An Outdoorsman’s Journal
By: Mark Walters
Head Winds on Green Bay
Hello friends: This week’s column is about a fishing trip that I went on to Green Bay. My plan was to spend about 48 hours in my 18.6 War Eagle fishing for walleye and living in a boat. My golden retrievers Fire and Ruby would be my companions along with a new little buddy that you are about to read about.
Friday, June 5 High 81, low 52 This column is going to be all over the map with info. This morning before I even left the house, I saw Fire was carrying something and it turned out to be a baby rabbit that did not have its eyes open. Reality told me that it was going to die unless I tried to save it. I went to town, purchased a container of Similac powdered baby formula, and now there were four of us for this trip.
So, it is late Friday afternoon, I am at the boat landing on the Suamico River and preparing to launch. All my fishing reports are of very slow fishing. I talk to two maybe 14-year-old boys who are shore fishing and all they have is a pile of goby fish/invasive species.
The captain and his crew of three head out to sea with high hopes for a great trip. When I reached the big water of the bay between Long Tail Point and Little Tail Point, I was once again greeted by a strong north wind that was not predicted.
Trolling with a big rig and keeping three lines running correctly is a challenge when fishing alone in high seas. I did not care as I had about 48 hours to play. My main plan of attack would be trolling crankbaits and crawler harnesses, which are standard tactics for walleye on Green Bay. So I am trolling, my new pal “Patch” the bunny is still alive, and I am doing my best to catch a walleye. I did land four sheepshead and five striped bass. Well after dark I headed over to the north side of Long Tail Point where my plan was to drop anchor in three feet of water and sleep on the floor of my boat. About that time the wind came back and did not let go. My anchor slowly gave way and the wind pushed my rig into shore. Something very cool was there were a lot of bow fishermen out tonight. I think that bow fishermen are one of the hardiest breeds of humans that you will find. They spend the night navigating in the dark, can fabricate and wire a boat into a fighting machine, shoot carp with a bow and arrow under adverse conditions, and then drive home when the sun comes up.
I must tell you, I had little Patch sleeping right next to me to keep him warm, and between the bow fishermen, the bunny, and the wind, sleep was not to be.
Saturday, June 6 High 83, low 54 My friends, there is change coming in the outdoor world and here are some examples. Long-term high water is taking out Long Tail and Little Tail Points; it is simply eroding them away with the wind. High water was also obvious on the road at the boat landing as parts of it are simply under water. I already wrote about the goby and today when I would check my lines, if there were weeds on them, there were dozens of baby zebra mussels in the weeds.
Today I watched a couple of different guides and their clients enjoying a day on the water and I kept thinking, how does a guide adjust to all of the north winds that kick the heck out of everything out here? My guess would be lots of cancellations.
The entire day I did my best to catch a limit of walleye but ended up with four, of which only one was legal. I took a good look at the erosion of Long Tail and Little Tail and I had plans for one more night in the boat when I received a text that said that the wind was going to switch to the east and blow hard.
At 7 p.m. tonight after 26 hours in the boat, I started trolling toward the landing three miles away. The wind decided for me that I needed to quit fishing and head in. Though it was a Saturday evening, I only saw two other boats on the water and when all three of us made it to safety we smiled at each other like, “Congrats, ya made it back.”
I have been home five days and Patch is still alive. Sunset
Green Bay crew- Ruby, Patch, and Fire on their fishing adventure!
Patch- Patch relaxing after his first boating experience.
Fire Green Bay- Fire standing on a small dry patch of land that remains on Little Tail Point.