Mike Mladenik's Articles

August 2011


Finesse Tactics for Topwater Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
The cool dry summer we experienced last season made for some unpredictable fishing While we did catch lots of smallmouth on many days the bite was light and called for finesse presentations. One would not think that such conditions would make for a great topwater bite. While it was not a great year for topwater fishing on the river, it was a good year. As usual anglers had to adjust and know when ... more

October 2007


The October Bite
by Mike Mladenik
The only problem I have in October is deciding what to fish for. Whether you are after a 40 pound musky, a 12-pound walleye or six pound smallmouth, the time is right in October. Sure there are those diehard fishermen who only chase after on specie. However, there are many like myself who prefer to fish for all species. This means taking advantage of every minute and spending your time wisely. Thi... more

September 2007


Fall Bass
by Mike Mladenik
One over looked period to catch largemouth bass consistently is the early fall period. Many bass anglers do well on lakes and flowages in spring and summer but they fail to key in on the major bass movements that are about to occur once. These bass movements on many natural lakes and reservoirs can be dramatic and offer excellent fishing. Many bass anglers love to fish the slop and shallow wee... more

August 2007


Late Summer Tactics
by Mike Mladenik
By August most waters reach the maximum water temperature and water usage by watercraft enthusiasts is also at its peak. Fish are feeding on a regular basis but you would never know it by listing to anglers. The "Dog Days of Summer" Syndrome takes the blame for many an empty live well. The key is to find a place where fish are active and you can escape some of the boat traffic. Fishing a river ... more

June 2007


Topwater Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
I have yet to meet an angler who does not like to catch smallmouth bass on topwater. Not only is experiencing an 18 inch smallmouth crushing a topwater bait exciting, but it is also addicting. After catching a few fish on top, many of my clients continue to fish the topwater bait, even if no other smallmouth shows any interest. The problem is that many anglers fail to put together all the pieces ... more

May 2007


Cold Water Big Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
Over my 25 years of guiding, I have kept records of every day spent on the water. These records include the number and size of the fish caught, as well as the time of year and conditions. Having logged thousands of big smallmouth, one outstanding feature is noticeable. About seventy-five percent of the big smallmouth were caught in cold water. By cold water, I am referring to water tem... more

April 2007


April Walleye
by Mike Mladenik
The entire Menominee Rivers offers excellent opportunities for walleye anglers. On the river there is a one fish bag limit until the first Saturday in May when the regular fishing season opens. Even with this one fish bag limit it is still worth your time spending a day on the river. March and April are prime time to catch big pre-spawn walleye and action with smaller males. If you need to take ho... more

March 2007


Early Season Pike
by Mike Mladenik
Northern Pike do have a reputation of cooperating when other fish have lock jaw. Although they do tend to be easier to catch at times than walleye or bass fishing is seldom easy. The problem is that most pike anglers get into a rut and use the same presentations. Pike like other species relate to weather changes and seasoned anglers can adapt to these changes. Over the years I have developed... more

November 2006


Fish Rocks in November
by Mike Mladenik
One thing is for certain when November arrives fisherman will find no lines at the boat landing. You will be able to head out to your favorite lake and probably have the water to yourself. November can be trophy time for a variety of species but it can also be one of the most frustrating and unpredictable times in which to fish. The late fall period is one time of year when fishing the proper lake... more

October 2006


The October Bite
by Mike Mladenik
The only problem I have in October is deciding what to fish for. Whether you are after a 40 pound musky, a 12-pound walleye or six pound smallmouth, the time is right in October. Sure there are those diehard fishermen who only chase after on specie. However, there are many like myself who prefer to fish for all species. This means taking advantage of every minute and spending your time wisely. Thi... more

September 2006


Fall Bass
by Mike Mladenik
One over looked period to catch largemouth bass consistently is the early fall period. Many bass anglers do well on lakes and flowages in spring and summer but they fail to key in on the major bass movements that are about to occur once. These bass movements on many natural lakes and reservoirs can be dramatic and offer excellent fishing. Many bass anglers love to fish the slop and shallow wee... more

August 2006


Late Summer Tactics
by Mike Mladenik
By August most waters reach the maximum water temperature and water usage by watercraft enthusiasts is also at its peak. Fish are feeding on a regular basis but you would never know it by listing to anglers. The "Dog Days of Summer" Syndrome takes the blame for many an empty live well. The key is to find a place where fish are active and you can escape some of the boat traffic. Fishing a river ... more

July 2006


Weeds for July Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
Smallmouth bass can be easy to pattern during late spring through early summer. They are shallow and will aggressively hit a variety of presentations. Once they enter the post spawn period they can scatter on many lakes and be difficult to locate let alone catch. If the lake is clear and has an abundance of deep water even seasoned anglers will have a tough time. For the most part many anglers jus... more

