Last weekend, Matt had a family to-do up near Appleton. Since we’ve barely made it out to do anything this summer, we decided to pack up the fishing gear and take the boat for some fishing on Winnebago while we were up there. The last time we were there was for sturgeon spearing back in February.
Anyway, that was how we hoped it would work. We towed the boat up to his brother’s place and stayed the night, planning to rise fairly early and get out for the last half of the morning bite. Figuring that ‘Bago is the the single largest lake in the state, we assumed we could just head to a launch and snag some bait on the way. My friends, it did not work this way in practice.
Our route took us from a little ways west of Greenville in the upper left corner of that map southeast to Neenah. Apparently, not one person in that corridor thought to open a bait shop. The first bait store our GPS took us to had been closed for what looked like several years. Our next try was ten miles away in Appleton, and the GPS location of it was off by a solid two miles. Once we stopped and got real directions to find it, it didn’t open until 9am on a Sunday (seriously, what bait shop in this state doesn’t open at dawn or close to it?) All the next closest shops were a good 15 miles away in Oshkosh or Winneconne, or even further away down in Fond du Lac. We were driving around for a good 45 minutes to an hour, trying to find anything we could throw on our hooks. Eventually, we found a gas station selling worms, and grumbling, settled for that.
Once we finally launched from the very, very nice launch at Doty park (next to a Coast Guard auxillary post), we headed out to open water and got to fishing.
By the time we got out there, it was well past 8am, and well past the morning bite. Our only luck came in the form of 6 small sheepshead, caught in quick succession the first 30 minutes we were out. I’ve eaten them before, and they taste fine- just very bony. But these were small. We threw them back. I had one small rock bass on towards the end, but they don’t get much over 6 inches.
The only other positive of this trip, besides the family to-do, was a trip to Scheel’s, a place I find to be better than both Gander Mountain and Cabela’s combined. We both got new bow sights out of the deal. I plan to zero mine in this weekend.