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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 3-11-2015

by Mark Walters

Big Goals on Sheboygan Harbor

Hello friends,

This week I had a powerful itch to live on the ice and try catching a rainbow, or brown trout or possibly a trophy northern pike. My plan was simple, I would head over to Sheboygan, and set up a camp on the ice, right in the harbor, fish with tip ups, possibly jig as well and hopefully ice a trophy from Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, March 3rd
High 11, low minus 13

There is always a twist, and this week I had a double whammy. My plan was to spend Wednesday and Thursday on the ice, and then on Thursday evening I was going to speak to the Manitowoc Fish and Game City Unit about starting a KAMO Chapter. This agreement was made two months ago and I was not going to be the one to break it.

Here is the other part of the double whammy, last night I hit the rack at midnight, with my truck packed for this trip and not long after I went to bed that nasty virus that wreaks havoc on your lungs and sinuses hit me and I was one sick puppy. Best description, I felt like I was drowning! I had to do the trip and I had to speak in Manitowoc.

About all I can say is this, if you have to get it done, and you are not well use DayQuil/NyQuil! So I hit the harbor at 1:00, I am foreign to fishing browns and bows through the ice. There is a father and a son fishing with tip ups and they are set up near the boat launch, fifty yards away someone is in a shack jigging. As always I pimp the locals for info. I am told that if I put my time in I will at least catch a gator and quite possibly a brown or bow.

As usual I have ten million pounds of gear, I pre-planned and had an Otter Sled loaded with three tip ups, my Jiffy Pro 4 and a bucket of golden shiners. I drill my first hole, hook up a minnow and begin lowering it in what is about 11-feet of water. As the minnow is swimming down, it begins swimming fast and strong, I realize it is not a minnow, instead my minnow has been gobbled up by a very large fish. I set the hook and what I feel is the biggest fish I have had on this winter takes off like a 747 and cuts/breaks my flurocarbon line.

I do not care if this virus kills me; I need to catch a big fish! Lines are set I begin hauling ten million pounds of gear to campsite. At this time, I met a really cool dude by the name of Dick Scheifelbein (guy in the shack). Dick had caught a 12- pound brown, a 36-inch gator and three other fish. I get some great info and begin setting up camp.

Bad luck kind of came my way when a pole breaks on my Eskimo Fat Fish 13×7 foot cabin on the ice as I am attempting to set it up. The Fat Fish has been used hard and put to bed wet for three winters, with help of new friends on the ice shack is kind of put up.

A flag goes up on one of my tip ups and I catch what is probably the fattest 31-inch gator that I have ever seen. It gets dark, I love the ice, I want spring to wait another month, I am sick, who cares, I have NyQuil.

Thursday, March 5th
High 14, low minus 13

I slept on the ice once again last night. Two propane lights, a Mr. Heater, my body on a cot and inside of two sleeping bags.

I was up at first light this morning and the flags were flying once the sun was high. I caught another 31-inch gator a smaller one, had several fish drop the minnow, which I was told is a brown trout trait and I caught a five-pound brown which was my goal. I heard so many stories of true monsters being caught and missed here that I might return in a few days.

Tonight, I headed over to Manitowoc and gave that talk to a full house of outdoorsmen and women. Folks in that area, many of you read this column, you can have a KAMO chapter, there is already one just north of you near Maribel.

Check out and call or email me.

I could do a commercial for DayQuil/Nyquil! Sunset