Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lake Whitefish from Sturgeon Bay, WI

This weekend Ruoxi and I met our good friends the Leisens for another fishing double date!  We met up on Friday in Green Bay and then continued to Sturgeon Bay on Saturday morning.  We compromised between roughing it on our own and hiring a guide by doing an unguided shack rental from one of the guide services.  The guide met us at the boat ramp, and I followed him in my Subaru out to our shack.  I have to say I've ever seen so much blue on my GPS screen.  Is this photo giving away our fishing spot?

This ice shack was our home for the day.  It was spacious and fairly clean.  Even though it wasn't very cold, it was nice to have a heater and benches to sit on.

Our guide gave us a few pointers and then moved on to help his other clients who were doing guided or semi-guided trips.  He checked in again once in the middle of the day and then at the end of the day to take us back to shore.  Other than that we were on our own.

Joy was the first to hook up with a whitefish.  We were pretty excited to see our first fish!  Apparently purple was the lucky color of the day.

Before long I hooked up with my first one as well.  We were fishing in 85 feet of water, bouncing weights on the sandy lake bottom and then finesse jigging until a whitefish hit the waxworm on a plain hook above a barrel swivel about a foot above the weight.  I caught my first one jigging by hand and then hand lining the fish in.

Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) - new hook & line species #267

Ruoxi caught the next fish, and it turned out to be the biggest of the day at 20 3/4 inches.  It was a good looking fish!

Josh was the slow poke, taking a while to get his first fish.  However, he made up for it by catching three more after this one!  I caught one more, so we had eight fish total between the four of us.

The fishing hit its peak when Josh and I got a double.  This is a pose that Joy invented years ago.

In the afternoon the bite really died down.  We had plenty of beers though, so we didn't run out of entertaining things to do.  In hind sight, did the bite really die down... or did we lose our focus?

Slow day or not, we had a great time.  Lake whitefish was a new lifer for Joy, Ruoxi, and me, and we put enough fish on the ice to take home and smoke.  We were really happy that we did an unguided shack rental.  It removed a lot of the stress of trying to figure out a new location for the first time, but we still felt like we worked hard for our fish.

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