Alaskas site of annual H&F Club Fisheree
Anglers looking for a chance to compete for prizes can target panfish on East and West Alaska Lake this weekend.
The 34th annual Algoma Hunting & Fishing Club Fisheree runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday with prizes of $75, $50 and $25 for the top three perch, bluegill and crappie.
Panfish have been found in the bottom couple feet in weeds in 5 to 15 feet of water, as well as suspended over mud in 15 to 30 feet of water or more. Crappie action has been best in low-light hours, often at night.
Jigs tipped with larvae baits, plastics and small minnows have been producing mixed bags of panfish.
Participants must have purchased a ticket to qualify for prizes. Tickets are available in the tent set up in the West Alaska Lake parking lot.
There will be music Saturday 6-10 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m., paddle raffles and a drawing Sunday for thousands of dollars in cash, gift cards and prizes from the tickets purchased.
The Algoma Hunting & Fishing Club, along with the Tri-Lakes Association and Algoma-Kewaunee Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen, has been donating cash to stock trout in Krohn’s Lake.
Meanwhile, cold air is making ice on area lakes, rivers and the bay of Green Bay. The Dyckesville to Sturgeon Bay shoreline has been attracting the most anglers. A few perch, pike, walleyes and trout are being caught, but the best action is for whitefish.
Whitefish are shallow, deep and everywhere in between, but some of the most consistent catches are coming from deeper water, 40 to 80 feet. Many anglers use no- or low-stretch braid as a mainline and five feet or more of low-visibility fluorocarbon down by the bait.
On the bottom, they use a heavier Jigging Rapala, Swedish Pimple, Rattle Spoon or other bait to get down fast. A foot or two above (separated by a small barrel swivel or similar), a small single hook is tipped with a wax worm, minnow piece or artificial bait.
The idea is to pound the bottom a bit, then let the line slack so the top hook can sink. Do some light jigging once you think it’s down, and feel for the weight of a strike before setting the hook.
Perch are typically targeted with small shiners, fatheads or jigged wax worms. Some anglers fish shallow bays and harbors, some rocky reefs and some mud in 25 to 50 feet of water.
Pike are often fished with tip-ups in 5 to 25 feet of water with live golden shiners or sucker minnows, or dead bait such as smelt. Suspend baits at various depths for the best chance.
Most walleyes are taken around dawn or dusk in 15 to 30 feet of water jigging with Jigging Rapalas, Oddball jigs and other baits tipped with minnow pieces.
Lake Michigan’s water level is up slightly from last year, but there’s significantly less ice cover on Green Bay than in recent winters.
A very mild December followed by occasional January and February thaws means there is far more open water than usual.
Colder air this week is good for ice-making, but there were still many miles of open water expanses in central and northern Green Bay at midweek. Check the latest satellite images (on clear days) at http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/modis/region_map.html.
Meanwhile, water levels reported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week were up an inch over the same time last year, and were 11 inches above the average over the past century.
Lake Michigan’s water level was 22 inches below the all-time February high set 30 years ago, in 1986, but 37 inches higher than the all-time monthly low set 52 years ago, in 1964.
The 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is being held this weekend. Learn how you can take part at birdcount.org.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Alaskas site of annual H&F Club Fisheree