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BigAngus752

Question for the Wisconsin folks...

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This will sound like a dumb question to the Wisconsin folks, but I'm from Illinois so...

 

I'm looking for a place to fish for a couple days in late May.  I hear good things about Lake Owen but I don't have any experience with "fishing seasons".  I see that the regulations for Lake Owen are no limit LM and one SM, but the "fishing season" doesn't start until June 16th.  Is that just for keeping bass?  Can I fish Owen in May and target bass and release them?  I am a catch and release guy anyway but I want to make sure I'm legal.  

 

Side note:  I'm really hoping to target SM.  If you have any suggestions for lakes closer to the Illinois border that hold better populations of SM than Lake Owen please share.  

 

Just looking for small water only please!

 

Thank you!

Edited by BigAngus752
update

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Yes, the “keep” season for SM starts June 16 but you can C&R all you want from the May opener until then. Never fished Lake Owen but there are a million northern WI lakes with lots of SM so handpicking one is tough.

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1 hour ago, UWBass said:

Yes, the “keep” season for SM starts June 16 but you can C&R all you want from the May opener until then. Never fished Lake Owen but there are a million northern WI lakes with lots of SM so handpicking one is tough.

Thanks for the info. I was having trouble wrapping my head around that. Like saying I can shoot AT the deer as long as I don’t HIT the deer. LOL 

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delavan and geneva both have smallmouth and largemouth and right over the border

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7 minutes ago, Allen Der said:

delavan and geneva both have smallmouth and largemouth and right over the border

Just looked at Geneva last night!  Are they heavily pressured since they are so close to Chicago and Milwaukee?

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8 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

Just looked at Geneva last night!  Are they heavily pressured since they are so close to Chicago and Milwaukee?

I would stay away on weekends after memorial day.  Pleasure boaters are more of a problem than fishing pressure

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Lake Owen, up near Hayward? If your driving that far from Illinois for a fishing trip go to Door Co! Late May, smallmouth heaven! Any bay around the peninsula will produce world class smallies! Just don't go there same weekend as the SBOBT out of little Sturgeon bay, or a little closer to the flatlands, the Madison chain is fantastic lately Monona/Mendota, great food and entertainment to boot!

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18 hours ago, umckibben said:

Lake Owen, up near Hayward? If your driving that far from Illinois for a fishing trip go to Door Co! Late May, smallmouth heaven! Any bay around the peninsula will produce world class smallies! Just don't go there same weekend as the SBOBT out of little Sturgeon bay, or a little closer to the flatlands, the Madison chain is fantastic lately Monona/Mendota, great food and entertainment to boot!

I would really love to but I would have to pay a guide to take me out.  Two reasons; I've never fished like that before and, more importantly, I've only had my Ranger RT188 for two years and there's no way I'd take it out on water like that even if the forecast was perfect.  I just don't have the experience/confidence.  I may look up some guides up there though.  That would be a bucket list trip.  

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