By Bill Schultz
With more than 300 miles of shoreline and unmatched beauty on both the Green Bay and Lake Michigan sides of Door County, what a wonderful location for recreational kayaking and kayak fishing. If you’ve never paddled the crystal-clear waters and seen the bluffs, beaches, lighthouses, villages and an amazing bird population, you’re in for a treat.
For all kayakers, there are dozens of great launches up and down both sides of the peninsula that will get you out to all the best spots, although, there isn’t a bad place to kayak in Door County. One thing that I must stress with some recent kayak accidents is safety. It may be a nice warm day, but, at this time of year water temps on the lake side will be in the upper 40-degree range and in the 50-degree range on Green Bay. Be sure to wear your PFD, be aware of the weather conditions, go with someone if possible, and try to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Staying closer to shore and making sure you have your cell phone and it’s protected in a waterproof bag or container is important. If you are new to kayaking, there are several good outfitters in the county who will be happy to introduce you to the sport.
To all you kayak anglers, this is the best time of the year to catch and release those big Door County Smallmouth Bass. In May and June, you will find many nice smallies close to shore in two to eight feet of water. The Green Bay side tends to be better, with more fish, but, there are smallies up and down the lake side also. A great presentation this time of year is the Kalin’s Lunker Grub. These and the Gopher Tackle Big Johns jigs I use can be found at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay. My favorite are the 4” and 5” Smoke Salt and Pepper. Threaded on the Gopher Tackle jig, you cast as far as you can and retrieve slow and steady. Give it a try, you’ll may be surprised.
Over the next few months, I will be touching on a variety of kayak and kayak fishing themes, including, picking the right kayak and paddles, rigging your kayak, some favorite locations to kayak and fish, best launches and more.
As always, if you have questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pro Staffs: Jackson Kayak, Bending Branches/Aqua-Bound Paddles, Orion Coolers, St. Croix Rods, Kalin’s and Malone Auto Racks.