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Ice fishing on Green Bay - Sand Bay, Wisconsin

Polly Dean showing off a good whitefish taken through the ice.
Polly Dean showing off a good whitefish taken through the ice.
Jimmy Jacobs

Traveling north from Atlanta in the winter can provide some varied outdoor action. If you want to really experience a different kind of fishing, a trip to the Great Lake’s region can provide it.

Wackie Walleye Guiding System provides transportation to their ice shanties on the bay.
Jimmy Jacobs

A day of ice fishing with Wacky Walleye Guiding System out of Sand Bay, Wisconsin was an eye opener. Ordinarily when heading five miles offshore you expect to be in a boat. For this venture it was aboard an ATV crossing 30-inch thick ice!

Captain Dale Stroschein is the owner of the Wacky Walleye and knows this fishing well. He was recently inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, so his credentials are solid.

A day of fishing begins with the drive out onto Green Bay, which branches off the west side of Lake Michigan. Along the way you are likely to pass pick-up trucks going and coming to the ice fishing shanties that dot the bay.

The fishing begins in the early winter and runs through late March most years. The portable shanties are towed out on the ice and once placed, have holes drilled beneath them. They have benches along the edge and a heater hanging on the wall. Despite frigid temperatures the angling is fairly comfortable.

The main species of fish targeted are walleyes and whitefish. Though the wallies may or may not show up, the whitefish are quite dependable targets. And, they are delicious on the dinner table.

These are lake whitefish, not to be confused with the mountain whitefish that are related to trout and found in western mountain streams. The Green Bay fish run in the 16- to 20-inch length range.

Anglers use rods and reels specifically designed for ice fishing. The rods are only about 2 feet long. The lure used on Wacky Walleye trips is the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap 05 in the 2-inch size.

The lure is lower down through the ice hole to the bottom and jigged up and down until the angler feels a tug on the line. An energetic yank is need to then set the hook.

Fishermen looking for a different kind of winter angling venture should consider an ice-fishing trip to northeast Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. A day or two in an ice shanty on Green Bay with Wacky Walleye Guiding System is definitely a change of pace.