We had a good start to the week, and the ending wasn’t to shabby either… David Russo and his son Nick from Winfield, IL returned to Angler’s Haven for a fall musky trip on Thursday. Nick landed a really nice 45″ musky with time running out on his spring trip, and I know the muskies in the Hayward area were nervous when these two rolled back into town. We had a “musky kind of day” with overcast skies, light winds, and a light mist in the air, and it didn’t take long to get on the board. About five casts into the day, David had a nice fish slam his bucktail on the figure 8, and just like that we had a 41″ fish in the net. What a way to start, and way to hang on David!!! Nick was up next when a 45″ fish grabbed a sucker, and he slammed the hooks home just like a pro. Another 45 for Nick! This was an extremely thick fish however that I think had a bit more weight to it than his first of the year. Not a bad morning I’d say, but they weren’t done yet. Right after lunch we had a fish grab and drop a sucker before we could get a hook set on him. Late in the afternoon David hooked up again on a bucktail and put another good looking 38′ fish in the boat. What a day for these two musky nuts! Water temps ranged from 58 – 59 degrees. Congratulations on some awesome fish fellas. Cubs win, and so did you!!!
Larry Dittner from Mikana, WI returned and brought along his son in law Andy Olson from Chippewa Falls, WI. Larry joined me for smallies on Chequamegon Bay last year, and this year he was looking to do some walleye fishing. Actually, he was looking to catch a BIG walleye. Larry is an avid fishermen who catches lots of walleyes throughout the year, but this was a big fish trip. Catching big old walleyes in the fall isn’t always a numbers game, but when you do connect it’s certainly very rewarding. We fished the Hayward area on Friday and had north winds with high skies for most of the day. Andy got us started around mid morning when he put a fat 25″ walleye in the net. That’s the kind of fish we were looking for. Our next move produced two more big girls including Larry’s personal best 28″ fish and Andy’s personal best 27″ fish. Exactly what we had in mind! As is our policy, all walleyes over 20″ were released. We used minnows in 15′ – 35′ of water, and it was definitely a slow bite with some long pauses between action. The guys also added a few eater fish and some bonus smallies up to 19″. Water temps ranged from 55 – 58 degrees. Congratulations on your trophies guys, and I’m happy your persistence was rewarded. You deserved it! Good luck chasing that big buck this fall Andy, and I hope you have a great pheasant hunt in SD Larry. Isn’t fall a blast??? I think we need two Octobers!!!
The Robinson family from Veedersburg, IN was back in the Hayward area on Saturday. These Hoosiers accounted well for themselves in June with a good mixed bag day, and I expected nothing less on this trip. They wanted to give musky fishing a shot this time, and with the action we’ve had lately it was definitely worth a shot. Jim, Sandy, and Megan joined me for a morning of casting and dragging suckers in a beautiful setting with fall colors peaking and a warm south wind. Water temps ranged from 58 – 60 degrees. They did a great job and worked hard, but the muskies weren’t having any of it however… We had one sucker get excited, but that was the only action we saw all morning. I think they all had full bellies. A change of plans was in order, and we decided to see what was up with the smallmouth. They were putting on the feed bag… That’s what! We got into one heck of a good bite on minnows in 15′ – 20′ of water as south winds kicked up to 30 mph by mid afternoon, and we were limited on where we could fish. Lucky for us, the smallies were considerate of our situation and schooled up just off a shoreline that was out of the wind. How thoughtfull! The Robinsons did a great job landing multiple doubles, and Sandy even held up a fish for a picture. That might have been the greatest accomplishment of the day! Jim landed his personal best 21″ smallmouth along with his personal best 25″ walleye. Not a bad way to make up for a slow morning. Thanks to the Robinsons for another really enjoyable day. I know all of those smallies with sore mouths will remember it as well… Safe travels back to Indiana my friends!!!
The clock is ticking on our open water season, and it couldn’t be more beautiful out there. Get on the water or in the woods every chance you get because it won’t last long!!!