It’s going to be hard to put this week into words… I think the pictures will speak for themselves, but I do know that it’s been a memorable few days. Dave Schroedel from Madison, WI and his son in law Randy Hampton from Verona, WI purchased a day on the water with us at the Pay It Forward fundraiser held at Angler’s Haven last winter. Well, their donation to a great cause was rewarded with some lifetime fish on Monday. Walleyes, muskies, and smallmouth were all on their wishlist, and we were able to pull it off. Our catch included walleyes up to 28″, smallmouth up to 18″, and a beast 42″ tiger musky. The 28″ x 16″ walleye and 42″ x 18″ musky landed by Dave were his personal bests for each species, and I have a feeling the taxidermist will be getting a call for some replicas! If it wasn’t for an unfortunate line tangle, Dave could have had 2 muskies!!! Our walleyes and smallmouth were caught on minnows with jigs and slip bobbers in 15′ – 30′ of water. The musky was caught on a sucker in 20′ of water. Water temperatures held steady at 49 degrees as we dealt with stiff north winds throughout the day. Dave and Randy did an outstanding job, and I couldn’t be happier about the day they had. Congratulations fellas, and thanks for your donation!
Don Zack from Chicago, IL returned to Angler’s Haven and back in my boat for a walleye trip on Tuesday, however he didn’t expect what the day would bring him. Either did I!!! Don was treated to one of those days we all dream about and hope we can have. Big walleyes were on the feed, and Don landed a bunch including 7 over 25″ that were all released. The largest was a beautiful 26 1/2″ fish that was his personal best. As if it couldn’t get any better, Don also landed his largest musky to date, a very nice 43″ fish that gave him all he could handle before landing in our net. Throw in a 19″ smallmouth to top it off, and this was a day for the books!!! Our walleyes were caught on minnows with jigs and slip bobbers in 25′ – 30′ of water. The smallmouth was caught in 15′ of water on a jig an minnow, and the musky was caught on a sucker in 25′ of water. Water temperatures continued to hold at 49 degrees, and I’m fairly certain that turnover has occurred. NE winds continued to pound us throughout the day. Don has put his time in on the water over the years, and he certainly earned a day like this. Nice work my friend. I can’t wait to do it again!!!
It’s been way too long since I’ve seen my buddy Scott Roppe from Birchwood, WI, and he was finally back in my boat on Wednesday. After the previous day with Don, I had to go back to the same pattern. The results were equally impressive. Smaller wallyes were active, and we caught several fish up to 18″ as well as a fat 24″ fish that couldn’t have been more plump. We also landed a nice 38″ musky in the morning, but the fish of the day came in the afternoon. Scott set the hook on what we thought was a walleye, but this was no walleye!!! He played it perfectly, and the end result was a 46″ x 20″ musky in our net. This was one of the healthiest and fattest muskies I’ve seen in awhile, and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Scott has caught a lot of muskies with me over the years, but this one definitely tops them all. Better yet, it was landed on spinning gear with 8 lb. test. Water temperatures continued to hold at 49 degrees, and the weather was actually a pleasant change from the previous beatings from north winds. By the end of the day, we were actually peeling off layers in between high fives and hand shakes!!! Our walleyes were caught on minnows with jigs and slip bobbers in 25′ – 30′ of water, and our first musky was caught on a sucker in 25′ of water. The 46″ musky was caught on a walleye sucker and jig in 30′ of water. Congratulations to Scott on an amazing day. You deserved it!!!
Since I was playing with house money, I had to return to the same pattern. Dan and Craig Toycen from Chippewa Falls, WI returned for their second trip of the year, and we had outstanding weather for a really enjoyable day with warm temps, sunny skies, and light winds. With Old Man Winter looming in the horizon, we’ll take every one of these days we can get!!! The steady bite we had been experiencing earlier in the week had slowed, but we were able to put several nice walleyes in the boat including a 26″ fish landed by Craig that was his personal best. A 32″ pike landed by Dan and some nice eater sized fish kept us busy in the morning, but the real excitement came in the afternoon. Dan loaded up on what we thought was a walleye, but it was soon evident we were tangling with a musky. A tangled net and a broken line ended the musky mojo we had going as that fish decided he wasn’t ready for the camera. Soooo close… Dan and Craig have worked hard to get that fish, and it was a stinging reminder why catching a musky is so great. They never come easy!!! Our walleyes and pike were caught in 15′ – 30′ of water on minnows with jigs and slip bobbers. Water temps warmed to 50 degrees on an absolutely stellar fall day. Thanks to the Toycens for another great time, and those muskies better be worried when we return. The quest continues!!!