Posted 2/2/22

AN OUTDOORSMAN’S BY MARK WALTERS PROUDLY SPONSORED BY STANLEY TIRE Climate Change on the Petenwell Flowage Hello friends, Ever since 1989 I have been doing a weekly outdoor adventure and writing …

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Climate Change on the Petenwell Flowage

Hello friends,

Ever since 1989 I have been doing a weekly outdoor adventure and writing about it. Generally I camp, and my travels take part all over Wisconsin, sometimes the UP and often much further.

My home is located 1.5 miles from the Petenwell Flowage which is Wisconsin’s second largest lake.

I have not ice fished or winter camped on the Petenwell in over ten years and this week I did during a very cold spell, and I really enjoyed myself on a body of water that has been putting out some excellent walleye fishing this winter.

Monday, January 24th High 14, low minus 10

My life has been having some really positive twists lately, so I was not going to let a forecast of minus 22 without the windchill bother me. This trip would be cool from the get go, first reason, I only had to drive 7-miles to where I drove on the ice. As the crow flies my house was maybe 5-miles away.

Michelle Chiaro would accompany me at first and later in the trip. Today she had another reality check into my way of life. It was cold and it was windy and once before dark and twice af- ter dark Michelle had flags go up on her tip ups. Especially after dark she got beat up bad but in each case after a very long fight, she landed a catfish in the six-pound range.

I watched this gal almost literally freeze her fingers off and I coached her through each fight. In our minds until the fish was seen we were hoping it’s a walleye.

The last cat was caught about 8:00 pm, her tip up was spooled and the fight lasted a very long time. After the catfish was caught, she was declared the Catfish Queen and I had the biggest mess of frozen 50-pound Power Pro line that I have ever tried to re-spool laying on the ice and very frozen.

I spent 15 minutes outside working on it and felt like my fingers could fall off. I brought it in the shack, stubbornly worked on it for a half hour and got it. I also caught two keeper walleye and shortly after that watched a very nervous woman from Arkansas drive her car off the lake to shore in the dark.

Tuesday, January 25th High 8, low minus 16 I love this weather; I hope we make 30-inches of good ice this winter and that people can snowmobile and ski as much as they desire. Come spring, let our lakes and wetlands get replenished and our crops grow healthy. Last night I could see by their tracks that a pair of coyotes came within 10-feet of my shack. Coyotes work the ice in the winter and go to each frozen over hole looking for minnows that fishermen discarded. If you want the yotes to get the minnow and not the crows kick a little snow on them.

The following is a method that helps me catch fish with a tip up. For walleye, I use a #14 treble hook and on one hook I put a medium shiner on another going the opposite direction, I put a rosey which I believe is an orange fathead. This twosome swims erratically and I believe the orange of the rosey and the flash of the shiner can be pretty effective.

Here is a couple of tips that I encourage fishermen and women to do. When you catch a fish that you are going to release, please do not let it's eye's freeze, think about that fish's miserable existence because it has been blinded. Here is another really important piece of information. You catch a slobasauras, maybe a northern pike, walleye, or a bass. Your intention is to release it after a photo. Much research has been done that shows a fish that has been held vertically instead of horizontally for a picture is going to die. Their internal organs cannot take being held that way when out of the water.

Just before this trip my daughter Selina who is a junior at UWSP double majoring in water sciences and fisheries informed me that she has taken a very cool internship near Eureka, Montana this summer.

This info triggered this thought from me, I need to go visit Selina and I need to apply for a big game elk/deer license for this fall and do some scouting when I go visit her. Soon I will find out if I was successful in being awarded a bear tag for this fall, I think I will and that means a summer of baiting.

I used to hunt elk until I became a single parent. I want to go by myself and can’t get it off my mind.

Love the ice, love the outdoors!

The Catfish Queen Michelle Chiaro in all her glory!