We’ve had an amazing 4th of July weekend with some really great people and some truly special fish. For the first time this season, I’m able to report on all three regions that we cover at once. With summer patterns starting to set up we’re definitely seeing some transitioning, especially with smallmouth. Thursday was spent on Chequamegon Bay chasing smallies with Chris and Katy Barnett from Arlington Heights, IL. After a bit of a slow start, we located a lot of fish in 5′ – 6′ of water and had steady action throughout the day using plastic worms with a variety of presentations including drop shotting and wacky rigging. As the day progressed, the fish continued to get more aggressive, and we ended on an awesome double right at the buzzer. Our largest fish on the day was 20″ with lots of 18″ and 19″ fish to go along with it. What a great way to end an enjoyable day with really nice folks. Water temps ranged from 68 – 72 degrees, and there were still plenty of fish shallow although I’m sure the summer migration to deeper haunts is not far behind. Thanks to Chris and Katy for a really fun day. You guys are awesome!!!
We celebrated Independence Day in the Duluth/Superior Harbor on the St. Louis River fishing walleyes with Michel Cramer Bornemann and his 14 yr. old son Nico from St. Paul, MN. After the start we had, it was going to be hard to improve. Right off the bat, Michel landed an incredible 31″ walleye that is his personal best as well as the largest walleye ever landed in my boat. Careful measurements were made for a replica mount and she was released back to the big lake. How would we ever top that?!!! Well, we ended up putting together one heck of a day. We had to really work for every fish we caught, but persistence payed off with both Bornemann’s landing their best walleyes ever including Nico’s 27″ at the end of the day just as his father was asking if we ever get one on the last cast… Unreal! After some photos and releasing Nico’s fish, we all agreed that was icing on the cake. All of our fish were caught on crankbaits trolled in 5′ – 7′ of water. Water temps ranged from 68 to 71 degrees on the day. We’re definitely not having the big numbers days in the harbor that were common last year at this time, but the quality of the fish we’re catching is as good if not better. High winds and unstable weather continue to present turbid conditions which probably plays a roll in finding bunches of feeding fish, but covering lots of water and continually tweaking presentations definitely pays off. Congratulations to Michel and Nico on their personal bests, and thank you for a day I won’t ever forget!
Joe Lloyd and his wife Sally from Downers Grove, IL were sent my way from the gang at Angler’s Haven, and we decided to spend the day chasing smallies. Little did we know that not only would they both catch their personal best smallies, but walleyes and pike to go with it. Unbelievable! Again, we had a slow start which is typical during this time of transition from post spawn to summer patterns with smallies. They tend to be scattered throughout the lake, and it can take awhile to put it all together. By the end of the day, I think we had it figured out… We caught a few nice smallies in the morning on plastic worms rigged on drop shots and wacky style working 5′ – 10′ of water including a nice double perfectly executed by Team Lloyd. In the afternoon, we decided to look a little deeper. After setting up on a deep rock pile that was holding fish. Sally’s first cast produced a 35″ pike. It was a long slender fish that cooperated just enough to let us slip the big net under it. Not long after that, Sally brought a 21″ walleye to the boat. Not exactly what I had in mind, but we’ll take it! Joe wasn’t about to be undone, and a few moments later he brought in his biggest walleye ever. It was a beautiful 28″ fish that had obviously been eating well. After weeding through all of these bonus fish the smallies decided they wanted in, and we never had to leave that rock pile all afternoon. Pretty cool! We caught our afternoon fish in 16′ of water on slip bobbers rigged with minnows and leeches. We had extremely high winds throughout the day, but water temps held at 70 degrees. All of our fish were released to fight another day, and I couldn’t be more happy for two great people and the day they had on the water. Thanks to the Lloyds for letting me be a part of it!
We hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Can’t believe it’s already July…