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February 2009

Episode 5
Potpourri on the Petenwell
Show Date: January 31st & February 1st, 2009
Location: Petenwell Flowage, Adams County, Wisconsin
Guide: Pro Ice Guide Larry Smith [920-361-4996 | walleyeguide.com]

We are on the Petenwell Flowage with our friend and pro ice guide Larry Smith. Larry is always first-class when it comes to ice guiding, and he always has a great crew with him. We put out an array of tip-ups for the walleyes, and we are jigging for what ever bites.

Larry has us spread out the tip-ups far and wide, and we are very glad we have our Yamaha ATV’s to get us to the flags. Our tip-ups are set in a variety of depths, from 18 to 28 feet. Larry says that this year is a great year for ice fishing because the forage levels for the walleyes are very low. Since there is less for walleyes to eat, when we put our baits down there is a good chance that we’ll get a hit.

Jigging is also faring very well for us rounding our “potpourri” of fish that we are catching. Hopping from hole to hole fishing at around the same depths as our Frabill tip-ups, we catch white bass, perch, crappie, and walleye.

Episode 6
First to 10 Wins!
Show Date: February 6th & 7th, 2009
Location: Bay of Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Guide: Pro Ice Guide Dale Stroschein [920-743-5731 | wackywalleye.com]

We love to fish, and we love to eat fish. So when Dale told us that we could catch whitefish on Green Bay without much effort, we jumped at the chance. Dale has this fishing so dialed-in that we come out with our limit of 10 each after about and hour of fishing. By dialed-in, I mean it, nobody was asking if we going to catch fish it was how many we were going to take home. Dale has guys going out every day with the same result. The only problem is catching your limit very fast, and that is not a terrible problem to have.

These white fish are the same that the commercial fishermen deliver to local restaurants. Dale tells us that you can prepare this fish just like you would a walleye, he says they are also very good smoked.

Episode 7
Lake Erie Ice
Show Date: February 14th & 15th, 2009
Location: Lake Erie, Port Clinton, Ohio
Guide: Mike Patterson [419-308-6925]

It doesn’t happen every year, but when Lake Erie freezes, it’s a fishing event. We head out for the first time with Mike Patterson, our guide. Mike is a great lakes charter captain, so he knows where the ice is safe. With the news that 150 ice anglers were trapped on an ice floe, it is nice to have the peace of mind that where we are headed is safe. Always take extreme precaution when heading out onto any water body this size for ice fishing. Hire a guide, you’ll catch lots of fish and have peace of mind that you will make it back to shore.

The fishing was nothing short of outstanding, it was any anglers dream. Gigantic walleyes, lots of them, and they taste great. We were trying many methods to lure these fish off of the bottom, Jigging Rappalas with half a dozen minnows, ZIP’s, and Cleo’s. Some of the fish we brought up had mud on the bottom of their heads, so you need to find the bottom and lift up about two feet. Make sure you repeat the same motion over and over, and you will find you rod bent over. This is a trophy and numbers fishery, Lake Erie walleyes will reach 15 inches in 18 months. Our guide Mike told us that his fastest day to his limit of six was 28 minutes – 28 minutes!

Lake Erie is a great fishery, and you can have a chance at a 10-12 pound fish every time you head out. Before you do though, make sure you know that the ice is safe, and the only way to be certain is to hire a certified charter captain to take you out.

Episode 8
Spring Open Water
Show Date: February 21st & 22nd, 2009
Location: Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Guide: Pro Guide Big Dave Ehardt [414-803-7160]

We were itching for it and its here, our first open water show of the year. Even though it’s February, Big Dave is ready to wield a fishing pole. Every spring Dave is monitoring the river, and when its time, he breaks the ice at the landing so we can get out and cast for some quality river walleyes.

Dave has a new method that he is testing on the river; it’s called a “Reservoir Rig.” Similar to a three-way, it uses a fly with a small spinner and a sinker. It can be used casting, drifting, or vertical jigging. As usually John is using a ZIP, John loves using the ZIP when the water is cold this time of year.

Dave takes us up and down the river, finding the different holes that are holding the fish. We find a good mix of walleyes and saugers, and a good variety of year classes. The multitude of year classes shows that the current slot-size regulation is working on the river, and shows great promise for the future of the fishery.

Episode 9
Castle Rock Flowage
Show Date: February 28th & 29th, 2009
Location: Castle Rock Flowage, Adams County, Wisconsin
Guide: Pro Ice Guide Larry Smith [920-361-4996 | walleyeguide.com]

March is a wonderful time of year in Wisconsin, the fishing is great, and you could be on the ice or open water. Today Larry Smith has us on the Castle Rock Flowage in Adams County, Wisconsin. Larry has us on what is pretty much an ice fisherman dream, panfish and more panfish. Today’s bite is all jigging, and our rods are bent over quite often. In the morning we target crappies, and were finding the color was the most important – the day we fished it was pink and red. Larry is always on the move to get his customers fish, and by the afternoon we had settled down over a huge school of white bass, and were catching them until our arms were sore. Larry says that the white bass taste as good as a crappie, if cleaned right, and he shows us the proper way to get a nice white fillet.

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