Hayward, Wisconsin & Chequamegon Bay Fishing Report 8-18-16
Michel Cramer Bornemann and his son Nico from St. Paul, MN have caught a bunch of fish with me over the years, and they returned late last week for another adventure. We spent Thursday in the Hayward area targeting muskies, and conditions certainly looked favorable with a low pressure system moving in with clouds and rain. Unfortunately the muskies weren’t on the same page as the weather men. The Bornemanns ground out the day on two different lakes and only had a few encounters with some very lethargic fish that had no intent on eating anything. We threw bucktails, topwaters, and cranks to a variety of deep and shallow structures throughout the day with no real pattern emerging. Nico and Michel did everything they could and deserved to put one in the net, but it wasn’t in the cards. Water temps were in the high 70’s. Remember Nico… We WILL boat a musky!
The Bornemann’s were back in the boat on Friday, and we started the day on Chequamegon Bay chasing smallies. Much like the day before, we found a very slow bite. After boating only a few fish up to 19″ in the first few hours we pulled the pin and headed inland. Water temps had dropped into the high 60’s in some places on the bay due all of the rain from yesterday. We needed some action, and boy did we get it. The first spot on our new location produced fish right away, and we experienced an insane bite throughout the rest of the day. In fact, there was hardly a time when we could have three rods in the water as someone was constantly hooked up. Just what the doctor ordered! Nico and Michel wore ’em out and caught a bunch of fat smallies up to 18″ as we drifted minnows along 12′ – 20′ weed and rock edges. Every fish we caught was stuffed full of crayfish, and they were definitely on the feed. It was an appropriate and fitting way to end their trip, and I’m glad Nico and Michel were rewarded for sticking with it over the past couple of days. Water temps were in the high 70’s on an overcast day with light northeast winds. There was a rumor going around that the guide could only catch 5″ smallies. Don’t believe a word of it! I have no idea what they were talking about… Excellent job gentlemen. Good luck with football this fall Nico and remember, We WILL boat a musky!
After a few days off the water, we were back at it Wednesday on Chequamegon Bay. Stan and Karen Miller from Alpharetta, GA joined me for the first leg of their two day trip, and we had nearly perfect conditions in the morning with light west winds, high skies, and warm temps. The fish were cooperative, and we had steady action throughout the morning fishing rocks in 12′ – 20′ of water with minnows and crankbaits. Stan and Karen landed some really good fish including walleyes up to 25″ and smallmouth up to 20″. It was one of those “perfect” situations with a good wind and hungry fish. Winds laid flat in the afternoon, and we explored what Lake Superior had to offer. There’s not many days you get to do this, and it was quite a treat. Beautiful! We found a few pike and walleyes, but it wasn’t consistent enough to hold our attention so we headed back into the bay. Winds picked up again by late afternoon, and we finished the day how we started catching smallies over rocks in 12′ – 15′ of water. Stan and Karen put a hurtin on some nice fish today, and I’d be worried if I was a smallmouth tomorrow… Water temps were in the high 70’s, and hot weather continues to push the needle. Super day with super people. Way to go Stan and Karen!
Karen and Stan were back in the boat on Thursday. We decided to switch things up and head inland. Steamy temps were forecasted, but a nice breeze out of the southwest kept us comfortable. We worked shallow rocks and weeds in 5′ – 8′ of water in the morning and caught a few nice smallies up to 19″ on plastics including an exciting double with rods, reels, and nets flying everywhere. Not sure how we got both those fish in the net with all of the chaos, but the Millers made it happen! The bite was slow however, and we decided to double back and finish our trip on Chequamegon Bay. Good choice! The fish were on fire, and we pounded smallmouth up to 21″ on minnows and crankbaits in 12′ – 16′ of water. The crankbait bite has been really good this summer on the bay, and it definitely puts some bonus fish in the boat. Stan and I agreed that everyone should be lucky enough experience the kind of action we had in the afternoon. What a blast! Water temps inland were in the high 70’s and in the mid 70’s on the bay. Thanks for a great couple of days Millers, and congratulations on some really good fish. Holy doubles!!! Have a great weekend everyone!
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