January 14, 2015
This large and diverse area stretches from the Michigan-Wisconsin border (Menominee River) in the west, down to the base of the lake at Green Bay, up the east bank to Sturgeon Bay, and farther north to the tip of Door County at Gills Rock. It's an area also home to some of the world's finest smallmouth water. The lower bay also has a world-class muskie population. And there are perch and channel catfish, plus whitefish at times, making this not just a great destination for Green Bay walleyes, but one of North America's finest overall fishing areas. Meanwhile, Door County remains an exceptionally popular tourist destination.
Last-ice fishing centers near Sturgeon Bay, where many 10- to over 12-pound fish are caught in the final two weeks before the ice is no longer travel-worthy, typically right at the end of March. There's open-water fishing on the Fox River below DePere Dam all winter long, with success spiking as fish begin to run in March, and continuing into April. At this point, incoming rivers like the Peshtigo and Menominee also draw large numbers of fish and fish well for at least two weeks once the run starts, typically in early to mid-April. A bit later fish gather and hold outside rivermouths and other main-lake areas, such as rock- and sandbars, including many spots in the lower bay.
Other anglers take advantage of night-fishing opportunities, especially near Sturgeon Bay, although fish are on the prowl at night in all areas of the bay after ice out. Big fish also gather on classic structural elements in the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel and at the mouth of the channel at times. Plenty of exceptional guides work the area to shorten an angler's time searching for fine-quality fishing.
Contact: Capt. Lynn Niklasch, fishinpal.com; Capt. Dale Stroschein, wackywalleye.com; Capt. Paul Delaney, lateeyesportfishing.com; Capt. Bret Alexander, alexandersportfishing.com; Capt. Jason Gaurkee, ariverguide.com.
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