Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Fishing Report 5-17-16
It’s been full steam ahead over the past week, and a major cold front has made things a bit interesting. Before the cool weather hit, I had an opportunity to join my friend and fellow guide Aron Kastern for a day on the water. He’s been after me to get after the mixed bag big fish bite on Chequamegon Bay with him, and I was finally had an opportunity to do it. What was I waiting for? Even though the peak of this bite has passed, it was still really fun. We soaked dead bait on slip sinker rigs in current areas and caught a variety of fish including whitefish up to 20″, sturgeon up to 47″, and pike up to 38″ in anywhere from 4′ to 30′ of water. It was a perfect day to be on the big water with light winds and comfortable temps. Water temps hung around 55 degrees. Captain Aron definitely has this big fish bite dialed in, and you should seriously consider taking advantage of it with him next spring. It’s a neat way to fish with a chance at some true trophies. Thanks for a very memorable day Aron!
Our guiding season officially begins with the arrival of our favorite gang from Sister Bay, WI. Terry Peterson, Dave Brown, and I team up every year to fish with Scott Mueller, Charlie Schell, Mike Daubner, Matt Tishler, and Leif Mickelson. It’s been well documented over the years that lots of crappies are caught and good times are had when these guys arrive. Day #1 in the Hayward area began with below freezing temperatures and plummeting water temps. The bite was decent though as we caught plenty of nice fish up to 14″ in 5′ – 9′ of water on plastics. Stiff north winds and even a little snow mixed in made things interesting, and we all looked more prepared for a late October trip than early May. The bite got noticeably slower in the afternoon, but more than enough fish had been caught. Water temps were 51 degrees by the end of the day. I was a bit surprised that we caught as many as we did considering the conditions, but I certainly wasn’t going to complain…
We were served a good dose of reality in the morning of Day #2 with the Door County crew. The crappies were pretty cooperative until around 10 a.m. before the effects of the cold front really set in. We had 49 degree water temps, and that kind of swing never means good news in terms of fish biting. They completely shut down, and it was impossible to even get a sniff. After accepting our fate on that lake, we decided to move to another smaller body of water that might be a little warmer. It proved to be a good decision as we found plenty of fish with good action throughout the afternoon in 6′ – 7′ of water on plastics. The size was a bit smaller than the day before with our top end fish around 12″. We had 51 degree water temps on the second lake we fished. These two days always go by too quickly, and I was sad to see the weekend come to an end. Start sharpening that fillet knife for next year Dave… Lots of laughs, and lots of fish. Good times fellas!
We had another crappie trip on Monday in the Hayward area, but there was a twist… My good friend Scott Roppe from Birchwood, WI reserved Terry Peterson and I to guide his girlfriend Kala Mueller along with Kala’s sister Kassie, father Mark, and Kassie’s fiance Jeremy Groeschl. Can you see where this is headed? We struggled on the first lake we fished only boating a crappies. Again, north winds and cold temps had the fish in lock down. We moved to another lake around mid morning, and found a better bite. Not great, but better. Before lunch, I snapped a few photos with Kala holding some crappies. When I showed her the pictures, she noticed Scott holding up a ring in the background along with Terry’s boat holding up a “Will you marry me?” sign. She said yes, and a champagne toast was had by all. Very cool!!! Back to business… The fishing action picked up in the afternoon, and apparently the crappies were in favor Scott’s proposal. We got into a smoking hot school of fish in 8′ – 10′ of water on plastics, and we boated all the crappies we could handle up to 13″. The fish of the day went to Kassie as she landed a fat 21″ largemouth in Terry’s boat on light tackle. That was fun to watch, and a perfect way to top off a perfect day. Water temps warmed into the mid 50’s in the afternoon, and hopefully we’ve put this nasty weather system behind us. Congratulations to Scott and Kala on your engagement. We couldn’t be happier for you, and thanks for letting us be a part of such a memorable day!
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