You don’t have to be an expert fisherman to put a smile on a youngster’s face. Sunfish, like this inland bluegill, are willing biters using nothing more than a small hook and a garden worm dug from the yard. Photo by Kevin Naze.

Whether you want to target Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Walleye or Pike on Green Bay; trout and salmon on Lake Michigan; or crappie, pike and largemouth bass on the region’s inland lakes, now is the time to try your luck.

Sunfish, smallmouths, pike and bass are active in many bays, harbors and marinas in Green Bay, and sunfish spawn in the shallows of inland lakes.

Anglers from the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers become entangled with a wide variety of species, including sunfish, bass, bluefin tuna, carp and pike; and Lake Michigan produces an early-season boon of rainbow trout, chinook salmon and lakers.

A few years ago, National Fishing Week was themed Catch a Smile, which spoke volumes about what kids can do to fish. Today it is known as National Fishing and Boating Week, and the 2021 version takes place over two weekends, starting June 5 and 6: also the fishing weekend. annual free from Wisconsin. No license or stamp will be required on these two days, but all other regulations will apply.

The economics of water sports are staggering. The combined economic impact of boating and sport fishing in the United States is over $ 250 billion per year – about half of each.

In Wisconsin alone, more than 2 million anglers fish each year, including those under 16 who don’t need to purchase a license. The combined economic impact of sport fishing here is over $ 2 billion per year.

Wisconsin also has more than 600,000 registered boaters, with a combined economic impact of nearly $ 5 billion.

Yet when you allow the boy inside the man to “remember when” it is probably not the money or the equipment that he remembers or finds important.

In a national survey asking 1,000 Americans what they liked most to do with their fathers as children, more than a third of men and 29% of women chose fishing and the outdoors. This is three times the number of those who remember playing sports, board games or card games; and that’s five times more than those who said they enjoyed attending sporting events or going to the movies with their father.

The American Sportfishing Association claims that 85% of freshwater anglers are introduced to fishing by the age of 13. Most find that sunfish, crappie, bass, perch and bullhead readily bite in lakes, ponds and rivers.

It is important to use rod and reel combos that young people can handle and have fun with. Some of the inexpensive rigs sold in national chain stores will cripple a beginner as most have cheap drag systems and are coiled with a much heavier line than needed. Instead, using a quality ultralight will give a child a “real” thrill!

Talk to people at the bait shops in the area if you don’t know where to start. Not only will they have suggestions, but they can also recommend baits and depths to try, as well as lakes where boat rentals are available.

And don’t forget to take the important extras: water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and life jackets.

Use a small cooler to freeze the fish you want to eat or keep it in a live basket. Stringers are OK in cool water if the trip is not a full day affair.

A preferred method of cooking is to roll fresh fillets in the breading mixture of your choice, then pan-fry them in a combination of butter, coconut oil and olive oil until until they turn a deep golden brown. This is the kind of meal that has “summer vacation” written on it.

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Initiative 30 of 30

A multi-agency federal report with recommendations on how to meet a goal of conserving 30% of all land and water in the United States by 2030 – known as the 30 by 30 Initiative – was published.

Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association, said the initiative has garnered a lot of attention within the recreational fishing community, but not always in a positive way. He said some believe it could be used as a way to arbitrarily restrict access to recreational fishing.

“However, we are delighted that the Biden administration is approaching 30 by 30 with an understanding of the significant cultural, economic and conservation benefits that recreational fishing offers to the nation,” said Leonard.

The “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” report describes a decade-long challenge to continue a national, voluntary, locally-led effort to conserve, connect and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife of the United States.

“There are many valuable programs that benefit the conservation of aquatic resources and fishing opportunities, including the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plans, the System National Marine Sanctuaries, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and the new Civilian Climate Corps, ”Leonard mentioned. “We understand these are the types of legitimate conservation programs that the Biden administration is prioritizing in its 30 by 30 plan.”

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Report an eagle’s nest

Once endangered, bald eagles are now blooming in Wisconsin, with more than 1,700 known nests occupied by mated pairs last year. The number continues to climb as the public learns that Department of Natural Resources staff members wish to document and investigate all known bald eagle nest locations.

Learn more about Wisconsin eagles and report your nest sightings at

Weekly water levels

As of May 28, Lake Michigan was down 18 inches from the May 2020 record, but it was still 18 inches above the 100-year average. Water levels were four feet above the lowest record set in 1964.

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