We hope you all had a fun, safe, and relaxing Independence Day. Please remember that freedom isn’t free, and there’s a tremendous price that’s been paid for all of the things we enjoy in this great country. That includes catching fish!!! Dan Fenske from DeWitt, IA and his friend Ryan Svoboda from Grand Forks, ND were back in the boat with me for day #2 of their trip on Wednesday. The nasty front from the day before had cleared, and we were able to get out on Chequamegon Bay to chase smallmouth. The bite was outstanding, and we put big numbers of big fish in the boat up to 21′ on plastics and topwaters in 5′ – 7′ of water. Water temps ranged from 68 – 72 degrees on an absolutely beautiful day to be out on the big water. The fishing progressively got better throughout the day, and the afternoon was incredibly exciting with multiple doubles. We also had one of the coolest encounters I’ve ever had on the water as a huge school (I can’t even guess how many) chased in a fish we had hooked up as they were all trying to take the plastic worm out of it’s mouth. Amazing!!! Dan and Ryan put together one heck of a trip, and I really enjoyed our two days together. Another trip with these guys will be in the books for next year, and I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks fellas!!!
Joe and Sally Lloyd from Downers Grove, IL had a day for the books last year that will be very hard to beat, but you’ve got to try!!! They returned on Thursday to the Hayward area, and we spent a fun morning catching a mix of walleyes up to 18″ and largemouth up to 20″ on leeches over deep weeds in 15′ – 18′ of water. Joe and Sally are a ton of fun to have in the boat, and they did a great job on a very productive morning that included a couple of doubles. In the afternoon, we turned to smallmouth, and found them to be a bit more stubborn. We did catch a few in shallow rocks up to 18″ on crankbaits and plastics, but the bite was pretty slow. Lots of recent bug hatches may have them a bit full for the time being. We ended the day back on a deep weed walleye spot and finished with a late rally to end the day on a good note. Water temps ranged from 70 – 71 on a hot flat day. Thanks for another great day Joe and Sally. You guys are awesome, and I’ll see you next year!
Retired police officers George Hollow from Elmhurst, IL and his good friend Wilbur Mennell from Warrenville, IL made the journey north to see what Chequamegon Bay was all about, and they put some very nice smallies in the net on Friday. The bite had slowed dramatically from two days prior, but we were still able to work it out with some good fish up to 20.5″ on plastics. Fish are definitely starting to scatter, and it can be a “here today, gone tomorrow” thing at times. It’s all about chasing food right now, and lots of bug hatches along with an abundance of other forage leaves them with plenty of opportunities to fill their bellies in different locations throughout the bay. Weed growth still seems to be the key but wood and deeper structures will also hold fish right now. We spent most of our day in 8′ – 5′ of water throwing a variety of plastics as we’d catch one here and one there. The morning provided pretty steady action, and we started the afternoon out hot with several fish right away. That was short lived however, and there was a mid afternoon lull that took us a bit to work through till we found a school of active fish at the end of the day. We’re definitely in a time of transition, and you might need to bounce around a bit to find active fish. Water temps ranged from 67 – 70 degrees, and we had stiff west winds throughout the day. George and Wilbur are two really great guys that are fun to fish with, and I enjoyed every minute of our time together on the water. They kept me laughing throughout the day, and did one heck of a job on the fish as well. Thanks guys!
The Fourth of July was spent filming with Dave Brown from Keyes Outdoors Productions and my good buddy Terry Peterson as we put together a cool topwater piece for The Trophy Fish Hunter, that will air on Fox Sports North this winter. We used Reaction Strike XRM series jerkbaits and Boyd Duckett topwaters to put some nice fish in the boat up to 19′ in 5′ – 12′ of water. We had a perfect morning for it with flat calm conditions and 70 – 74 degree water temps. I didn’t take any still photos (sorry about that…) as we were focused on getting the job done, but we did have a really good time. It’s always fun to be in the boat with my old friends., and that’s not a bad day at the office I’d say! I did include a cool picture however of the sun as it sits in the haze that’s covered northern WI over the past few days as a result of the wild fires in Canada. Kind of a crazy scene, but it makes for some cool photo ops. Thanks to Terry and Dave for all of your hard work. You’re the best!