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GatorBait

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About GatorBait

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    HSO Family
  • Birthday 10/27/1979

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  • Location:
    Redgranite, WI
  1. Large cracked opened up last night on South side about 100yds off of noffkes. Couple fisherman fell in early this morn on atv as cracked was hidden by the snow cover we got last night. Thankfully they were rescued by local vol. fire dept. Tread carefully, ice still isn't great.
  2. White Bass and Walleye are picking up on Winnebago near the mouth of the Fox River. Walleyes are starting to move back on to the reefs. Trolling on the sides of the reefs or anchor in an slip bobber these girls. Casting raps and flicks while anchored is also producing. Wolf River will be starting up soon for the Fall run. Not a lot of pressure but a ton of good fishing to be had. pulling jigs or wolf river rigs with worms or minnows will produce. Good Luck!!
  3. Afternoon guys n gals. Things are steadily picking up on Lake Poygan. Walleyes, crappies, white bass and northern are biting. Look to downsize to bluegill and crappie baits for walleye n craps. If you can find smelt use it for pike otherwise grab the largest shiners your wallet can buy. Several 40+ pike taken this year. Plenty of muskie biting too so take care of them if you land one. Things on Winnebago are picking up and the ice is finally thickening up. Walleye and sauger have been producing off of oshkosh up to 4miles out. Tread carefully though as ice is still spotty. 4 wheeler recommended. Tightlines, more to come!
  4. Looking at about 9lbs, but with that fat belly on her, prolly a bit more than that.
  5. Yes, because of the regulations put in place within the last 15yrs, we have been able to allow these fish grow older and bigger in size. To be honest, more regulations right now would probably kill the sport all together. We as a group work and respect the biologists and want to do what we can to keep this sport alive. They ask us what we would like to see done and they take that into consideration greatly. If you look at the vast area the Winnebago system covers, the acreage of lakes and 100's of miles of rivers that are connected, there are many fish that will never be seen by a human. For example: Spearing used to be 24hr/day for the 16day season. It is now 6hrs, 7am-1pm. Thus the use of lights under water were banned. Instead of 384 possible hours to spear, you now only have 96hrs available. Harvest totals are based of past year harvest numbers and all the science that goes into it. Some years it's more, like this year due to very low number last year, other years it's much lower, which will probably be next year. You never hear a moan about it. The use of potato peels, corn, silt, anything that you could put down the hole to brighten the bottom up has been banned. If you can't bring it out of the hole it can't go down. Some use a cross or T section of pvc pipe to help assist with bottom recognition. The above mentioned helped see fish a lot easier than if you didn't have anything at all. SturgeonGuard was implemented which volunteers line the riverbanks of areas susceptible to poachers during their spawning season. A great strategy, highly publicized and effective tool to ensure our fish are safe. To answer your last part about being skeptical if all this is helping. A chart that was put together during a study by our Biologist shows a steady incline since 1955 when the tracking all started. 1955 you were looking at roughly 7,000 fish which as of 1995 was at 45,000. That tells me, something is being done correctly to obtain a steady population incline like that. But again, there are so many things that are being done to ensure it's happening. Spearing and reg's are just the tip of the iceberg.
  6. You have a viable point, but as we talk with DNR Biologists, who's only job every day is to help the sturgeon population will tell you that the numbers of sturgeon available in our system will never be threatened by spearing seasons due to the management efforts. The population numbers are estimated at over 50,000 adult female/male sturgeon. This doesn't include juveniles. Over the 20yrs that I've been doing this, there never has been a reason to think that we won't have this sport in 50yrs. They put so much science/study/money into this that it would take a specie based disease to wipe them out. So we look at spearer's. This year there are 11,500 liscenses sold. Harvest caps are set at 320 Juv Females, 745 Adult Females, 960 Adult Males. Hitting just one of those marks, or within a certain percentage by days end will trigger a season closure. In 2013, there were only 306 fish taken in the full 16 day season. Your success rate as you can tell by the numbers is extremely low. I speared 16yrs before I successfully speared my first fish. And it's not uncommon to hear that from others. A seperate spearing lottery is setup for Lake Poygan and Lake Butte Des Mortes. Harvest caps are set at 80 Juv Females 83 Adult Females and 240 Adult Males. There are only 500 liscenses available which are ran through a point/lottery system. About a 7yr wait for this tag. This seperatism is due to the shallow waters, clearer water and smaller lakes. They used to open these lakes everyother 5yrs, well everyone obviously chose to spear here due to those conditions which in turn made for a huge harvest. So, yet again, another mangement strategy that was made and is working well. Regulations set in place are to limit the spearing of only 5% or less of the estimated population. This has evidently helped fish reach a much older age and larger size. There is plenty of studies on the net about this process that gets into great detail. I have no problems throwing a spear at a dinosaur. It's been in my family since the 50's and would never turn it down. It's similar to deer hunting, you get that buck fever, you are throwing a spear at fish in the water that you know isn't a piece of cake and you are doing your part to help manage the population. And for taste, the younger fish taste well in the deep frier and is a nice white flaky meat. The problem with the older ones is the amount of fat on them, which if you don't spend hours removing it, it taints the meat horribly. Hence why most just smoke them. Hope this helps with your questions.
