Weather Forecast


Be good to your fish

The fishing will be more challenging during the next week, as the area lakes are starting to cycle through the mayfly hatch. With the inconsistent weather the hatch has not just exploded and gotten over with, it lingers and reactivates when the sun shines. It is nice to have the option in our area to jump to different lakes. If your lake is being hit hard by the hatch, check another lake out, as they don't all go at the same time. This will help with fishing success, as it is hard to compete with Mother Nature.

All species of fish seem to be affected, and make the bite more challenging during the hatch. You may find you can increase success by using leeches and crawlers during the day. Sometimes the minnows will out-produce in the early morning hours, before the sun gets higher in the sky and the hatch gets more active.

I am going to remind people about catch and release and selective harvest. Some lakes have regulations that help to manage fisherman as well as the fish. On other lakes the state regulations help, but are a liberal guide to keeping fish. I have seen people keeping large wall-eyes too many times over the last couple of weeks. By large , I mean the 20-26 inch fish. Yes, you can keep one over 20 inches each by law, you do have that right. I want to point out that just because you can, doesn't mean it's a good idea. On average, spawning females lay about 85,000 eggs, with only 10 percent successfully hatching. With the fry that hatch it is estimated only 1 percent live through the first year. The mortality rate after the first year is about 50 percent per year until a walleye reaches 2 pounds. It takes a walleye in our area about six years to get to 2 pounds, or about 18 inches.

The math is, about 125 keepers will come to maturity for every 1 million eggs. I know the DNR hatching and stocking program helps to increase this some, but in my opinion, not enough to justify taking a producing female out of production. Practice CPR (catch, photo, release), keep the 14-18 inch fish to eat. They are the best anyway. Let's all do our part to keep the future of fishing healthy by practicing selective harvest and catch and release.