June 2006


Early Summer Crankbaits
by Mike Mladenik
While fishing is seldom easy, there are times when finding a productive pattern requires less effort. Spending most of my life on the water I have seen many patterns change from year to year. Much depends on water levels, weather and forage, the things out of the angler's control. For me, figuring out the pattern is often a challenge that is more rewarding than the catching. However, there ... more

May 2006


Where to Fish on the Opener
by Mike Mladenik
Being on the water on a daily basis a fishing guide learns to deal with the elements. We take the good and the bad and somehow manage to keep our clients happy regardless of the weather. Last May seemed like we were stuck in one big cold front with no light at the end of the tunnel. I would get excited after two days of stable weather hoping that the water temperature would climb a few degrees. Un... more

April 2006


April Fishing
by Mike Mladenik
Regardless of the kind of winter we have, April is the first month of real open water fishing. In March the sun is high and on warm days many anglers yearn for open water. Up here in Northeast Wisconsin those warm spring days are welcomed indeed. Walleyes will receive the most attention as they make there annual river spawning runs. To successfully catch spring river walleyes anglers need to ... more

March 2006


Early Season Pike
by Mike Mladenik
Northern Pike do have a reputation of cooperating when other fish have lock jaw. Although they do tend to be easier to catch at times than walleye or bass fishing is seldom easy. The problem is that most pike anglers get into a rut and use the same presentations. Pike like other species relate to weather changes and seasoned anglers can adapt to these changes. Over the years I have developed... more

November 2005


Novembers Big Fish
by Mike Mladenik
This summer food has been at a premium on both natural lakes, reservoirs and even in the rivers. The cold spring played havoc with the forage base. Besides baitfish numbers being down crayfish are also less abundant. Most of the fish we caught in the summer looked healthy but the forage base is limited and can become depleted by late fall. So my prediction is for big fish to be more accessible to ... more

October 2005


Big October Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
October is a great time to be on the water in the Northwood's since it is probably the last full month of open water fishing. Depending on the year by late November we will see hard water. Most northern anglers will take advantage of every day, knowing what lies ahead for the next five months. Besides catching lots of big fish this is also an enjoyable month to be on the water. October starts out... more

September 2005


September River Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
Being a full time guide I spend at least 170 days per year fishing open water. Through the years I have spend more time pursuing smallmouth bass than any other species. Like most bronzeback anglers I feel any day on the water is a good one. However it is even better when you catch and release a big smallmouth. The more I fish the more big smallmouth have become an obsession. Experience has taug... more

August 2005


Late Summer Largemouth
by Mike Mladenik
Mid to late summer is not the most popular period for many bass anglers even though they have many options. Whether you choose to fish for smallmouth or largemouth in the upper Midwest this can be a time of plenty both for big fish and action. As usual the key is concentrating on the proper water and using the proper presentations. While my clients catch many nice bass in August if we were to fish... more

July 2005


Summer River Patterns
by Mike Mladenik
July can be a frustrating period for anglers even tough fishing can be good. The key to success in July is knowing the specie you are pursuing and knowing the best type of water to fish. Being a full time guide for over 20 years I have developed several patterns that are productive in July. Here is some advice on where and how to fish this summer. The most consistent pattern for summer is rive... more

June 2005


Early Season Musky
by Mike Mladenik
Musky Fisherman all have there favorite lake. Over the years a specific lake has been good to them and has produced not only a trophy musky but consistent action. While having a favorite musky lake is fine, there are times when it will work to your disadvantage. One time when you should forget about your favorite water and go for the percentages is during the early season. When picking water... more

May 2005


Northwood's Bass
by Mike Mladenik
Finally after a long winter we are able to get out on the water once May arrives. I spent the winter giving numerous seminars across the Midwest. Each winter I enjoy giving these seminars and meeting with anglers. My last seminars were at the Action Marine Open House in early April. Events like the Action Marine open house are great since besides anglers getting super deals on a new boat they c... more

April 2005


Early Pre-Spawn Smallmouth
by Mike Mladenik
Over the years I have written many articles on pre-spawn smallmouth. The more I study pre-spawn smallmouth I have come to the conclusion that we need to focus on both the early and late pre-spawn periods. It is the early pre-spawn period that receives little insight. At this time it is anyone's guess what the water temperature will be. This pre spawn period can be unpredictable since the weather c... more

Article Archive

2018 Articles

2017 Articles

2016 Articles

2015 Articles

2014 Articles

2013 Articles

2012 Articles

2011 Articles

2010 Articles

2009 Articles

2008 Articles

2007 Articles

2006 Articles

2005 Articles

2004 Articles

2003 Articles

2002 Articles

2001 Articles

2000 Articles

1999 Articles