The Fox River runs through the heart of Packerland, Green Bay Wisconsin, and empties into the bay. This river has a famous spawning run that starts about ice out in mid March. During this time (until the opener) all fish must be returned save one for the wall…minimum 28”.
My friend Pete, (Leatherman) had fished it last week and although it was slow, he boated 30 nice Eyes during the day. I didn’t need much of an invitation when asked to go along Monday morning. We left Iron Mountain at 4:30 AM and started fishing around 6:30 AM… We were about to start an INCREDIBLE day of fishing!
There was already a pod of boats anchored below the Dam… So we ran up the channel searching for fish between the channel (20’) and the flats (8’). We rigged 2 rods each with Paddletails, Ring worms and SuperDoos, in a variety of colors. Our plan was to move along the break while vertical jigging… On the first drift at around 11’ which for the most part is the break line at the edge of the channel, Pete snapped a hookset on his St. Croix LTW 63MXF and it was “GAME ON”! I slid the net under a very fat, healthy 17” walleye. This tactic was repeated all day with some amazing results.
Fish came at a relatively steady pace until 12 noon at which point I had about 11 eyes (6 on Deans Special 1/8oz blades) , while Pete boated 23 on plastics. We both used 63 MXF rods, but he was using 6# Sufix Siege Orange mono while I was running 832 Braid. Now I had only 2 reels with me and so I did the closest match I could with 8# mono… but I would never catch up… Another difference between us was Pete was fishing two rods up front… I am not coordinated enough to do that in the back of the boat… Braided line did not work at all with the current…I couldn’t feel bottom with a 3/16oz jig and they were reluctant to eat the 1/4 oz. Pete got ahead by 10 fish and I knew I had to put on my only spool of mono… then my plastic bite improved… I caught both bonus whitefish on a 1/8 oz Dean’s Special blade… color Saugercide…
We drifted past and talked to several anchored anglers who were frustrated by poor results. We noticed many of them using large round ball jigs with minnows. Usually this is the common tactic, but with the 37 water temp, and good ¾ mph current, it just wasn’t producing like the plastics were. Lots of boaters asked us what we were using but few heard of BFT plastics. I gave a young couple a few baits in a BFT bag so they could order some…they were amazed at how many fish we caught/released…even the chubby netboy in the back of the boat (LOL)!
All except 6 of our fish were caught on plastics…the vertical jig bite on plastics proved tough to beat. As you can see by the photo attachments, anything with chartreuse in it was a good color. We did have some luck on natural colors while the sun was out for awhile in the afternoon, but overall chartreuse and green reigned supreme. All of the fish caught except one were males, averaging 16-19”. Pete caught four from 21- 24” that were as fat as tanks, I caught one 21.5”.
All fish caught drifting/vertical jigging… keeping baits just above bottom… slow lift then controlled fall.
Pete did a great job of boat control. Water temp 37… air temp 38… wind NW@ 10-15 mph… water clarity 2’ and diminishing. The best
Tackle set up was a St. Croix 6’3” MXF, 6# mono, 3/16oz H20 jig… best colors Chart/pepper, PurpleCracker. The 4730 Pflueger Arbor reels were flawless in the very cold temps…Thank You Dean!
It was great to have a day like that! I am planning to get back soon but the weather is going to be very tough through the weekend…
See You on the Water!