Good friends Pete Freiburger and Joe Prohaska from Iron River, WI booked a trip with me to do some recon and learn a few things about the lakes in our area. We spent Monday searching for a mixed bag of walleyes, smallmouth, and crappies. Cool winds out of the northwest sure felt good, but it didn’t help us out to start the day. After a slow beginning, we got into some nice walleyes on jigs and minnows along with smallmouth on leeches. The temperature drop seemed to effect the leech bite for walleyes as they were definitely more interested in minnows, but most of the smallmouth came on leeches as we fished weedlines in 8′ – 10′ and rocks in 15′ – 20′. Joe landed both big fish of the morning that included a beautiful 25″ walleye along with a very nice 30″ pike. Peter is convinced it was a conspiracy!!! Most of our walleyes were in the 15′ – 17′ range, and our smallmouth ran between 15″ – 18″. With enough information and plenty of fish in the boat, Pete and Joe decided to end the day fishing crappies. My kind of guys… We fished weed edges in 5′ – 10′ of water with plastics, and put plenty of fish up to 11″ in the boat to end the day in a great way. Water temps ranged between 72 and 73 degrees on the day. Pete and Joe were a blast to have in the boat, and I promise that there was no conspiracy Pete… Excellent job fellas, and good luck out there!!!
The last time I fished with Doug and Sara Kelley from Cedar Rapids, IA, our great day ended abruptly with mechanical problems. Bummer!!! They returned on Tuesday with their daughters Emma (14) and Brianna (12) to finish what they started. I picked them up at Angler’s Haven, and the am shift included Emma and Doug. We had an extremely slow start with cool NW winds, and I was beginning to think about some drastic moves until we found active fish along deep weeds in 15′ – 20′ of water. It appeared that fish had completely vacated the deep rocks we’d been working in previous days, and I was surprised to find them back in the weeds. Who am I to argue??? Doug and Emma caught a nice mix of walleyes up to 17″, smallmouth up to 19″, largemouth up to 19″, and a 27″ pike on minnows. We tried leeches, but nothing was interested. Interesting… The cool down we’re having has definitely effected the leech bite. The afternoon began with my buddy Brianna taking Emma’s place along with Doug. Brianna taught the bluegills a lesson as we found a good school of fish up to 8″ over 15′ weeds on crawlers. Brianna was spectacular as she reeled in fish after fish, and she made sure I didn’t touch her pole because she wanted to do it herself. Roger that Brianna. I’ll get out of the way!!! After Brianna was done, it was time for mom to get in the boat. Sara and Emma hopped in for the last couple of hours, and it was big fish time. We went back to the deep weed edges with minnows. Sara landed a fat 30″ pike, and Emma put a great looking 24″ walleye in the net. What a way to end a spectacular day with an incredible family. Water temps topped out at 72 degrees. Thanks for a day I’ll never forget Kelleys. You guys deserve it. You’re holding those fish next time Emma, and I’m happy too Brianna!!!
I was up for an adventure on Thursday, and I had the right crew to pull it off. Michel Cramer Bornemann from St. Paul, MN and his 14 yr. old son Nico returned, and we were originally scheduled to fish Chequamegon Bay for smallies. I didn’t like the forecast we were dealt with little to no wind, so we made an adjustment. I told Michel and Nico about a lake I’ve wanted to get back to that used to have a good August topwater bite years ago. I haven’t been able to fish it in recent years, but I was interested to see if we could make it happen again. They were all about it, and away we went. We spent the morning putting the puzzle together fish by fish and miss by miss. We had a few fish in the boat by noon and went into lunch with some confidence that we were figuring things out. The afternoon started with a 17″ & 19″ father/son double, and the boys didn’t slow down from there. We were into a fantastic topwater/plastic bite that continued til quitting time. Michel and Nico put on a clinic as we worked shorelines in 4′ – 6′ of water that had a mix of rock, weeds, and wood. The fish were on a crayfish binge as they were spitting them up all the way into the net with full bellies. Water temps ranged from 69 – 72 degrees and our top end fish was 19″. It certainly wasn’t the day we’d planned on, but no one was complaining. Thanks for your flexibility Michel and Nico. I’m glad you were rewarded with one heck of a day, and I’m looking forward to the the next two that I’ll spend with you as well. Who knows what we might get into???