2012 Spring Opener Fast Approaching!

Door county was the place to be this Spring for Monster Walleyes and Northern Pike! We are looking at temperatures in the mid 70's in the next upcoming week, which will help pave the way for spawning and will keep Smallmouth active just in time for the Wisconsin opener! Last open water season was an absolute success with monster Smallmouth and many numbers of Green Bay Walleyes caught. This year's 2012 open water season is looking very promising for many anglers, seeing as we had a very short winter and very early start to our Spring and open water fishing opportunities.

Many anglers will have their go to spots and baits, but remember that it's vetryst try new spots and baits.  Understand that the smallest swings in the barometer, weather changes, water and core temperatures could effect your success greatly. Varying  your retrieval speed, boat speed, and experimenting with different types of fishing line and baits will be very helpful in fine tuning your hook up on Smallmouth bass and Walleyes in Door County.

Underwater structure, relatively shallow water and wind blown shorelines will hold numerous bass. Water temperature greatly dictates where Smallmouth will be staging, and "spinner baits are a very good search bait allowing one to answer many of his questions to as where are the fish are". Pressure from many anglers will move Smallmouth around as the season begins. Do not let this discourage you, but rather look at it as a way to branch out and pay your dues to find where these fish have moved to. You will be able to capitalize on the strike zone to put big fish in the boat and into your camera frame!

Smallmouth are not stuck on one specific bait and technique. No two days are the same in fishing, and being diverse will help you greatly because you are allowing your self to find a certain groove by targeting these fish.  By throwing the same bait and using one specific technique or approach time to time will hurt your success at the end of the day.

As the water temperature continues to rise, the Walleyes will start moving into the reefs on the Bay of Green Bay until the water turns over and will eventually move back into the shoreline areas in the later part of August. Trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses will be the best bet for hooking up with Springtime Walleyes. Having a unit that is able to show and define structure and sonar, in conjunction with a chart map that shows contours and breaks, will be very helpful in deciding which areas to fish. Overcast days with the right amount of wind in the correct direction will be the best to target low light feeding Walleyes.

 We have open availabilty, and are looking forward to capping off a great spring and approaching summer! Always keep in mind that we offer a very instructional guide trip. it's always great to bring home a nice catch of Walleyes, but it is also very special to learn the waters of Green Bay and to get a full understanding of targeting Walleyes and Smallmouth bass. Always appreciate the fishery that we are provided with in order to pass it on to out future generation. Catch and release is always a good practice in order to maintain a strong and healthy fishing heritage! Good Luck to all this season and have a enjoyable time on the water! At Wacky Walleye Guide service we pride ourselves on helping those that are wanting to understand this fishery and build off of what they have learned at the end of the day! We always give 110% to not only find and capitalize on the bite, but to give the angler something to go home with and a appreciation for the sport of fishing!

Trolling & Jigging for Spring Walleyes

Spring in Door County is upon us and with that being said, the Walleye bite is really starting to heat up with increasing the water temperatures. Big walleyes and great weather, you can't beat it! We have had a great start to our 2012 open water season with numerous Door County walleyes in the ten pound class. We have spent many nights pulling boards and stick baits in search of big 'eyes, which proved to be a great success the past weeks during pre-spawn. We will continue trolling at night into post spawn periods.

Night Bite-Trolling-caught by a customer on April 8 (11 pounds 8 ounces, Catch & Release)

The weather and water temperature has been variable for the most part. As spring works its way through, we will find steady water temperatures and consistency while targeting big walleyes. As the walleyes have reached the post spawn period, they are making a transition and are ready to feed, trolling stick baits in shallow water along shorelines and structure will be very effective during the day, as well as the evenings. Trolling these shorelines is a very good search tool. This will allow you to cover a lot of water to pinpoint fish. As soon as you pinpoint them you can change up your fishing style and start jigging. This technique has been a big enjoyment for many and proves to be very productive. Post spawn walleyes equal a feeding frenzy and understand that these big female walleyes are relating to the bottom at this time. Working close to or off the bottom will be very beneficial to the angler, and will put numerous fish in the boat at the end of the day.

