June 30th, 2012
Well everyone the casting bite has been great and the trolling bite is getting very good. With this weeks heat wave kicking in and the 4th of July boat traffic I expect the trolling bite to get even better as the predator fish start to head out to the deeper cooler water. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass have already started to show up eating muskie crank baits. The walleye and pike will be the next to show up from time to time eating small muskie crank baits.
Since the last report the water temperatures have shot up to the 80 degree mark. This is cause for concern because the trolling bite is just getting going. With the heat prediction for the first week of July I am sure the water temperatures will exceed the 81 degree range. I might be forced to stop muskie fishing until the water cools a little. This is very hard to stop targeting muskies because it can be very easy to catch them as they move out from the weeds and start to suspend off the break lines and deep water points. I will be out every evening and into the nights taking advantage of the seasonal movements and opportunities to get some great muskie action. Also some quality multi species like bass, walleye and even some pike are caught trolling weed lines and break lines.
I know every year you read about the dangers of targeting muskies when the surface temps reach the 80's and higher. Well, here it is again and I just want everyone to do what's best for the fish we love to fish for and catch. As of today the surface temps are just getting to that point but the water just a few feet under the surface is still not that warm. Once this week of heat kicks in I'm sure the heat will get deeper into the water column. By the end of the week I expect surface temps to be in the 82 degree range and to the point where I will not be taking on any more guide jobs for the next few weeks or until the water cools back into the high 70's. If you got a date booked in the month of July we will be in touch. I don't like to take the muskies out of the water at this time of high water temperatures. Water release's is by far the best option for muskies, walleyes and pike. The bass seem to be ok with low 80's water temps but I still like to water release all fish during this high water temperatures. Please treat all fish you catch with respect and let them grow up to be trophy's.
So how about some fishing story's? The 18th of June was the first day I got out since the 14th and it started off great with a very respectable 42-inch muskie at 6pm. I was trolling some weed edges using my 1197 Humminbird side imaging and this muskie came blasting out of the water as soon as it hit my lure. I had a blast with this fish because it was full of energy and hit so close to the boat. Weed line trolling can be very hard because the edges are not very defined and scattered cabbage is now growing all over Pewaukee Lake. I like to work the weed edges in late June to get all the edges marked with way points so casting it after dark is very easy. I don't want to get too close to the weed edges but need to be close enough to cast it effectively. Using a side image graph makes it very easy to work the edges, it's almost like cheating. But you still have to make the cast and finish it correctly to score. Or while trolling you always have to keep checking your baits to keep the weeds off them. Scattered cabbage is great to fish in but it is always getting on the lures as you troll through and around it on the weed edges.
So next trip was with a Scott K who didn't show up at the launch for his June 20th trip. Since I already had the boat in and waited 45 minutes for him I figured I would fish myself and check out more weed edges. I ended up catching a 36-inch muskie at 7pm working a Bagley trolled down a weed edge. A southwest wind had plenty of fish stacked up in the narrows and north shore weed edge.
The next night Steve, his daughter and his grand daughter were out looking to get some muskie action. Since Steve's grand daughter was only 8 years old we decided to try trolling to see if I could get a muskie for her to reel in. We trolled some weed lines and it didn't look very good so I moved out to the break and set up some crank bait at various depths. At 7pm a rod started to scream out drag and Steve helped his grand daughter with the rod as she reeled in the 39.5-inch muskie. It was not easy for her but she stayed very determined and kept the line tight and rod bent until the fish came close enough for me to scoop the fish into the Frabil. This was a huge fish for her and I had to control the fish while Steve's daughter took a quick picture of us holding the muskie. After a quick picture we put her muskie back in the water to make someone else's day. We ended up catching two more muskies before their half day trip was over but the 39.5 was the biggest of the night. What a cool time fishing with my buddy Steve and his family. I'm sure this trip and pictures will be talked about for years to come at family gatherings. Thanks for letting me help you make memories that will last a life time. Nothing better than getting kids and others into the outdoors and experiencing something like catching big mean fish.
