Recent Tournaments Results suggest all is Not well with the system ! 225 Boats and 450 of the (Best) walleye fishermen in the country and over 1/2 cannot catch one fish In a 3 day tournament! Only a handful of angler Teams reported a 5 fish limit, and this is with NO size limit! Weather conditions were very good every day, with just a few wet conditions! Wi.DNR should do a re-evaluation and maybe some honest answers about this system!
Winnebago system Walleye fishing
Years ago we did not have 80 tournaments in Winnebago or 300 boats in several.
Has to take a toll along with the weather change.
The pressure on this system is unbelievable compared to 50 years ago. As walleye fishing gets tougher and over regulated in the rest of the state more people fish Winnebago. As people get better and bigger boats you get more pressure. There is plenty of habitat work that can be done yet, but we have put almost all of our eggs in one basket, literally, the wolf. Spawn in the fox is nearly non existent, lake spawn is going down every year. Look at the fishery as a whole, perch,white bass, walleye fishing was tough this year. Sauger are all but gone. Times are a changing.
Good discussion. I think technology and number of fisherman has passed fish reproduction in the system. The DNR has improved the marsh spawning grounds to a point were most spawns are good. Thank you Ron Burch!!! The 2 young guys in charge of walleye and sturgeon are doing the best they are allowed. The period of time after the hatch, the fry are dependent on zooplankton for food. With a cold spring zooplankton may not be abundant enough to feed the fry, and many or most may die. This helps produce up and down spawns. I have seen how good slots have worked from Canada to here in Wisconsin, we need a slot system here. A season would help too.
When I experience a slow fishing season (like this year) I usually chalk it up to a cycle of ups and downs over a period of about 3-5 years.
Obviously the DNR recognizes something and chose to drop the limit from 5 to 3.
I'd prefer the following also happen in addition to the new limit of 3:
1) a minimum size limit of at least 14" but 15" would be OK.
2) close the season during the river run. Is it really necessary to take pre-spawn fish out of the system?
3) more enforcement with greater penalties. I know with today's smart phones word spreads quickly but they should find a way to at least show a presence and give the perception they are out there and will enforce the regulations.
I do believe the amount of pressure on the fish has increased dramatically. The capability of even a novice fisherman with today's electronics can put him exactly on his spot every time. They can hold his speed exactly at what he sets and can even steer or follow a contour line. It used to be a guy in an aluminum row boat had to be very mindful of the weather and waves. Today in 19'-21' boats it's easier, safer and faster to get on/off the water even in rough weather.
This was a down year for me, maybe next year will be better.
need to put slot limit in place 15 inch min people are keeping way too many small fish all tournament show go to aims.
last 3 year have been way down on walleye and perch
Calm down, this is normal for Winnebago this time of year. This year's young are 3-5". They don't need to feed as much.
My post below stated it is peak time of the year for this type of bait, not that there is an abundance of bait in the lake. I think the trawling reports show that definitely not to be the case, most bait numbers are down.
Fall fishing for Walleye on bago has always been tough.
Only the top 25 teams in the tournement fished a third day, the rest fished two.
I do have a question for you though. If the fish are "not thick" and there is not bait as you indicated how can we think we need more Walleye in the system?
we need a size limit of some type
Well if you have all the other answers you should have more than "some type" as the answer.
I apologize for starting a flap about Walleye fishing with my post about the tournament last weekend on the fishing reports page. i will try here. This is the Cabelas tournament site, https://walleyefederation.com/cabelas-ntc/, you can go there and look at the results. About 1/2 of these guys caught no fish in 3 days of fishing. Take the total weight of the fish caught divided by the number of fish = a little over 1 pound for most of these guys. There was a 15 inch size limit set by the tournament. This is a good snapshot of the health of the lake. Winnebago walleye are not supper thick, meaning they are not supper fed, they have average build at best. I have been hearing this tale of forage quantity as an excuse for 50 years, BS. They use to say there were to many walleyes in the lake that is why they are so small ,BS. I am just fed up with all the BS. I have fished the system for over 50 years, it has been in trouble for a long time due to fishing pressure. 3 fish limit does very little to over harvest, we need a size limit of some type.
Also, as long as White Bass were brought up, they have no limit for a reason. They are a direct competitor of a Walleye for forage. I believe they are also prolific spawners so unless held in check they could quickly upset the balance in the lake. The more Whites eating the less forage for Walleye. I'm fine having more Walleye than White Bass.