It’s been one of those weeks we won’t forget… I had the afternoon of Memorial Day off and spent it with my girls. LeeAnn and Morgan joined me on “their kind of day”. Warm temps and sunny skies were ideal for cruising one of our local lakes, and it was fun to bump into some old friends that were also out enjoying the beautiful weather. Of course I wasn’t going to spend any time on the water without wetting a line, and we found a few nice smallies up to 18″ to crank in that were spawning in 5′ – 8′ of water. Jigs and plastics caught all of our fish. Water temps were 64 degrees, and it was a perfect way to spend a perfect day. Life is good for the Morganator right now. She’s on the board with her first fish of the year, and school is out. Doesn’t get any better than that for a 13 yr. old!
My 10 yr. old buddy Levi Hayman and his father Mark from Siren, WI showed up for Levi’s annual birthday present on Tuesday. As usual they also brought rain, but that doesn’t slow down Levi. This kid is a fishing fool, and a little rain is just a minor inconvenience for him. We spent the morning in the Hayward area fishing new weed beds in 12′ – 14′ of water with jigs/slip bobbers & minnows. We started off fast landing 2 fat smallies, a walleye, and a nice pike within the first few minutes of fishing. The bite slowed up a bit and we had to move around a lot to get bites. The last spot of the morning was a different story however as we got into a school of pre-spawn smallies that were on fire, and Levi landed his personal best 20″ bronzeback. We decided to switch lakes in the afternoon to locate a better walleye bite, and it was a good move. We found active walleyes in 5′ – 6′ weedbeds, and ended up with some pretty good numbers of fish in the boat up to 18″. The rain kept coming and Levi kept reeling in fish. I think he’d still be out there if I didn’t have to work the next day… Water temps were in the mid 60’s throughout the day, and we fished through a steady rain all afternoon. According to Levi we reached our record for fish boated on the day, and that’s saying something. You’re a fish catching machine Levi… Way to go!
Brothers Bill (Hudson, WI) and Mike (Cameron, WI) Johnson returned to fish Chequamegon Bay with me on Wednesday. We were dealt an interesting hand as we found water temps in the high 50’s after all of the rain we received overnight. It was a fish here, fish there kind of morning as we struggled to put any real pattern together. The water was dirty, and we had to keep moving to find biters. Action was steady enough to keep our interest, but we never really got into a school of active fish. The wind kicked up in the afternoon, and we were forced to fish a small stretch of water. As luck would have it the water had warmed into the low 60’s, and we found a cooperative school in 4′ – 6′ of water. We used plastics and had pretty steady action with lots of missed/lost fish due to short hits. The brothers Johson boated some really nice fish including several in the 20″ class. We had to work for everything we caught, but persistence paid off. Bill and Mike are really good guys and a pleasure to have in the boat. Nice work fellas. See you in the fall!
George Whitman from Plainfield, IL and his nephew Mike returned for a half day trip in the Hayward area on Thursday, and we were on a walleye mission. George and Mike have caught plenty of big smallmouth and even a 40″ pike on Chequamegon Bay with me, so we thought a switch in venues would be fun. I had no idea how fun… We pulled into a weedbed in 4′ – 6′ of water, and it was nothing but catch, catch, catch from the start. Slip bobbers with leeches & jig/minnow combinations took a bunch of nice eyeballs up to 18″, and we had 64 degree water temps on a cool overcast day. This was the walleye bite we’ve been looking for… We even had a big muskie chase up one of George’s walleyes to the boat. George mentioned that he’d never caught a musky, and it would be fun to hook one. Well… Since spot # 1 was ruined when Mr. Musky crashed the party, we move to spot #2. The walleyes continued to snap as the boys piled up numbers of good walleyes. Things got really interesting when George set into a fish that had grabbed a jig & minnow. Drag screamed and a musky rocketed out of the water. Chaos! George fought the fish beautifully for several minutes, and was able to guide it into the net. His first musky ever was an incredibly thick 45″ tiger with awesome colors. Unreal!!! Couldn’t have happened to a better guy in my opinion. Our first two muskies of the year have been memorable to say the least. This is why we do what we do… Congratulations, and thanks for a great day George and Mike. Not sure I’ll be able to get you a tarpon when you come back in September, but I’ll do my best!
Have a great weekend everyone!