If you like sun, hot weather, big bass, and mosquitoes, you’ll love this report. Just like that, it’s summer… I can’t believe the pace we’re moving at in regard to water temperatures and fish activity. We had ice on the lakes three weeks ago folks! Wednesday was spent with two great guys out of Angler’s Haven. Rich Andres from Vernon Hills, IL introduced his future son in law Matt Clay from Mundelein, IL to northern Wisconsin fishing, and we had an incredibly enjoyable day. High skies and no wind after a big front had moved through the day before made for a tough start, but a little perseverance and patience paid off. The fish were in a “Not Gonna Bite” mode to start the day, but we were able to locate a few biters before lunch that gave us an optimistic outlook for the afternoon. As water temps pushed into the low 60’s and a light west wind kicked up, the fish started cranking, and we ended up with an excellent mixed bag of smallmouth up to 20″, pike up to 27″, and walleye up to 18″. Smallies were our main focus. After dialing in the size and color of our crankbaits, we had an action packed afternoon topped off by a great 19″ and 20″ double landed by Rich and Matt. Both fish couldn’t have been any fatter! The day ended perfectly with an 18″ walleye landed by Rich. All smallmouth were prespawn in and caught in 4′ – 8′ of water on crankbaits. Walleyes were in 12′ of water and we fished them with leeches and slip bobbers. Water temps ranged from 59 to 62 degrees. Way to hang with it Rich and Matt. You guys did an awesome job!
Another crew of Razorbacks showed up on Thursday as Bobby Wren from Bella Vista, AK brought along his good buddies Ed Adair and Milton Myers from Bentenville, AK to fish with Dave Brown and myself. This gang is always produces good times, good laughs, and great fish. This year was no different. We started out the day fishing crappies to get a few fillets for lunch the following day, and we found them close to shore. Slip bobbers with plastics in 2′ – 4′ of water were the ticket. After lunch was in the livewell, we turned our attention to smallmouth. Soaring water temps had pushed smallmouth shallow, and we saw a lot of fish starting to nest. They were in a bit of a funky mood, but we were able to coax quite a few good fish into biting jigs and plastics. By the end of the day fish were starting to get a little more cooperative, and we had an extremely good feeling about day #2 of the trip. All fish were caught in less than 6 ft. of water on jigs and plastics with the largest stretching the tape at 21″. Water temps ranged from 61 to 72 degrees.
As promised, day #2 turned out to be all we expected. Paul Dongieux from Oxford, MS decided to join the fun, and he was just in time to see smallmouth fishing at its best. They were snapping all day long and our totals at the end of the day were truly impressive. Bobby and Paul put on a clinic in my boat landing fish after fish up to 21.5″ on jigs and plastics in 4′ – 6′ of water. Water temps ranged from 65 to 74 degrees, and the smallmouth spawn is definitely on. We got to watch several pairs taking care of business to ensure we’ll continue to have the privilege of battling these incredible fish for years to come. If you’re going to target smallmouth at this time of year, please be careful with them folks. Use good equipment to land them quickly, land them with rubber nets only, and get them back in the water as soon as possible. These fish are one of our greatest resources, and we need to take care of them. Thanks for the show Bobby and Paul. You guys were awesome!
Once again, Damon Schroeder, Archie Anderson, and the gang at Hayward Power Sports deserve a big pat on the back (or hug) for getting me out of another jam and keeping us on the water. Plain and simple… You guys are the best. Thank You!!! As for the mosquitoes… Bring em on. I love this weather!!!