Hello again everyone. Wow, what a week it turned out to be! While week two has historically been one of the very best weeks of the season through the years, 2019 will probably go down as one of the best of the best. Incredible weather most of the week with only a day or two of stronger winds, combined with dry conditions and plenty of sunshine and temps in the 70’s most of the week made for some great fishing conditions and the fish did not disappoint.
I have to start with the Madison area boys (Gar Holcomb’s group) who just crushed it AGAIN. Despite being short-handed (only a crew of five) this year (Gar, Nick, Pete, Orion and Ray) , and three of them being first timers, they managed to boat 1,195 fish for the week fishing from their private boats here on Wabby. Included in this total were 950 walleyes, 193 northern pike, 23 perch, 2 smallmouth and 27 whitefish. You may remember reading previous years blogs about this crew and their catches and the related minnow bill… this wasn’t a record year for them in terms of fish numbers but I believe the use of OVER 200 dozen minnows for the week may be! I think it’s fair to assume that for the most part it was a minnow bite.
Walleye size remains very impressive as it was in week 1. This crew released at least 92 walleyes over 18″ and that number is just for the four of them as my notes don’t include the numbers for the fifth member of the party (Nick). Here is a little breakdown by size:
18 1/2″- 12
19 1/2″- 8
20 1/2- 14
21 1/2″- 12
22 1/2″- 1
23 1/2″- 3
24 1/2″- 2
One of the “newbies” also boated and release a beautiful 40″ northern.
It was a nice week for them.
These guys weren’t the only group in camp, that enjoyed some great success during the week (just the ones that submitted detailed notes) on their catches. Tony Burant’s crew of six comprised mostly of veterans also enjoyed a fantastic week of fishing. Tony is one of camps 30+ year guys and he left camp saying it was definitely one of the best years ever. A few complaints about being able to catch enough walleye small enough to eat, but the group concluded that if that was your only “problem”, you had no problem at all. I’ll get a few of their pictures on Facebook as I can. Some of their catches included: Randy’s 25″ walleye, Mike’s 31 1/2″ lake trout caught in Mean Lake while walleye fishing, Jim Carlson’s 34″ northern, 21 1/2″ and 20″ walleyes, Al Fisher’s 39 3/4″ pike and 22″ walleye, Tony’s 24 1/2″ and 24″ walleye and his 32″ northern.
Kevin Prugh’s crew had a really nice week as well. Relative rookies of only a few trips previously, it took them a couple of days to search out the walleyes as they just weren’t where “they had always caught ’em in years past”. As the week wore on they started finding the walleye a little more consistently. More important to them was the improvement in the smallmouth bite as the week went on and the sunshine continued to warm the water. Finally by weeks end the topwater bite turned on and they had a blast catching BIG smallies busting lures on the surface. The biggest was Rick’s 19 1/2″. They also had some really nice pike during the week, with one of the best being Conrad’s 33″ beauty.
Big fish for the week was Reino’s 42 1/2 monster pike. Great fish! Reino was part of Chris Bowen’s crew, and this group mostly interested in pike fishing, had another great week catching a lot of pike.
John Rand’s crew didn’t have nearly the success they have had in years past portaging the falls, but they more than made up for it with two adventure trips into Dowell Lake where they returned each day with impressive stringers of walleye and a few MONSTER perch. Unfortunately, it looks like water levels are already down too far to make that trip anymore. It was fun while it lasted.
So week 3 is underway and it looks to be another great week of fishing. The weather remains cool at night, but daytime temps are pleasant and not too hot. Water temps are running about 55-59 degrees in most areas.
Until next time, tight lines!