What a week it’s been… We’ve got everything from crappies to muskies in this report and some great people to go along with it. Our old friend Scott Evans (no relation but love the name!) from Mineral Point, WI returned on Tuesday with his son Wyatt (13) and wife Darcy to chase walleyes and smallmouth in the Hayward Area Lakes. As we’ve seen in the past, Wyatt is one of the best young fishermen I’ve ever had in my boat, and it’s always good to see this gang again. The Evans crew had two days reserved this week, and day#1 started a bit slow. We caught several walleyes along with a few smallmouth up to 18″ and largemouth up to 19″, but it was one here one there. Our largest walleye was a nice 24″ spawned out female caught by Scott that we let go. We used leeches and minnows with slip bobbers and jigs to catch all of our fish in 15′ – 18′ of water over weeds. There’s a ton of forage over the new weeds right now, and I suspect that has something to do with the slow bite. We switched gears in the afternoon, and it was smallmouth time as we banged some really nice fish in and around 5′ – 10′ gravel flats on jigs, plastics, and topwaters. Most fish are done spawning and are on the feed in and around nesting areas. Darcy did one heck of a job cranking in fish up to 19″, and Wyatt had the fish of the day at 21″. Water temps peaked around 70 degrees with light E winds and sunny skies. As expected the Evans gang performed well, and the fish payed the price!!!
David Russo and his son Nick (16) from Winfield, IL made their annual spring trip back to Angler’s Haven and spent Wednesday with me looking for some slime. The Russo’s are musky nuts, and there’s only one thing they’re interested in… Big fish with teeth!!! This was our first trip after the big guys this season, and it was a workout for sure. We spent the day dodging rain and scattered storms working shallow weeds in 5′ – 10′ with bucktails and topwaters. Water temps held around 69 degrees, and we had an uneventful morning without moving any fish. After lunch, things got interesting. Thunderstorms began rolling through, and we had to take a mid afternoon break on shore to let one pass. With only a few casts into our next spot after we were back at it, Nick had a fish crush his bucktail. After some tense moments and great acrobatics, he put his largest musky ever in the net. Nick did an outstanding job battling one heck of a beast and landed the 45″ x 19.5″ trophy. It ended up being a one fish day for us, but what a fish and what a way to start our musky season!!! By the way… David is a movie trivia master as he nailed a line that nobody ever gets. Big muskies and movie trivia. What a day, and congratulations Nick! It all started last winter… Even though I considered ending my musky fishing with that one, I’ll see you in October Russos. Can’t wait!!!
The Evans gang was back in the boat with me on Thursday in the Hayward area. This time Scott and Wyatt brought along Scott’s long time friend Tom Johnson from LaCrosse, WI. Plan A for the day was to chase crappies, and we did a lot of chasing without much catching. We went to one of our “old reliable” lakes, but it just wasn’t happening. We put a couple of fish up to 12″ in the boat, but the bite wasn’t on as we fished in 5′ – 12′ of water with jigs and plastics. Time to go… Our attention switched to smallmouth, and we moved locations. We caught a few post spawn fish up to 20″ at our next stop, but nasty NE winds made it difficult to hit the spots we wanted. On to Lake #3!!! After a quick start, we ran into a mid day lull that had us bouncing from spot to spot looking for active fish. We finally got in a groove, and the boys put on a show to end the day as we boated a bunch of fish up to 19′ on plastics in 3′ -10′ of water in rocks near spawning flats. Water temps had dropped a bit to 68 degrees, and I was proud of the boys for sticking with it and getting into some good fish. They deserved it! Good luck on the mat next year Wyatt. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your season. Gentlemen… That was not atrocious, and we’ll see you next year! Big thanks to Damon Schroeder at Hayward Power Sports for talking me through some technical issues we were dealing with. Once again, you saved the day. Thanks buddy!!!