It’s been an interesting end to the week. No doubt about it, fall is here!
On Wednesday, I fished with Don Zack from Chicago, IL out of Angler’s Haven. We set out in the morning to catch walleyes, and it proved to be a tough task. Flat water and sunny skies had them in a funky mood. We had over 10 pick ups and drops in the morning as we worked 15′ weed edges with jigs and minnows. Only a few pike were boated before lunch. In the afternoon, we changed our game plan. Smallies were first on the agenda, and we boated some nice fish up to 19″ in 9′ of water on mid lake rocks. After stretching the line a little, we turned our attention back to walleyes. Much to our dismay, they had completely shut down. We finished with a few more pike, largemouth, and a fun battle with a young musky that acted twice his age. It was Don’s first musky, and he didn’t have to make 10,000 casts! We caught everything that swims other than a walleye. Go figure??? Water temps continued to hold at 63 degrees, but we were in for a big weather change in a hurry…
What do fishing guides do on their time off? Fish, of course!!! That’s exactly what Josh Teigen and I did on Thursday as we tried to take advantage of some free time to do some recon. on local lakes. Our first mission was to locate some willing smallmouth. Well, that lake was quickly crossed off our list of opportunities as we were only able to boat some pike and a small walleye. After concluding that we were spinning our wheels, we switched gears and finished the day fishing muskies on a nearby lake as rain and NE winds set in making for a wet afternoon. One musky was seen with no takers. Water temps on both lakes we fished were 61 degrees. Now some may look at this as an unproductive day, but for two guides it was just the opposite. We had an enjoyable time on the water while exploring strategies outside of our normal routine. That’s how you learn!
Kevin Toft from Rochester, MN and his good buddy Matt Hendricks from Marshall, WI wanted to fish Chequamegon Bay on Friday. With 20 – 30 mph NE winds forecasted, we had to adjust. As you can see, they made the most of it! We moved to an inland lake, and absolutely pounded the fish throughout the day. Overcast skies, NE winds, and periodic rain didn’t slow the bite at all. Smallies up to 19″ and largemouth up to 16″ ate all day along with a few bonus pike and a walleye. The boys put on a clinic! We fished jigs and minnows along with slip bobbers in 15′ to 22′ of water throughout the day as water temps dropped to 61 degrees. Kevin had the opportunity to tangle with a musky for quite some time when it grabbed a jig and minnow. After an interesting battle, the inevitable happened as the fish sliced through the 8 lb. fluorocarbon attached to the jig. I know one thing for sure, the size of that fish will grow by the day!
Mike and Lucas Masterson from Iron River, WI chose to fish crappies on Saturday, and it proved to be a good choice. We caught fish throughout a dark and rainy day with 60 degree water temps and E winds. Slip bobbers and plastics in 12′ – 18′ of water produced fish, and the bite continued to be very subtle. Mike and Lucas did a great job of identifying and connecting as we caught fish up to 11″ at a consistent rate throughout the day. Most impressive was the fact that Lucas had played a football game the night before as an Offensive Lineman for Northwestern High School and had no problem hopping in the boat and performing like a pro after an early rise. Despite the weather, it was a great day of catching fish with a few fillets for the pan as a reward. Good fishing and good company with good friends. Who needs good weather???