Chequamegon Bay & Hayward, Wisconsin Fishing Report 9-21-16
It’s funny (or not…) how mechanical issues tend to happen all at once with me. We ended last week with a few problems to work out and began the weekend with the same. If the saying is true that things happen in 3’s, I should be good for awhile! Matt Hendricks (Shawano, WI) returned on Saturday and brought along his father Bob (Minong, WI) along with brother in law Ben Rykhus (Bloomington, MN). We spent the day on Chequamegon Bay, and the first couple of hours were fairly uneventful catching a few smallies without any real pattern developing. We bounced around to a few spots and hit the jackpot before noon. A stack of fish were piled up along a weed edge in 12′ – 15′ of water and feeding on huge balls of baitfish that we could see near the surface. Big winds had bunched up the bait, and we were right in the middle of a feeding frenzy. Just when things got interesting, Ben let me know that my trolling motor was falling off the boat… Thanks for the heads up Ben! Some bolts had worked themselves loose, and I ended up pulling the motor off of the bow so we could continue fishing. Thankfully the fish continued to feed, and the trolling motor wasn’t needed. Bob, Matt, and Ben landed multiple doubles and triples throughout the rest of the day including Ben’s 21″ beast. We used minnows throughout the day, and water temps ranged from 64 – 66 degrees with west/northwest winds up to 20 mph. You never know how a day will turn out, and this was a good example. What an adventure! Only one question remains… How did we let the Viking fan catch the largest fish??? Thanks for a fun day fellas!
Doug Custer (Chippewa Falls, WI) was back in the boat with us on Sunday, but he left his dad and brother behind this time in exchange for his wife Sunny. This trip was a birthday present for Sunny, and the rest of the Custer boys are going to have big shoes to fill. We spent the day on Chequamegon Bay fishing smallies and had fairly rough seas to start the day. North winds continued to push piles of bait onto a sand flat in 12′ – 15′ of water and we had steady action throughout the morning on minnows. The Custers were outstanding and put a bunch of fish in the net up to 20″. Sunny fished like an old pro, and Doug picked up where he left off on his spring trip. By late morning the winds had calmed down and fishing was about as perfect as it could be with water temps holding around 66 degrees. We ended our morning with a pike double on a couple of mid 20’s fish. Sunny was in the mood for some fish tacos, so she’ll be taking home plenty of fillets to make it happen. Only for you Doug! After cleaning fish and a late lunch, we had a few hours left and took advantage of the spectacular weather. We explored the big lake and all of the incredible views before we decided to wrap things up so the Custers could get home for the Packer/Viking game. Priorities… It was a fun day with a really fun couple. Hard to beat a day like this. Happy birthday Sunny, and I’ll see you next spring Doug! Go Pack!!!
After a few of days spent on the big drink, we were back in the Hayward lakes area Monday with a couple of our favorites. The devastating Packer loss on Sunday night didn’t keep Eric Halverson and his father Carl (Tomahawk, WI) from making their annual trip, and it was good to see my old friends. Eric and I battled it out on the football field years ago (more years than I care to admit…), and this is always a special day on my calendar. Lots of stories and lots of laughs. A 20% chance of rain turned into 100%, and we spent the morning wearing rain gear chasing walleyes. We located a stack of fish in 32′ – 36′ of water along a sandy break to the main basin of the lake and put some good ones up to 20″ in the net on minnows with jigs and slip bobbers. Our school scattered around mid morning, and we went a bit shallower to see if the smallies were cooperating. The Halverson boys got into some amazing fish in 15′ of water on minnows that included a crazy double with twisted lines and an enormous 21.5″ x 15.5″ bronzeback landed by Carl. It may be the largest smallie we’ve seen in the net this season, and it couldn’t have been landed by a better guy. What a morning! Skies cleared in the afternoon, and the bite got funny. We landed a few nice smallies, but there were more hits and misses than connections. After the morning we had, it was hard to complain… Water temps hit the hit the high 60’s by the end of the day. It’s always great to have these guys in the boat, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Take care Halversons. Isn’t that something Carl?!
We received some unfortunate news and had a change of plans with heavy hearts on Tuesday. Rest in peace Mike Whitman. Our last trip was the best, and you’ll be missed my friend!
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