All systems go! Our favorite crew from Door County, Wisconsin showed up for the annual Crappie Slam. It’s always a great way to get our season going, and we love having this cast of characters in the boat. Good friends and long time customers Scott Mueller, Matt Tishler, Leif Mickelson, Charlie Schell, and Mike Daubner spent the weekend with Terry Peterson, Dave Brown, and myself catching crappies, laughing, telling stories, and laughing some more. It’s always one of those weekends you hate to see come to an end. Saturday began with Plan A. Plan A was a bust, and after two hours we pulled the plug when Captain Obvious pointed out that the fish weren’t biting. On to Plan B. Much better. We were into fish almost immediately, and it continued throughout the day. It pays to be flexible! We found prespawn fish in 8′ – 10′ of water using slip bobbers and plastics. Matt and Leif were in my boat, and Tish landed the slab of the day with a very nice 14″ fish that we put back to make more. The bite was steady, and we ended up landing more than we could count. Charlie put on a clinic in Terry’s boat, and I’m not sure if that was a good move by the new guy… Better sleep with one eye open my friend! Water temps were 57 degrees on a cloudy, warm, and humid day. What a way to get the weekend started!
Charlie made it through the night, and Sunday brought similar weather conditions and water temps with rain expected in the afternoon. This time Charlie (Charlie Who?) joined Tish and I in the morning, and we basically repeated our performance from the day before. Big slabs from 11″ – 14″ were on the feed in 8′ – 10′ of water, and slip bobbers with plastics were all that was needed to target them. Tish also landed a nice 30″ pike on light tackle that gave him all he could handle. By mid morning we had our fill and were ready to try something else. Our timing was perfect as the rain arrived when we were pulling out. Smallmouth were on the brain as we started the afternoon shift with Mike taking Charlie’s place in my boat, and we found some very stubborn fish. Some beds had begun showing up in the shallows, but the fish were very skittish and not interested in anything we threw at them. With thunderstorms rolling all around us, I began to think we may be in for a butt kicking. After trying a variety of presentations and locations we hit the jackpot and ended the day with a nice flury of prespawn fish in 5′ of water on crankbaits. Most of the fish we caught were smaller males that were probably making beds, but we did land a couple of nice 18 inch drag screamers. Water temps ranged from 53 – 57 degrees. Tish and Mike did an outstanding job of hanging with it, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Great crew, great weekend, great times. Until we meet again my friends!!!
I woke up on Monday morning to howling winds, dropping temps, and rain on the way. Love my job… Every time Dan Dillon and Amber Christensen from Eau Claire, WI show up I know that the long underwear will be put to good use. I had to laugh when I met them at the bait shop. I think we all had the same clothes on when we fished last October!!! It was hard to be overly optimistic with a major cold front moving in, and you could feel the air temperature dropping as we got started. With periodic rain and wind gusts up to 30 mph adding to the fun, I hoped we would stumble into a few fish at best. Amazingly enough, Amber landed a nice fat smallmouth right off the bat. There was hope!!! A combination of crankbaits and a variety of plastics worked in 3′ – 5′ of water produced a nice bunch of fish up to 19″ as we found them on shallow spawning flats in areas that were out of the wind. We did find a few fish on beds, and I’m sure the warm weather forecasted later in the week will push a ton of fish shallow. Water temps had dropped considerably, and the warmest we could find was 55 degrees. By noon, we were wet, cold, and very fortunate to have caught the fish we did, and we knew it! We pulled out and went crappie fishing for the p.m. shift. It didn’t take us long to find find them in 9′ of water, and we put some really nice fish in the boat up to 13″ on slip bobbers and plastics. Water temps were 55 degrees as the wind and rain intensified throughout the afternoon. Despite being waterlogged and cold as we pulled into the landing, we all had big grins on our faces. It had been one heck of a day. Thanks for spending it with me Dan and Amber. Love my job!!!