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Sturgeon Spearing Day 8, Feb. 19 2011

February 20, 2011
The view from Firelane 8 looking east

The view from Firelane 8 looking east

Today was day 8 of the 2011 sturgeon spearing season and as most of you have already heard, it was a rough day out on the ice.  I couldn’t make it out to Lake Winnebago until 11:00 am when things had calmed down, but I could tell the mood was different on the lake.  I met my dad at Firelane 8 where he had witnessed the incidents take place earlier that morning and he decided he wasn’t going to risk anything.  He was kindly lent a four wheeler from a neighbor and he and a few others quickly got their shacks off the ice.  I talked to the DNR guys at the Waverly Beach registration station and they said that the DNR flew over the lake and saw a lot of weak spots and open water from above–both are difficult to see while on the ice itself.  There were reports of at least 8 vehicles that had broken through the ice around the lake before 1:00 pm.  They agreed that the smartest thing to do is get your shack off the ice and stay off as it is extremely unpredictable out there.  Please be safe everyone and again, keep the victim’s family and friends in your prayers.

On a lighter note, I got a chance to see 2 large sturgeon registered at Waverly that came within .4 lbs. of each other.  The first was a 158.9 lb., 77″ F2 sturgeon speared by Hunter Wolf.  He speared it west of Firelane 8 near the mouth of the river and said this is his second fish.  Congrats Hunter!

Sturgeon spearer Hunter Wolf and his 158.9 lb., 77" lake sturgeon

Sturgeon spearer Hunter Wolf and his 158.9 lb., 77" lake sturgeon

A crowd gathered to see Hunter Wolf's 158.9 lb. sturgeon

A crowd gathered to see Hunter Wolf's 158.9 lb. sturgeon

The second was a 158.5 lb., 81.1″ F4 sturgeon speared by Bill Buksyk.  Bill has been spearing for 62 years now and this is his largest fish out of the 28 he has speared.  He speared it west of Firelane 8 and said it took 2 to pull it out of the water.  It was just 3 years ago that Bill said he was picked on because he speared one of the smallest fish of the season at around 18 lbs.  This year his fish was almost 9 times the weight of his last sturgeon!  You can also find Bill on page 79 of People of the Sturgeon.  Congrats Bill!

Sturgeon spearer Bill Buksyk and his 158.5 lb., 81.1" F4 lake sturgeon

Sturgeon spearer Bill Buksyk and his 158.5 lb., 81.1" F4 lake sturgeon

Although I won’t be out on the ice any more this season, check back for more photos and information.

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