We needed a cool down, and we got it. After a few nasty days of rain and wind in northern, Wisconsin I was back in the boat with long time customers and friends Greg Lewis and Tim Thompson from Mason City, IA on Saturday. Funny thing is that we’ve never actually got to fish together until now. They bring a big crew for an annual trip in September, and circumstances haven’t put them in my boat. Problem solved! We fished the Hayward Lakes Area and targeted smallmouth. The weed edge bite I’d been on slowed considerably. We caught a few fish in the morning, but it was slow. I wasn’t marking many fish on my electronics and decided to look a little deeper. Bingo! Right before lunch we found a good school on rocks in 20′ – 25′ of water and picked off a few. It made sense with the high skies and flat water we had. Water temperatures had dropped into the low 70’s as well. The deep water pattern continued into he afternoon as Greg and Tim put some super fat fish up to 19″ in the net using minnows. It was really a classic example of late summer fishing. Keep working and looking until you figure something out. It took a long time to get these guys in my boat, but it was worth it. Greg even mastered cranking one in “wrong handed”. You looked good doing it buddy!
You never know how things are going to play out this time of year. Gregg Anderson (Dairyland, WI), his brother Gary (Minneapolis, MN), and Carl Lentz (Dairyland, WI) spent Sunday with me on Chequamegon Bay. When we got to our first spot, I wasn’t encouraged. High skies, flat water, and water temps had dropped into the high 60’s from all of the rain a couple of days ago. We’ve been here before… Predictably, we started slow only catching one small fish along a weed edge in 15′ of water. I wasn’t seeing many fish on our electronics, so it was time to move. It proved to be a good choice, and my crew got into some good smallmouth up to 20″ with slow but steady action as we drifted with minnows over rocks. We moved to another weed edge in 15′ of water before lunch and put a few more good fish in the net. I certainly wasn’t expecting that kind of action with the conditions we had. We’ll take it! After lunch, stiff winds kicked up from the east. I told the guys in the morning that there was a fine line between not enough and too much wind on the bay. This was the line. After getting into a few fish along another weedline that included a fat low 30’s pike, we moved back to rocks late in the day. I was hopefull that the wind kicking up would fire up a good afternoon bite. We had action on every drift with a few short hits and misses, but the bite slowed considerably. Apparently they wanted flat water and high skies today. You can’t argue with a fish! Excellent work by this crew. They didn’t miss on many opportunities, and we also learned a valuable lesson about banannas… Apples or Oranges next time Gregg! Thanks for a fun day fellas, and congratulations on some great fish!!!
One of our favorite families was back in town this week. The Francheks usually come in June but switched up plans this year for a late summer trip. Jacob Franchek (Charlotte, NC), his brother Coleman (Duncanville, TX), and Matthew Cox (Troy, OH) were in my boat on Monday, and we spent our day on the St. Louis River fishing walleyes. Jacob and Coleman’s mom Cindy gave up her usual spot in the boat so the boys could get in a day on the water, but she made it clear that nobody should catch a fish without her present. We had to disappoint her… The walleye bite was slow, but we were able to find some fish up to 19″ in 5′ -8′ of water trolling crankbaits. There was plenty of action in between walleye bites however as the guys cranked in lots of pike, sheephead, and even a bullhead. Can’t remember the last time I saw a bullhead… It was fun getting everyone involved in the process, and we were a well oiled machine by the end of the day. We had several “fire drills” and my crew was flawless. Water temps started at 67 degrees and hit 72 by quitting time with high skies, warm temps and light winds. The bite fizzled late in the afternoon, but we ended with a bang. Jacob and Coleman put a douple in the net to finish things the right way. The guys caught a bunch of fish, and there was nothing I could do about it Cindy. Sorry about that! Great job fellas, and thanks for another great trip. Lots of fun!!!