It’s a good time to take the kids fishing
Fishing’s not for everyone, but if you’ve never taken your kids and given it a shot, you’re missing the boat.
June is a perfect month to get outdoors, tie on a hook and cast your offering to the water.
Panfish like bluegills, sunfish and pumpkinseeds are in the shallows spawning and are willing biters this time of year. Same is true for largemouth bass, and some of our inland lakes also hold crappies, perch, trout and muskies.
River anglers can get nibbles from panfish, catfish, carp, bullheads and bass, and pier casters have a chance at all those species, plus trout and salmon.
When taking beginners, you want fun, and there’s not much more fun than regularly feeling the tug of a fish at the business end of your gear.
New rod and reel combos are available for $20 to $30, or you may be able to score something at a garage sale or from an avid angler friend.
Light wire aberdeen-style hooks in size 8 or even 10 are great for panfishing. They have long shanks to make it easier to grab with a small pliers when fish swallow the hook, and if you snag something that doesn’t budge, you can often pull it out, then bend the gap back into place with a pliers.
For larger fish, size 4, 6 or 8 aberdeen, baitholder or octopus-style hooks work well. Buy a quality hook, as sharpness really helps.
You can use worms you dig in your garden or yard, catch nightcrawlers on warm nights after a rain, or buy leaf worms, redworms, wax worms or nightcrawlers at a store.
Add a small split shot about 8 to 12 inches above the bait, and you’re set. Small bobbers are fine when fish are shallow, but once the spawn is over, casting and letting your bait settle down into the weeds in 6 to 16 feet of water will typically get you more action.
Don’t have a boat? Get up early, and cast off the public docks on the area lakes. You may be surprised what you can catch when it’s quiet out.
As always, it’s a good idea to have insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks and refreshments along, and life jackets for the kids.
Big lake update
Rainbow trout, Chinooks, cohos and lakers are all being hooked on Lake Michigan, with the most consistent action taking place 3 to 10 miles off shore.
Alewives are in the shallows for the spring spawn and predators like browns, rainbows and salmon could be following them. Pier casters could try spoons in the lowlight hours, away from the boat traffic.
On the bay from Dyckesville north, boaters are capturing walleyes, sheepshead, catfish, bass and perch, with an occasional muskie hooked.
Since its inception in 2014, Wisconsin’s Deer Management Assistance Program has grown to more than 1,200 landowners and a total enrollment of 268,000 acres across the state.
Applications can be submitted at any time. So far this year, 189 new properties have been added.
Interested landowners, hunters and land managers are encouraged to join other cooperators in managing habitat on the property they own or hunt.
Landowners and hunters who sign up receive immediate access to informational resources, including habitat and deer management information; annual DMAP reports and publications; volunteer opportunities; and habitat management-focused DMAP workshops.
For more information regarding DMAP and to apply, go to www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat.
Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply for County Deer Advisory Council seats through July 1.
Council members meet two to three times a year to review deer management data, gather public input from citizens and provide recommendations to the Department of Natural Resources and state Natural Resources Board regarding deer management decisions in their county.
Council seats include representatives in agriculture, forestry, tourism, transportation, hunting, land management and local government. Applicants must have experience or involvement with at least one of these seven stakeholder categories.
If interested, send an email to [email protected].
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. He can be reached by emailing [email protected] or calling 920-883-9792.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: It’s a good time to take the kids fishing