Where has the summer gone? After the “goofy’ spring we had and now the weeks of hot weather and little if any rain has made the summer of 2012 one to remember. Though the area lakes and rivers warmed up quicker than normal and got the weeds growing, fishing has been good if you get on the water early or fish at night. The water temperature on Lake Wisconsin and Madison’s Lake Mendota is anywhere from 80 to 85 degrees and for the Midwest that is warm and out of the comfort range for most fish. I would think that fish would have moved to deeper and colder water by now, but a friend of mine was catching bluegills locally in 1 or 2 feet of water. Some of the fish were still full of eggs too! You figure… I’m sure that this year will go down in my log as one of the hottest and most unusual summers in decades.
The DNR is worried about fish kills on Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers with all the hot weather that depletes the lake’s water of oxygen and often causing fish kills that really seem to effect panfish and rough fish the most. This is also the time when you shouldn’t be fishing for muskies and larger walleyes or northern pike. Once the water temperature gets into the upper 70’s and 80’s, it is easy to kill a trophy muskie, walleye, or northern. If you accidently hook one of these fish, cut the line and don’t “play” the fish if at all possible. Bring the fish to the boat and try to leave the fish in the net and try not to touch the fish as you unhook it. It takes a muskie a long time to grow to legal size, so don’t fish for these magnificent fish during periods of hot weather.
Hopefully, the weather will change and get back to normal by the time of the Wilderness Fish and Game’s 12th Annual “Take an Adult Fishing Tournament” which this year will be held on Saturday, August 4, 2012. This tournament has turned out to be one of the summer highlights for the people and children of the Sauk Prairie and the many surrounding towns. We’ve even had people call the Wilderness store and ask when the event is so they can plan their vacation around the tournament.
The “Take an Adult Fishing Tournament” participants must pre-register by July 27th by picking up an entry form at the Wilderness Fish and Game store. Children up to 15 years may enter as long as they have a parent or guardian sign the form and accompany the child. A team may have anywhere from 1 to 3 members as long as they are registered before August 4th.
Participants may fish any waters as long as they are back for the 2:00 pm weigh-in and the kid’s fishing presentation by the National Professional Anglers Association’s (NPAA), Greg Karch. Greg does a wonderful job presenting and showing the children the basics of fishing. The NPAA is an organization of professional anglers, guides, industry representatives, and people who love to fish. The group helps with fishing events for children at many tournaments and children fishing events around the state and the Midwest. Many of the prizes and give-a-ways are from the generosity of the NPAA and its members. If you see a member tell them thank you and that there help is greatly appreciated by the people of Sauk City.
Here are the basic tournament rules and information;
- Children fro 5 years to 15 years may fish the tournament with a signed release form from their parents or guardians.
- Teams may fish any waters they choose and all fishing is done on the honor system. All state rules and regulations must be adhered to.
- There are six fish categories; Trout, panfish, bass (both kinds), walleye and sauger, catfish, and rough fish. Trophies and prizes are given to the first and second place winners.
- All teams must return no later than 2:00 pm to enter any fish in the tournament.
- Professional angler, Greg Karch, is coming from Appleton to give his “Fishing Basics”’ talk before the weigh-in. Greg gives a great talk well worth hearing and trying some of Greg’s tips.
- We try to make this a “professional” event and we look forward to the children having a fun and educational day.
Be sure to sign up early and tell you’re friends if they haven’t fished it before. There will be professional anglers to sign autographs and talk to the kids. This is a great event and I’m proud to be a part of it with NPAA members; Greg Karch, Duffy Kopf, Jim Kloth, Robert Blosser, Joe Okada, Tony Puccio, Terry Frey, Wally Banfi, and Gary Engberg.
I’ll see you there and let’s look forward to another great “Take an Adult Fishing Tournament.” We have to recruit more children into the outdoors and this is a way to start doing it. There also will be DNR personnel on hand to help and answer questions. Warden Greg Stacey will be on hand to show the new invasive species cleaning machine and show you some of the invasives that now are in our waters.