It’s definitely been taking awhile for fall to start setting in around northen, WI, but I think we’re making progress… George Pearson (Bainbridge, IN) returned and brought along his buddies Bob Zaring (Fillmore,IN) and Dan (Reelsville, IN) on Tuesday. They showed up for a three day trip and and a full agenda. Walleyes, crappies, smallmouth, and muskies were all on their list, and we started our trip in the Hayward Lakes area targeting walleyes. We located fish in 22′ – 25′ of water and set up on them using jig & minnow combinations along with slip bobbers. The bite was slow, but it was steady. The Hoosier crew put their limit of fish up to 15″ in the boat by noon, and we moved on to crappies for the pm bite. George, Bob, and Dan caught a bunch of big slabs up to 14″ in the boat on plastics. They were holding close to bottom in 22′ – 25′ of water and it took a bit of searching to dial them in. Once we did, it was “game on”!!! Dan was unstoppable. You can only hope to contain him… Water temps held steady at 55 degrees throughout the day. Fun day with a bunch of fun guys. Can’t wait for day #2!
It’s been awhile since we’ve had a big day on Chequamegon Bay. Problem solved… George, Bob, and Dan, were back in the boat on Wednesday, and the results were outstanding. We began the day drifting over rocks in 12′ – 20′ of water with minnows, and the bite was on fire. Action was steady with a few doubles and some big fish over 20″ landed by everyone. Not bad! We moved to a mud flat in the afternoon, and the action continued after dialing in the drift. In fact, I think it got better. According to Dan, we had several “crushing blows” throughout the day, and we put big numbers of big fish in the boat. The late fall bite has been slow to get here, but I think it’s arrived. The Indiana gang put a pile of big fish in the net including multiple doubles and lots of tight lines. It was one of those days you wish everyone could expereience… “Big Shot Bob” was on top of his game, and don’t be fooled by that frown on his face. He really was having a good time! Water temps ranged from 51 – 53 degrees, and winds blew from the north/northwest throughout the day. Great dudes and some great fish. Perfect!!!
Thursday was all about muskies for my crew. George, Bob, and Dan were with me in the Hayward area on a quest to knock a musky off their bucket list. A cold front with a northeast wind moved in and dropped air temps by 20 degrees. We struggled in the morning with no action, and it was obvious that the fish were in a stubborn mood. Our fortunes changed in the afternoon however, and George connected on a fat high 30’s fish that hit a sucker. The battle was quick, but the fish hit the net. Check that one off the list George! We weren’t done however. Bob followed up a little while later with a 40″ fish that nailed a sucker. Big Shot Bob’s first musky put up a pretty good battle, but he was able to put it in the net for our 2nd musky of the day. Nice work Bob! We threw crank baits, jerk baits, and bucktails throughout the day in 10′ – 15′ water along weed edges, and our only action on lures came when George had one nip at his bucktail late in the afternoon. It was a live bait kind of day, and we’ll take them any way we can get em! Water temps were in the low 50’s most of the day and hit 53 degrees by mid afternoon. Congratulations on your muskies men, and thanks for a great trip! I hope you have more “crushing blows” in your future!!!
The Wounded Warriors In Action Bayfield County Cast & Blast began on Friday, and it’s always a day I look forward to. Josh Teigen and I were in charge of taking some heroes fishing, and the day was perfect in every way. Todd and the gang at Delta Diner started us out with a fantastic breakfast. That place is amazing, and you need to check it out if you haven’t already! With full bellies we left for Chequamegon Bay to chase smallmouth bass. Typically, we’ve had nasty weather for this event, and the bay was never an option. The weather was in our favor on this day however, and we had calm seas with comfortable temps. GYST Chris Bussler (USMC) from Harbysburg, OH & SGT Todd Plybon (US Army) from Taylor, TX were in my boat. Josh had SFC Tim Wicks (US Army) from Bismarck , ND & MSG Raymond Soto (US Army) from San Antonio, TX in his. Chris earned his Purple Heart on 3/13/04 in Iraq and Todd’s was earned on 10/19/09 in Afghanistan. Tim’s Purple Heart was earned on 6/6/06 in Afghanistan, and Raymond’s was earned on 12/12/03 in Afghanistan. With a crew like this, those smallies didn’t stand a chance! Action was hot from the start. After Todd landed the first several fish of the day, Chris turned it on as well. We just needed to get that reporter out of the boat Chris! My crew put lots of big smallies in the net up to 21″ along with a bonus 18″ walleye landed by Todd. We worked mud flats in 18′ – 20′ of water with minnows. The bite got tougher as the day went on, and we went to a “Mark em and Catch em” strategy in the afternoon. We’d move around until we found fish on our electronics and catch one out of each school. It worked, and we kept moving from fish to fish. Our heroes did an outstanding job, but nobody should be surprised. This was a crew that can get it done! Josh’s boat had the same results, and our operation was a success on every level. Water temps continue to hang in the low 50’s on the bay, and we have plenty of good fishing yet to come. Awesome day with awesome guys… Now it’s time to kill some bucks. These warriors will be in good hands over the next few days as Jaime Vee and Dan Bourassa guide them on a deer hunt. Good luck, and shoot straight boys!
Big thanks to Chris & Brenda Deising, Delta Diner, Scenic Drive Resort, Flying Eagle Resort, Big Tine, Dairyland Fence, Timberghost Taxidermy, Bottens Green Acres, The Bourassa Family and many local volunteers for making this happen. Mission accomplished, and thanks for your service fellas! No reporters allowed Chris!!!
John Meier (Minong, WI) and his good friend Scott Kimball (Cottage Grove, MN) returned after having an excellent smallmouth trip back in May. Fish with teeth were the target this time, and we spent Saturday in the Hayward, WI area searching for muskies. Our fall musky bite has been slow to come together with most of our lakes still trying to turn over. The first lake we fished was in the middle of that process, and we spent a morning chopping up water without any results. Time to move… Our afternoon was spent listening to the Badger game on a different lake, and it turned out to be a good switch. We dragged suckers, threw bucktails, cranks, and jerkbaits all day along weed edges in 8′ – 12′ of water. Artificials didn’t produce any action, but dragging live bait was definitely the ticket. Our first action of the day came in mid afternoon along a weed edge on a missed fish that apparently wasn’t sure if it was hungry. After swinging back through with more to offer, he changed his mind and hit again. Pretty cool! Scott landed the 40″ fish (his personal best musky), and we were on the board. With time running out in the day, the meat got nailed again. John was able to land his first musky after we chased it into the weeds. Hard to explain, but kind of a crazy deal. John set the hook when it was in 2″ of water, and I was pleasantly surprised that it made it too the net. That scenario usually doesn’t end well… Water temps held in the low 50’s, on an amazing day with sunny skies, light winds, and warm temps. I’ll take it. The Badgers won, and we put 2 muskies in the net. Hard to beat a day like that! Thanks for another great day John and Scott. Congratulations on your muskies, and I can’t wait to do it again fellas. Go Bucky!!!