As a true steward of the environment and resources that are in it, it should be expected that you would contact the proper authorities. I know that it can be uncomfortable, but the law is the law. I see plenty of it on the Fox River and 'remind' people of the special regulations that are in place. Being ignorant isn't a valid reason when breaking the law.

1/26/23 @ 2:14 PM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

darn, I wish you would have called and no one showed up.  it would make you understand that our DNR has no time to regulate anything.  there is no money,  no time for petty stuff like that.

There are deer killed at night out of season,  after hours,  overbagging non stop WITH TIPS that it happened.  They will "follow up" a week later.  The DNR is broke...WI right now is a free for all.  The one warden in your county would have never had time to stop anyway so don't lose sleep over it.

Is it  lake association sign?  cause all the homeowners think they own the water too ya know....

1/25/23 @ 8:03 PM
User since 9/19/10

I would have done what you did, and full of angst the whole time. You never know what kind of people yer dealing with. Some are scary dangerous. Next time I saw them violating, I'd ease out and call

1/25/23 @ 7:17 PM
User since 2/28/07

I agree with dire on this one. You gave notice so if it happens again, I would call it in.

1/25/23 @ 6:04 PM
Lake bum
Lake bum
User since 3/28/18


If they did it once, they will do it twice 

1/25/23 @ 10:39 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 2/21/20

I don't think I would have called this time but if I would see them out there again after I had went out of my way to make them aware of the rules and they are still using minnows I would probably make the call then

1/25/23 @ 10:38 AM
Bofish 3
User since 3/25/20

I wanted to add... if I was them, I would have checked the regs to make sure I was fishing legal with my buddies. If the regs stated, no minnows, I would have dumped them out in the woods on shore so me and my friends wouldn't get a fine.

My after thought was I was given them a heads up in case they didn't know- so they wouldn't get a fine. But they ended up still using minnows the rest of the day in two more spots. Ignored what I said.

Displaying 1 to 13 of 13 posts
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