Hayward, Wisconsin & Chequamegon Bay Fishing Report 7-9-16
Lots going on this week with the weather and the fish… I can’t believe we’re already past the 4th of July! High skies and warm temps have dominated the weather in northern WI over the past several days, and warming water temperatures definitely have fish transitioning to main lake structure near deep water. Dave Casper from Eagle, WI joined me on Tuesday morning in the Hayward area, and we got off to a good start fishing deep weedlines in 15′ – 18′ of water. We used slip bobbers with leeches, and Dave put some really nice smallmouth up to 18″, largemouth up to 19″, and walleyes up to 18″ in the net. We moved around quite a bit and would catch a few fish at each stop. Dave and I also investigated the shallow rock smallmouth bite that’s been happening for us over the past few weeks, but that appears to be done for now. Dave’s son Jeff from Franklin, WI joined us in the afternoon. Winds died, and we had flat water with hot temps and high skies. Our electronics were put to good use, and we started searching deep rock humps in 18′ – 25′ of water. It took some patience, but we were able to locate some really nice fish including walleyes up to 25″ and smallmouth up to 19″. Leeches on slip bobbers continued to be our best presentation although we did get a few fish on minnows as well. Water temps hit 74 degrees, and the Casper men came through in a big way. It was a great day with good guys and some impressive fish landed. Perfect!
Dan Fenske (DeWitt, IA) and Ryan Svoboda (Grand Forks, ND) had a couple of epic days last year, and returned to fish Chequamegon Bay on Wednesday along with their buddy Jason Hammerback from Clear Lake, MN. We were dealt a tough hand on day #1 of their 2 day trip with flat water and high skies but found some fish in 5′ -6′ weed beds. The boys boated smallies up to 19″ and several pike up to 28″ on a variety of presentations from spinnerbaits, to plastics, to live bait. Action was pretty random, but we stuck with it and put a few nice fish in the boat. The afternoon bite was much of the same with one here and one there. We made a big move around mid afternoon and started looking at some off shore structure. After several stops without locating any fish we finished the day shallow and saw some big smallies cruising in 5′ of water, but they wanted nothing to do with eating… Ryan finished the day off with a couple of pike, and it was time to wave the flag. These guys fished hard all day and earned everything they caught. Sometimes you just have to work for it! Water temps ranged from 69 – 75 degrees depending on the areas we fished, and we were all sizzling by the time we got to the landing. Excellent job today men! I’m thinking a little breeze would be good for tomorrow…
Dan, Ryan, and Jason were back at it on Thursday, and we started the day fishing the Hayward area for smallmouth. The weather had changed considerably with cloudy skies and light rain, and we found some cooperative fish along rock and weed edges in 5′ – 10′ of water. Plastics and minnows both produced some good smallies up to 19″ with a consistent bite throughout the morning and water temps in the mid 70’s. There was also a pretty good bug hatch going on, and I threw a top water bait for awhile as well. It got smashed once, but the fish didn’t stay buttoned up. Bad guide… Ryan had to leave after lunch, and the rest of the gang decided to look for some walleyes on a different lake to finish the day. Lake #2 produced walleye up to 20″, smallmouth up to 17″, and largemouth up to 16″ on slip bobbers and leeches around deep weeds in 18′ and rock in 20′ – 25′. With fish moving deeper on a lot of our lakes, it certainly pays to spend some time looking and utilizing electronics to locate likely spots. Thanks to Dan, Ryan, and Jason for another great trip, and they did one heck of a job as usual. Lots of laughs and good times with this gang… Can’t wait to do it again fellas!
Kris Kaiser from Bloomington, MN has been in search of his first musky for awhile, and he brought along his father in law Steve Farstad from Baker City, OR to the Hayward area on Friday to see if they could make it happen. Everything looked good on paper with overcast skies, mist, rain, wind, and all of the above for weather conditions. Sometimes things work out like they’re supposed to… It didn’t take long for us to get into some action when Steve had a fish blow up on the top water bait he was throwing as we worked weed edges in 5′ – 10′ of water. At our next stop, Kris had a mid 40’s fish chase in his bucktail and make two attempts on the figure 8. So close! We circled back around, and the same fish blew up on Steve’s topwater without hooking up. That fish has 9 lives for sure… We finally connected at spot # 3, and Kris landed a superb 45″ fish. He did a perfect job, and put a perfect fish in the net. Not a bad first musky! The weather got more interesting in the afternoon, and we were constantly pelted with gusty winds and rain. Kris and Steve fished through it, and we ended up seeing three more fish with Kris briefly hooking up with another mid 40’s fish at boat side that gave us one heck of a show when it rocketed out of the water and shook the bait. Water temps ranged from 72 – 74 degrees, and we experienced just about everything there is with musky fishing. Job well done by both men on the day, and congratulations to Kris on a great fish. I think we might have just created a couple of new musky nuts. Sorry boys… I warned you!
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting big results on Saturday considering the weather forecast. High skies, hot temps, and no wind are generally a tough bet when fishing clear water lakes, but you certainly won’t catch anything if you don’t give it a shot. Dave Rollins (Woodbury, MN) along with his boys Josh (Milwaukee, WI) and Ben (Woodbury, MN) returned to fish the Hayward area with me, and our results were pretty darn good. These guys always catch fish, and I’m not sure what I was worried about?… We started the day fishing deep rock piles in 15′ – 20′ of water and caught a bunch of smallies up to 18″ on leeches and slip bobbers. Every spot we stopped on didn’t produce, and we kept moving until the lines got tight. In the afternoon, we worked deep weeds in 15′ – 18′ of water and found some nice walleyes up to 19″. Pretty interesting to catch those fish at that time of day considering the conditions… We wrapped up the day with one heck of a flurry as the Rollins men landed a bunch of big largemouth up to 20″ in 15′ weeds. The biggest fish of the day was landed by both Josh and Ben as it had both of their hooks in its jaw. I’m not going to get in the middle of these two Big 10 grads, and I’ll let them figure out who gets the credit… Leeches and slip bobbers along with a jig and leech produced all of our fish in the afternoon. Water temps hit 76 degrees by the end of the day. As always, the Rollins gang did one heck of a job. Thanks for another great trip fellas, and nice work!
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Congrats to Kris on a sweet fish!