Big Brother, Sister and kid My 37-inch Spring muskie Krave Jr and snagged perch Darrin first muskie of the year A 36 inch muskie Robs Pewaukee muskie Amber's first legal muskie A quality Pewaukee bass A quality Pewaukee bass A bonus pike Scott's first muskie A giant sheepshead for Jack Jack get a nothern pike John's giant sheepshead A water release photo can be cool A couple bonus walleyes Dave's muskie with Justin's help holding it Roscoe's water released muskie Rich gets a 40-inch plus class muskie Rich gets a Pewaukee pike Rich gets his second Pewaukee pike Pete scores another muskie Pete scores a quick muskie Mary's Pewaukee smallmouth bass Mary's 1st Pewaukee muskie Justin's Pewaukee 21-inch smallmouth bass Pete's second muskie of the night Shawn's Pewaukee muskie Brian's Pewaukee muskie A quality Pewaukee muskie Ron's 5th Pewaukee muskie Ron's 3rd Pewaukee muskie Another Pewaukee muskie Sean's first Pewaukee muskie Chris Pewaukee muskie Night time Pewaukee muskie Geoff's Pewaukee muskie Darrell's second of the trip

The 2011 Season Review

For the best monthly review or full season review please use my REPORTS link and REPORTS HOME navigation section to read all the reports I have done over the last ten years.

The 2011 open water fishing season is now over and the hunting season is also over. Here I sit on my computer working on my website thinking about all the time spent on the water and in the woods. What a great season 2011 was for fish and deer hunting. Lots of clients got their personal best and most fish caught ever on a fishing trip. I am very proud to be able to make this happen for my clients and feel privileged to teach others things I have learned over the last 30 years of fishing and hunting.

The start of the season was the only bad memory because I had a crack in my lower unit that was found the week before the May 7th opener. This was an unexpected situation and gave me some major down time for the first two weeks of the season. I did get out for the opener and only used my kicker motor to get around. Needless to say I didn't get to work all the spots I usually like to hit early in the season. By the third week of May I was back in action with a new lower unit. The muskies started to get active and fish were starting to show up in my net. This May was one of the slowest warm ups that I can remember. By the end of May the area lakes were just starting to get into the mid 60's. Usually area lakes are sustaining mid 60 degree water temperatures by mid May not the end of May.

June was very good for casting and then got extremely good for trolling. By June Pewaukee and area lakes were now in the mid sixty's and the muskies, walleyes, bass and pike we all very active. I fished Pewaukee 23 days in June. Clients and I caught and released 23 muskies and had lots of more follows from active muskies. I sure wish more time could have been spent on the water this past June but working 3rd shift had my sleep patterns mixed up and getting used to it was not as easy as I thought it would be. By the end of June things were starting to get better and the balance of my full time job and my guide business were working like I expected. Going to a 3rd shift position was something I didn't have a choice doing. It was a company decision to outsource my whole department and I was offered the job on third shift until I could get back on 1st shift. Hopefully by July 2012 I will be back on 1st shift and working the hours I have had for the last 25 years at Waukesha Electric Systems.

July was a very hot month. The heat kicked in and didn't let up all month. Water temps went from 74 degrees to 80 plus and the fish started to suspend in the open deep water. Trolling was the best option this month but with water temperatures getting up in the danger zone we had to leave the deeper fish alone. Trolling deep water can be very good action but the stress and delayed mortality takes a toll on the muskie population. This was one of the summers where I knew how to catch the muskies and big walleyes in the cool deep water but I had to lay off them to protect them from the hot surface water. Catching deep water muskies and walleyes is not hard. Knowing your hurting or worse yet killing them by dragging them up into the hot water with very low oxygen levels is something I will not do. Most of the area guides and anglers kept away from the deeper water when they were out fishing. Catching fish from shallow water is much easer on them because they are already in the hot water when they are caught. Water releases were the best for the fish under these circumstances. Not using a net or even touching the fish reduces the stress and made for quick releases. A long nose pliers was the only thing that touched the muskies during water releases. July was a hard month to be a guide because I had the patterns to go catch lots of deep water fish but it was very unethical to hurt the resource doing it. My clients, friends and I just kept working the shallow water fish with limited action. Twenty five fish was a very slow month for me considering I usually put 30 to 40 fish in the boat during the month of July. I also took a week off in early July to tear off my roof, replace some wood, gutters and install new shingles. The heat made that roof work something I hope to never do again in that kind of heat. The whole time I was on that roof I was thinking about catching fish and enjoying the water. The late afternoons, nights or very early mornings were the best time to fish this past July.

August muskie fishing was on hold for the first two weeks because of the extremely high water temperatures. I didn't fish muskies until the 14th of August, after a cold East wind cooled off the water over a few days. The rest of the month of August just kept getting better and better as the water cool back down under 80 degrees. By the end of August the fishing was back to normal as multiple muskie trips was common every trip out.

September was extremely good for trolling and casting. 37 muskies were caught and released in 13 trip in September. Besides all the muskies we also caught 3 pike, 2 big small mouth bass while targeting muskies. September is always one of my favorite months to fish because the water is cooling off and fish are starting to move back in from the cool deep water.

October is always a very good month for numbers and quality fish. I don't do a October report because of the time it takes to do the report, pictures and html files. All that takes time and I don't have any time to waist when all the yard work needed to get done and various other projects. I took 15 trips on Pewaukee Lake in October, 20 muskies, a few big small mouth bass and some quality walleyes were caught. I stop my guide services the last weekend before Halloween so I can go sit in my tree stand, enjoy the relaxation and action in the woods. I love fishing but by the end of October my love for big buck hunting with my bow kicks in big time. All I want to do is outsmart the bucks I have been letting grow for 4 or 5 years. Once they are mature enough to be on my hit list I target those animals. If you have not bow hunted for trophy bucks and let 8 and 10 pointers walk by you while waiting for "The One" you would not understand the dedication and patience needed to shoot huge bucks every year. November is deer hunting all month with very little fishing time. Bow hunting the first two weeks of November is the peak of the rut and by far the best time to be in the woods. Gun hunting takes up the second half of November with some live bait action on the water starting as hunting slows. The last of November and all of December are good times to be on the water soaking suckers for muskies. The feeding windows are small but the fish are the biggest they can be. Muskie fishing closes at the end of December and most of the time we are catching them through the ice by then. If you have not tried that yet you will be amazed at how good the action is once the ice forms and tip-ups are used to catch muskies and walleyes. Catching big fish with bare hands and light line is something that will get your blood pumping.

My December fishing and hunting was cut very short this past December 5th when a guy pulled out in front of my truck as I was traveling down Capitol Drive that morning. He got a ticket for failure to yield rite of way and both of our trucks were totaled. I sustained some major health issues and hope to get back to normal by this Spring. This whole winter I am not going to try to guide at all on the ice. My health is more important to me and I need every day dedicated to physical therapy, ciropractor, doctors and home care. I will be back to 80% or better by Spring if I decacate this winter to getting better. This is the first time since I was 16 years old I have not ice fished. It hurts bad but the thought of not getting healthy by the open water season is much more scary to me. Life is not always fare, this accident sure was not. Life goes on, I am happy to still be here to type this and enjoy the time I have left on this great earth.

God Bless all of you. I hope to see you at the shows this winter, on the water this season or in the woods this Fall!!!