Summer is finally here! I think?… Stable weather and warm temps over the past few days have been long over due, and we’ve been able to put a few fish in the boat to go with it. Dan Uniejewski from Nashville, TN returned on Wednesday, and we were in search of walleyes in the Hayward area. It’s always a treat to fish with Dan. His days are all about learning with a little fishing in between. I usually learn a few things along the way as well, and Dan insists on netting my fish and taking my pictures. Kind of a cool switch from the normal program, and I certainly don’t complain… The A.M. bite was slow on our first lake, but we were able to locate some pike and walleyes on weed edges in 15′ – 18′ of water dragging crawler harnesses. There weren’t many bites, but a stout 25″ eye ended up in the boat after one heck of a net job by Dan. We decided to switch lakes in the afternoon and continued to pull crawler harnesses along shallow weed edges in 5′ – 8′ of water. Walleyes up to 18″ along with a nice 35″ pike were active, and Dan continued to work the net and camera. He’s going to spoil me… The weather was almost perfect with temps in the low 70’s, and our results from the day were the same. New spots found, and a few fish caught. Just how Dan likes it!
We’ve had lot’s of family visiting the Hayward area over the past couple of weeks, and I was able to get a few of my cousins/friends on the water Wednesday evening. Joey Evans (10) and his father Matt from Indianapolis, IN connected on a nice 15″ largemouth bass during shift #1. Jeremy Neibert with his boys Jackson (10) and Luke (9) from Morgantown, IN took over shift #2 and put on an impressive performance as well with more largemouth up to 15″ as we worked weeds in 10′ of water with plastics. Water temps were in the low 70’s on a near perfect evening to fish. These are some great kids, and I was proud to have the in my boat. There’s going to be a lot of sore lips on that lake after this crew gets done with them… Great to see all of you!
David Russo from Winfield, IL and his son Nick returned on Thursday for a half day of musky fishing. The Russo men have put some nice fish in the boat over the years and began a streak last season that will be hard to beat. 2015 was the first year in my guiding career that we were able to boat at least one musky on every dedicated trip, but all good things must come to an end… Our day looked perfect on paper with overcast skies and light rain, but the fish were stubborn. We worked weed edges in 5′ – 10′ of water with bucktails, jerkbaits, and top waters with only one follow during the morning. We did all of the right stuff, but they just wouldn’t cooperate. Water temps were 73 degrees. Those muskies always have a way of getting even. Bad news for the fish though… The Russo’s will be back in October, and we’ll have a score to settle!
Peter Freiberger from Iron River, WI and his good friend Joe Prohaska form Duluth, MN were back in the boat with me on Friday, and we spent the day chasing walleyes and smallies in the Hayward area. The walleye bite started quick with Joe landing a nice 17″ fish on a leech along a 18′ weedline, but that bite slowed. We switched our focus to smallmouth and found a bunch of fish in 2′ – 5′ rock piles. Peter noted that the larger rocks were producing better, and he was absolutely correct. Any place we found with big boulders had fish, and Joe even landed a rogue 20″ largemouth that must have been lost… I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a big largemouth mixed in with a bunch of smallies. Jigs with plastics dragged through the rocks were our best producers, but we did get a few fish on suspending crankbaits as well. Water temps hit 71 degrees, and we had little to no wind on a warm and sunny day. We spent the last part of our trip focusing on walleyes, and Joe was able to land a perfect 20″ fish on a jig and minnow over rocks in 18′ of water. Our walleyes are spreading out right now, and it pays to be flexible as you’ll find them along weedlines as well as main lake rock structure. Don’t get stuck in the mud… Can’t wait until our next trip fellas!
Joe Lloyd from Downers Grove, IL returned on Saturday, but the program was a bit different. Joe and his wife Sally have had some epic days, but Sally gave up her spot in the boat to their 13 yr. old son Will. Turns out that Will has had some good instruction… Our first lake of the day was a bit slow, and we had a major bug hatch with flat water with high skies. Great combination! We were able to put a few smallies in the net around mid morning using plastics in 5′ – 10′ rocks, but it wasn’t enough action to keep up there. We moved to another lake, and had a better p.m. bite. Plastics along weed edges and breaks in 5′ – 10 of water produced a bunch of fish up to 20 1/5″ with high skies, light winds, and water temps that hit 75 degrees by quitting time. Will was outstanding, and those fish didn’t stand a chance when he rolled through. Weather as perfect, fishing was perfect, and it couldn’t have been a better afternoon with a couple of better guys. Good luck with your hoops Will, and keep up those straight A’s brother. See you next year Lloyds!!!
Some days are hard to put into words and this was one of them… One of my favorite families was back on Sunday, and the Kelleys from Cedar Rapids, IA had a big agenda. Doug and his daughter Emma (15) spent the morning with me fishing smallmouth in the Hayward area. The weather was perfect, and the fish cooperated. Doug and Emma put a bunch of nice fish up to 20″ in the boat on plastics and crankbaits in 5′ – 10′ of water along weedlines and rocks. The mid day shift included my old fishing partner Brianna (13) along with Doug. We switched lakes and found a pile of hungry bluegills over 15′ weedbeds on crawlers. Brianna was fantastic, and put fish after fish in the boat. Brianna and Doug were one heck of a team, and this kiddo was a fish catching machine! Mom got into the mix for shift #3, and we switched lakes again. Sara and Emma were in the boat, and a walleye dinner was in mind. It didn’t take long to accomplish our mission. We found an active school of fish up to 18″ over mid lake rocks in 15′ – 18′ of water and put a limit in the boat in short order. The Kelley gals were darn near perfect, and slip bobbers with minnows worked best. Mission accomplished! Thank you so much Kelleys for a fantastic day, and I can’t wait to do it again. I’m proud of you too Brianna, and good luck on the cross country course next fall Emma! Where does the time go???…
Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone. Please remember that freedom isn’t free!