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BOWMAN: Movement key in post-frontal conditions



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Updated: June 30, 2013 6:42AM

FREMONT, Wis. — Post-frontal fishing is anything but a snap. But every fisherman deals with it, especially in our crammed modern lives.

On my way back from Green Bay on Thursday, I swung by Fremont to fish with guide Bill Stoeger, who was willing to share post-frontal suggestions. Sure, it was easier in early May, when anything would catch a white bass shallow on the Wolf River.

‘‘You’ve got to be constantly moving,’’ Stoeger said. ‘‘Even with a minnow, you’ve got to keep it moving.’’

He prefers flies on a river rig, a 1-ounce sinker on a dropper below a 5- to 6-foot leader of 6-pound monofilament on 10-pound braided line.

‘‘You want to be able to feel the bite,’’ he said. ‘‘Oh, you need braided line. If you feel the sinker hit the bottom and feel a bump, set the hook.’’

He retrieves with a quick snap to lift the weight, then he keeps the line taut as the sinker goes down.

He made it look easy. We launched from Red Banks Resort and first tried downriver. On his first cast, he landed one. I, on the other hand, missed my first six ticks on the line.

Even with Stoeger’s experience, it was tough in the post-frontal conditions (a freeze warning was up for that night).

‘‘Not sure where the females went because they are not spawned out yet,’’ Stoeger said.

The females disappeared last week with the arrival of the cold, but the smaller males (tastier) will stick around until the water warms into the 70s, Stoeger said.

Despite all that, there were dozens of boats. We did best by the mouth of Lake Partridge, just downstream of the rock wall. We caught about 16 in two hours, proving white bass could be caught even in post-frontal conditions.

‘‘A lot of people think when the white bass are over, that is it,’’ Stoeger said. ‘‘There are a lot of fish here. There is a still a good school of walleye in the river.’’

I suggested trying for walleye, and Stoeger took us upstream. For walleye, he drifts with an eighth-ounce jig with half a crawler on braided line to feel the hits and the bottom.

Amid the squawking sandhill cranes, we couldn’t pick up a walleye despite several drifts.

It was time.

After Stoeger quickly turned white bass into fillets, we pigged out on slabs of homemade lasagna at Red Banks. It was fuel for the drive home late into the night.

For Stoeger, call (920) 570-1187.

Places and faces

James Chiappetta, a police officer from North Riverside, and brother Fred repeated as champions at the Cops and Bobbers tournament, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 in Chicago. They weighed six bass at 16.27 pounds last week. They also won in 2011 (five bass, 7.54 pounds). The event wasn’t held last year because of the G8 Summit.

Stray cast

Donald Trump, ‘‘greasy goal’’ and bighead carp jell.

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