Swarms of Boats Out for Wisconsin Fishing Opener

Lake Nebagamon is one popular local lake.

LAKE NEBAGAMON, Wis.- The season has begun to catch Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Walleye.

At 986 acres, Lake Nebagamon is a place many anglers go to feel those fish a-bitin’.

The rumble of boat motors break the soft lapping of the water.

“I’m 54 years old, I’ve been out here for that many years,” said Brian Gilbertson.

The blue waters of Lake Nebagamon are a second home to many, once the Wisconsin Fishing Opener comes around.

“We’ve all got houses on the lake so it’s really fun,” Gilbertson said. “My brother Tom had bought that then my brother Rick built next to him, and I just built over across there.”

“So all 3 brothers are on the lake.”

Family, more than fish, often brings these anglers out.

“Builds good camaraderie, good relationship with my grandson and I,” said Paul Witt, fishing with his grandson, Nolan.

“We have a good time together.”

This year, any Largemouth Bass caught must be at least 14 inches long, and any Walleye must be at least 18 inches.

“A lot of people have been getting seventeens, sixteens, fifteens,” Gilbertson said.  “But for the most part it’s 18.5 inches is the biggest one so far that we know.”

“And it’s right in there.” He snatched the fish out of the carrier, keeping it from wriggling in his hand.

The small town of Lake Nebagamon comes alive when the fishing season opens.

“Well it helps out the local establishments: St. Patty’s Dockside, Bridges, the local establishments,” said Gilbertson. “Even on Lake Minnesuing there’s another bar and restaurant that everyone goes to.”

The people here say to start anglers off young.

“I think it builds a youth program and you get people out here bringing kids and it just turns people into more outdoor people,” Witt said.

Future fishermen are also good to have around to pass on trade secrets.

“There’s places that people know about, y’know different things around the lake, different areas…secret spots,” said Gilbertson.

And bobbing along with the rhythm of the water is an experience you have to feel to believe.

“Get them away from the ‘Youtubes’ and all the video stuff,” Witt said. Nolan smiled.

But when it comes to casting a line, even small fry know a thing or two.

“I can’t catch fish with a stick of dynamite,” said Witt. “This young man is gonna try to teach me.”

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