Fish cribs placed on area lakes - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Fish cribs placed on area lakes

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Menomonie (WQOW) - They may look like "Lincoln Logs" or piles of brush scattered randomly on some local lakes, but fish cribs are made to improve your fishing results.

"We put out between 10 and 15 every year," says Chairman of Fish Cribs for the Dunn County Fish and Game Club David Pechmiller.

They may look like stacked bonfire wood, but for some building these log fish cribs is an annual tradition.

"It's quite a procedure.  We have to cut the logs first and then we gotta go drill the holes.  Then we gotta bring them out here and put them up," says Pechmiller.

All this hard work finally pays off when you drop a line in the lake.

"With Lake Menomin being as flat as it is and no natural structure, the fish cribs really help," says Fisherman Derek Luther.

The cribs are cozy and I can see why the fish like them so much.  But there's a little more to these cribs than just the creature comforts.

"The small fish, whether it's a small Bluegill or Crappie or Walleye or Bass, they need some place to live and be protected from predators.  The cribs offer that protection," says DNR District Fisheries Supervisor Bob Hujik.

Where bait fish linger, big feeders can be found nearby.

"You want to get right up by a crib and kind of fish the outsides of it," says Luther.

But finding the cribs after they sink in the spring can be tricky.

"Some of the clubs will provide GPS coordinates to anybody who asks.  Other smaller clubs on smaller lakes, they put them in and you have to find them on your own," says Hujik.

That is, if they sink.

"One year we didn't have enough weight in them and they went down by the dam, I guess three of them did.  So that was quite a procedure getting them back out," says Pechmiller.

For the cribs that do settle into place, it certainly increases your odds of reeling in a bite.

"I don't think there's a guaranteed way of getting fish, but it's a great bonus that's for sure," says Pechmiller.

Most cribs are built and sunk by fish and game clubs and require permits from the DNR.

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