Tom and Mary Anderson from Birchwood, WI bought their son Tom Jr. from Lino Lakes, MN a fishing trip on Chequamegon Bay for his 40th birthday present, and we brought Tom Jr into old age in style… With stiff NE winds, the Andersons bundled up and persevered through some nasty conditions to put one heck of a day together. In fact, we had another first! Tom Jr. and Tom Sr. teamed up to land the only smallmouth/ brown trout double we’ve ever had. Poor Tom Sr. couldn’t stay away from those brown trout in the morning! He picked them off while Tom Jr. and Mary took care of the bass! We caught fish on minnows throughout the day in 12′ – 20′ of water, and water temps held at 56 degrees. Our largest smallie was a 21″ brute landed by Tom Jr., and Tom Sr. landed our largest brown trout at 18″. Heck if it wasn’t for Tom Sr., I wouldn’t even be reporting on trout!!! The Andersons were a fun bunch to have in the boat, and Happy 40th to Tom Jr!!! Just like a fine wine… You’ll get better with age my friend! I’ll get that seagull back for you Mary!!!
The Hancock crew rolled back into town on Monday. Josh Teigen, Aron Kastern, and I teamed up for three days to put these great guys on some Chequamegon Bay smallies. Russ Hanckock from Carterville, IL, Jim Hancock from Cedar Falls, IA, Ed Hancock from Cedar Rapids, IA, Brett Hancock from Antioch, IL, Kenny Chamness from Elkville, IL, Gary Galbraith from Carterville, IL, and Roger Knox from Bellville, IL all joined us for three great days with lots of fish and lots of laughs. On day #1, I had Jim, Ed, and Russ in my boat as we landed a lot of big fish including a 21 3/4″ stud that Ed put in the boat at the final whistle. We used minnows in 12′ – 15′ of water to catch all of our fish, and it was a super way to kick off our trip. Water temps held at 56 degrees again as we had manageable NW winds. It was sure great to have these guys back in my boat. Even with Russ busting my chops!!!
Day # 2 of the Hancock trip produced some interesting circumstances to say the least. Brett, Russ, and Jim were in my boat, and we started out with ideal conditions that produced an incredible mixed bag of fish that included smallies up to 20.5″, cohos up to 20″, splake up to 18″, walleye up to 22″, and pike up to 32″. To top it off, my crew got to be front and center as a television show was filming on the bay. Russ and Brett will be impossible to talk to now… They landed two doubles as the cameras were rolling!!! With fall colors popping all around and a wonderful variety of fish, this was one of those days that reminds us why we fish in the fall. You can catch anything of any size at any time. Love it!!! We fished with minnows in 10′ – 30′ and had to grind it out in the afternoon when the winds laid down and presented us with high skies and flat water. Water temps warmed to 60 degrees by the time we were done. This crew made it happen though, and we ended the day with one heck of a flurry. Hey Russ and Brett… Can I get your autograph? That’s the fattest smallmouth I’ve ever seen Russ!
Wednesday was the final day of our trip with the Hancocks, and I had Russ, Gary, and Kenny with me for another day of fishing and laughs. Kenny and Gary will sure talk your ear off, and that dang Russ just wouldn’t give me a break! We caught lots of smallies throughout the day that included a 21 7/8″ fish landed by Russ. Still can’t crack 22″!!! The highlight of the day may have been Gary’s walleye however. He put an absolutely beautiful 29″ fish in the net that’s one of the nicest eyes I’ve seen all year. It was a perfect fish in every way, and Gary did one heck of a job making sure we landed it. Other than Russ threatening to fight Kenny in the afternoon, these guys seemed to get along just fine. We caught all of our fish on minnows in 12′ – 17′ water as we dealt with everything from stiff south winds to no wind at all. Water temps ranged from 56 – 60 degrees. Big thanks to this crew for another incredible three day blast and to Josh and Aron as well for all of your hard work. Enjoy those fall colors everyone!!!