I’m not trying to wake up any monsters, but we’ve sure had ideal conditions to get on the ice so far this year. Aside from a few nasty days in the mix, our temperatures have remained reasonable and travel conditions are about as good as it gets. After two previous seasons of brutal if not impossible conditions, I guess we had it coming. I think Josh and Aron would agree!!! Wednesday and Thursday last week gave Josh Teigen some flashbacks however… He fished with Kevin and Mark for half day Lake Superior and half day inland combos. They battled 30 mph winds and negative temperatures for two tough days on the ice. As suspected, the fish didn’t want to cooperate as well. Cold fronts will do the same thing to an ice bite as with open water, and the guys struggled to connect with many fish. On Wednesday, they managed a couple of whitefish in 90′ – 100′ of water on blade baits before moving inland. The inland bite was a bit better with 4 walleyes up to 24″ and a pike finding there way to the hole on tip ups with shiners as well as Jigging Raps in 14′ – 27′ of water. Thursday’s weather wasn’t much better. The winds were worse, but the temps had warmed a bit. They braved the big water again in the morning and found some browns up to 22″ and splake up to 18″ in 20′ – 40′ of water. That’s more like it! They used tip ups with shiners and jigged blade baits and Kastmasters. Now it was time to head back inland. This time, the walleyes decided to shut down with only two fish up to 20″ coming on tip ups with shiners in 25′ of water. Unstable weather usually means inconsistent fishing, and these two days were excellent examples. The guys made the best of it though, and that’s the difference between catching “a few” and catching “none”. Kevin, Mark, and Josh kept at it and were able to catch some nice fish in extreme conditions. Way to hang in there guys. May you find fair winds and sunny skies when you return!
On Friday, Josh fished with Kevin and John for a full day on the big water. With the cold front on it’s way out, Josh was able to get back into a mixed bag of browns, lakers, herring, whitefish, and splake in 15′ – 65′ of water. The action wasn’t fast, but it was certainly improved over the two previous days with John landing a great looking 27″ brown. Kastmasters and blade baits produced once again, and I’m sure Josh was happy to see things getting back to normal with a strong multi species bite continuing to be the story on Lake Superior this winter. Job well done Josh. I’d say you’ve earned a few warm days!!!
I had the opportunity the get on the ice last weekend with some old friends to chase some crappies on an inland lake. Spencer Sundeen from Ashland is turning 40, and we thought the old man deserved a day out while he still can fish… Shawn, Eric, Brian and Wyatt Lund (Ashland, WI); Mike Lund (Rochester, MN); Mark Sundeen, Kent Bassett, Jackson Bassett, and Kyle Linton (Spooner, WI) all joined us for a fun day of fishing, talking smart, and telling stories. It was also Wyatt’s (8 yrs old) first time ice fishing, and I’d say he’s already going to give his father Eric a run for his money!!! We found fish in 23′ – 25′ of water andcaught them on anything from a small jig and plastic to spoons tipped with waxies or minnows. It wasn’t an overly aggressive bite by any means, and you really had to work at it to get them to committ. The key was to pop holes until you located fish and move frequently. Our fish ran from 9″ – 11″ and the action started to pick up late in the afternoon. Of course, right when we had to leave!!! We had 15″ of good ice with easy travel conditions as we drove trucks right to our spot. After some friendly wardens helped us jump one of the trucks with a dead battery, were were off to town to celebrate Spencer’s birthday with our families. Even though we were a bit late, all was forgiven. I think… Thanks to all of the guys for one heck of a fun time, and I look forward to doing it again. Thanks as well to the wardens who helped us out. Wyatt, you’re the man!!! Spencer, you’re old!!! Sorry brother…
While Aron Kastern and his wife Lacey were patiently awaiting the arrival of their first child (which is due any day…), Aron was busy putting his customers on some good fishing over the past week. Aron is still targeting the Bayfield area for whitefish and lakers with the bite continuing to be strong on most days. Wandering schools of fish are being located in 40′ – 100′ of water, and not much has changed with the approach. Pimples and rattle spoons tipped with waxies and minnow parts continue to produce fish consistently with electronics playing a key role in locating schools of fish as well as target areas in the water column. Numbers and size of fish continue to be very impressive, and it’s hard to beat the action on light tackle. Mobility on the big lake is always key, and you have to be willing to move in order to stay on active schools of fish. Aron reports solid ice conditions around Bayfield with 15″ in most areas along with smooth travel for both ATV’s and snowmobiles.
Aron’s pictures from the week include Bob Focht of Spooner, WI along with his sons Steve, Rob, and Nate. The Fochts caught a pile of whitefish along with lakers up to 23″. Steve had the hot hand with 8 keeper fish landed along with a few that went back. Bryan Altendorf and Steve Jerde of Minnesota caught some nice lakers including a nice 32″ fish landed by Steve on light tackle after a 10 minute show. It was Steve’s first time back on the water in many years, and he certainly did it in style! Bryan and Steve also landed a bunch of whitefish on their trip as well. Long time customers Brad & Deb Cole, Jeff & Kelly Butler, Matt & Tabatha Peters, and Bob & Sheila Merrit spent two days laughing, catching up, and catching fish that included a nice mess of whitefish and lakers. Brad and Deb won the couples contest for the most and biggest fish each day. Way to go guys! I’m not trying to start a problem here, but did the guide slip you a secret bait??? CJ Compton and Brad Joanis were along once again to locate fish and provide top notch support and instruction. What a great team!!! Nice job this week Aron, and keep us posted on your pending arrival. We can’t wait to hear the news!!!