First Chip trip - Major League Fishing

First Chip trip

May 18, 2009 • Brett Carlson • Angler Columns

Just returned from my first trip to the ChippewaFlowage. The weekend can be summed up in one word – windy. I’ve been fishing the Hayward lakes area for over 20 years and I honestly cannot remember a day as consistently windy as Saturday. From sunrise to sunset it blew relentlessly; I would say sustained 25 with gusts of up to 35.

The other days were blustery as well, but thankfully not as bad. Like most, I retreated to the backs of creeks for protection, warmth and crappies. Fishing the north and west portions of the lake, I found main-lake water temperatures of around 55-56 degrees and 58 in the bays and coves. The crappies are there, but wow are they finicky and frustrating. I witnessed one fish inhale and spit out my bait (white Mini Mite) three times in a period of 30 seconds. I never could get a hook into it.
The biggest crappieswe caught were just less than 12 inches with the average being right around 10. In a week or so these creeks will be absolutely loaded with largemouths. For the musky enthusiasts, we saw about a dozen fish, the biggest being about 42 or 45 inches. She was sunning herself in about 6 feet of water and just when I grabbed the camera she bolted.

On Sunday, we tried my best walleye spot for an hour or so. But instead of walleyes, we found a few fat prespawn smallies. For whatever reason, I am terrible with early-season walleyes on the Chip. I would say my turning point is Musky Fest (third week in June). From then on, I can usually find them related to weed growth.