Thankful Outdoors: Testing the fishing waters at multiple lakes

Marshfield (OnFocus) – Happy Father’s Day weekend: I hope you get a chance to enjoy a cold beer after mowing the lawn, grilling a brat, or burger. A reminder that the smallmouth bass season opens in Northern Wisconsin. The Northern zone is defined as:

  • The area north of a line following State Highway 77, from its bridge over the St. Croix River east to State Highway 27, south on State Highway 27 to State Highway 64, east on State Highway 64 to its terminus in the city of Marinette and continuing due east to the shore of Green Bay.
  • All waters north of State Highway 29 from its bridge over the Fox river east to its terminus in the city of Kewaunee and continuing due east to the shore of Lake Michigan.
Hunter with his bass he caught on the Wisconsin River.

Hunter and I got a chance to try musky fishing on the Wisconsin River; we took an early morning outing to try our luck. The water was high and fast from the Friday evening storm. On our float down the river, we were at times hitting 2MPH. We threw our bucktails and crankbaits at a fast and furious pace.

We had some action with a few smaller muskies in the under 30 inches range; try to smack a few of our lures. The only gills brought into the boat that day were a nice smallie that hit Hunter’s topwater offering.

Sunday did some exploring on Musser Lake, small panfish were found, and a mid-30 size northern slapped around my topwater offering on that sunny afternoon. Beautiful day on the water watching a deer feed from the shoreline, seeing a turtle, loon, and getting plenty of sunshine.

Geese feeding at the Spirit Lake boat Landing.

Wednesday night was a run-up to Spirit Lake after work; talking to a few older gentlemen at the boat landing about how their day on the water went was not making the evening outing looking to be very promising. They had fished from 11 am until around 6 pm and had caught four fish.

After hearing that report, I had thought about just driving right back home! The boat landing was being guarded by a family of geese that found comfort feeding on the lawn. That evening, the effort on the water was not very stellar; one walleye that was too short to keep was all that was caught that night.

I could not figure out why the graph on the console was not telling me water temperature after getting back to the boat landing and loading the boat up; the answer was revealed that somehow, I had torn off the transducer on the boat.

The missing transducer off of Scott’s boat.

As I drove home, I thought to myself; this might be the first time that I felt that the reverse of that saying, “A bad day fishing is better than a good day working!” That thought did not stick with me too long, though, but this season sure has been challenging.

The number of fish that have been caught this year has been about as abundant as candidates walking in for job interviews; very few! Sometimes, while I am on the water, I sit and think about what stresses me out during my day job. As with most industries, there is a considerable shortage of employees and retaining and hiring new talent is a challenge.

As this week has gone on, that thought from Wednesday evening that maybe work is better than fishing has left my mind. Even though fishing has been rough this year and the freezer is not getting filled up much, I still enjoy the time on the water, the peaceful sunsets, or watching the moonrise.

All those things have reminded me that the outdoors is still a passion, it is still a place to go where one can get lost in time, and for that, I am still thankful to be able to have those opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.