Hayward, Wisconsin & Chequamegon Bay Fishing Report 10-8-15


Stephen Frisco

I wish every week would start this way…  My old friend Stephen Frisco from Bemidji, MN arrived on Monday to explore some of his old stomping grounds that we fished as kids.  Stephen and I spent our summers in high school together wading the shorelines of Chequamegon Bay in search of smallmouth bass, and I was excited to show him what a fishery it has become.  Day # 1 of our trip was to be spent chasing crappies however, and we went inland in search of some slabs.  It didn’t take us long to find some really nice fish up to 11″ in 19′ – 25′ of water, and we got off to a fast start using plastics.  Our fast start ended abruptly however, and the fish became very stubborn.  We’d mark a school and catch a couple.  That pattern continued throughout the morning, and we decided to switch lakes.  Our first switch proved to be a bust with only a crazy pike grabbing a plain jig head dangling over the edge and nearly taking our rod giving us some excitement…  What the frisco1heck was wrong with that fish???  Lake #3 was a different story.  It took us awhile, but we found some nice fish in 23′ – 25′ of water and finished off the day on a good note.  It was still a tough bite however, and you really had to pay attention to detect bites.  Water temps ranged from 60 – 63 degrees.  Stephen was the right man for the job though, and it was a great way to start our trip.  A little Monday Night Football and chili was all we needed to make it a near perfect day.  Welcome home Stephano!!!


Jim Evans & Stephen Frisco

My dad was able to join us on Tuesday, and we had favorable conditions to hit Chequamegon Bay.  It was kind of neat to have one of my old running  buddies in the boat along with dad, and I was anxious to see what Stephen thought about the fish we’re catching out there now.  The last time he and I fished it together was in the early 90’s, and an 18″ fish was a monster.  Not any more…  It didn’t take us long to get into them, and our first drift over 12′ – 15′ of water put some nice fish up to 20 1/2″ in the boat on minnows.  That’s exactly what I had in mind!  Aside from a few slow moments, we had steady action throughout the morning.  Stephen and my dad kept me on my toes, and the net got a good workout.  Conditions were perfect with water temps in the high 50’s and a steady west wind.  The winds laid down frisco4for a while in the afternoon, and the bite slowed.  We made a move, and immediately got into fish again in 18′ – 20′ of water on minnows.  Winds kicked up again, and the bite got weird at the end of the day.  Strange how that works???  Needless to say, Stephen was quite impressed with what has become of the smallmouth fishery in “The Bay”.  My most memorable part of the trip was when he stated, “Funny how you don’t see the beauty of it all when you’re growing up here.”  Well said brother…



Erik & Carl Halverson

Erik Halverson and his father Carl from Tomahawk, WI returned Wednesday.  Erik was an old high school rival of mine who went on to a very successful college football career.  We’re not holding any grudges though…  These are good dudes, and I always look forward to having them in the boat.  With water temps still hovering around 60 degrees on most of the Hayward area lakes, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.  Erik and Carl usually do well with us on their annual fall trip, but things haven’t exactly been normal around here lately…  Bluebird skies and an east wind greeted us to start the day, and the walleye bite was tough.  We did put a few fish up to 18″ in the boat on jigs and minnows in 30′ – 40′ of water, but it was tough sledding.  We moved to weed edges in 15′ – 18′ of water, and picked up a few smallmouth up to 18″ before lunch.  Our p.m. strategy was a little different.  We focused on rock/weed transitions in 10′ of water and found the “Mother Load” of fish.  It was crazy good…halverson5  Smallies up to 21″, pike up to 28″ (we lost one  that was in the upper 30’s), and a bonus 35″ musky all hit the net on jigs and minnows.  We even caught fish as shallow as 5′ and dang near lost a rod twice as fish grabbed a jig and minnow dangling over the edge of the boat.  Holy Smokes!!!  It was a feeding frenzy like I haven’t seen in awhile, and it couldn’t have happened to two better guys.  Thanks for the fantastic day fellas, and thanks for the great gift as well.  I’ll be thinking of you both with every fillet.  Congratulations on your induction into the UW LaCrosse Wall of Fame Erik.  Well deserved my friend!!!





We’ve had an incredible start this week, but the weekend began in a BIG way as well.  Stay tuned…




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