Jump to content

Menominee River WS

Scott Ferguson

Recommended Posts

My wife Crystal and I went out with fishing guide Mike Mladenik on the Menominee River in WI on Monday September 25. Using red tail chubs, and 5 inch Senkos, we got about 25 to 30 smallies. While the numbers weren't huge, the average size was. The smallest was 15 inches. We had 3 over 19 almost all the rest were 17 or 18. I've never had a day with that many big bass.




This 19.5 incher was caught on my second cast of the day. (The first cast yielded a 17)




Crystal got this 19.


On Thursday, we went back out with Mike Mladenik to a different part of the river, this time above a dam. It was a little slower today. 18 bass. I got 2, 19's, a couple of 18's of the rest, only 3 were less than 16 inches.






I got one fish on a plastic and all the rest were on the chubs. I'm not one for live bait but when the guide says that's what works, who am I to argue. If I'd have stuck with plastics today, I wouldn't have gotten much. I tried several types of plastics even while I had another rod with the bait in the water. The big red tails were the ticket.


Tuesday and Wednesday, we went hiking in the UP. One of the hikes was 10 miles long that took us along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the Lake Superior shoreline. It was a long hike for two out of shape hikers but the views were spectacular.




Some of these cliffs are 200 feet high. The trail wove along the edge of these cliffs for 4 miles.






I never knew this existed till we got here. Well worth the sore legs and feet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Was wondering if you had made the trip. I would imagine you are pleased with the results! I'm sure after you hit that 19.5" on the 2nd cast you knew you were in for a banner day! Looks like they're fattening up nicely. There is something special about them WI smallies.


How were you fishing the chubs? How would you apply what you learned (or practiced) to our local waters? Or better yet, will/would you?


If you have more pictures of the UP, please post them. I have only been up there once, skiing back in the college days. The pictures look beautiful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were fishing the large (4 to 5 inch) chubs with just a hook and a split shot. We just cast them out into areas that the guide knew usually held big fish. Most of the areas were in 6 to 11 feet of water. Some were in areas that the fish will stay in all winter and sometimes we were fishing in areas of deeper water where current was present that held fish year round. Some were near weedbeds, some near rocks. There was no consistant pattern except that the water was deeper than you might fish in summer.

Thinking about it, I probably might use live bait more in the fall. I seldom use live bait and the guide, Mike Mladenik, says he never uses it except in the fall. In Illinois, I'd probably use a little bit smaller minnows.,

These were pretty big baits. Something you might pick if you were after northerns. The Menominee has a good number of very large bass. I suspect reason we didn't catch a lot of bass but the ones we caught were all large was because of the size of the baits. Our local rivers have fewer numbers of big fish so with smaller baits I'd probably get more fish.


Here's a couple more photos from the UP











Link to comment
Share on other sites

That last photo reminds me of Matthiessen State Park by Starved Rock.


It doesn't appear that the change is very far along. I'm excited for this Fall. I think with the rain and cool summer, the trees are really healthy and will be vibrant when the colors are in full swing. Hopefully a big storm doesn't blow them all away too soon! Nothing more picturesque than the backdrop of Fall leaves and a beautiful, fat smallie!


So, chubs on our shallow rivers? Maybe under a float? I'm not a bait guy, in fact I haven't seen a minnow in years. A crayfish, maybe from time to time, and a grub on an ice jig. Also, I wouldn't doubt for a second that our smallies would grab a 4" chub if it floated by. I think you would catch plenty. Just have to find them, that's where its easier to search with a lure. Let us know if you give the chubs a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely beautiful country.

As for the chubs as bait, I learned some words of wisdom long ago from a guy that for years used exclusively artificials- "A tough bite is a tough bite. Use live bait or stay home and cut the grass."


Thanks for the great trip report.

Really enjoyed the scenery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...