St. Louis River, Chequamegon Bay, & Hayward, Wisconsin Fishing Report 7-23-14
Ray Barrera from Frankfort, IL presented me with an interesting opportunity last January. He wanted to schedule a fishing trip for his 12 year old son Nolan who’s nuts about fishing but had never been to northern WI. He also wanted to bring along his father Reuben from Oak Forest, IL to make it a three generation trip. In three days, we were able to cover just about everything northwest Wisconsin has to offer including some great fish. We started out on Monday fishing the St. Louis River for walleyes. Extreme heat was in the forecast, and we get every bit of it with blistering temps in the low 90’s. Not exactly what we’re use to up here… The day started slow with only a few fish caught in the morning. As winds picked up in the afternoon, we were able to put a well earned limit in the boat as well as quite a few that we released. Nolan caught his personal best walleye, a fat 25″ fish and also tangled with what would have been his best pike. Unfortunately the pike had other ideas, but we had the last laugh as we headed in with our limit of fish and some great memories. All of our fish were caught on crankbaits in 5′ – 8′ of water, and water temps ranged from 70 – 75 degrees on the hottest day we’ve had up here in awhile. Hey, I’m not complaining…
Tuesday found us in Hayward with a complete change in weather conditions. Storms had rolled through overnight, and we dealt with stiff northwest winds and cool temperatures all day. The fish weren’t jumping in the boat by any means, but we were able to put one heck of an impressive day together that included Nolan landing his personal best Smallmouth and Largemouth. Walleyes up to 17″, smallmouth up to 18″, largemouth up to 20″, pike and panfish all ended up in our boat as we worked deep weeds and rocks in 15′ – 24′ of water. All of our fish were caught on jigs as well as slip bobbers tipped with leeches, crawlers, or minnows. Water temps ranged from 72 – 74 degrees on a classic “post front” day that meant lots of moves to find biting fish. The Barrera’s all did an outstanding job of hanging with it, and they earned every fish they caught. After a rewarding day on the water the boys were off to Angler’s Haven for pizza. The reviews were as expected… Excellent!!!
With the St. Louis River and Hayward under their belt, the Barrera’s thought they would give Chequamegon Bay a try on Wednesday. The nasty weather system we’d been dealing with the day before had moved on, and we had calm seas with high skies to give the boys one heck of a send off from their northern Wisconsin adventure. We struggled to put together a pattern in the morning and ended up moving around more than I expected to put a few fish in the boat. Luckily, we were able to get into a few bruisers before our shore lunch made from the walleyes we had caught on the St. Louis River on Monday. With full bellies and a thumbs up from Reuben on the shore lunch, we headed back out to our first location from the morning. Action continued to be slow with only one fish landed and one lost so it was time for a drastic move. Thankfully, it payed off… We ended up our day and the trip with a bang! Our last hour was spent catching several fish up to 20.5″ that included Nolan’s personal best which he beat from the day before. My favorite part of the day was when Nolan commented to me with 15 minutes left, ” I only want to catch one more”. Well… He caught two more!!! Since we covered a wide range, water temps varied from 63 – 75 degrees. Our fish were caught on plastic worms and minnows ranging from 6′ – 16′ of water. It’s that time of year folks… You’ve got to be willing to adjust. Thanks to Ray, Nolan, and Reuben for an outstanding 3 days, and congratulations to Nolan for accomplishing 3 personal best fish in 3 days on 3 different bodies of water with 3 generations. Keep your eye on that curve ball my friend!!!
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When my son told me that he wanted to go fishing on a big lake vs a pond/lake by our house, I decided to look into using a guide. So I googled fishiing guides in Wisconsin and I clicked on a few sites, but when I came upon Jeff site, I began to read about him and his long standing customers. Now I understand why everyone comes back. Jeff is so organized ((O-SEA-D), very informative, good cook, respectuful and most of all made 3 days the best experience for my son. Even though my son wanted to weigh and measure every fish, after Jeff told him what it would be. How someone can guess the lenght and weight is amazing. Jeff is truely a remarkable guide and everyone should experience what he has to offer. Jeff thank you for the great times and laughs. Oh and Angler Haven has the best Pizza. Thanks for the tip.. See you next year…