Hayward, Wisconsin Fishing Report 10-18-15


Tony Simone & Josh Krueger

Friday was our 3rd annual Wounded Warriors In Action Bayfield County Cast & Blast event.  Chris and Brenda Diesing from Brookfield, WI started this event in hopes of giving back to some of our soldiers who have given so much for all of us.  They were kind enough to ask Dave Brown and myself to help guide the fishing end of the event, and it has been an absolute honor to be a part of it every year since it began.  Jamie Vee and Dan Bourassa from Iron River, WI were scheduled to handle the hunting end of things this year after the fishing trip was complete.  The first year I helped out with the event, I fished with Josh Krueger from Hubertus, WI.  Josh was a Staff Sargent in the Marine Corps and earned his Purple Heart in Fallujah, Iraq.  My experience with Josh three ears ago was incredible, and I was lucky enough to have him back in my boat again.  Josh brought along  fellow veteran Anthony Simone from Joliet, IL.  Tony was a Capt. in the Air Force and earned his krueger2Purple Heart in Helmond Province Afghanistan flying Pavehawk helicopters.  After an excellent breakfast and send off at The Delta Diner, we hit the water with some cool temps and NE winds to contend with.  No problem for this crew.  These are some of the toughest dudes walking the planet, and a little cold weather is hardly an obstacle.  We spent our day in the Hayward area, and it didn’t take us long to find some aggressive smallmouth.  Not long after the first rod was in the water, we were hooked up.  A team approach with Tony on the rod, Josh on the reel, and me on the net put a fat 21″ fish in the boat.  The action continued as we used minnows in 15′ – 20′ with 55 degree water temps.  Tony and Josh put fish after fish in the net and operated like a well oiled machine.  Those smallies didn’t stand a chance!  Needless to say, this was exactly what we had in mind.  Simply put…  They clobbered them!!!   Congratulations Tony and Josh on some really good fish.  It was an honor and a pleasure to have you in my boat.  Apparently Dave’s guys were doing just as well…












Steven Hughes & Dave Brown

Dave was joined by Steven Hughes from Jamestown, MO.  Steven was a specialist/E4 in the Army and earned his Purple Heart in Afghanistan.  Along with Steven was John Bentley from Kronenwetter, WI.  John was a Sargent in the Marines and earned his Purple Heart in Marjah, Afghanistan.  Dave’s Crew was after muskies and both soldiers were able to put a mid 30’s fish in the net along with a big fish heart breaker that apparently slipped the hooks half way into the net.  Dang muskies!  It was a heck of a day anyway, and I wasn’t surprised at their success.  With Dave guiding and two heroes in the boat, something good had to happen!!!  Congratulations on some great looking fish men!  It goes without saying that Dave and I are both incredibly humbled and thankful to be part of this event.  I’d also like to thank the following local businesses for chipping in: Dairyland Fence, Whitetails Unlimited, Delta Diner, Scenic Drive Resort, & Flying Eagle Resort as well as many other private donors who all made this possible.  To all of our soldiers past and present, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!  Until we all meet again my friends…


John Bentley


John & Joe Gearen

John Gearen from Oak Brook, IL and his brother Joe from Maple Grove, MN arrived on Saturday to make up for a musky trip that they weren’t able to complete last year.  I think it was worth the wait…  More seasonal conditions over the past two weeks have had fish on the bite, and the muskies in particular have really been putting on the feed bag.  The trend continued over the weekend.  We fished the Hayward area and cold nights have water temps dropping into the low 50’s.  The Gearens started their trip with me on a frosty morning.  After a couple hours of casting without any action, one of our suckers was grabbed.  John put the hoooks to it and landed his first musky ever.  It was a really nice looking 40″ fish, and a heck of a way to break the ice.  No pun intended…  That was the only action we had in the morning, but our afternoon got interesting quick with a  low 40’s fish chasing one of our suckers on our first spot.  Apparently he wasn’t hungry though and decided not to gearen2eat.  Not long after that, one of our suckers was grabbed again.  This time we had a serious fish.  It was Joe’s turn on the rod, and he slammed one of the largest muskies ever landed in my boat.  After a quick but dramatic tussle, he had a massive 50″ x 21 1/2″ fish in the bag.  I’m not sure who was more excited???  It was a beast of a fish and Joe’s first musky as well.  Not a bad way to break into the books!  After some photos and a clean release there were lots of high fives and big smiles in the boat.  I must admit that it was a bit hard to stay focused after that, but it was fun to re-tell the stories from our day as we finished out. All three fish we saw were in 5′ – 10′ of water relating to weeds, and the water warmed to 55 degrees by mid afternoon.  Congratulations to John and Joe on your first muskies, and some dandies at that.  What a day!


gearen7It was going to be hard to top our performance from Saturday, but we had to try.  John and Joe were back at it with me in the Hayward area on Sunday for a half day before they had to head home.  After an interesting start with frozen reels and frozen live well doors due to morning temps in the upper teens, were were finally able to get things rolling.  It didn’t take long for our day to get interesting.  Very interesting.  We had a musky take one of our suckers.  While positioning the boat for John to set the hook, Joe told me he thought the other sucker had been bit.  Impossible…  No it wasn’t.  Now we had two fish going.  How was this going to work?  John set the hooks first and quickly had a mid 30’s fish in the net.  Joe was next and connected on a high 30’s fish.  Two in the bag at the same time!  Several years ago, I witnessed my one and only musky double with my father and daughter along with me.  This was only the second time I’ve seen it, and it was just as cool as thegearen8 first.  John and Joe did an awesome job following instructions and perfectly executed what could have been a complete mess.  Are these guys living right or what?  After releasing the fish we continued to plug along, and pretty soon our sucker got drilled again.  John was up, and by now he didn’t need much instruction.  The Gearen’s were well versed in this process…  A good set put a very nice 39″ fish in the net.  This is the kind of morning musky hunters dream of!  Water temps ranged from 50 – 53 degrees as we worked weed edges in 8′ – 12′ of water.  That would be the last fish we’d land, but what a trip it had been.  Five muskies in a day and a half of fishing that included a 50″ fish and a double.  Let’s just say that the Gearens had it going on.  Thanks for the memories fellas, and congratulations on a trip for the books.  We’ll be talking about this one for awhile!!!




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