A Guide's Day OffBy Ted Peck - June 1, 2011
Another day on the Mississippi would feel too much like just another day at the 'office'. Time for a road trip to my second most favorite water on the planet-The Wisconsin River between Merrill and Brokaw.
Walleyes don't run as big here as on Pool 9, but muskies are almost pests and the smallmouth fishing is outstanding. Anglers are also few and far between, because a cartopper, canoe or boat with a jet drive outboard are the only platforms which allow safe travel on this water.
Kurt Schultz knows every inch of this water, with knowledge far beyond his years. He's a hoot to fish with, partially because he sometimes forgets that I have been guiding almost twice as long as he has been on the planet. But he still manages to teach this old dog a trick or two every time we fish together.
My birthday challenge to Kurt was simple but tough: Let's NOT catch any muskies!
Species specific targeting of smallmouth bass on this water requires targeting extremely shallow water with worm baits like Chompers Salty Sinkers. Natural colors work best.
Probably the best all-around lure on the Merrill to Brokaw stretch is a #4 Mepps Black Fury spinner. But this lure will find muskies-and the occasional walleye-besides bass.
Schultz said his previous two smallie trips produced 32 and 28 fish over 16 inches. Impressive stats by any measure.