The affects from the rain and flooding in northern, WI are still lingering… Untimely Northeast winds pushed all of the muddy water that had cleared out of Chequamegon Bay back in, and our trip for Friday had to be rescheduled. It’s a mess out there right now… I made the best of it however and took The Morganator out to do a little recon on an inland lake. The results were good, and we caught some really nice smallies up to 18″ on minnows along weed and rock breaklines in 15′ – 20′ of water. Skies were high and winds were calm, and the fish bit better than I expected with water temps in the mid 70’s. It was time well spent on many accounts, and I always believe that things happen for a reason. Morgan did a great cranking in some big fish, but she also impressed me with the photos she took. Chip off the old block!
Saturday was spent with two good guys in the Hayward area. John Ward and his buddy Evan Bauer both from Hudson, WI joined me on a really nice day with high skies, light winds, and warm temps. We started our day targeting walleyes on deep rocks in 25′ – 30′ of water. We located a bunch of fish, but they were uncooperative for the most part. A couple of small eyes came on Jigging Raps, but they wanted nothing to do with live bait presentations. Late in the morning we switched it up and targeted smallmouth finding active fish in 15′ – 25′ of water on rock piles using minnows and leeches. A good flurry of fish up to 18″ made up our minds that we’d be sticking with the smallie bite in the afternoon. Winds laid flat after lunch, and the bite got pretty tough. It was one here and one there as we bounced from spot to spot, and we’d usually catch one fish at every stop. Water temps hit 76 degrees by the end of the day. John and Evan took advantage of every opportunity we had, and put a respectable day together despite tough conditions. We had a good time with lots of laughs, and I know one thing for sure. I’ll pass on the kale chips… Thanks for a great time fellas!!!
Tom Kladar (Eagan, MN) and his friend Jim Bourland (Palm Harbor, FL) planned on fishing Chequamegon Bay with me on Sunday, but persistent dirty water conditions made fishing inland a much better option. We fished a Hayward area lake and found just what we were looking for. Hungry smallmouth bit well throughout the day and we caught a pile of fish up to 19″ including Tom’s personal best working 15′ – 20′ breaks with minnows. It was definitely a “down” bite though as I experimented throughout the day with various suspended presentations without any luck. The fish wanted things close to the bottom, and that was it… Give them what they want! Weed edges produced best for us, and almost every mark on the graph was followed by a fish in the net. Tom and Jim connected on nice smallies at nearly every spot and did one heck of a job figuring out the bite. Good customers, good weather, and good fishing. These are the days I’ll be thinking about at the end of October. Water temps crept into the upper 70’s with very little wind. We’re starting to heat up again… Excellent work men, and I’m looking forward to our next trip!!!
Monday was spent with the Herzogs who had a big family reunion in the Hayward area. John and his 7 yr. o.d son Logan (Dubuque, IA) along with Vietnam veteran grandpa Stan (Geneva, IL) spent the morning with me, and we were on a fish catching mission. The bite was a bite slow, but we managed to catch fish at nearly every stop including smallmouth up to 18″ and largemouth up to 18″ on leeches and minnows over rocks and weeds in 15′ – 25′ of water. Water temps hit the high 70’s by noon on a warm day with high skies, and we had to do a lot of spot hopping to stay on biting fish. Logan was outstanding and showed the “Big Guys” how to do it. This kid is going to be a fishing machine! We switched things up in the p.m. and Stan’s wife Dianne joined us as we moved to a different lake to target walleyes. The shallow weed bite continues to produce, and we put a bunch of nice fish up to 19″ in the net on leeches and minnows in 5′ – 7′ of water. Dianne was a natural, and we all agreed that potato chips along with her pink hat were good luck. Things were cooking by the end of the day as water temps approached 80 degrees. The next time things get slow, I’ll definitely be looking for the chips! Great job today Herzogs, and thanks for your service Stan. Enjoy that fish fry!
My buddy Jude Adams (13 yrs. old) from Hanover, MN returned on Tuesday, and as usual brought along his dad Troy and grandpa Bill (Trempeleau, WI). We had an interesting start to the morning and spent the first part of our trip waiting at the landing for thunderstorms to clear. More rain. Just what we needed… Jude was a champ though, and after the thunder had passed, he said “let’s go”. My kind of kid!!! It was a good choice, and we got into some big fish on our half day trip in the Hayward area. Our first spot produced some of the largest fish this crew has ever caught with me, and that’s saying something. The Adams boys put smallies up to 20″ and walleyes up to 25″ in the net on minnows with slip bobbers over rocks in 15′ – 20′ of water. Steady rain made things a bit soggy, but the fish didn’t seem to mind. We ended our trip with a good rush, and everyone boated “one more” before quitting time. Grandpa Bill has a score to settle with one that got away however, and I’m thinking that fish might be in trouble next year. Water temps were in the high 70’s, and you could feel the humidity building after the rain quit in late morning. Good call to get after it in the nasty weather Jude. I never doubted you, and keep banging on those drums brother. I can’t wait to buy tickets to your first concert!
We finally made it back to Chequamegon Bay on Wednesday. The muddy water has cleared out for now, and it was good to be back on the big drink. Robin Drackley and Kathy Matsko from Crystal Lake, IL spent a hot and steamy day with me and put some really nice fish in the boat. I wasn’t overly optimistic with the forecast calling for temps in the 90’s and flat water, but you don’t know if you don’t go! The forecast held true, but the bite was better than expected. We had steady action throughout the day using a combination of minnows along with crankbaits on rocks and weeds in 12′ – 25′ of water. Robin landed a couple of dandy 21″ smallmouth at our first stop, and we even put a few bonus walleyes up to 24″ in the net. The crankbait bite was a nice plus as the lack of wind made live bait presentations pretty tough. Things really got cooking and water temps ranged from 71 degrees at the start of the day to 75 by the time we quit. Robin and Kathy did one heck of a job throughout the day, and I don’t think they missed any opportunities. Nice job ladies, and enjoy the rest of your vacation!