James Gang Pro-Staffer Doc Gilles with a 4.5 lb Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass
FALL IS FINALLY HERE!
The long awaited fall season has finally arrived. Water temps are finally lowering from summertime temperatures. Last weekend the July-type weather seemed to really get the fish feeding. Water temps on Lake Erie in Ohio and Sturgeon Bay, WI were around 72 degrees, which was about the warmest it had gotten all year! Pretty crazy how cold the summer was and when fall arrives the temperatures actually increase for several days instead of decrease. We spend all of our time fishing the Dairyland Reservoir near Ladysmith, ever since Labor Day weekend, preparing for the Fall Flambeau Classic on October 14th. We had steady water temperatures from Labor Day all the way to early this week. Finally on Wednesday it dropped from 64-68 degrees, and on Saturday it dropped to 61. Some shallow flats late in the day in the sun did reach mid-60s. The change in temperatures made everyday a totally different day presentation wise. The early trips found success on minnow profile baits moving. Then Wednesday the bite changed completely to ultra-finesse. Pro-Staffer Kevin Rogalski actually landed a smallmouth puking up black larvae. The fish was in less than a foot of water. It was no wonder why we struggled so much. Now that the temperature has dropped close to 20 degrees in 6 days, it seems to have shifted the bass to their fall minnow forage base. Very strange bites, very difficult to get bit, but when you do it right, they hit with all they got, and fight with 100% anger! We are in the very early stages of fall fishing, and hopefully by the time the tournament arrives the temperature will drop into the 50s and we can get the giants to come up and hit bigger lures. We are not at that point yet. What is exciting is that on the last 3 trips in a row the fish lengths kept increasing. From 6-12" fish, to 13.5" fish to 14.25-16" fish. That may be directly related to the water temperature drop. One thing is for certain, they are extremely lean right now and need to fatten up quick to make this tournament very exciting. The Flambeau River is well-known for producing EXTREMELY girthy smallmouth bass. Right now our 14.25" fish are weighing in at about 1-6, and our 15-16" bass are not even at the 2 lb mark. Last November we weighed in a 16.5" and 16.75" at 3-14 and 3-13 on the Flambeau! They have a few weeks to fatten up and get more active, hopefully that will be the case. A few anglers dropped out so there may be a few last minute openings, click on the button below to RSVP if interested:
PRO-STAFFER KEVIN MARTINEK WITH A PAIR OF BABY SQUID BAIT SMALLMOUTH
PRO-STAFFER KEVIN MARTINEK WITH A FLAMBEAU MUSKY ON OUR FLAPPIN' JIG
GREAT LAKES WALLEYE, SMALLMOUTH, & PERCH
PRO-STAFFER DOC GILLES & HIS CLAN FOUND INCREDIBLE SUCCESS ON LAKE ERIE
Pro-Staffer Doc Gilles and his goofball friends and family loaded up two pickup trucks full of crazy fish heads and road-tripped to Port Clinton, Ohio, in hopes for a pile of Walleyes with Coe Vanna Charters. What they ended up doing was incredible! They caught walleyes in crazy numbers the entire trip, I believe well over 100! They had doubles, even triples, and the fun never stopped. In between the walleyes they caught non-stop jumbo perch as well, and for a little bonus, they managed to land a few of them GIANT smallmouth bass that the Great Lakes are famous for. Doc actually landed the biggest smallmouth bass of his life, then shortly after, caught a clone version of the same fish - 19" at 4.5 pounds. Doc says that this trip was the best fishing trip of his life, and he has been around Canada many times. I would have to agree because it seems like nothing can match the Great Lakes in quality of fish. It is so much more intense when you KNOW on every cast that you have trophies present and even state record fish within a small range of you. The fish in the Great Lakes have great forage, and just simply get OLD! For more information on Coe Vanna Charters, check out Dave Whitt and the guys on the link below:
Pro-Staffer Doc Gilles with identical 4.5 lb Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass
Pro Staffer Kevin Rogalski and his gang took a 3 day trip to Sturgeon Bay, WI this weekend, but unfortunately the cold weather brought in terribly dangerous winds. They had a very difficult time fishing in awful waves. Kevin did manage a few smallmouths, including a beautiful 3 lb 11 oz. Also on the final day, they had a 30+ inch walleye, estimated at around 12 pounds, but the fish broke off the 6 lb flourocarbon at the boat and ended up swimming away instead of swimming into the freezer at Kevin's taxidermist. Tough deal there, but now that the boys seen the potential of Door County fishing, they will be back for more and will put a giant in the boat in the future. The month of October is typically the month that really lights up with giant fish in Door County, and the finest guide you can hire is Dale Stroschein of Wacky Walleye Guide Service. Click on his link and let him take you out in his beautiful 21 foot Nitro 350 hp Verado extra deep and safe boat:
