Well, the fall fishing season ended up being only a few outings, after some issues arose with our 40 year old outboard. We have had starting issues throughout the year, and found some lower unit seal / o-ring issues. The boat only got out a few trips and had to be winterized early. Before the Crawfish Bandit was put to hibernation, my wife took me out on a fishing date/competition. She beat my little 1 l b bass that I landed with a neat musky approaching 30" in early fall. Both fish were caught on the James Gang Flappin' Jig in "Baby Gill" color. After the boat was put away, I attempted to shore fish a few times under some local dams, throwing the Musky Lovertail, and did hook about a 3 foot fish that unfortunately threw the lure when I reeled him all the way to the rock undercut that I was standing on. Apparently, you do have to set the hook on muskies, too. The one positive that kept me from going crazy about putting the boat away early was that I had a fishing trip scheduled with Mat Eichinger and Dale Stroschein of Wacky Walleye Guide Service. We were fishing out of Sturgeon Bay, WI in the middle of fall when the water temps were cooling down for a while, in search of some big smallmouths during a season that I am VERY inexperienced in, and honestly have ZERO confidence or success in. Dale taught Mat and I some sweet techniques near his home and by the end of the day we boated 7 very solid smallmouth, lost 4 more, which two of them could have been absolute monsters. Because of Dale's guidance, I landed a 5-5 (the BIGGEST bass of my life,) a 5-1, a 4-14, and a 3-12. I believe the fish I lost was near 3 pounds, may have been 2+, he looked nice as I lost him just out of netting range. Mat and Dale both had pigs on that were not budging during the hooksets but unfortunately got off on both of them. It would have been a ridiculous day if those two hogs were landed as well, we are talking an AVERAGE weight of 4+ pounds would have been very possible. My gut says that both of those fish were as big if not bigger than my top two of the day. Dale had landed two over 6 pounds (legit on a scale 6-3, 6-2) just one day earlier, maybe Mat or Dale had a run in with one of those ridiculous 6 pound class fish. If not, they HAD to be at least 4-5+ the way they just pulled on them guys. Dale's home water is a very special place, and was ranked as the #1 bass lake for a reason by BASSMASTER MAGAZINE. If you are interested in catching the fish of a lifetime, or maybe MULTIPLE fish of a lifetime like Dale guided me into doing today, check out their website and book a trip in 2017. Dale has decades of experience guiding on his home water, and competed professionally for 15 years in the pro walleye level. This guy is the best of the best in the guide industry, and is so fun to joke with in the boat between bites. Good luck fishing to you die hards that will have their boat out in Oct and Nov!!!! Enjoy our pics and check out Wacky Walleye!!
Angela Piontek's Musky caught on the James Gang Flappin Jig
First fish landed with Wacky Walleye's Dale Stroschein - Mat has a solid 3 pound stud Sturgeon Bay smallmouth
After I lost a 2-3 pound smallmouth near the net on just my 4th cast, I landed this beauty - a 5 lb 1 oz giant with a HUGE girth. Didnt get a length but its girth was so big it must have been only 19"-20." This thing was a monster for its length!!
Dale does what he does best - and that is boating sexy smallmouths. This one was probably in the 4 pound class
After a fairly quick flurry - our success slowed for a moment, then when I was starting to daydream, this giant decides to drill my lure - the biggest bass of my life - a 5 lb 5 oz smallmouth. Thank you Dale for netting this beast. This guy was full of muscle and attitude and was a real challenge to land.
3 lb 12 oz smallmouth with GORGEOUS color
Getting to the later part of the day, I hooked up with this extremely angry beast that weighed in at 4lb 14 oz. He was one of few that actually bit like a fish and gave me a chance to set the hook, some of the others just felt like I snagged a huge tree limb. These Sturgeon Bay smallmouth are a different breed. Dale straightened us out right away and taught us that you cant play around with these like our local 1-2 pounders, you have to really be aggressive and be tough when you are dealing with the powerful giants that live out here.
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.