The next night I was glad to get out with a good friend and spend some time trolling and experimenting with different patterns and lures. We ended up catching a few muskies but nothing bigger than 35-inches that night. The next night I had a guide job to do in their boat so we could get some quality way points laid out on their graph. The first two hours I showed them some sweet casting spots on the eastern half of Pewaukee Lake. Once I had all three of my sweet spots GPS'ed in their graph I moved to the western half of the lake. I showed them the deep water cabbage, top producing areas I fish and GPS'ed them so they can fish them again. Once we got all the good stuff marked I drove the boat over to the first way point and we started to cast over the deep cabbage using the new GPS'ed way points. It was not long before Gene had a muskie come up and try to eat his bucktail at the back of the boat. A big swirl, a few choice words and the muskie was gone but that's muskie fishing. About twenty casts later I had a low forty's muskie come up and blast my Llungen DC9 at the boat. Since I was standing just behind the steering wheel in their boat I had no room to move or set the hook as the fish ate my bucktail way out on the outside turn of my oval. I set the hook as good as I could but her head came out of the water and she shook the bait back at the boat. A few choice words and we got back to work looking for that next exciting hit. We didn't end up catching any muskies that night but they sure have some great spots marked up on their GPS unit to fish the next time they get on Pewaukee Lake.
Now it's Cory's turn to get out with Mike's Extreme Guide Service. Natalie purchased a Fathers Day gift from me to her husband Cory. The 26th of June was my chance to take Cory, Travis and Natalie out and show them the sweet spots to cast and even some trolling. We ended up catching two muskies but learned a lot of new spots and techniques to use when they get out again. This was only the first half of the gift. I still am going to get Cory on some great trolling as soon as we can get together on a date. I love doing these gift trips because it is so rewarding for me and the person getting the gift. I expect to see Cory on the water working some of the sweet spots I showed him. If he remembers most of the stuff I shared with him he will be successful. I know by the way he was casting and finishing the casts he will be catching lots of muskies in the future.
The next two trips were very slow for muskies and only a few small bass were caught. Calm, hot and high pressure made it very hard to catch muskie. Since I had Friday off from my guide schedule I planned to try some night fishing. I got out just as the sun dropped over the trees on the north shore of Pewaukee Lake. I started out trolling the deeper water to see if I could get a big girl moving in from the deep water. It was not long before a rod started to strip out line and I was into a good muskie. After a good fight the upper thirty's muskie was water released and I was back trolling. I worked the deep water for about two more hours without any action. I then slid in and trolled the weed edges for another hour before I decided to go back into the deeper water because I was tired of cleaning the weeds off my baits. At moonset I had a very respectable 41.5-inch muskie crush a crank bait. A crazy battle in the dark ended with me water releasing the fish so she could keep growing and maybe YOU can catch her next time YOU get out.
That's all I got for the month of June. I want to wish everyone a HAPPY 4th of JULY. Please remember why this date is so important and keep all the troops who are still away from home in your prayers. Our freedom was not free. Enjoy this coming week and thank a vet when you see one.
For those of you who were looking to get out trolling with me...Please e-mail me with any questions about dates and water temps. I will be watching the lake temperatures very closely from now until it cools off. As of now we are still good to go trolling and casting. If you are thinking about a trolling trip I would book a August trip as soon as you can because the August dates will be filling up fast. September dates are great trolling and casting trips. October is the best bite of the season but I only guide up until 25th because I head up deer hunting with my bow for a few weeks. I will have a few select dates in November but those are usually filled with my repeat clients every season. It's time to start getting the dates you want now before they are filled up by others. Every season I have to send people to other guides because all my dates are booked up already. If you have not fished with me before or are looking to try something new please feel free to e-mail me and we can talk about the options I have available to you and the best dates for those patterns. Casting, trolling and live bait all work in October. Casting and trolling are excellent in September. Trolling is great all August. If your looking for numbers August is your month. I can explain all this to you in detail if your interested. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Catch a sunset and a few muskies!!!!
