Why ALL The Boats?



THERE ARE MONSTER Walleyes on the Fox River. People from all over the US – in all those hundreds of boats clogging the Fox River – are angling to catch a once in a lifetime fish.

Every March and April – once all the snow and ice has melted – Walleye migrate up the Fox River to spawn in the rocks just below the dam in Downtown DePere. They travel here because this part of the Fox River has a huge area of shallow, underwater gravel beds which creates perfect walleye spawning conditions.

In Spring, these fish travel hundreds of miles from all over Lake Michigan to a six-mile stretch of the Fox stretching from De Pere to the mouth of the Fox in Green Bay. As the fish gather, fishermen from all over the United States travel to the Fox for a chance to catch a trophy = a trophy is more than 25 inches long weighing more than ten pounds; some in the Fox River are more than 30 inches; weighing more than 13 pounds: Indeed, a trophy!

Anyone Can DO It
I am by no means a fishing guide, but every year I join this Navy of boats in search of my trophy. One thing I’ve learned is that ANYBODY can do it:  Men, women and children can enjoy a beautiful day on the water and catch trophy fish.


LotsaLotsa Boats

The best part is that the techniques are very simple and even inexpensive. There are two  points where you can launch your boat, or kayak!  The Perfkoski Boat Launch on the West side of the river is located near the Brown County Fairgrounds. The Fox Point Boat Launch is just off The Fox River Trail below the dam.

Once you’re on the river, you have a couple of options:  The most popular is to head towards the dam, anchor, and wait until the night falls and begin casting Rapala Husky Jerks or Rapala Rippin Raps; a slow retrieve can land you trophy.


29 inch; 12-pound female caught and released last month

Another option is to jig down the river with a jig and either a live minnow or B Fish N AuthentX Pulse style paddle tail swim bait. Simply lifting the jig up and down of the bottom of the river can also bring you BIG luck.

No Boat/No Problem
If you don’t have a boat or kayak, no problem! The northern part of the Fox River offers numerous locations to catch fish from shore. The Fox River Trail north of the dam offers numerous locations for people to wade fish. This method requires a $50 pair of waders from any sporting goods stores. (Just be careful to walk in too deep as the current is pretty strong.) If you can’t spring the Fifty Bucks, you can fish from shore. There are numerous places such as Voyager Park or Ashwaubenon Memorial River Park that allow fishing from shore.  Joliet Park – on the Bay just north of UWGB – is a great spot for waders.

With social distancing still happening, there’s never been a better time to get out there and cast a line.  Who knows, you might even catch the biggest fish of your life.  PRO TIP: The UV Perch has been a hot color this Spring. 

Written by: Nik Sandona | 67.4|10.4

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2 Comments to “Why ALL The Boats?”

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