Apparently the hurricane out east is effecting our weather right now, and I would just assume that it goes on it’s merry way so we can get rid of these ridiculous east winds. Enough is enough!!! Josh Teigen and I were back in the boat on Thursday with the Hancock gang with Jim (Cedar Falls, IA) and Ed Hancock (Cedar Rapids, IA), and Bert Gilgen (Cedar Falls, IA) in my boat once again on Chequamegon Bay. Day #2 of their three day trip began much the same as the first. We caught some very nice smallies in the morning up to 19″ on minnows in 12′ – 16′ of water, but it was once again a very tentative bite with lots of missed fish and short hits. They just weren’t in an eating mood, and we worked very hard to get the fish we had. We marked lots of fish and had plenty of opportunities, and I have a feeling that things are going to break loose very soon… Our afternoon got interesting as east winds kicked up quickly and made fishing impossible. Unfortunately we had to pull the pin and end the day early. Better safe than sorry… The big lake is nothing to mess with, and when those winds kick up over 20 mph it’s time to hang it up. Water temps ranged from 57 – 60 degrees, and we’re starting to see things cool down slowly but surely with the cold nights we’re experiencing. What would day #3 of the Hancock trip bring???
We had very little wind on Chequamegon Bay on Friday morning, and again the fish were in a stubborn mood. Jim, Ed, and Bert put some nice smallmouth up to 20 1/2″ in the boat early, but the short hits continued to plague us. Late in the morning, we got word from Josh that he had found a hot school of fish. You don’t have to tell me twice. Here we come!!! What happened next was a pretty good summary of our three day trip… As we pulled up, Brett and Russ Hancock were both hooked up on good fish in Josh’s boat, and I was thinking that our fortune was finally going to turn. We got set up and fishing just as another big east wind kicked up. You can guess what happened to that hot bite… Sometimes when it rains it pours! We were able to hang in there and fish through it however, and the guys put some good fish in the boat throughout the afternoon in 18′ – 25′ of water on minnows. It was far from a easy however, and every fish put in the net was well earned with big waves crashing over the back of the boat all afternoon as anchoring was our only option to try and stay over the fish. Hey, it’s not always easy, and days like that sure make you appreciate the ones that are. I was proud of my crew for hanging in there through it all, and we still had some good laughs. Thanks to the Hancock’s for another memorable trip, and thanks to Josh Teigen on another job well done. Safe travels home fellas, and please get rid of that curse before next year!!!
It was time for a change of pace… Josh Stanek (Grand Rapids, MN) and his father Rob Stanek (Champlin, MN) returned for their second trip of the year. I always look forward to having these guys in the boat. They’re excellent fishermen and great company as well. Normally we’re in search of big smallies, but the Stanek’s informed me of some unfortunate news before they arrived. They’d been bitten by the musky bug, and they wanted to chase some toothy critters on this trip. Oh no!!! I quickly realized that there was no saving them as they showed up with all of the right gear, and a glazed look in their eyes. I think Josh was even talking to himself… Our morning was spent beating up the water with nothing to show for it. Not a follow, boil, sniff, nothing… This is why musky fishermen talk to themselves! Once again big east winds started to pick up, and I knew we needed to move to more manageable water. A river trip was just what the doctor ordered. It didn’t take us long to get into fish, as Rob put a thick 34″ fish in the net on a bucktail to get us started. Josh followed up not long after with a 30″ fish on a bucktail. This was more like it. I was also dragging a sucker behind the boat, and it got chomped as well. Sorry Mr. Sucker, but we’ve all got a role! Rob did another great job, and put a good 36″ fish in the net that had been eating well. We had three fish in the boat within 2 1/2 hrs. along with another hook up, follow, and undersized fish landed. All of this coincided with the moon setting around mid afternoon. Just sayin… Water temps ranged from 55 – 60 degrees. Once again the Staneks did an incredible job. It sure was a blast watching them work those fish over, and I’m not sure who had more fun? Outstanding! Bad news muskies… These guys are just getting started! Fall colors are starting to pop around here. The next few weeks should be absolutely fantastic. Get on the water before it’s too late!!!