  7. Conditions: On the big girl of Winnebago you will find anywhere from 22 to 27 inches of ice. Water clarity has been holding steady at 15 to 18ft respectively. Most cracks have been sitting still, there are plenty of bridges out to ensure safe travel. Please contact the bridge owners if you believe it's setup is deteriorating. With the amount of traffic this week, they get worked over pretty good. Lots of fish reported in the Oshkosh area, onward south towards Wendt's. I'll have more updates after scouting the next 3 days coming up, along with some Lake Poygan and Butte Des Mortes updates. Stay Tuned!! !!Caution!! There are reports of a lot of drifts 3 to 4 feet high. Be safe, pick a good route, drive responsible. Bring a tow strap and a shovel. A friend of a friend snapped a torsion bar on his truck driving in the other day, which would have left him stranded had he not been in a group. Stay safe my friends and Good Luck on the Ice!
  8. It's that time of year again, the big ol'shacks pulled off the ice holes, the spears are rigged up and the gaf's are sharpened. Thousands of anglers will be hitting the Winnebago system this upcoming weekend for Sturgeon Spearing. Myself will be joining the crowd on Winnebago this year in hopes to sticking one through the 4x6 opening of my shack. We have plenty of ice, a bit too much snow, great clarity and plentiful numbers of sturgeon. Predictions are out for a 2-3day season which doesn't happen to often. Check out my HSO Insider Blog for the step by step process on our rich tradition. Even my lil 5yr old girl will be helping us set up for the hunt this year.
  9. "In the meantime, he said, he’ll get ready by setting up droneports in key locations. And if he decides to do any more testing of beer delivery, he won’t put it on video." I forsee more of this in the near future. If anything, they just created a movement for this idea. Props to them. Drone delivery for bait, beer and food. The world just got to be a better place.
  10. I have yet to buy a uncle josh beaver dam. I have over 30 arctic fisherman dams between myself and my father. People tend to sell them cheap at rummage sales. Knowing I can easily tune these up to be in practically brand new condition, I have some that are over 30yrs old and work flawlessly. I admit, I have and do you use a few frabil thermals for walleyes if we are in frigid temps like this week, but otherwise it's Dams. I cannot fathom buying the new rounds for that kind of money. That's upsurd. I don't know if it's Uncle Josh or what but ever since 2011, their prices are redonkulus. You can't get a regular rail for under $40. I'll stick to my rummage sales. Believe I have enough for kids and probably their grandkids to use once I'm way gone.
  11. Lake Poygan: Travel with Caution. 95% are going off of the South landing (Noffke's). Traveling from west of the Southern Public Landing to the Willow is not advised. 2 vehicles went through this past week. 2-4" of ice, why I have no idea....From Public to East there is 12-18" of ice. Most fishing is north the Hole around the Horseshoe. Looking at a mix bag of quality Crappie, White Bass and Walleye. Gold Kastmasters and Swedish Pimples are a good jigging choice. Don't shy from setting up tipups with crappie minnows or small shiners. Lake Winnebago: Large Hole 6.5 miles out from Oshkosh. Tread lightly people, it's finally frozen but has about 2-3". Fishing has been spotty. Some perch and gills being caught off of Black Wolf. A decent bite of perch and white bass off of Merrit Street launch. Haven't hear much in regards to any eyes. Once this actic blast blows through we should be able to travel much more safer. Waushara County Lakes: Travel via vehicle not recommended. Most lakes are at that 8" range respectively. The dumping of snow has made walking unenjoyable, snowmachines or wheelers are a help. Pearl Lake has offered some good results with slab pannies in about 10-13 fow. Bugh's Lake has been producing some nice legal size pike, pans have been small but abundant. Nice lake to take the kids for the day. Most other producing lakes have been very quiet so far, I've been hoping all over the county lately and not finding much of a bite this past week. Good Luck and Tightlines
  12. Yeah, this has been a confusing mess since I can remember. Some lakes would only allow "back" trolling, while other's allowed regular trolling. As long as I can troll on the winnebago system, I'm happy, but I know alot of musky guys that will like to hear this too, and obviously some that won't. Like I say, the K.I.S.S theory is always the best option.
  13. I scored one of these while I was going for pannies in Iowa. Sadly, it was the only rod I ever used thus far for pannies. I change up the rod to one of a bit more quality and to my liking but reel wise, it's pretty smooth and overall just great. I've heard they were pretty much bought on wholesale this year and not really introduced onto the market. Far as I'm concerned, it would be a loss to the company if these things weren't stocked on the shelves next year. Considering those auction sites were selling them for hundreds and getting rid of them, i'm pretty sure this won't be the last we see of them. It helped me in landing an 11" gill this year, can't beat it with a stick!!
  14. After a tough spearing season, looking at the big picture, I believe the guy upstairs does this purposely in order to preserve this blessing we are able to enjoy every february. Our upriver lakes are based on a lottery system with about 500 tags drawn each year, with a 7-9yr wait right now. Winnebago goers can buy an OTC tag every year. The Upriver had good water clarity and tipped the quota on day 2. Winnebago had poor clairity and sketchy ice conditions which limited where you could spear thus making it very tough, and the season lasted all 16days with only 300 some fish taken. The way I look it at it, is that's hundreds of more fish to be speared next year. Our biologists that run this season have invested their lives into this, it's more than just a job for them. They have boasted the fish population and the sizes just my simple management procedures. Bless them!! Take a read here to see what I'm talking about. WI DNR Sturgeon Synopsis 2013 Overall, I was able to get out and enjoy the season. Though I was in the prime area and plenty of fish were speared near me, my luck was not with me this year. I honestly had chosen not to go due to the ice, but seeing we had found decent ice and traveling near oshkosh I ventured forth with my dad and friends. Still fun no matter what. Hoping for a better year next year.
  15. Use to do this. Worked great for spearing sturgeon. Now, the DNR has outlawed everything. Basically if you can't bring it back out of the water, you can't put it down the hole. For spearing purposes now, we use PVC in a X that serves the purpose well. I remember guys bringing out truckloads of silica sand, Potatoes, egg shells, was pretty insane the length they went to light that bottom up.