What a weekend!!! Josh Stanek from Grand Rapids, MN returned with his father Rob from the Twin Cities on Saturday for a little redemption on Chequamegon Bay, but Mother Nature had other ideas. A nasty system blew in with NE winds, rain, and plummeting air temperatures. Inland was our best bet, and it proved to be a good decision. The father and son team hammered the smallmouth throughout the day on hair jigs in 4′ to 6′ of water. Josh makes these jigs himself, and it was a treat to watch the Staneks land fish after fish on a lure made by the guys fishing it. They even landed a pike and a 17″ walleye with this presentation. I’m sold! Water temps held at 67 degrees on a cold, wet, and all around nasty day. Our biggest fish was 20″ with lots in the 19″ range. There were still a lot of fish on nests, but we also saw plenty cruising the breaks which tells me that the spawn is winding down. Hard to believe how fast it’s come and gone. Although Josh’s first choice was to fish the bay, I think our trip proved that it’s always good to have a plan B. One thing’s for sure, those fish in Chequamegon better be worried next time the Staneks arrive! Best wishes to Josh and his wife Brenna on the new arrival they’re expecting very soon, and thanks Brenna for cutting the boys loose for a day!
Sunday brought a complete change in circumstances. Sunny skies and fair winds welcomed Don Fenske from Porter, IN and his son Dan Fenske along with grandson Jacob from DeWitt, IA to Chequamegon Bay. The Fenske gang put together one heck of a day with smallmouth up to 21″ caught in 4′ – 7′ of water on flukes and plastic worms. All of the fish we caught were post spawn and holding tight to weedbeds off the banks. It’s obvious that the bay is in transition like the inland lakes with many fish probably still spawning but lots of fish moving off the nests as well. One of the fun parts of targeting post spawn bass is that you’ll also bump into a few other species along the way. Don landed a dandy 20″ walleye, and Dan put a 38″ pike in the boat to put a stamp on one heck of a trip. What a pleasure it was to watch three generations of Fenskes share the day together, and I was honored to be a part of it. Thanks for a great time guys!
We had a last minute change of plans on Monday, and I’m better off for it. Our good friend and guiding partner Terry Peterson joined me for an afternoon of much needed fishing, laughing, and more laughing on an inland lake. We both agreed that guiding is fun, but catching is even better. With Terry in the boat, those fish didn’t stand a chance! We caught smallmouth throughout the afternoon up to 19″ on Josh Stanek’s hair jigs in 4′ to 11′ with water temps holding steady at 66 degrees. The weather was great, the fishing was great, and the company couldn’t have been any better. It was good to have you back in the boat my old friend! By the way Josh… I’m going to need those custom jigs sooner than later. We’re on to something here!!!
O.K. musky nuts. Here’s a little eye candy for you. Guiding partner Dave Brown sent me this picture of a nice 47″ fish caught on a Candy Corn Cowgirl at moonrise by Tom Wachowiacz. Bad news muskies… Dave is back in town! Nice job Tom. That’s a great fish!!!
Have a great week everyone!