June 17th, 2012
This is an easy report to type up because of all the great trips I have had lately. June started out a little slow with casting due to the falling and rising water temperatures. Early June water temps started out in the low 60's on the western half of Pewaukee Lake and upper 60's on the eastern half. I concentrated on the warmer water and had fish going on top water and bucktails.
Saturday the 2nd of June I was out with Mike and had three muskies follow our baits up to the boat and lost a muskie. Kind of slow for how the water was but this was a morning trip and the fish seem to always start out slow in the mornings compared to the evening trips. Monday the 4th of June I got out with a friend and checked out some areas I have not had time to explore yet. We had good action with six muskie following out baits to the boat and around the ovals or 8's. I had a 34.5 inch crush a Slammer minnow bait just before dark to make the recon trip a success. Geoff my boat partner had good action on his top water and Phantom but none of the muskies would open their mouth and eat. A cool east wind that night had the muskies just a little on the negative side that evening. I used a bucktail most of the night and switched to the minnow bait to see if I could trigger a strike. Well it worked and it was the only muskie to hit that evening. Sometimes when the fish are just following and very slow you have to generate your strikes with a erratic bait aggressively twitched. Try it next time you cant get the muskies to eat when you get multiple follows with now hits.
So the next night I was glad to get out to try another spot and a few trolling patterns in the shallows and weed edges. I was only out a hour or so without any action from muskies using the same things that worked the night before. The wind was still from the east and I had had to try something different so I broke out the trolling rods and set up some short line rods to troll. I worked the first areas with no success the first half hour so I moved deeper to the weed edges and scattered cabbage. RIP, RIP, RIP went a rod as a 33-inch muskie was quickly taken off one of my rods. I got right back on the pattern and scored another low 30's muskie in that same small area of cabbage. An hour of no more hits had me try casting again just before dark but no action on bucktails and I had to call it a night. The next night I had Anne out with a friend, they had 5 muskie up and chasing bucktails but none of them would eat their offerings. We switched up baits and tried hard to score one of the follows but the cool east winds still had the muskies a little in active.
The next night Scott was out with his two kids looking to get some muskie action before their week long annual trip to the Big Chip flowage. I had them working top water baits, minnow baits and bucktails in all my spots where the fish have been active. They had multiple chances to put a muskie in the boat from a hand full of follows. Two of them hit the baits but we all know muskies are a hard fish to catch even when they hit the baits. Dad and the kids did a great job working the baits and boat side finishes. I missed seeing the one that ate at the boat because I just switched up rods with one of rods and was putting it aside when the action happened. I sure enjoyed teaching them the tricks and tips to getting the muskies to eat at the boat. This was not the trip to make all the fish eat due to the calm water. But if they practice casting and finishing the cast the way I showed them in the future they will be catching lots of muskies. Fishing with confidence and setting up the following fish with proper boat side techniques will improve your success big time. Muskies are predators, triggering their instincts will help you put more fish in the boat. I love the e-mails I get every year from past clients who catch fish boat side from the tips I show them. A simple deep L at the boat, up high into the outside turn, speed it up, slow it down a bit and take the next turn deep down toward the boat and into the next L along the boat. Repeat as long as the fish is still following. Speed triggers strikes but not on the corners. Slow in and out of the corners and speed it up on the straights between the corners.
