Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Alewife spawn muddies Green Bay waters: do you go south, or north at AWWS Sturgeon Bay Nitro Boats Open?
Teams in Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Division Nitro Boats Open on Green Bay will have something else to consider besides the usual “ifs” of weather and presentations: the annual alewife spawn, and that means, do you go north where the big fish are chowing down on alewives, or south to find smaller but fish more willing to attack a passing crank or crawler?
That’s a question that will be answered only when the winner steps up on Sunday at the final qualifier before the July 22-23 Wisconsin Division Championship on Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh.
One angler who’s contemplating those questions about where to go Sunday is Victor “Buck” Gehm, who says he thinks it may be a tough bite because of those spawning alewives making easy targets for the bay’s walleye.
“I think it’s going to be tougher than what people think,” Gehm said. He said the alewives are literally “in there by the millions, and from my experience with a big alewife ‘hatch’ we usually switch up to spinner tactics to try to match the flash of the blades with their skin, and throw something different at them than they’ve seen the last 10 days or so.”
He also said that if you want to try, match the color of an alewife with a crank. “Get that bait in front of their face, and that’s going to be key, too, like matching the hatch.”
Alewife schools are coming from north of the bay and from Lake Michigan, he said, around the top of Chambers Island through the cold water, looking for warmer bay water where they can spawn.
“So between the alewives and gobies, it seems like that’s what the walleyes want to eat now. They’ll follow their gut, just like 90 percent of the other fish out there,” said, Gehm, who’s from Crivitz, Wisconsin, west of Chambers Island, and who’s been fishing the bay about 12 years.
After a brief cool-down midweek, Gehm said rising temperatures and the possibility of weekend thunderstorms may also come into play. “It should be good because that weather usually produces well instead of high-sun days,” he added.
If the bay north of Sturgeon bay produces, he said, look for heavy weights as the fish fatten up on alewives. “I’m thinking the winner will probably be looking at 42 to 43 pounds for five fish.”
Information about those alewife spawners caused entrant Joe Knowles from Sherwood, Wisconsin, to voice a drawn-out, “hmmmmm,” no doubt echoing the thoughts of others who will launch from Robert Carmody County Park Boat Ramp at Little Sturgeon Bay.
Knowles said that knowledge will mean a choice: go north, or go south. “The telltale will be what the NWT entrants will do,” Knowles said.
The Cabela’s National Walleye Tour is this Thursday and Friday on the bay at the same location.
“Our partners will be out pre-fishing Thursday and Friday, and if the NWT boats are up north, they’re catching fish, and if not, south will be where we will have to concentrate. If the alewives are up there in abundance in the upper part of the Sturgeon Bay area it’s going to be a tough bite. It’s like trying to get you to eat after spending two hours at the buffet. They’re probably gorging themselves,” Knowles said.
It’ll all come down to Sunday. “On game day, we’ll know what we know and hopefully what we know will put us in one of the top spots,” he said.
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