Depere 04/01-04/03

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Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Sun 04, 2021 6:10 pm

I took what has become a semi annual road trip up to Depere for the Fox River walleye run. The last time was great, with everything seeming to work. This time there was some head scratching and lots of grinding to put fish in the boat. I arrived late Thursday afternoon and hit the water for a few hours after checking into the hotel. Water temps were only 39, and word was it had been slow with the cold front. Seeing that it was currently 36 degrees, the water was not going to warm up that day at least. I jigged for awhile and got a big jumbo perch which was a first for me on that system. With only one other swing and miss I tried throwing around a Ripping Rap and on about the 5th cast hooked into a beautiful prespawn female. That would be it for the evening though.

The next morning was only 22 degrees and a real feel of 10. Everything was froze. During the morning I went to grab a Premiere Rod and it got caught under my boat cleat and snapped in half. This was closer to the base of the rod too. I somehow managed to catch a 23 inch spawned out female on my jig rod when I was fooling with something in the boat and slipped into shallow water. I just happened to look over and the rod tip was bouncing. By around 11 AM there were hundreds of boats out there and the only way to fish anywhere near the channel ledges was to anchor. I saw very few fish being caught and I did not want to anchor and join the frozen party. I decided to tie on a Shiver Minnow which I bought a few years ago but had not even taken out of the package. I went downstream where there were still some boats, but maybe 10% of the crowd. More room to slip jig, which is about the only thing I am decent at river fishing. The Shiver Minnow I had was I believe a half ounce, which made it easy to get down to 20+ feet and still feel in control of the bait. I ended up jigging up 6 eater size walleye and whitefish. I got off the water early due to the trolling motor batteries being out of juice. It was not a good day, but I at least felt like I learned something new.

I knew Saturday would be a zoo with the warmer temps and holiday weekend. I got to the launch by 545am and beat most of the crowd. There were still 100+ boats already out there, but I assume those guys had been out there all night. I foolishly started up toward the dam again throwing rattle baits on the channel edges and flats with no results. I also tried using the Shiver Minnow along the channel break before it got too crazy up there. I got over one pod of fish and had 2 good rips, but did not stick either of them. I headed back down river to try to salvage something for the day. Of course as soon as I drop down and jig up the first fish of the day is in the boat. I slipped down river and picked away at the eater size fish. Most the fish were just swiping at the bait, and the hookup percentage was 50% or so. As I got farther down river the size seemed to start going up. A 18 incher, and 20 incher, and then my best fish of the trip, a 26 incher. I caught a few more fish after that, but the late afternoon and evening bite was once again very slow. I ended the trip with an small walleye on a rattle trap right near the launch.

All in all it was weird trip. The only real good bite window was between 12-3pm on Saturday. The rest of the time I was mostly frozen and left wondering WTF I was doing out there freezing my ass off for some fish.

On a side note, I doubled up with a boat near me and we both ended up with flatheads. His was about 35-40 lbs, which was about 15 minute fight. Mine was about 3 lbs. I'm glad he got the big one, or I still might be fighting that thing on 6 lb braid and 8lb fluro leader.

If I learned anything it is a reaffirmation to only go up there on weekdays and to try to make the trip when the weather is either stable or warming. The hunt for the 30+ continues.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Peter Piper » Apr Sun 04, 2021 8:38 pm

good work. id be happy
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby matt_ski » Apr Mon 05, 2021 7:00 am

Better than turning out empty handed. Still some nice fish you got there.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Mon 05, 2021 8:37 am

I appreciate it guys. I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure things out almost as much as catching fish, so it still was time well spent. My first trip there 5 years ago we caught 5 fish between 2 guys over 2 days, so there is always that.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Rambler » Apr Mon 05, 2021 11:53 am

FishinMatt wrote:Most the fish were just swiping at the bait, and the hookup percentage was 50% or so.

Good work! Surprised you didn't try a stinger.
Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby coyote » Apr Mon 05, 2021 6:42 pm

Gees that looks cold Sir, nice job finding them Pigs , as usual you always find a way
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Aux Pleins » Apr Tue 06, 2021 3:21 am

Walleye mecca. Those are the ones that make it all worth it. Excellent job catching.
Nature and shit.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Jaxon » Apr Wed 07, 2021 4:17 pm

Looking for 30+? Don't go to DePere. It's overcrowded, overpressured. A little farther north to the Peshtigo river, and the breakwaters right outside of it is where you need to be.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby jmdog2003 » Apr Wed 07, 2021 4:32 pm

You hit the best Wisconsin spots. Sounds like so much fun and always enjoy reading about your experiences.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Thu 08, 2021 8:43 am

Jaxon wrote:Looking for 30+? Don't go to DePere. It's overcrowded, overpressured. A little farther north to the Peshtigo river, and the breakwaters right outside of it is where you need to be.


I'll keep that in mind. With the pressure Depere gets, I would not mind an alternative.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby badger75 » Apr Thu 08, 2021 9:12 pm

Some nice fish.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Fri 09, 2021 1:22 pm

Jaxon is dead on.

But, sshhh...

It isn't talked about much and let's hope it stays that way. 8)
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Fri 09, 2021 9:43 pm

Theoretically if a guy were to fish around there, would Bay Shore Park be a good place to launch or is there a better option?
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby ohoffm » Apr Fri 09, 2021 10:03 pm

It does not matter what species, if it swims you are gonna catch it. Walleye are lots of fun when they get going.
The easiest way is rarely the best way
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Jaxon » Apr Sat 10, 2021 12:45 pm

Ed, I've put it on TV enough times, the secret is out. Still some spawners in the river, and there's a new viewing platform by the dam!

Heading to the Detroit River in a couple of weeks, that bite is just getting started.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby mike son » Apr Mon 12, 2021 9:04 pm

Badass! Nice eyes! Like jmdog said, I too like reading your WI trips.
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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby Lip_Yanker » Apr Sun 18, 2021 8:12 am

A cold day fishing beats any day at work.


FishinMatt wrote: The rest of the time I was mostly frozen and left wondering WTF I was doing out there freezing my ass off for some fish.


I find this an ironic statement coming from a guy that posted about an ice fishing trip not to long ago. :lol:


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Re: Depere 04/01-04/03

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Sun 18, 2021 10:42 am

Lip_Yanker wrote:ironic


Haha. The shack was heated. I could have fished in my t-shirt, lol!
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