With excitement building for the Wisconsin Fishing opener on Saturday and some incredible weather to go along with it, we were able to take advantage of some early season fishing opportunities this week. Heck, we even got to learn a few new tricks. Josh Teigen of Josh Teigen’s Guide Service has been after me to troll for trout and salmon on Lake Superior with him. Our late ice out last year crashed that party, but we had no excuse this year. Terry Peterson joined us as well to add wisdom and integrity to the expedition, and we were blessed with perfect conditions. Usually when Josh and I get together to fish it’s all kinds of nasty out there, but we finally got it right! Josh has been on a good trolling bite this spring, and Terry and I were excited to watch him do his thing. Light winds had pushed some warm water into the shoreline we were targeting and it triggered a good bite throughout the day. We pulled small bright colored crankbaits in 8′ – 20′ of water and caught a nice variety of cohos up to 20″, browns up to 25″, and a bonus 25″ king salmon. We lost a few as well with yours truly breaking off what was probably the big fish of the day. Rookie… Finding warm water was certainly the key as the active bite occurred when we found a stained stretch of water in the low 40’s. As expected, Josh did an outstanding job of dialing everything in. The fish didn’t seem to have a preference of one color or lure as we switched out frequently and had action on just about everything we tried. It was a special day to be on the water with three generations of fishing guides. Pretty cool, and a day I won’t forget. Job well done Josh. We may have even turned Mr. Peterson into a troller!
With lots of last minute business to take care of, I wasn’t planning on getting out anymore until Saturday. Well, sunshine and 70 degrees took care of that idea. I called Terry on Tuesday evening, and we quickly had a plan to get one last early season crappie trip in. Brisk NE winds put a little bite in the air, but overall it was another beautiful day. We had to poke around for awhile before we found some nice slabs in 4′ – 6′ of water on plastics and slip bobbers. Our top end fish were around 12 1/2″. We had a good bite going until a pack of unruly pike moved in and it ended up being a hammer handle festival. Needless to say, that put an end to the crappies. It was fun while it lasted though, and we concluded that there were probably still quite a few fish that had yet to move into the shallow bays. The best is yet to come. We even had a surprise walleye show up that must have been abducted by the pike. After a quick photo it was released, but he probably won’t be so lucky if the same mistake is made on Saturday! You’ll notice a nasty puncture wound in the middle of that fish that went completely through it’s body. We couldn’t believe it was still alive. That’s one tough critter! A couple of bluegills and largemouth added to the day’s catch which ended up being a pretty impressive mixed bag. One thing is for sure, Terry and I are ready to get after it!