Thursday, September 28, 2006

Menominee River Bass Fishing Trip

(Editors note: Dick Dragiewicz wrote this article for a Milwaukee based fishing club newsletter. He is a member of that club.)

In mid-August six club members used a warm sunny weekend to go smallmouth bass fishing on the Menominee River. The Menominee River, as you may know, flows over a portion of the Wisconsin and Michigan state lines. Club members on the trip were: Joe Valkoun, Herb Oechler, Frank Stetzer, Warren Huck, Dave Pinczkowski, and Dick Dragiewicz. Dick was joined by his brother, Larry. We all succeeded in catching lots of bass including some big heavy ones. Menominee River bass fishing easily surpasses bass fishing on the Milwaukee River based on the numbers of big fish we caught.

Joe, Herb, Frank, and Warren opted to go wade fishing. They fished several Menominee River locations upstream of Pemene Falls, and up and downstream of the Highway Z bridge. According to Joe, Friday’s fishing produced lots of bass albeit smaller ones, they were only in the 12” to 16” size range. Saturday they reported catching bigger bass, but fewer numbers. What a trade off. Sunday they fished the Peshtigo River hoping for some trout. They caught more bass instead.

Dick and his brother Larry did guided float trips with Dave Pinczkowski on Saturday and Sunday. They got to fish out of Dave’s new 18 foot “Power Drifter” boat. This boat has lots of room and almost no place to get your fly line tangled. It’s a super boat for fly fishing. This is what it looks like.

On Saturday, Dave launched the boat at Bear Point and then motored upstream. Sunday we launched at Sturgeon Point and again motored upstream. Both launch sites were accessed from the Michigan side of the river. There is a dirt road that parallels the river on the Michigan side that provides easy access to the river, camp sites, and several boat launching ramps. If you are out exploring new places to fish you should consider going to this area of Wisconsin/Michigan. Here is a sample of what we caught.

Dave is looking at the 17” smallmouth Dick caught Saturday afternoon.

Larry’s smile shows he’s really happy with this 19” smallmouth.

The flies we used were big, generally they were 3” to 6” long. Patterns included clousers, divers, variations of crayfish, and poppers. We fished them with floating lines and periodically with an intermediate sinking line. Sometimes we fished sinking flies with indicators. All the methods were successful.

On Sunday fishing was slower so we broke out the spinning rod and a rapala in the afternoon. For a couple of hours Larry caught lots of bass, a couple of small pike, and even a walleye. The orange colored rapala and red and white jitterbug worked really well.

For more information on smallmouth bass fishing on the Menominee River and other northern Wisconsin rivers get a copy of the summer 2006 issue of Fish & Fly magazine. It has an article in it by Nelson Ham, a guide from Green Bay, about bass fishing in the region.

On Sunday, August 27th, Nelson Ham guided Sam Facey, a new club member, and his bass fishing friend Heather on the Menominee River. Sam said that during most of the day the bass were feeding on ants, but they caught plenty of big bass on poppers. The biggest fish of the day was Sam’s 20 ½” smallmouth bass.

Sam and Nelson posing with one of the many good sized bass he caught on Sunday.

Heather with an equally big bass.

Next time you want to catch some big smallmouth bass take a trip to the Menominee River. Those big bass are waiting for you.
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