It never gets old… The Wisconsin fishing opener is arguably the most anticipated day of the year in my schedule. It’s the first page of a new chapter, and it’s always spent with my father Jim and partner Terry Peterson. If the weather cooperates, we usually like to start on Chequamegon Bay. The winds were calm, and we found ourselves kicking off the 2016 season catching big Lake Superior pre-spawn smallies. Lipless cranks and jerk baits put several fish in the boat right off the bat in 5′ – 6′ of water, and I thought we were in for a huge numbers day. Action slowed significantly however, and we had a super tough mid day lull with a fish here and there without any sort of consistent pattern. The switch flipped around mid afternoon though, and we got into a hot school of fish in 4′ of water on plastics. I hardly had to move the boat for the last three hours of the day as we caught a pile of fish up to 20″. Every fish we caught was fat, fresh, and full of fight. Smallmouth are always fun, but they’re really fun this time of year… Water temps were 58 – 61 degrees and a bit ahead of last year at this time. It wasn’t our best opening day ever, but it will definitely receive honorable mention. Terry would still be there catching them if I didn’t make him leave!!!
We had a nice addition to our crew on Sunday. My brother Jason hasn’t been out in the boat with us for awhile, but he was able to make it for a little catching up and catching fish. We moved inland to the Hayward Lakes Area, and found a tough bite throughout the day. Flat water, high skies, and a cold front had them a bit stubborn, but we did find a mix of smallies up to 20″ and walleyes up to 19″ in 8′ – 12′ of water. Water temps ranged from 51 – 56 degrees. Lipless cranks were the top producers for us, but we worked hard for every fish we caught. What we lacked in numbers was made up for in size however including Jason’s slammer 20″ smallie caught on a football jig. It sure was good to see my little brother cranking in those fish, and I wish we could do it more often. Maybe we would’ve caught more fish if we weren’t laughing and telling stories the whole time? I’ll take the laughing and stories! By the way… Thanks to the ladies in our lives for donating a bit of Mothers Day for us. You’re the best!
Jack Marsland and Rick Korpela from Ashland, WI purchased a day of fishing with us at a fundraiser for Prentice House Inc., and we spent Wednesday catching crappies with a few bonus fish as well. Jack is a former fishing guide in northern WI, and I played high school football with Rick’s son. To say we had a lot to talk about would be an understatement! Between stories and conversations, we caught lots of fish. I mean LOTS of fish! The crappies have definitely made their move shallow and were bunched up in 6′ – 7′ of water. Find weeds, drop anchor, and have at it. We used slip bobbers and plastics to put big numbers of fish up to 11″ in the boat. There weren’t many casts throughout the day that didn’t result with a bite or a fish in the boat. An 18″ largemouth landed by Rick and a low 30’s pike landed by Jack topped off a great day with some really good guys. Water temps were steady at 56 degrees, and a lot of the fish we caught were females full of eggs. Thanks for a fun day for a super cause fellas!!! I said it before, and I’ll say it again… It never gets old!!!