After a few days spent with friends and family in Door County, WI last week it’s time to get back at it… Our good friends Scott & Mary Mueller, Mike & Meghan Daubner, Leif & DeDe Mickelson, and Matt Tishler along with the smalllmouth bass were awfully good to us, and my partner Terry Peterson even joined in for a fun week of fishing, family, and friends. If you’re planning a trip to the Door County area, I highly recommend staying in Sister Bay. Lundquist Vacation Rentals has great accommodations, and don’t forget to stop and eat at Boathouse On The Bay. Both operations are top notch, and we had an outstanding experience in every respect. Thanks for everything gang. You’re the best! In fact, we’re coming back next year… You’ve been warned!
Tom Martin (Bloomington, WI) and his son Jon (Long Beach, CA) fished out of Northland Lodge this week and spent Monday with me chasing muskies in the Hayward area. Sunny and hot conditions pushed water temperatures to hit 80 degrees. A stiff west wind helped us beat the heat however, and Jon was able to put a really good looking 40″ ski in the net before noon right around “moon set”. Moon activity definitely influences big fish activity, and it pays to take notice of peak times throughout the day. Always nice to head into lunch with one in the boat… We tossed bucktails, topwaters, and crank baits to weed edges in 5′ – 9′ of water throughout the day, and Tom had a good fish chase his shallow running crank bait to the boat in the afternoon. Fish activity was slow, and the Martin men worked extremely hard to get the results we had. If you’re chasing muskies right now, please be extremely careful with any fish you catch. High water temps make them very vulnerable, and there’s little room for error when one is landed. Use a large net, and keep them in the water as you remove hooks. After a quick photo, they should be immediately returned. They’re too valuable to treat any other way. Congratulations to Jon and Tom on your fish. You deserve it men, and thanks for a great time. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures from the rest of your week!
Bill Noreus (Zachary, LA) and Fred Power (Tampa Bay, FL) returned on Tuesday to fish with us in the Hayward Lakes area, and we spent a morning chasing walleyes. After launching, we realized that Bill’s back pack had flown out of the boat somewhere between our meeting spot and the lake. We doubled back and found it sitting along side the road. It was obvious that someone had picked it up and put it there for us to recover. Big thanks to whoever took the time to do this! That’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t get reported in today’s media… With all of our belongings recovered, it was time to fish. Water temps were in the high 70’s, and we started fishing deep rocks in 20′ of water. Bill and Fred landed walleyes up to 18″ on slip bobbers with minnows and leeches, and we even had a few encounters with a musky that broke us off twice and left a few scars in one of our walleyes that it grabbed as Bill was bringing it to the boat. Tough business being a walleye around here… The bite slowed around mid morning, and we started exploring shallow weeds. We found some nice walleyes up to 18″ in 5′ of water using jigs/minnows and slip bobbers/minnows that were willing to cooperate. With the steamy hot conditions it didn’t make a lot of sense, but we weren’t going to argue… It was a great way to wrap up a super trip with two really good guys. No offense Bill, but I’m pulling for our Badgers to take care of your LSU Tigers on the opener at Lambeau Field in September. Thanks for a great time fellas, and Go Bucky!
Wednesday was spent with my favorite fishing partner. Morgan (The Morganator) and I put in a few hours in the Hayward area looking for smallmouth, and it didn’t take long to connect. Our first stop was a series of rock piles, and we caught some nice fish up to 17″ using slip bobbers with leeches and minnows in 15′ – 20′ of water. Electronics are key to consistently catching fish at this time of year, and I don’t stop the boat until I know I’m over fish. After working over a few rock piles, we drifted shoreline breaks and caught more nice smallies up to 18″ on live bait rigs with minnows in 15′ – 25′ of water. As usual, my partner didn’t disappoint and put a bunch of big fish in the net. Water temps were in the high 70’s on a warm day with clouds and rain. Looks like we’ve got a bit of a cool trend on the way in northern, WI. Good timing. We’re getting quite warm, and cooler water temps forecasted over the next week will hopefully keep our fish biting. Great job today Morganator. I’m proud of you kiddo!
There was quite a different feel in the air on Thursday morning with temps in the low 60’s and northeast winds. I fished a half day in the a.m. with Gary Kaurala (Crystal, MN), Tony Mueller (Atlantic, IA), and Lou Scholljegerdes (Ham Lake, MN), and we targeted walleyes. Water temps had cooled overnight to 76 degrees, and our first spot was a bust. We marked a bunch of fish on a 20′ rock pile, but couldn’t get them to eat. We moved back into the shallow weeds and we didn’t need to move much more. The boys caught walleyes up to 20″ on leeches and minnows with jigs and slip bobbers, and the bite got better as the morning went on. By quitting time, the crew had a nice limit of eyes to take home for a fry with lots of fish released as well. The shallow weed bite that has started up again over the past week has been a nice surprise considering the water temps, and it seems a bit strange to be catching them the same way we were at the end of May. I’m sure it’s all about food, and there’s obviously plenty of active fish still shallow. If the deep bite fizzles out on you, don’t be afraid to get back in the green stuff. They’re there, and they’re hungry! Gary, Tony, and Lou were a fun bunch to have in the boat, and lots of laughs with lots of fish made the morning go too fast. Thanks for a great time guys!
We haven’t been on Chequamegon Bay for awhile due to poor conditions caused by the storms and flooding over the past month, and it might be awhile until we get out there. Northeast winds have pushed all of the muddy water back into the bay, and it may take a few days for it to clear out again. Lake Superior can be an unforgiving place… We’ll have a report for you as soon as we can get back out there. Have a great weekend everyone!