Monday, June 16, 2014

Damage control on Chequamegon Bay

This is what happens when you have four great days on Chequamegon Bay!  I had to do some damage control on my fishing thumb to round out the last day on the water.

No need to mention again what a great fisheries Chequamegon Bay is with many fish over 3 lbs., but I just had too.  Along with quantity comes quality out on the bay.

Fished with a good friend on Friday and Saturday.  Continued with Larry and Ron from outstate on Sunday and Monday.  What a great group of people to share the boat with, lots of good laughs and great conversations and making lasting memories.

Friday June 6, 2014
Very nice day out on Chequamegon today.  Lots of big bass boated on the fly.  Intermediate sink tip line twitched slowly was a good bet.  Lots of little ones willing to take faster moving flies up shallow.

Saturday June 7, 2014
Good sized thunderstorm and heavy rains Saturday morning until about 2pm.  Overcast becoming sunny later in the afternoon.  Winds were low until the clouds blew out and the wind picked up.

Sunday June 8, 2014
Cool, sunny day.  A lot of boats today and the landing was packed.  We managed to get a bunch fatties.  I wanted to fish the deeper drop offs and channels, but the boat traffic was too much.

Monday June 9, 2014
Cool, mostly cloudy, light winds in morning.  Sunny and wind picked up in afternoon.  The top water bite was good in the shallows early morning.  Ron managed his biggest smallmouth on the fly rod at 19.5".  What a nice looking fish.

There are some bigger fish located on the first drops in deeper water.  Most people were fishing up shallow, 3 feet or less.  The bigger males and females are hanging out in the deeper water 5-8 ft.  Hard to fish with fly rods when the wind is blowing, but it is doable.  Using jigs in the deeper water was a good bet.

Overall the water temps ranged from upper 50 to mid 60's for the majority of the bay.  There was some warmer temps near 70 as you getter further up into Sand Cut and Kakagon Slough areas.  Air temps ranged from mid 50's to upper 60's as there was a easterly wind much of the weekend.  Lake Superior water is probably still in the upper 40's, ouch that cold.

I expect the spawn to be in the latter half after this weekend.  There are plenty of areas that smallmouth spawn that never see a lure.  There are also lot late spawners, and usually bigger males out in deeper spawning areas.  Areas where you usually can't see the bottom.

Rock bass are coming in heavy which signals the tough fight for protecting males and means rapidly warming waters.  The juvenile bass are starting school up and chasing minnows.  The bigger fish will join them soon.  If the water stays relatively cool, the bigger fish will stay shallow picking off young of year fry and other baitfish.  This makes for great top water action!

Everyone get out while the action is hot.  It won't be long until the deeper weed lines and structure, with warmer water draws the big fish out to the main lake.

Tight lines!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chequamegon Bay June 4 2014

It was an excellent day to be on Chequamegon Bay!  Tim and I had a great day catching some big bronzebacks.  Tim is a great fishing partner and made the trip very enjoyable, thanks again.  The action was much better in the late morning to early afternoon.  After a major wind shift blowing from the SE, the action slowed down.  A few Seiche tides happened through out the day.  Wind blowing one way and the boat going the opposite direction can screw with your mind.  The air temps were hovering in the 60's.  The winds were from light and variable to 10-15 mph gusts in the afternoon.  When the sun was out and the winds were low it was t-shirt weather.  Just a slight breeze brought the jackets back on.  The water temperatures ranging from 58 on the main lake to about 65 around the Oak point area.  Kakagon Slough area was off colored a bit from the recent rains Monday/Tuesday.  There are plenty of fish to catch, so get out and get some action!

The one thing I did not want see is a half dozen 3 to 5 pound smallmouth floating dead in the water!!  I'm sure there were a few more that I didn't see.  That's just unacceptable!  Fish with gills tore up and one with a hook line still attached clearly cut to spare the fish.  It sucks to see a big 4 pound female full of eggs trying to stay up right and line running out of its gullet  Hey, I understand fish are going to die from time to time, but damn, do your best to not let it happen.  At least the fish won't go to waste as there are plenty of eagles in the area.

I have an idea which boat it was because it was a fairly slow day boat wise.  You can spot bait users easily a mile away out on the bay.  I have nothing against using live bait and everyone is entitled to fish their way.  I just choose not to use live bait when there are a high number of 3 to 5 pound smallmouth in such a small concentrated area?....come on!  Why are they in this area to begin with??  To spawn!

Each person is allowed to fish with three rods.  One boat had four rods going, three bobbers and one casting.  It looked they were slip bobbering for walleyes.  If your going to use live bait, please hold on to your bobber rods and set the hook the second it goes down!  Start using bigger hooks and/or circle hooks.  There is no excuse to let these big smallies run with the bait and waste time winding up slack line.

Let's protect this great resource we have on Chequamegon Bay!  I say we start a petition to go back to artificial only.  Every fish counts.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Can't touch this....Clouser time!

Clouser's ready for action!

I have some new recruits to add to the arsenal I already lost this year.  The Gamakatsu B10S stinger hooks are sticky sharp!  A fish just needs to breathe on the fly and they are hooked :)  I'm trying a few different experimental colors and tying just a bit sparser this year.  The secret Chequamegon Bay color is somewhere in there ;)  As I wrote this, I wondered who takes pictures of the flies they tied.......Hope everyone it out enjoying the weather and wetting a line!
Tight lines!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chequamegon Bay smallmouth on the move!

Got out with my good friend Mike K. from MN.  The launch parking lot was packed!  I got my morning walk from my truck to the boat :).  It was the first day on the bay this year for the both of us and what a day!  Easily near 25 fish, with lots of 17" fish.  We got fish on just two different flies, the strip leech and clouser minnow.  Using the strip leech was key in the shallower water, but the clouser did great in the deeper water.  There are a few small areas in the bay warm enough to hold fish, but that will change quickly as the air temps normalize to summer temps.  Otherwise my fishing logs says that we are two weeks behind in water temperatures, but that could change quickly depending on the weather.

Lots of bigger male bass staking claim to their three foot circle.  I didn't see any active nests, but not to say there weren't any.  I would say in the next week, females will be dropping eggs in the warmest sections of the bay.  The bigger females are sitting out in a little deeper waiting for the water temps to stabilize in the spawning areas.  Finally the water is becoming warmer which is making the fish more active.  The cooler Lake Superior water (which keeps the air cooler) will prolong the spawn well into June.

Water Temps:  51-64 F Degrees, Air Temps: 50-70, Winds calm, variable to 10-15 mph in the afternoon, switching back and forth from N to S to N.  Seiche tide occurred a couple of times.  One coming in and one going out, pretty strong ones at that.

If you can get out to Chequamegon Bay, make the effort!  Tight lines!