Hayward, Wisconsin, St. Louis River, & Chequamegon Bay Fishing Report 8-10-18
Some much needed rain last week helped take the edge off of an incredibly hot and dry July, and we’ve enjoyed relatively stable weather over the past week with warm weather and reasonable winds. I think we deserved it… Although August isn’t on the top of many people’s “Prime Time” fishing periods, I could argue that it’s one if the best times to be on the water. Sunny skies, comfortable temperatures, and fish beginning to binge can be hard to beat.
It’s been awhile since we did some crappie catching, and it didn’t take much coaxing to get Gary Anderson (Minneapolis, MN) & his brother Gregg (Dairyland, WI) on board with the plan. I noticed a bunch of fish starting to bunch up over deep mud flats last week when I was musky fishing, and I was curious to see if a typical late summer pattern was setting up. I won’t keep you in suspense. It was and is! We quickly located large schools of fish in 19′ – 22′ of water, and they were cooperative. The bite was steady, with Gary and Gregg consistently bringing in fish up to 11″ using slip bobbers and plastics. I tried several different presentations while they were hauling them in, but bobbers were the answer. Who am I to argue? When the bite would fizzle out we’d move a little bit to find the next school. The morning went by quickly with lots of tight lines and bent rods. The afternoon was even better. I dropped anchor on spot #1, and we didn’t move until quitting time. They just kept biting, and we just kept catching. The weather was perfect, the bite was excellent, and I had a couple of really good guys in the boat. Water temperatures held around 74 degrees, and we couldn’t have picked a better day to spend in the Hayward Lakes Area. Good having you back in the boat Gary and Gregg. Enjoy that fish fry!
I try not to take for granted the diversity of our fishery in northwest Wisconsin. There’s always lots of options, and you can go from catching crappies on an inland lake to trolling for walleyes on Lake Superior in the blink of an eye. We started to put together a good walleye bite on Lake Superior last week, and weather conditions were favorable to try it again. It’s one of those deals where you’re all in or you’re not in, and I had a good crew along to give it a shot. Good buddies Gabe Champeau (Superior, WI), Branden Bembenek ((Norske, WI), and Luke Dobbe (Custer, WI) came along on Wednesday for a day on the big drink, and we had everything in our favor. Warm temps with south winds were in the forecast, and we spent the morning trolling crankbaits in front of tributary river mouths. There was a bunch of bait on the graph in 20′ – 25′ of water, and I had a feeling we’d get into some good fish. The bite was slow however, and it took us awhile to get hooked up. It was worth it though when Branden put a tank 25″ walleye in the net to break the ice. Not long after, Luke was on the board with a solid fish in the low 20’s. Here we go! Gabe was next, and he hooked up on a heavy fish that broke off just as we unclipped the board. I think we’ll be telling stories about that one for awhile… It was the exact reason why you come here at this time of year. Dang! With time running out in the day we ran back into the St. Louis River Harbor to see if we could connect on a few more. It didn’t take long to get hooked up, but another good walleye came unbuttoned at the net. We’ve had a lot of good fortune over the years, but I think it was all payed back today. We’re no longer fishing on credit… We pulled crankbaits in 5′ – 7′ of water until quitting time and had a cool young tiger musky hit the net along with a few other rips and misses. Water temperatures on the big lake were in the low 60’s and in the low 70’s in the harbor. We earned every fish that was caught, and I had some great fellas along for the ride. Thanks for the fun day boys. How big was that fish Gabe?!!!
Crappies… Walleyes… I guess it’s time to give the smallmouth bass some attention. We had the perfect crew to take care of that on Thursday. Bill Johnson (Hudson, WI) and his brother Mike Johnson (Bloomer, WI) returned to fish with us in the Hayward area, and they were ready to get after it. These guys have been fishing with us for several years and they know the program. A huge bug hatch had happened over night, and the water was covered with evidence when we arrived at our first spot. It wasn’t encouraging, but I’ve seen bug hatches go both ways. Well, today it was in our favor! We immediately got into fish after locating them on rock piles in 20′ – 25′ of water. The sky was high, and the water was flat. Pulling live bait rigs was the perfect answer, and my crew connected on good numbers of fish up to 18″ before lunch. It’s “Spot & Stalk” season for smallies, and we spent a lot of time looking at our electronics before committing to fishing a spot. Action was steady, and the Johnson brothers kept their lines tight. With a good morning on the books, we decided to switch lakes for a change of scenery in the afternoon. The same pattern held true with fish holding on deep rock piles, but it took us awhile to find the right spot. Well, we finally did. The Johnson boys put one heck of an afternoon together with a late day rally that included multiple doubles and a bunch of good bronzebacks up to 19″. There’s never a bad time to catch smallmouth, and today was just what the doctor ordered. Big numbers days in August?… Who knew??? Water temps hit 75 degrees by quitting time. Always good to have these guys in the boat. Sorry you had to buy the beer Bill! Go Bucky & Go Pack!!!
With the smallmouth bass biting the way they did yesterday it would seem kind of silly not to give them another try. It’s been a brothers thing lately, and we continued the trend on Friday. My good friends Steve Berg (Orono, MN) and his brother Bob (Maple Grove, MN) booked a day to take their 10 year old boys on a fishing trip. Always love to see that! A smallmouth bass request was made, and I knew just where to start. We spent our day back in the Hayward area, and the weather was almost identical to the day before with warm temperatures, high skies, and no wind… Usually that’s a kiss of death for us at this time of year, but fortunately our fish haven’t got the memo. We went back to spot and stalk fishing using our electronics to locate schools of fish on rock piles in 15′ – 25′ of water. With no wind, the trolling motor got a work out as we pulled minnows on live bait rigs over marked fish. We were hooked up right away, and it was the beginning of a big day. Mason and Preston were quick learners and put a bunch of solid smallies in the net including multiple doubles. They even let the dads get in on the action! If you find fish in the right mood big numbers days are possible at this time of year, and we were on our way! After lunch, it was time for some swimming to cool off before getting back after the fish. It took a little time to get in a groove, but we definitely found it. A big school of fish was hungry, and we wrapped things up with lots of tight lines and bent rods. The cousins had our program dialed in, and were consistently connecting on good fish until quitting time. Steve and Mason teamed up to put the fish of the day in the net after they battled a fat 20″ pig to the boat, and I was completely impressed with the entire gang. Warm summer days, hanging with your cousin, and catching a bunch of fish. That’s what it’s all about! Water temps hit 78 degrees by the end of the day, and I’m pretty sure everyone had their fill of sun. No complaints here! Outstanding work by the Berg men. I think we’ll do it again next year!!!
Whether its walleyes on Lake Superior or crappies and smallmouth on our inland lakes, there’s a lot of opportunities to catch fish right now. We’re running out of summer, so it’s time to get after it. Be safe, have fun, and catch a bunch of fish!
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.