We worked out of Angler's Haven Resort on Tuesday, and Bob Spoerl from Waupaca, WI was back in the boat along with his son Lucas from LaCrosse, WI. It was a bit of a soggy start as we dodged thunderstorms throughout the morning, but it didn't take us long to get on a good walleye bite. We found them around emerging weedgrowth in 5' – 8' of water. Weedgrowth is still sparse on our lakes, but if you do find some it's holding fish. Lucas had one in the net on his first cast of the day, and that was a trend that continued until quitting time. Fish ranged from 15" – 20" with slip bobbers and jig / minnow combinations working best. Water temperatures were in the high 50's. The bite came in flurries throughout the day, with most spots we stopped at producing good numbers of fish. Bob even added a nice pike in the afternoon after the sun came out. Despite a wet start, it turned out to be a really fun and productive day. Thanks for the great time Spoerls. That was a good one!
Wednesday spent filming a television segment with my good friends Dave Brown from Keyes Outdoors and his brother Tony. If you want to have nasty weather move in and shut down a good bite, just bring a video camera along… Northeast winds, dropping demperatures, and persistent rain resulted in some miserable conditions. We made the best of it however. The goal was to get some nice crappies on film. We were able to get it done, but it certainly wasn't easy. Fish were really scatterred, and we caught them in anywhere from 2' – 10' of water. Without a precise pattern setting up, it was one here and one there while constantly moving from spot to spot. Fish were also really spooky, and we had to launch extremely long casts to get bit. By the end of the day we were wet and cold, but Dave had plenty of footage to work with. Tony and I landed a lot of fish in the 9" – 12" range with a few giants around 14". Water temps held at 59 degrees, but I suspect we'll see a significant drop over the next few days. Despite the weather, it was fun reconnecting with my old buddies. We laughed so much that it certainly didn't seem like work. Good times!
Thursday was scheduled to film again, but it was a complete wash out with high winds and rain. I'm convinced that those cameras attract bad weather… Cold temps and strong east winds continued on Friday morning, but it was all good. My old friend Jeff Miller and his daughter Mariah from Bloomer, WI were in the books. Jeff and I have had some incredible memories from our trips over the years, and it's always good to have him back in the boat. Last year Mariah put a beating on her dad when we fished Chequamegon Bay, and Jeff had revenge in mind. We fished the Hayward Lakes area and started the day with crappies. The bite was slow, but we were able to put together a decent morning catching spawning fish in brush along the shorelines on slip bobbers and plastics in 2' – 3' of water. We'd pick a few off each spot and move. Our fish ranged from 9" – 12", and we caught quite a few females that still had eggs. All were released. Water temps were 59 degrees. Time for lunch at Angler's Haven! After Jordan and Kelsey took care of us it was time to switch lakes and get after some smallmouth. We found a bunch of fat pre spawn smallies along wind blown shorelines using suspending stick baits in 2' – 10' of water. We even saw a few nests that had fish on them. After this weather system gets out of here, I think we'll be in full spawn mode on many of our lakes. Water temps were 55 – 56 degrees. I was kind of surprised at the number of fish we caught considering the conditions but probably shouldn't have been. I had two good sticks in the boat, and it wasn't a fair fight. I'm not going to get in the middle of who caught the most between father and daughter, so you'll have to get it straight from them. Next year should be interesting…. Just plain fun!
Lots to catch out there right now, and we'll be back on Chequamegon Bay next week. Have a great weekend everyone!