It’s been an interesting week for sure. Inconsistent weather patterns continue to dominate the forecast in northern WI with fish activity following the weather. We’re catching fish every day, but the bite gets a bit tough when clouds and rain roll through. Terry Peterson and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with our old friends and long time customers Doc & Creed Holladay and Bill and Ruth Whitfield from Fayetteville, AR. These Razorbacks have caught more smallmouth than I can count over the years with us, and we always look forward to this trip. Doc and Creed were in my boat, and we faced challenging conditions for day #1 of their trip. Clouds, rain, wind, and cool temps didn’t have the fish exactly jumping in the boat, but we did end up putting a pretty good day together on jigs and plastics. I noticed a ton of empty nests with far more not having fish than did. We drifted over shallow flats in 2′ – 5′ of water and caught fish up to 20″ with half of our catch being small males. We worked hard for every bite though and covered a lot of water between fish. Water temps were 58 – 60 degrees. One thing is for sure. It was good to to have the old Arkansas gang back in the boat!
I had to take the blame for the miserable weather on day 1 because I forgot to wear my lucky Razorback hat that the crew had given me a few years ago. Problem solved on day #2. With the hat in place, we had sunny skies, warm temps and reasonable winds. Perfect. Doc and Creed put on one heck of a performance as we caught smallies steadily throughout the day in 2′ – 8′ of water on jigs and plastics. Again, we hit the 20″ mark with lots of fish in the 18″ range. Water temps were 59 – 61 degrees, and there was a very noticeable difference in the mood of the fish when we were finally able to get into 60 degree water. The hot/cold pattern we’re in has made it a struggle for our inland lakes to warm up, and just a degree or two can make a world of difference. A severe thunderstorm on the radar cut our day a little short, but not before we had put plenty of fish in the net with lots of laughs to go along with them. Thanks for another great time Doc and Creed. As always, I can’t wait to do it again!!!
When I left my house on Thursday morning, it was 60 degrees. When I arrived in Ashland it was 47… SE winds off the lake were going to make things a bit chilly, but the bass didn’t seem to mind. Steve Smalley from Lake Elmo, MN and his father Dave from Sokie, IL joined me for a half day in the morning, and Dave started us out by putting on a clinic on how to work a plastic worm. After his hot start we were able to get Steve dialed in on the right bait, and he joined the party. This father and son duo worked them over all morning as we had steady action the entire time in 2′ – 4′ of water. It was all about plastics for us as we could see feeding fish busting the surface all around us, and they were more than happy to take what we offered them. Water temps held at 60 degrees, and our biggest fish topped out at 20″. It was a great morning with two great guys. Way to go fellas!