I had a few days off before I had my next trip on the 12th of June. This trip was with Bob a new home owner on Pewaukee Lake. I showed him the east end and all the sweet spots to target. He has a pontoon to fish off of so we concentrated on learning area where he can drift and cover good areas. This is mostly the narrows and some sweet open areas with good weed edges east of the narrows. If you spend enough time checking out this area you will find plenty of fish able areas on the eastern half of Pewaukee Lake. One thing for sure about the eastern half is it will change every season and you will have to check it out every spring to find the new edges and open areas. This year is no different. I spent multiple trips way pointing the new runs for this season and setting up some sweet trolling runs. So Bob's trip ended with 5 muskies following and 3 fish hitting the baits but not getting hooked. Both guys had not used bait casting equipment before and I had them casting great after a few small problems. Learning the boat side techniques takes some practice and that's where it took some time to get it down perfectly. A few catch able fish came in hot on their baits and hit but got off. I'm sure Bob and his son in law will be catching fish on their next trips. I marked a map up with all the sweet spots so they can fish them again and again. My next trip with Bob will be in a few weeks for some trolling tactics and the sweet trolling runs.
The next night I have Chris and Chris out for muskie action. They just wanted to catch fish and have some fun. I was happy to have them out casting like machines and doing all the right things at the finish of every cast. I even had the chance to cast some since they were doing so well in the front of my boat. It didn't take long for the first fish to show up and the action started. 7 muskies followed our baits to the boat, two muskies got off out from the boat, a huge bass also got off by jumping and throwing the bait and both Chris and Chris got to catch a muskie before the half day trip was over and we had to go to work that night.
The next night I got out myself to learn a few more areas I have not got to work much. This was a great trip for me because I got to catch three muskies casting Llungen bucktails. I stuck all three fish that followed my baits to the boat. Three for three is a great follow to catch ratio but all three fish were easy to catch because they came in hard and were right behind the baits. Speed and boat side ovals were the triggering factor on these fish. I would post pictures of the first two but the pictures I took were of the fish in the water with the bait still in its mouth. The last fish I had a friend working the same area and he watched me stick that 41.5-inch muskie at boat side. Mark came over to take a picture for me so share on my website. All three fish were weed related and were caught working the edges.
Now you know I have to get back out on the water to try that same pattern the next night. I had a friend out with me and we casted the same areas for three hours with very little success. Just before dark I decided to try some trolling because Joe was well schooled on the trolling patterns already. We set up in deeper water working bait fish and break lines. After an hour of trolling my rod started to strip out drag and I was hooked up with the first hit of the night. A 37.5-inch muskie was a hand full in the dark because it just kept staying down and pulling drag. A quick picture and I had her back to grow up and make another muskie fishermen's day. The graph looked very empty of muskies most of the time we trolled so after another hour of nothing I switched up the lines and lures to try some short line trolling. Good thing because I had another muskie smoke my lure trolled just over some deep weed edges. This 36-inch fish was also very full of energy and gave me a fun fight in the dark. Two muskies in a slow night of casting was great action for us while we had a few cold ones and enjoyed some music and cooler temps.
Well this weekend I stayed off the lake because of the heat and home projects that needed to be done. Including this report and pictures that needed to be made for this report. I would have liked to fish this Fathers Day morning but just needed the sleep and enjoyed sleeping in for a change. I can tell you the rest of this month is going to be very good. I don't have any available dates left in June but July is still open for some more trips. July is both casting and trolling. Please get an e-mail to be if your looking to get out casting or trolling in July.
I want to say HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all the dads out there. I hope to see some of them soon with all the Fathers Day Gift Certificates I have sent out. Please remember I will make these GIFT CERTIFICATES for all occasions and personalize each custom gift for the occasion.
As always please enjoy the great outdoors and treat others on the water as you would like to be treated. Be an example on the water for others to learn from. Lot's of people are using the water for different reasons and don't always respect fishermen. Treating others like you would like to be treated is a good rule to live by and at times is very hard to do. I have bit my tongue a time or two already this season when speed boats came way too close while we were casting. I just held my hands up so they knew they were too close. I would have liked to bang my bucktail off their wind shield but refrained from that negative action. Be the nice guy and others will follow. See ya all on the water!!!