Eagle River, WI
Mike here....Back from a great 4 day trip. Lots of walleyes and we kept just enough small males (limit is 15", 2 per person) for a fish fry the final night.. mmmm-good. Decided to try for smallies on day 2. Good decision...
Of the bass caught that trip, 3 of the smallies were over 19" the largest being a monster 20" 6.5 lb beast. Saw 3 muskies but none while actually muskie fishing. 40% of the other boaters we saw were walleye fishing and 60% were muskie fishing so that kind of puts me off on the muskie.
Watermelon Senkos were the lure of choice. The smallies were on sandy flats adjacent to rocks and deep water. If you saw a log, there was a bass by it. They spooked easily though so you had to make long casts. Many times a fleeing bass would spook other bass and they'd all take off. If we'd had leeches I still could have picked some of them off. Too late in the year for that though. We did find some at one bait shop and actually bought all of them. They were tiny to say the least. Doubled up on a jig they still got us some bonus fish.
Pat Lester is quite an accomplished fisherman and we both share a smallmouth bass addiction....That 19.5" smallmouth Lester caught was his personal best. Quite a fight on 4# test. I'm pretty proud of that fish since he was originally not in my boat, but wanted to catch a big smallie. He was shaking when we got her in the net. I was too as I almost botched the landing. DOH!
Pat thought about keeping the bass and have it mounted but after seeing me release three 19+ fish he put his back too. I thanked and congratulated him. (A 3D mount might be coming his way.) Pat showed me a new technique... trailing a leech on a slip bobber about 100ft back of the boat. As we moved along the shoreline, the spooked bass would circle around and move back in as we passed. There was a nice snack waiting for them when they did. This trick worked wonders as Lester proceeded to kick my but 3 to 1. Pat is no longer allowed in my boat.... HA!
My Lund "The Local Moron" performed well though the motor did start to foul a little after 3 hours of trolling speeds in search of walleyes. I need to thin the gas a little. Sure is great to finally be in a nice boat... thank you Steve J!
Many thanks to Ron Arder for being a gracious host (again), life-long friend & fishng buddy. A special thanks goes out to Robert Tovar for only slugging me once after putting up with my crap for 4 days, taking hours upon hours of verbal abuse (joking of course), and being a human anchor winch. BERT anchor up. BERT anchor down. BERT hand me a minnow. BERT that's too small...DAMMIT BERT!!!!!!!!!!!!