Day Bite-Jigging-caught by a customer on April 7, Catch & Release

Ice Fishing Door County for Walleyes and Whitefish

As we are approach the depths of winter, we begin to experience colder temperatures, accumulating amounts of snowfall and the formation and continuous expansion of ice. We are off to an interesting new year with inconsistent temperatures. Finding good ice at this point is going to be the biggest factor for many anglers. Luckily, we have the advantage of catching large numbers of whitefish and huge walleyes in shallow water with good amounts of ice. Utilizing these options can be very effective, and it’s very important to understand that one does not need to fish deep water, or venture miles off shore to find great fishing. Having the amenities of fishing deeper water allows you to find large drop offs, shelves, and structure which hold a lot of fish. However, shallow water has much of the same characteristics of deep water, and ice fishermen should concentrate on weed structure and rock bars.  These areas hold large masses of bait fish, crustaceans and grubs.

Whitefish tend to feed heavily on gobies, blood worms, insects and bottom organisms. Over the last week, we have been able to capitalize on the hot whitefish bite, producing big numbers of whitefish. Another important piece of information to remember is that whitefish spawn in early winter in shallow rock or sand bottoms in less than twenty-five feet of water. Keying in on these important facts will allow you to understand where these fish are feeding, what they are feeding on and most importantly why they are in that specific spot.

We are looking forward to the upcoming colder temperatures to bring us substantial amounts of ice and memorable fishing experiences. We are also encountering walleyes in shallow water right along with schools of whitefish.  My previous statement that shallow water holds large masses of bait fish will explain why these walleyes are moving in on shallow water to feed. Walleyes typically move through an area in schools. Hooking up on a big walleye should be an indication that you should quickly re-gear and drop your bait back down, more than likely you will be presented with more opportunities to hook up on another big one. One way to understand fish better and jigging presentations is to watch how they react in their environment. Understanding the fish you are targeting will allow you as an angler to understand jigging presentations, and how to compensate day in and day out on the water.

The biggest piece of information I believe while fishing shallow water is being “stealthy or silent” if you will. Many anglers can relate to fishing pressure, and how the bite can easily be affected by this. Fish can spook very easy, whitefish in particularly spook like you cannot imagine. Drilling holes, ice traffic and so on will scatter whitefish, using an underwater camera to witness this theory will be an answer all in its self. Take the steps to prevent this situation by drilling all of your holes at once when you arrive at your ice fishing grounds, and at the end of the day, I can assure it will make a large difference in your success. A whitefish feeds on grubs, bottom organisms and small bait fish, taking this piece of information into perspective will tell you that working your jigs on the bottom will be your best bet for hooking into whitefish! “I am a firm believer to understand a bite and to be successful one must understand the species of fish”. Having the opportunity to target fish on an everyday basis as guides we are able understand these fish and when they are prone to feed actively and being able to stay on top of these bites.

As the day progresses fish make transitions. These transitions are dictated by water temperature, cold fronts, feeding patterns, and overcast skies. Whitefish, more times than not, will be very active throughout day time hours and feed heavily. Whitefish inhabit deep and shallow water. Setting up away from ice traffic and continuous noise on the ice will produce bigger numbers at the end of the day. Whitefish are similar to a big buck; they do not tolerate pressure and separate themselves from danger. Look for good ice and a quiet place to fish and find canister filter, and this will make for great success.

Door County Ice Fishing In Pursuit

Another fantastic summer and fall fishing season has winter approaching. With that being said anglers are making transitions towards this upcoming ice fishing season. Cold, consistent weather will make for early ice fishing opportunities. Early ice can be very productive for walleyes: not only are anglers making transitions with winter on its way, but walleyes are as well. Early ice walleye fishing is so productive because walleyes are at their peek feeding craze. On top of that, oxygen levels are still high and weed vegetation is still present to hold walleyes in the bays of Green Bay. Door County is well known for its ability to produce big walleyes, and taking the extra steps to be persistent to find these fish, whether it be on rock bars, humps, breaks or reefs, will determine which areas these big fish are frequenting.

Another key concept with early ice walleyes is that they are responsive and very agressive. By jigging aggressively and finding the strike zones of these fish, this will factor greatly towards one's success. Remember that walleyes are creatures of habit constantly looking for food. with that being said a walleyes strike zone is dictated around water temperature."Do not limit your self and your jigging". Understand that being able to compensate for water temperature in a way that you either slow your jigging down, or  entice the fish with a more aggressive  jigging action, will make the difference at the end of the day.


Whitefish numbers are very strong and continue to be on the rise. As walleyes may present a challenge to ice anglers, whitefish continue to be a draw for many! As time goes, whitefish are continuously on the move and looking for food. Not only are whitefish ahead in numbers, but they taste great and are an absolute blast to catch, especially in deep water where whitefish are commonly found. 

