I don't troll. Fish mostly with jigs. Last 4 years the walleye population is not the same as it used to be. I wonder if this lake is dying. Except for the pros I don't see the success we used to have. Have noticed some of those on TV are fishing Winnebago much anymore. Have a great day everyone.
The bite has been strong so the "doom and gloom" conversations have subsided.
It's nice to catch fish and know that you can throw that 12" or 14" fish back and that your chances of getting another "keeper" are good. I still think that a size limit would improve the chances of those 12"-14.99" fish this year being available next year as 15+".
I kept 6 sheepshead last Saturday and one 17" walleye. It was my 1st walleye of the year. I decided to smoke the sheepshead and they are very good tasting. There is very little difference between them and the smoked whitefish I bought in Door county last week. Smoke a bunch of sheeps , they are good.
Not sure why we think the 15" minimum was unsuccessful. In 1991 it was decided to try it and by 1996 they had the best walleye year class on record but then ended it. Those fish hatched in 91 would have been 5 yrs old and about 14"-15" in 96 and then they had a good hatch. I know other things factor into it like water levels and habitat and food sources but...
I thought creating an EMP dome over the lake that screwed with modern boat electronics would be too out there.
In some ways I am OK with a poor fishing cycle. It drives others away. I usually manage to do at least OK each year it's just that sometimes it takes an hour to jig up a limit and other times it takes 5 trips to get 3.
#1 I agree
#2 I believe New London is like 16’ higher than Oshkosh, so closing the dams does nothing to the river.
#3 15” minimum was tried. I would rather eat 14”-16” walleye and rarely keep anything bigger.
#4 Slot limits suck, if protecting the fish above 18” is the objective the close the harvest above 18”
#5 I’m good with a March closure.
Not sure what rocks will do in the middle, plenty of deep rock now. IMO zebra mussels have had a impact on the lake spawn fish and the fish Waylon the dams on the fox have hurt the fox spawn.
Tournaments will all be C&R soon, not really sure how many full time guides there are now.
Historically Winnebago was not a big fish lake, then we got shad and grew fat fish, now noshad for 4 years and we have more normal fish sizes.
one way to cut back on the pressure on this system is to improve walleye fishing statewide. And yes the lake was 78* yesterday and 79.5* today. My definition of cool water 50 and cooler. Thanks for the honest answers.
Make those suggestions to Adam Nickel and see what his reply is...
From my pov, the DNR Walleye Managment team is doing a great job.. but I'm sure Adam will give you serious advice/answers to your ideas
..did you read his reply I posted earlier
Samfox - in order
#1 Know and understand that a major role of the DNR is to protect the resources not for profit businesses.
#2 Tell Army Corp of Engineers that the water levels need to be higher in the spring. Water levels were way too low this spring. Even when levels were way down they were letting water through in Neenah and Menasha. It's not a navigable waterway anyway. Menasha lock is closed for now due to round gobies. Wrightstown is still sealed off.
#3 Min size limit of 15". No more taking smaller than that out of the system. What is the purpose of that anyway? No meat. Not worth bragging about either. Instead of thinking of this as making every 15" female a target I think in short time you would have more 17"+ fish. A 13" female today is how big next spring? It's over 15". If you could catch several at 17+" and you caught a 15" would you keep the 15"? Implement this right now, August 1st 2021.
#4 Slot. Protect the best spawners. Not sure what size that is but 18"-22" (maybe 18"-24") seems like it's probably the sweet spot. Allow only 1 over 22" (24") to be kept. Implement this right now, Aug 1st 2021.
#5 Close season March 1 - April 30 every year. You can fish, you can catch but you cannot keep anything in that time frame. Why are we taking any fish out of the system pre-spawn? Implement 2 years after #3 and #4 take effect if studies find #3 and #4 to be ineffective.
That's what I would do.
Other considerations: Increased enforcement and fines on violations. Seed the system. Create artificial habitat in the "mud" and I mean huge boulders or concrete structures that won't wash away although they may sink in the mud. Not sure how I feel about the number of tournaments and guides and limits or increased fees on them. On one hand they do a lot to promote fishing and impart knowledge. On the other are they "selling" a natural resource they do not own?
Three fish limit is step in right direction, let’s you keep what you want with no restrictions, if anything maybe a slot down the road like no keep between 18-22 to protect healthiest spawners. Rather eat a 14 inch over a 18 anyday.
With a size limit your taking more females out as they have faster growth rates.
I’ve caught 100s of sheep on bago and never saw any “warts”. The smaller ones are exc. eating. CARPIO
Samfox - Nope! Not interested in eating sheepshead. What is considered "cool" water? Last night it was 78 on the north end. 60? 55? 72?
Those slow regulation changes could lead to the system correcting itself or they could be too little too late and lead to multiple years of poor fishing and then "drastic" measures to correct.
Nothing says you can't still catch a 14" fish, take a pic with your smiling grandkids and then release it.
jumbee, have you tried sheephead out of cold water, they are edible.
The issue with rule changes in Wisconsin is the process is so slow that the problem you are trying to correct May correct itself before you get threw the process.
As adults a size limit or slot maybe fine, what about the kids. See lots of big smiles on kids with a 14” walleye