MADISON, WI - Dedicated catch and release anglers know there's little that equals the joy of releasing a healthy musky, northern pike or even a walleye with the hope that it will spawn again and perhaps provide excitement for another angler.
But what if the fish is really big - possibly one for the record books?
A new live release record fish program being rolled out by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources aims to end the dilemma and provide anglers with the win-win satisfaction of achieving a state record and a successful live release. The new program is part of a larger effort to promote quality fishing and encourage the careful release of trophy-size popular sport species. Similar efforts have found success in other states and among some national record-keeping organizations.
LEESBURG, FL - La Crosse professional bass fisherman Tom Monsoor is having one of his poorest seasons on the FLW Tour.
Monsoor, in his 14th year on the FLW Tour, finished 115th out of 163 pros entered in the FLW Tour Qualifier on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, FL, on Friday. Monsoor was in 119th place with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce after Thursday's opening round. He caught another five fish limit on Friday for 9-4, but his total two-day weight was only 18-5 leaving him in the 115th position.
Monsoor joined the FLW Tour in 2002, but fished only two tournaments finishing 196th in points. The La Crosse native began fishing the six regular season FLW Tour Qualifiers full time in 2003 with his best overall finish in fifth place in 2011. His worst regular season finish as a…
MADISON, WI - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stocked a record number of extended growth walleye fingerlings in key Wisconsin waters in 2016, even as fish from the initial year of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative are expected to begin reaching harvest size this year.
In all, 797,815 of the 6- to 8-inch extended growth walleye were stocked in 150 Wisconsin waterbodies in 2016, up from the 760,969 fish stocked in 133 waters in 2015, said Dave Giehtbrock, DNR fisheries culture section chief. Gov. Scott Walker's proposed 2017-2019 biennial budget continues funding the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative at current levels for both years.
"We appreciate the vote of confidence in our program and the continued support for this important effort to restore and sustain Wisconsin as a premier…
MADISON, WI - The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board on Wednesday approved expanded harvest opportunities for Lake Michigan lake trout using the emergency rule process.
Brad Eggold, Great Lakes district fisheries supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the new rule would:
* Expand Lake Michigan lake trout harvest opportunities to a daily bag limit of five.
* Include the five fish daily lake trout limit as part of the overall five trout and salmon combined daily bag limit.
* Maintain closure of refuges, which are supporting some natural reproduction.
* Offer a continuous open season.
* Maintain the commitment to lake-wide lake trout restoration and promotion of a diverse salmon and trout fishery through continued assessment of lake trout restoration goals and impacts of…
MADISON, WI - Winter's recent string of spring temperatures and thinning ice has state recreational safety specialists encouraging anglers to remove their ice fishing shelters prior to the official deadlines.
The first in a series of deadlines for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters was February 20--the date for the Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters, affecting the Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border. This date corresponded with Iowa regulations.
Other fast-approaching deadlines to remove all fishing shelters from the ice are:
* Wednesday, March 1 for the Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters.
* Sunday, March 5 for waters south of Highway 64.
* Wednesday, March 15 for Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.
* Sunday, March 19 for waters north of…
Women can learn the fast-growing pursuit of bowfishing through classes taught by the Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association, as part of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Bowfishing is a sport that is fast, fun and easy for all to enjoy,” said Patrick Kirschbaum, a bowfishing association member. “It’s a great way to improve your archery skills.”
Bowfishing involves seeing, shooting and retrieving fish using specialized archery equipment. People bowfishing in Minnesota can target fish like common carp, buffalo, redhorse, sucker and other species that aren’t considered game fish in Minnesota.
The first informational session is 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Archery Country in Rogers. The class is free to attend but registration is…
LAKE TRAVIS, TX - Veteran La Crosse pro angler Tom Monsoor suffered one of his poorest finishes on the FLW Tour last weekend.
Monsoor, in his 14th year on the FLW Tour, failed to boat a legal-sized fish during Thursday's opening round of the FLW Tour Qualifer on Lake Travis. He managed only two fish totaling 6 pounds, 6 ounces on Friday to finish the event in 150th place out of 164 total pros entered.
Monsoor is 115th in the current standings after two events. The next FLW Tour Qualifier is scheduled March 9-12, in Tavares, FL.
MILWAUKEE, WI - Lake Michigan anglers reported significantly improved results for many species in 2016, reeling in nearly 385,000 salmon and trout, including the third highest number of coho salmon since 1992.
"During much of 2016, favorable weather and water temperatures helped produce solid results and we are pleased to see anglers benefit from ongoing efforts to provide a diverse and balanced fishery," said Brad Eggold, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Great Lakes district fisheries supervisor. "While the chinook harvest showed healthy increases over the past two years, coho salmon proved to be the big story with more than 125,000 fish harvested."
Highlights from DNR's 2016 survey of anglers on Lake Michigan include:
* An overall salmon and trout harvest of 384,908 fish, up 43…
OSHKOSH, WI - When sturgeon spearing gets underway on Lake Winnebago and the upriver lakes this Saturday, spearers can look forward to seeing some big fish.
Ryan Koenigs, Lake Winnebago sturgeon biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said this season should allow for some great opportunities to spot sturgeon cruising beneath the ice.
During a recent survey of conditions, DNR crews measured water clarity ranging from 8 to 13 feet on Lake Winnebago, 4 to 5 feet on lakes Poygan and Winneconne and 2 to 4 feet on Lake Butte des Morts.
"While the length of the season remains to be seen, one thing we can say for certain is that there are some very big fish out there this year," Koenigs said. "Typically when water clarity averages 12 feet or more, spearers have higher success…
GUNTERSVILLE, AL – La Crosse's Tom Monsoor finished 65th in the FLW Tour Qualifier at Lake Guntersville presented by Lowrance on Friday.
Monsoor was in 59th place after Thursday's opening round with four bass totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces. However, he only caught three fish weighing 6-14 on Friday for a 20-7, two-day total.
Mark Rose of West Memphis, AK, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20-4 to capture the lead on Friday with a two-day catch of 10 bass totaling 42-8.
Rose took a 3-pound lead into day three of the four-day season-opening event featuring 165 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
The top 20 pros advance to the semifinals today before Sunday's final round for the top 10 pros.
Jeff Ragsdale of Gardendale, AL, won…