Bonus Lakers & Lost Rainbow
A Lesson On Licenses
The lake trout have been a nice bonus for me at the start of the summer fishing season on the lake. Ed, my long time fishing partner, and I went out Thursday morning is search of rainbows and ended up with a couple of nice lakers. We got lines in the water about 6AM. The winds were light and the water temperatures at the surface ranged from 52-56F. The water was about 45F 50' down. Water temperatures have been heating up with the mid-lake buoy reporting temperatures as high as 55F this week. We started in about 80FOW of water and headed deep. There were a few charter boats out on the lake including the First Choice out of Baileys Harbor. We also saw the Hickeys fishing out there, so keep an eye out for their whitefish net marker buoys if you are going out of BH.
We got out to about 200FOW when we got (and lost) a little rainbow. We did get a few jumps out of him before he came off at the boat. At about 250FOW we turned with the wind and headed to Cana Island Lighthouse. We picked up our first laker at 180FOW on the downrigger 50' down. We got the second one on the same set up in 130FOW. This one was a bit bigger at 28.5 and about 9 pounds. Should make a great trout boil. The fish had a healed over sea lamprey scar indicting that although the lamprey control efforts have been effective, the parasitic fish have not been eradicated.
Most of the boats I visited reported getting at least one lake trout in their bag. The Wisconsin DNR recently increased the bag limit for lake trout in Lake Michigan in an effort to encourage anglers to target them. We will see what effect this has. Rainbows are being caught (one boat had 10) and Chinook are showing up as well. It should only get better in the next month.
I had an educational experience the other day fishing bass out of Egg Harbor. Our intrepid local Wisconsin DNR Game Warden , Mike Neal, pulled up in his familiar Donzi to check our licenses. Wouldn’t you know, this is the one time I left my wallet in my truck. No problem, I always print up an extra copy of my current license and leave it in my boat. Darned if I could find that stupid thing in my cluttered glove box. No problem, Mike could just take my DNR Customer number and verify my license. This had been done by wardens in the past. Well, this is when I got a lesson on fishing license regulations. Although the Wisconsin GO Wild Card or customer number may get you by on inland waters, you must have a paper copy of the license if you are fishing "outlying" waters. I knew that you needed to have a paper copy if you are fishing Michigan/Wisconsin boundary waters (Michigan Wardens don't have access to the Wisconsin system), but I was not aware of the outlying waters stipulation. Mike explained that this was because he may not have access to the system out on the Bay or into the lake. We are all painfully aware of the poor cell coverage we can have in Door County. Thankfully Mike took pity on my ignorance and agreed to check my license using my customer number when he had a chance. Thanks Mike. So for everyone out there fishing on the lake, be sure you have a paper copy of your license with you. Lesson learned.
Fishing bass today and early next week. I'll let you know how I do and I hope see you out on the water, just not real close.
Tight Lines, Bruce
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