It’s been one heck of a few days. The weather hasn’t resembled the mid August “Dog Days” we’re accustomed to. With night time temps in the 40’s and daytime temps struggling to break 70, it feels more like mid September. The fishing hasn’t suffered one bit, and we’ve had an incredible start to the week. I fished the Hayward Area on Monday with Lisa Paine and her father in law Jim Paine from Arizona. We had a half day scheduled in the morning, and the first two spots we hit only produced one small largemouth. With a start like that, I thought we might be in for “one of those days”. We moved a little deeper, and started fishing hard structure. That was the ticket. Lisa and Jim kept busy throughout the rest of the morning with steady action producing smallmouth all the way up to a 21″ giant that Jim landed. Jim’s been fishing the Hayward area for many years, and that’s the biggest smallie he’s ever seen. It was a dandy for sure! All fish were caught in 15′ to 22′ of water on slip bobbers and drop shot rigs. Lisa did a great job keeping her guide in check also as she caught me trying to release the smallest fish of the day without anyone noticing. You got me!
Tyrel Sobotta from Arcadia, WI joined me on Tuesday for a walleye/smallmouth combo. We started the day on the St. Louis River fishing walleyes. After a slow start, things got busy in a hurry. As water temps warmed from 68 to 70 degrees, the intensity of the bite progressed to the point where we rarely went 5 minutes without a fish on. Fish ranged from 14″ to a 25″ whopper that was Tyrel’s personal best. All fish were caught on crankbaits in 5′ to 8′ of water. With a limit in the livewell, we decided to turn our attention to smallies in the afternoon and headed inland. Under bluebird skies with light winds, we boated several nice fish ranging from 16″ to a 20″ stud that was another personal best for Tyler. Water temps hit 71 degrees, and all fish were caught on crawlers in 10′ of water near weed edges. With two personal bests in one day of fishing, I told Tyler that he better buy a lottery ticket on the way home!
On Wednesday, Tyler’s home town friend Nate Putz decided to join the action. He’s glad that he did! Wednesday was basically a carbon copy of Tuesday with beautiful weather and fish biting throughout the day. We went with the same game plan as the day before and hit the St. Louis River for walleyes in the morning. Although the fish we caught were a bit smaller than the day before, we had consistent action throughout the morning landing several fish between 13″ and 19″ along with a few pike and bonus 14″ crappie. Again, crankbaits in 5′ to 8′ of water produced all of our fish. With a full livewell, we pulled out at noon and tried to repeat our smallmouth performance from the day before. Much to our surprise, the hot smallmouth bite Tyrel experienced previously was replaced with an unexpected walleye frenzy. Fish ranged from 12″ to 19″ with Nate notching his personal best walleye. We also caught a few smallies in the mix with most fish on the smaller side except for a 20″ brute that Nate landed. Another personal best! All fish we caught in the afternoon came on jig and minnow combinations as well as slip bobbers with crawlers in 10′ of water near weeds. Water temps nudged 74 degrees by the end of the day. Congratulations to Tyrel and Nate for notching their personal best walleyes and smallmouth in two incredible days of fishing. Great job guys!