We’ve been getting around this week… Some old friends were back in the boat on Thursday. Cindy Franchek from Dallas, TX mastered the crappies back in June after landing a 15″ whopper that stands as the largest crappie in my boat. This time she brought along her husband Richard and son Jacob who now resides in St. Louis, MS. We spent the day on the St. Louis River and the action was hot right from the start. Our first keeper was in the net before all of the rods were set, and they kept biting at a steady clip until noon. We landed several fish up to 26″ trolling crankbaits in 5′ – 7′ of water including Cindy’s fish of the day that had to be “just a bit” bigger than the others… Like she said, “Everyone in the boat will be happier if I catch the largest fish!” We all ended the day happy!!! Water temperatures ranged from 72 – 74 degrees. As hot as the morning was, the afternoon bite was exactly the opposite. Bites were hard to come by, and the fish obviously had full bellies. This kind of action has been typical as of late. There are windows throughout the day where the bite turns on, and the action is steady. When it turns off however… It’s a struggle. Thankfully, the morning had provided us with lots of fish, lots of laughs, and lots of memories. I sure am glad Cindy caught the biggest fish… Again… Thanks for another awesome day Franchecks. I’m looking forward to next year, and congratulations to Jacob an Becka on their pending arrival!!!
Greg Engelhart and his son Joe from Siren, WI joined me on Friday back on the St. Louis River. Crazy weather patterns continue to plague Superior and Duluth. NE, E, S, and SW winds swirled around us all day with temperature swings that had us adding and peeling off layers every few minutes. The slow bite from the previous afternoon continued and we had to work extremely hard to put our fish in the boat. It took all day, but the Engelharts caught their limit of keepers including a 25″ beauty Greg landed late in the afternoon that was released to fight another day. No consistent pattern set up, and we kept changing speeds, colors, depths, until we’d get a strike. All of our fish were caught trolling crankbaits in 5′ – 7′ of water, and water temperatures ranged from 69 – 71 degrees. I was proud of the guys for keeping the faith, sticking with the program, and getting rewarded with some very nice fish. It doesn’t always come easy, especially at this time of year. If you know you’re on fish, stick with it until you’re able to connect. Sometimes, it pays to be stubborn… Congratulations on some great fish Greg and Joe. You guys did an outstanding job, and I enjoyed every minute of it!!!
The 54″ sturgeon that Nick Gove from Minneapolis, MN battled a few weeks ago obviously didn’t wear him out, and he came back for more on Chequamegon Bay this week. He brought along good pals Tony Trulen from Plymouth, MN and Mike Arons from Minneapolis, MN, and boy we put a beating on the smallies. It was smoking hot from the start as the men were tangling with fish after fish in 1o’ – 18′ using minnows while drifting breaklines in a stiff wind. The fish were super aggressive and every drift we made seemed to produce multiple opportunities that included a perfectly executed double by Nick and Mike. Tony even added a thick pike for good measure. Our fished ranged from 18″ – 21″ with lots of tanks landed on the day. Eventually the fun had to end as the wind laid down in the afternoon, and the bite slowed considerably. After the whooping these guys had put on them, I guess the fish deserved a break! Water temperatures ranged from 68 – 74 degrees on a perfect day to be on the bay. Thanks for the great day gentlemen. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
Dave Rollins from Woodbury, MN reserved a half day with us on Sunday to learn some new spots to fish, and he brought along his boys Josh and Ben. Ben is a senior at the University of Wisconsin, and Josh is a Junior at the University of Iowa. These are both great kids, but what am I supposed to do??? Of course, the Badger is going to catch the biggest fish… We were extremely fortunate to dodge numerous rain systems that swirled around us throughout the day as we hopped from spot to spot learning the lake and catching a fish at every location. Not a bad average! They weren’t overly aggressive by any means, but we ended up putting some very impressive bass in the boat including smallies up to 20″ and largemough up to 18″. Our fish were caught in 15′ – 20′ of water using slip bobbers with minnows, leeches, and crawlers along with jigs and minnows. Water temperatures held steady at 74 degrees. The Rollins boys were great company, and it was a pleasure to have the Big 10 well represented in my boat. Sorry Josh… A transfer to UW may get you the largest fish next time!!! Good luck to the Hawkeyes, and Go Badgers!!!