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John Pollock of Green Bay got just one bite in nearly 10hours of trolling Lake Michigan off northern Door County on April 25, but the long boat ride was worth it. He eventually reeled in a 381/2-inch, 24.57-pound brown trout — the grand-prize winner in the 26th annual Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament. Pollock's father, Ken, and 5-year-old son, Easton, are also shown.
John Pollock of Green Bay got just one bite in nearly 10hours of trolling Lake Michigan off northern Door County on April 25, but the long boat ride was worth it. He eventually reeled in a 381/2-inch, 24.57-pound brown trout — the grand-prize winner in the 26th annual Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament. Pollock's father, Ken, and 5-year-old son, Easton, are also shown. / Submitted

GREAT LAKES

Bass, walleye top attractions

Green Bay walleye and bass anglers need to keep one eye on the rod and another on fishing regulations starting today, when many season changes kick in.

Legal-length smallmouth can be kept, on Green Bay and its tributaries except the Menominee River, which is catch-and-release only until May 15. Largemouth bass open today in all bay waters, including the Menominee.

Smallmouth bass are catch-and-release only until June 21 in Lake Michigan tributaries north of Wisconsin 29, including popular systems like the Kewaunee, Ahnapee and Mink rivers, and can’t be targeted at all until July 1 within one-quarter mile of all islands in the Town of Washington Island off the tip of the Door Peninsula.

The walleye bag limit increases to five at least 15 inches long in Green Bay and most tributaries, except the Fox River where there’s a three-fish bag with no minimum size limit starting today.

There were 37 browns heavier than 10 pounds caught in last weekend’s Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament, including the winner, a 24.57-pounder reeled in by John Pollock of Green Bay. Many Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan county trollers are putting stickbaits and spoons behind planer boards in just 8 to 18 feet of water along the lakeshore to get hits.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff will apply lampricides to Casco Creek and Three Mile Creek in Kewaunee County in the next two weeks to kill lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom. Failure to kill the larvae in streams would result in significant damage to the Great Lakes trout and salmon fishery. Infested tributaries must be treated every three to five years.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

INLAND WATERS

Trout and walleye popular for opener

Depending on how far north you venture and what type of water you fish, it’ll be a mixed-bag day for trout and walleyes, likely the two most popular fish species on the opener.

Anglers who focus on shallower, darker waters that warm quicker than the deep, clear-water lakes may have better luck finding a walleye willing to take a minnow or nightcrawler. Flowages are good bets, as are smaller lakes in central and southern Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, trout streams are running high. Where allowed, live bait like leafworms, redworms and nightcrawlers can be very effective, as can small spinners and flies.

White bass are on their spring spawning run up the Wolf and Fox rivers, passing walleyes that are floating their way back down to the Winnebago system. Meanwhile, sturgeon spawning is at or near its peak. Updates: (920) 333-5444.

HUNTING

NRB in Green Bay to talk deer, ducks

The state Natural Resources Board will meet May 28 at Tundra Lodge and Conference Center in Green Bay to seek approval for the 2014 deer hunting season structure and proposed rules related to migratory bird hunting seasons.

Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sports coordinator, will talk about shooting range development on DNR lands, while other staffers and Conservation Congress chair Rob Bohmann will discuss the results from spring fish and wildlife rules hearings.

The public can speak to the board or submit written comments about issues. Learn more at dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/public.html or watch the proceedings live via webcast.

The Green Bay Duck Hunters Association will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve. DNR biologist Kent Van Horn will talk about a possible early teal season and Joe Loehlein will focus on this year’s duck rescue program. New members are welcome. More info: gbdha.com.

The Wisconsin Trappers Association District 8 will hold its spring rendezvous at 8 a.m. May 18 at the Maribel Sportsmen’s Club. There will be supply dealers, trapping demos, fur handling and food, refreshments and raffles. More info: (920) 693-8734.

The DNR’s free Pocket Ranger app has a sunrise and sunset calculator that allows turkey hunters to check for legal hunting times and regulations for any day. More info: dnr.wi.gov/mobileapps.

WILDLIFE

First orioles, ‘hummers’ here

It’s time to get the oranges, jelly and sugar-water solutions ready as neotropical migrants like Baltimore orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks and ruby-throated hummingbirds are starting to show up in the state this week.

The monthlong Great Wisconsin Birdathon is underway. Learn more at birdathon.org, and report your backyard bird observations or check out what others are seeing at ebird.org/wi.

Check the whereabouts of nearly 100 whooping cranes in Wisconsin at bringbackthecranes.org. Once there, click on the project update for a map showing the last known position on individual birds.

FIELD GUIDE

Busy schedule in Sturgeon Bay

The Sturgeon Bay Sport Fishing Association is having a bass invitational for Door County teams on May 10. The $175 fee includes dinner and a chance at prizes in the catch, photo and release event. More info: Howie’s Tackle (920) 746-9916 or Nick Nault (920) 839-2272.

The 24th annual Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament on May 16-17 had 136 two-person teams entered as of this week. Check the latest list and schedule of events at sbobt.org.

The Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit Little Sturgeon Bay Tournament on May 10 has reached the 75-boat “full field,” but because of a rule can overbook by 20 percent — 15 teams. More info: info@northamericanbasscircuit.com or (580) 765-9031.

An AYA (Angler and Young Angler) Walleye Tournament will be held June 7 at Sturgeon Bay. Entry fee is $150 for one adult and up to two anglers under age 17. There’s also a Father’s Day Kids Fishing Day on June 15 at Little Lake. More info: (920) 743-1100.

An NFL Alumni Fishing Event featuring retired players, many from the Green Bay Packers, will be July 16 in Sturgeon Bay. There are options to fish for salmon and trout in Lake Michigan or bass and other species on the bay. More info: Casey Rabach, (920) 328-8789.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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