Hayward, Wisconsin & Chequamegon Bay Fishing Report 4/25/16
I’m convinced that it’s a conspiracy! The trolling gods just won’t give me a break… Big winds on the big lake don’t add up to a positive experience pulling boards, and my quest to give you a Lake Superior report continues. I can tell you however that the smelt run is fizzling out or done in most spots, and the tributaries are continuing to produce good catches of steelhead. Aron Kastern continues to be on a good mixed bag bite of monster fish in Chequamegon Bay as well. Check out this magnum sturgeon caught and released by CJ Compton while fishing with Aron. Wow!
On to Plan B… My partner Terry Peterson and I hooked up on Friday to do a little crappie recon. Cool temps and a NE wind didn’t give me much hope, but we were able to locate and catch some wonderful fish while hitting three different lakes in the Hayward area on the day. After a bit of searching, we located pre-spawn crappies up to 13″ in 8′ – 9′ of water using small jigs tipped with plastics under slip bobbers. These fish were holding close to weed growth and very close to bottom. We could actually see them on our electronics as we scanned likely bays that had 48 – 50 degree water. Constant movement with slight twitches were necessary to trigger strikes, and precise depth control was a must. Three inches one way or the other put you out of the strike zone. This pattern held up on two of the three lakes we fished. The fish we caught were a combination of males and females, and I’m sure we’re just at the very beginning of the spring bite on our inland lakes. The third lake had absolutely no weed growth in the shallows, and the fish we marked out deep wanted nothing to do with eating. We released all of our fish and were more than satisfied with the results of our day. Mission accomplished Mr. Peterson!
When my father Jim heard about the day we had his first question was, “What time are we leaving tomorrow?” Right on Dad! Terry, Dad, and I spent the next day on two different lakes. Our weather had changed dramatically from the day before with warming temps and light south winds. Lake #1 produced big time when we found 50 – 55 degree water and weeds in 6′ – 8′. Again, weeds were the key. We parked right on top of a mega school of fish and caught them hand over fist with many different year classes ranging from 9″ – 13″. Slip bobbers and jigs with plastics produced, and very little manipulation was needed to get hit with just the right amount of action provided by the wind. Let it sit, move it a foot, etc… I even had a bonus encounter with a fat mid 30’s pike that was hoping to get an easy meal. After quite a fight on light tackle, Terry scooped him up in the net for a quick photo op before we released her. Fun stuff! Lake #2 was a slower bite, but we were able to locate a few nice fish in 5′ of water. Weed growth on this lake was sketchy, and we had a tough time finding the right pattern. All lakes are not created equal at this time of year, and it pays to be mobile when looking for cooperative fish. Sometimes it’s just not happening. We had mercy on all of the fish we caught during the day, but I can’t promise a few won’t go home with my dad on our next trip out. Just a few Dad! It sure felt good to be back at it with a tug on the end of the line. Once again, all is right…
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