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Perch, sheepshead keep anglers busy

Yellow perch and sheepshead are among the fish taking the bait of lower bay anglers, many who are drifting or anchoring in 15 to 30 feet of water using minnows.

Walleye action remains fair for those trolling crawler harnesses or crankbaits at similar depths. It took a 7.5-pound average to win a Cabela’s Walleye Tour event headquartered at Sturgeon Bay over the weekend.

Smallmouth bass continue to hit both live and artificial baits all along the Oconto, Door and Marinette County shorelines and rivers. Though many of the fish are running 13 to 16 inches, a fair number of 17- to 20-inch bronzebacks are being hooked.

On Lake Michigan, more than 400 20-pound-plus chinooks were reeled in during the 31st annual Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament, which ended Sunday. A 32.41-pounder caught off Washington Island was the largest, but Green Bay’s Steve Seilo placed second with a 41-inch, 29.66-pounder he caught off Kewaunee.

Poor weather over the weekend slowed success in the Marinette-Menominee Brown Trout Derby. Of 103 fish weighed, 68 were chinooks and only 16 were browns. The heaviest “king” weighed 24.15 pounds, top brown 12.04, largest rainbow 12.99 and biggest walleye 6.87.

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Warmer weather will improve bite

The recent stretch of wet and unusually cold weather is a memory and anglers are looking forward to more sunshine and warmth this weekend.

Of course, recreational water users who’ve been waiting for better conditions will be out in force, too, making it essential for anglers to choose lakes less popular or to fish the first and last hours of daylight.

Nightcrawlers, leeches and fathead minnows run off small jigs or even plain hooks are getting a lot of attention from smallmouth bass, walleyes and larger panfish. Try deeper weed edges, rock humps and brush or trees sunk in deeper water.

Try mixing it up with a slip bobber set suspended a couple of feet off bottom and a flat line right over the side of the boat, tight to the bottom. Lift the bait off and drift until you get action, then consider anchoring.

For larger predators such as muskies and northern pike, try casting bucktails, spinnerbaits, spoons and topwaters along thick weeds or over humps adjacent to deep water.

Michigan wolf tag sale delayed

Anyone who has wanted to try to hunt wolves won’t have to wait for a lottery draw in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but will pay a steep price for the opportunity.

Unlike Wisconsin, which is again holding a lottery system for tags — today is the deadline to apply — Michigan is selling 1,200 licenses first-come, first-serve at licensing agents, many U.P. DNR offices and online at at www.michigan.gov/

huntdrawings.

The tags were supposed to go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday, but an anticipated crush of demand had officials delay the sale until Sept. 28 to better prepare to insure the automated system is equipped for the high volume.

Michigan residents can purchase a license for $100, but it’ll cost a nonresident $500.

The Michigan DNR has set a harvest quota of 43 wolves for its first hunt, and won’t allow trapping. Its minimum estimate of wolves in the Upper Peninsula stands at more than 650, and such a limited hunt is not expected to slow the growth.

Talk waterfowl at area meetings

Hunters and others interested in ducks and geese can attend meetings in the coming week or provide feedback to the DNR on this year’s proposed hunting season framework.

In addition to potential annual changes in season timing and daily bag limits, wildlife officials are proposing increases to the number of lakes available for open water duck hunting for the 2013 season and changes to the Horicon Canada goose zone for the 2014 season.

Proposed seasons will be available for viewing online Aug. 5 at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/waterfowl.html.

There’s a post-flyway DNR public meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn-Stevens Point and a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Agricultural Services Center, 3369 West Brewster St., in Appleton.

People can also comment via email before midnight Aug. 8, to james.christopoulos@

wisconsin.gov.

Today's the day for applications

Today is the deadline to apply for fall wild turkey tags, the upriver Winnebago sturgeon spearing season, Horicon Zone goose permits and wolf, bobcat, fisher and otter tags.

Regular antlerless deer tags for regular units go on sale at 10 a.m. Aug. 17, and leftover fall wild turkey permits the following Saturday, Aug. 24, also at 10 a.m.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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