I’ve been holding back on this for a few days but finally accepted it… Leaves are starting to change, and fall isn’t too far down the road for us. I’ve even noticed the loons starting to group up. Seems early, but it always does. Joe LaMantia from Lakeville, MN returned on Friday and we had a blast chasing smallies on Chequamegon Bay. Joe is a smallmouth junkie, and this was his first trip to the bay with me. I don’t think it will be his last… We had a steady bite in the morning over off shore rocks in 12′ – 16′ of water on minnows and landed good numbers fish up to 20″. Winds were steady out of the northeast with overcast skies and periodic rain showers. The wind died in the afternoon and so did the off shore bite. We moved to shorelines with rock and wood in 3′ – 10′ of water and found some really great action on plastics. Every spot we went to had active fish, but we saved the best for last. Joe put a bunch of nice fish up to 21″ in the net to close out the day, and he even let me reel in a few. What a nice guy! Water temps ranged from 72 – 75 degrees with a major cool down on the horizon. Thanks for saving a few for me Joe. What a memorable day!
We were back in the Hayward area on Sunday, and Mike Bassett along with his wife Kathy from Big Tine in Rockville, IN joined me for an afternoon of chasing walleyes on the first of a three day trip. Mike has been a customer and friend of mine for over 20 years, and his trips are usually all about walleyes. He was on a mission to avenge a slow bite from our trip last year, and it was apparent early on that he was serious. A cold front had set in and the bite was a bit slow, but we boated several walleyes up to 18″ including a 30″ pike on minnows and leaches. Jim Stormer from Madison, WI relieved Kathy late in the afternoon and added a few eyeballs of his own to our catch. Water temps had dropped to 73 degrees with comfortable conditions. It sure felt good to get rid of all the humidity we’ve had over the past few weeks, and it was good to have my old friends back in the boat. Fish were holding around weeds in 5′ – 8′ of water, and we had to keep moving to find biting fish. It was usually one or two on a spot but certainly good enough to hold our interest. Bad news walleyes… This crew is just getting started!
Mike and Jim began the first shift on day #2 , and we had another slow but steady bite in the morning. Much the same as the day before, we bounced from spot to spot catching a few with each stop. The 5′ – 8′ weed bed pattern continued with minnows on 1/16th oz. jigs producing most of our fish. Kathy took over for Jim around noon. Winds picked up big time and so did the fish activity. Mike and Kathy made the most of it and boated a bunch of nice eyes up to 20″. Water temps held at 73 degrees, and the wind was really rocking and rolling by late afternoon. The walleyes seemed to like it however, and we weren’t going to complain. For a late August bite, it couldn’t have been much better. By the time we were done, Mike thought it had been one of our best days on the water. I had to agree, and that’s saying something! We even overcame the curse of the milk crate Kathy… This fishing thing seems to agree with you Mrs. Bassett!
Wednesday was the final day of Bassett Blast 2017. Jim and Mike were back in the boat to finish what they started. We continued to fish the Hayward area and wrapped things up in style. Big winds continued, and the bite was slow to start the day. Our first two spots didn’t produce. After a bit of searching, we were able to locate some active fish. Once again, the bite improved as the day progressed. Jim and Mike connected on more walleyes up to 21″ with the 5′ – 8′ weed bed pattern holding steady and jig/minnow combinations continuing to produce. Water temps held around 73 degrees throughout the day. It’s safe to say these guys wore them out after putting a pile of fish in the net over the past few days. Only the walleyes were happy to see them leave, and I don’t blame them! We finished up our day with a stop at Angler’s Haven for some of the best pizza around. A perfect ending to a perfect trip. Mission accomplished Mike, and I’ll see you in November Bassetts!