Going back to the same spots every season-for whatever species you are in search of-is not always the answer. Although these spots may produce, it's always good to have other options if all else fails. Understanding a body of water and keying in on specific areas where giant walleyes or the fighting whitefish dwell will always be an advantage. Ice is always unpredictable and has a mind of its own, taking extra steps to ensure they safety of your life and the other members of your party is always important while fishing through the ice. 

Wacky Walleye Guide service has recently returned from the 19th annual St. Paul ice show, and it is looking like another great year with a lot of  new awesome products. We can't wait to put our Frabill ice gear and Jiffy ice drills to work. We are also proud to say that we have more new additions to our fleet of permanent heated ice shacks and Polaris crew cab rangers!! It's getting cold and ice is just starting to form in areas, so grab your gear and get ready to head out to the ice its coming fast!  BUT, most importantly, have fun and always be safe while taking to the ice. Good Luck Fishing!! Tight Lines!!!

-Contributed by Ice Guide, Aaron Pribyl-Wacky Walleye Crew

Connecting on Summer Smallmouth in Door County

Summer is in full swing, the water temperatures are rising and the Smallmouth are continuing to be active. Anglers fishing farther north are finding cooler water temperatures and bass. Summertime Smallies can be very active at times, especially with the right weather conditions . Stronger winds push bass up shallow, which allows  fisherman to find fish with ease compared to fishing deeper water, which makes it  hard to predict what areas the fish are feeding and moving through. One thing to keep in mind when bass fishing is more times then not they relate towards structure and shorelines. Working rock piles along shorelines, breaks and rock bottoms will almost always produce Smallmouth bass every time. Warm weather is strongly approaching for the next few weeks.

Targeting these fish early in the morning and evening hours will produce the most fish, seeing as the sun is not beating down, thus increasing water temperatures. Fishing on windy days can be a big turn off for many anglers, but the upside to fishing windy days is that it brings the bass into shallow water and also brings up sediment along with bait fish and feed. 

Casting rattle baits, plastics and spinners have shown great success on the water, working around 5-12 feet of water. Always keep in mind that bass fishing and  success will change day to day, and one will have to compensate for water temperatures, weather conditions, and the overall time of day when bass are most active and most importantly their location. Bass fishing  will only get better from this point on, especially during the fall months where the Smallmouth are continuously feeding and putting on weight for the upcoming cold winter months. Bass feeding patterns will change as the months go on, do not limit yourself with tackle and concentrating on one specific bait. There are all types of lures and baits for all applications of bass fishing.  If you are finding yourself in a lull, try switching over to a different bait. When casting it's very important to vary your retrieval speed when retrieving your baits, along with incorporating a pause in between retrieves.

Many can say that spring fishing for Smallies has always been a favorite time of the year for many anglers, but by putting in a little extra effort, fishermen can have great success targeting summer time Smallmouth. Using live bait, such as night crawlers and leeches, can also be  effective for summer time bass-working within a few feet of the bottom floor. Working baits with in different parts of the water column can also factor into hooking into these fish. Remember that bass are always on the move, and are always in different spots and making different transitions as seasons come and go during  the year. Good Luck fishing and always be sure to take precaution while taking to the water, whether it be rough water conditions or dark skies.

Contributed by Aaron Pribyl

Lower Green Bay Walleye Fishing

Fished out of the lower Green Bay out of Bayshore landing. Trolling crankbaits with a Southwest wind 5-10 mph, with increasing winds as the morning went on. Fishing was very productive–got our limits within the first few hours of fishing. Quite a few boats launching out of both Bayshore and Metro Park launches. Crankbaits have been a go to bait throughout the course of summer, as well as the increased use in crawler harnesses as anglers are coming back with great success on the water. An expected warm spell for the upcoming week has fishermen questioning whether the bite will slow down. Fishing earlier in the morning or towards dusk will allow anglers to make up for the expected heat wave that will warm up water temperatures. Most walleyes being caught are males 15-17 inches in length, larger males are being caught along the reefs as well. Working over reefs and on the edge of breaks has been the big ticket for hooking up on summertime walleyes. One key concept to apply to summertime walleye fishing is the ability to change up gear. A simple move from crank baits to crawler harnesses can play a large factor into being successful on the water, along with finding suspended walleyes and changing up your trolling speeds throughout your passes. As summer wears on, the walleye bite will produce good to slow days of fishing. By simply being able to change over gear you are allowing your self to make up for a slow start and capitalize on a day of trolling for walleyes.

Contributed by Aaron Pribyl