Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Fishing Report 5-8-15
Away we go!!! I usually hesitate to book trips during the first two weeks in May. The winters of 2013 & 2014 are good examples why. When Randy Cherington from Gilbert, AZ contacted me in February about reserving an early May trip I must have had a moment of weakness. Glad I did! Randy and his good friend Dave Tubb from Townsend, WI joined me for a two day blast that was typical for early May in many respects, crazy weather and some crazy big fish! We started out Wednesday on Chequamegon, Bay, and had to contend with periodic rain throughout the morning. It didn’t take us long to find nice smallies up to 20 1/2″, and we had consistent action throughout the day in 4′ – 6′ of water. After throwing several different styles of baits, we settled in on small crankbaits with bright colors as our best producers. Fish weren’t jumping in the boat, but they bit steady as we’d get into bunches of them with short waits in between. The fish seemed to be scattered over flats and not relating to any one thing in particular. Our plan was simply to cover water and keep casting. An added bonus included an extra long 41″ pike landed by Dave (his personal best) and a few walleyes up to 17″. Water temps were fairly consistent around 58 degrees, and the skies remained overcast through the afternoon. It was certainly a great way to start the guiding season, but with high winds in the forecast we knew there’d be decisions to make…
It’s been my observation that when the weather man predicts high winds, he usually gets that one right. With a forecast that called for strong thunderstorms and 30 mph winds, it was a fairly easy decision to make. We headed inland for day# 2. Even though I hated to leave the bite on Chequamegon, safety is always the best policy. Thankfully we have lots of wonderful options this time of year, and we were able to take advantage of a big fish bite that’s going on in the Hayward Lakes area right now. On schedule, the winds kicked up around mid morning and pushed warm water up against the northern shoreline of the lake we were on. That’s right were we found some monster smallies up to 20″ and walleyes up to 22″ in 8′ – 11′ of water. Crankbaits and lipless crankbaits were our choice of lures and the fish were inhaling them. Boat control was difficult, and we were limited in the areas we could fish. It was worth is though. We didn’t catch piles of fish, but the ones we caught were incredible with Randy landing a 20″ x 17″ smallie that calculated out to be 6.7 lbs. It was his personal best and will be hard to beat anywhere. What an amazing fish! We also had a “one that got away” encounter as Dave tied into a fish that wouldn’t budge. After a 30 second battle it came unbuttoned, and we were only left to wonder??? An interesting note on the day was that a few of the walleyes were still in spawning mode. That was a surprise to me, but Mother Nature knows best. Water temps ranged from 48 – 56 degrees, and we never got a bite when fishing areas that were under 52. Randy and Dave worked their buts off for the fish they caught, and I couldn’t have been happier for them. Two great guys and two great days. What a start!
If you’re looking for a place to stay in the Hayward area this summer while being surrounded by fantastic fishing, give my good friends Kelsey and Jordan Gensmer a call at Angler’s Haven. They still have availability, but it won’t last long. These guys run a first class operation with plenty to do for everyone in your family or group. Book your trip and join me fishing some of the best water in the country!
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