Father and son team Erik and Carl Halverson from Tomahawk, WI returned on Wednesday for walleye and smallmouth fishing in the Hayward area. We had a great trip last year, and Carl was hoping to get back the top fisherman title that Erik stole from him last year. What kind of son is that??? With storms predicted to move in during the afternoon, we were hopeful for a feeding frenzy. We ended up with a nice mixed bag day of walleyes up to 15″, smallmouth up to 19″, largemouth up to 18″, and pike up to 30″. We had to work at it however as fish were pretty scattered along weed edges in 12′ – 18′ of water and deep rocks in 18′ – 24′ of water. Water temps held at 70 degrees, and we used jigs and minnows as well as slip bobbers and minnows to catch our fish. We covered a lot of territory, and ended up with quite a few fish in the boat by the end of the day as the storms moved in. Carl and I teamed up in the back of the boat to make it a close race, but Erik is still claiming the title. That ruling is currently under review, and I’ll get back to you with my final judgement! Thanks for another great trip and all of the great laughs guys, and thanks to Erik’s wife Jessie for purchasing the trip for them. Now that’s something!!!
As I left the bait shop in Hayward on Thursday morning, a major storm moved through the area with strong winds, hail, lightning, etc. It was a nasty one, and it sounded like someone was beating my truck with a baseball bat as I drove to Angler’s Haven. Due to the conditions, my trip with Pat Fair from Riceville, IA and Jason Dodd from Manly, IA was pushed back a few hours before it was safe to get on the water. When we were finally able to launch, extremely strong winds up to 30 mph and rain showers made for some tough sledding that limited our options on where we could fish. Pat and Jason are great guys however and we made the best of it. The school of walleyes I had previously been on completely shut down, but were were able to catch plenty of pike up to 27″ and largemouth up to 18″. We tried to get at a couple of smallie spots, but the wind made it simply impossible. The guys handled the unfortunate conditions well, and we had a great time in spite of the bad hand from Mother Nature. They were also excellent students and did a nice job learning how to fish crawler harnesses along with jigs and minnows. By the end of the day, they were a well oiled machine! Water temps ranged from 68 – 70 degrees, and all of our fish were caught along deep weeds in 15′ – 18′ of water. Thanks for the good time boys, and good luck to everyone in Hayward cleaning up from that storm. What a day!!!
I was back at Angler’s Haven on Friday to fish with Kent Stevenson and Bob Bice from Mason City, IA. Although the storms from the previous day had moved through, were were faced with stiff north winds and a 25 degree temperature drop. We started our day targeting walleyes but quickly came to the conclusion that the bite was going to be extremely tough after catching only a few small pike and largemouth in the first couple of hours. It was time to switch gears and locate some smallies. We were able to find quite a few nice fish throughout the day including a 20″ dandy landed by Bob, but the fish were extremely scattered as we caught them in anywhere from 6′ – 24′ of water on jigs and minnows. Water temperatures held at 68 degrees throughout the day. Extreme weather changes do funny things to fish, and this trip was certainly evidence of that. Bob, “The Silent Assasin”, and Kent were great company and did a very good job rolling with the punches as we moved from spot to spot. They were rewarded with some nice fish for their efforts. Nice guys with nice fish… That’s how it should be! Safe travels back to Iowa men. I’m looking forward to next year!
Larry Dittner from Micana, WI hopped in the boat with me on Saturday morning for a half day trip that his wife Denise bought for him. What a great idea girls!!! Larry is a good fisherman who obviously knows how to catch smallmouth bass as he began working them over right from the start. We had steady action with fish up to 19.5″ on minnows in 12′ – 15′ of water that included a fun double that I even got to participate in. Hey… I couldn’t just let that fish get away! The winds calmed down after a rough ride out in the morning, and the weather was absolutely fabulous with high skies, warm temps, and light west winds. What a great day to be on the bay! The fall transition is definitely upon us. With cool nights in the forecast, I’d expect water temps to begin slowly dropping. We should see fishing continue to get better as September progresses. Thanks to Larry for an extremely enjoyable trip in all respects. It was a pleasure!!!