Peter made a very nice report and what greats pictures. I came of the water on Monday, June 4 having caught 38 smallies on the Flats, just to see a note on the windshield from Peter telling me of the 22", 6+ pounder. Heck, that's worth the drive from Chicago!
He mentioned me and my success, so I thought I'd jump on and answer the question about best presentations. And, actually, of the 18 days on the water from May 6 - June 6, I fished 15.5 and caught 620 smallies for a 40 fish per day average.
I should note that if anyone is interested in being on my "big" fishing email list, just email me at email@example.com with your name and email address[album][/album]. I do Door County, river smallie and kayak fishing reports from time to time.
In May and June, I'm fishing in 1 to 7 feet of water and since beginning primarily using the Kalin's Lunker Grub in 2008, all but about 200 of 2,338 smallies have been caughth on that presentation.
I swim them steady and SLOW on the Gopher Tackel 3/32oz. Big Johns jig in unpainted or blacke head. Best colors have been Smoke Salt and Pepper, Clear Smoke and Ed's Smoke. I've had my best luck with the 4" Smoke S&P, which is the only one of the three that comes in the 4". But, others will argue that the 5" works just as well. I've also used one of Gopher's 1/16th oz. jig with a 2/0 hook.
Key is threading down the seam with tail either up or down.
The other presentation that I've used this year that has been good is using the Zipper Worm Jr. in Hologram Shad. This is also swum just like the Kalin's. Tail up or down or thread with tail right or left. The other color my sources say works well up there is the Pumpkin/Chartreuse.
Very key is CATCH and RELEASE. And, if you catch a personal record, like Peter, a replica mount.
I would try fishing secondary breaks on my graph. A little deeper, zig zaging sandy rockpiles say 8/12, 10/16fow. Any points you see deserve all around special attention. Cast dark colored grubs, plastic swim baits w/32nd 1/8oz., 2/3 wide gap hook jig head as far out as you can and swin back slowly towards the bottom in that strike zone. Although fishing for smallies may not be as hot as during prespawn I believe you'll still have a great time and good action. Be safe, have fun & enjoy.
Bill Schultz may have some other insights & suggestions.
Peter made some good suggestions. I'm up here now with kayaks and the fishing is very slow in the areas I would normally be fishing. I have fished the equivalent of about 1.5 days over the past 5 and caught 50 smallies. Most small, with a few in the 2-4 range.
I am 6' and under with the Kalin's lunker grub 4' in Smoke Salt and Pepper. Wind was very tough Monday, so no fishing. Tues. better and tough Wed. Then my wife came up. I may try the flats for two hours tomorrow.
Bigger and more fish will be deeper, so possibly drop shotting and deeper presentations. Look for humps and the first drop after the 5' mark.
That being said, in the kayak and wind, I'm not doing that.
If you get a chance, swing around to Rowleys Bay and give that area a shot, it's always my go to. Peter's tactics seem to be right on target, as well I like using Deep Running Flicker Shads as well casting and retrieving them slow. Seems to pull a few in when nothing else will work. I have had luck with, a wacky rig, or a Gulp leech on a mushroom head jig bouncing it off the bottom as well. You can hit the smallies as well as walleyes with that setup
If the smallies aren't hitting all that great you are in KILLER WALLEYE COUNTRY so you can go all out for those up there and tear the area up. That is ushually my fish of choice up there, and the smallies are just for fun The eyes go in the freezer, and the bronzers go back in the pond
Each of the last two years in late March I held what I call, "Smallie Night Out". This event is held just west of Milwaukee and attendance has been 100 and 85, with guys coming as far as Peter B and others from Chicago. Also, many from Madison and points west.
in 2011 I gave two seminars and we had $3,500 in "free" great door prizes, plus the Kalins, Gopher Tackle, Rebel, YUM take home. This year I did one seminar and had Matt Bichanich from Uncle Josh talking drop shotting.
Everyone wants me to do this again for 2013 and likely it would be the week between Elite 8 and Final 4. I'll again do a talk, possibly Door County again and try to find a surprise second speaker.
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