JAMES GANG PRO-STAFFER KEVIN ROGALSKI WITH A STURGEON BAY 3.69# BASS
BEE WHACKERS & BABY SQUID BAITS
ANDREW DRAPER SCORES YET AGAIN ON HIS WHITE JAMES GANG BEE WHACKER
Andrew Draper is still tearing it up with his James Gang Fishing BEE WHACKER LM buzz baits! Now he submits a picture of a gorgeous smallmouth better than any I caught all year! Funny how we designed it for Largemouth and our customers kick our butts on our own baits with SMALLMOUTHS, our favorite fish. Thanks again for submitting this awesome picture, and best of luck with the muskies this October, Andrew. By the way, I hooked into an absolutely scary huge musky on the Dairyland Reservoir over the weekend on the BABY SQUID BAIT. This thing had a waist like the lure's designer himself (Alex James.) The fish was so girthy it didn't even look real! It was a very short, intense fight, I was completely caught off-guard and it hit at the boat. I had the drag too tight and didn't play it correctly at all, so when the giant made a speed burst under my prop, I didn't give it enough play in the rod and the lure came back at me, plastic all shredded in half. I honestly think this fish was 50+ inches. We tried reviving a 47 incher a few years ago on the Tiger Cat Flowage, this was MUCH larger. I wasn't too heart-broken, but man, it would have been nice to at least get a picture of this beast with Alex's lure design hanging out of his mouth. We were struggling bad bass fishing so we threw on the lure that seems to bail me out everytime I get skunked, the BABY SQUID BAIT. And it did catch the 4 biggest smallmouth of the day as well as the most. It has been my most productive lure on this lake over all my trips there since Labor Day. Hopefully it will continue over October, but the bite can change so fast in the fall, it seems.
JESSE JAMES WITH A 16" & 14.25" BABY SQUID BAIT SMALLMOUTH BASS
16" SMALLMOUTH BASS CAUGHT ON DAIRYLAND RESERVOIR EARLY FALL
14.25" to 16" SMALLMOUTHS ALL RELEASED BACK TO THEIR HOME AREAS
eBAY & LURE AVAILABILITY
Our lure inventory is getting much smaller as the fishing season is coming to a close. We stopped ordering parts in July, and are running out what we have on our eBay listings. Stanley Jigs has been out of weighted frog hooks for several months, so the bass sized DUNKIN FROGS are all sold out for 2017. We have just a few larger DUNKIN FROGS for northern pike and musky available on eBay. We have designed and tested a new HD musky version for 2018 with a longer body and skirt, it looked awesome on the lake. It will come out in time for the Madison Fishing Expo in February. Also the BEE WHACKER has a new MUSKY version coming out in 2018 as well. We experimented with trailers and found a Kalin's Mogambo Grub to give it the best look on the water. This lure was inspired by Andrew Draper's continued success on the bass version. We upgraded the musky version from 250# wire to 500# Toothproof Stainless Steel. HD stainless steel split rings. VMC HD 7/0 weedless hook as well. This lure sprays a good amount of water and may be a cheaper lure even though the quality is outstanding. All of our Bee Whackers LM & SM, Weedless and Non-Weedless are sold out for the year. We have Squid Bait parts, but found our new red blade does tarnish, so we will stop selling white & red this year and find a new supplier. We have a small amount of Green Pumpkin, but plenty of white bodies with high quality chartreuse blades as well as nickel available. We have quite a few firetiger Lovertail 2s left in stock, a few in Bull Bluegill, and a small quantity of other color variations. The Lovertail 2 is the kind of lure that could really catch you a giant in the fall! In fact, if we are struggling mid-day in the tournament, we will stop pursuing the heaviest weight win, put on a white Lovertail 2 and try and catch the biggest smallmouth bass that lives on the Dairyland Reservoir! The Lovertail 2 has caught some real Wisconsin trophies, on multiple occasions, when Tyler Theide gets to flinging that lure out of his kayaks. Hopefully Alex can one-up him on tournament day and win the Big Bass Award.
JAMES GANG LOVERTAIL 2 in "Bull Bluegill"
BOAT WRAP & STORAGE SOLUTIONS
And with fall here, scents can be the difference maker! Put on some JB'S FISH SAUCE on all your finesse baits. He has baitfish scent for the minnow profiles, crawfish scent for jigs, tubes, creature baits, as well as Kevin Rogalski's favorite scent, ANISE, and a few others (coffee, garlic, etc.) It will help on a tough day, it caught me a few on a hair jig on the brutally tough, but productive cold front day earlier this week!!
Jesse James is an avid fisherman that loves smallmouth bass fishing, loves spending time with his family, with other family-orientated people, and loves seeing children fish. A huge fan of BASSMASTER Elite Mike Iaconelli, like Mike, he is known to be a little strange, and obnoxious, but only to have fun and make people laugh.