Hayward, WI, Chequamegon Bay, & St. Louis River Fishing Report 5-11-18
Back in the saddle! A new shoulder, a new web site, and a new season are officially here in northern Wisconsin. Ice out has been the topic of discussion in many parts of the upper mid-west, and I’m happy to report that we’re FINALLY ice free. We spent our opening weekend in traditional fashion with my father (Jim), daughter (Morgan), and The Professor (Terry Peterson). Conditions weren’t exactly ideal. Chequamegon Bay was still frozen, and several of the larger lakes around Hayward still had ice. So… We targeted smaller lakes that were open and thought we’d be able to find a decent crappie bite, but that was easier said than done. High skies and flat water made for tough conditions, and we bounced around on several lakes, 8 total, before we stumbled into fish. It was a bit of a grind, but worth it in the end. 3′ – 5′ of water was the ticket, and we caught a pile of fat pre spawn crappies and perch on plastics under slip bobbers. We searched for the warmest water we could find, and 52 degrees was the sweet spot. Once we found fish, my crew was on point. The Morganator ended her first opening weekend stretching the line on on a bunch of fish, and I believe Terry said it best… Not everything that starts bad, ends bad… Well said! Glad to have you join the Opening Weekend Crew Morganator. Keep on cranking!
Unfortunately I had to cancel my first trips of the season due to ice still locking in Chequamegon Bay during the middle of the week, but was able to take advantage of the open dates. Terry Peterson and I wanted to explore some new water, and found exactly what we were looking for. We were in the Hayward area, and located spawning fish in 3′ – 5′ of water. It’s crazy to think that these fish are still spawning, but it’s happening for sure. The approach was pretty simple but effective. We worked wind swept rock and gravel shorelines with jigs and minnows. Anchor up, catch a few, and move was the program. It was a finesse bite for sure with 1/16th oz. jigs and small minnows being the most efficient approach. We also caught a few on slip bobbers set with minnows just above the bottom. Lots of 16″ – 17″ fish hit the net, and it was definitely a day well spent. A new lake, and a new bite. Perfect! Water temps hit 55 degrees depending on where we were at on the lake, and I’d expect a huge migration of fish to shallow water over the next couple of weeks. Always a fun time of year!
Chequamegon Bay opened up on Thursday, and our partner Aron Kastern didn’t waste any time getting after the early big fish bite. Check out this crazy huge sturgeon he caught during his first day back on the water. Absolutely awesome! Way to go Aron!!!
Warmer water and lots of good stuff is on the way. Good luck to our friends in Minnesota during their opening weekend, and don’t forget to take care of those moms on Sunday. Get out there, and good luck!
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