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Andrew R

Andrew's Adventures

Northwoods Report, May 2015

Sat, May 30, 2015

Hi all, I don’t have much time to write a novel of a fishing report because I’m short on time and getting ready for my return to the northwoods for the month of June. This leg will take me thru June 19th. I leave tomorrow (Sunday 5/31).

I’m sorry for this lazy post.

In May, I fished from May 6th thru 22nd. Due to lousy daily weather that ranged from wind storms, to snow and overnight freezing, and below average air and water temperatures, the bass fishing was the most difficult I’ve ever experienced for the month of May. Early spring can be either a feast or famine. Spring 2015 has been a famine. For the past 7 or 8 years, I must have been lucky. During May, there wasn’t much to show for my efforts but a few memorable float trips down area rivers, and some quick feeding windows we had in between the lousy weather.

Smallmouths were found, but not in their usual numbers, sizes, nor locations. My friends and guests had to look long and hard with me in order to find them - we found them shallow and deep, and even from wintering holes. Water temperatures for much of May were steady at 52-56 degrees. If only the sunlight was present, the fishing would have been spectacular - but for over a week it was nothing but clouds and dark skies. Smallies were not moving, nor were largemouths because even weedgrowth was lacking too. Jerkbaits (flukes and suspendos) were undoubtedly best, as were spinnerbaits and an assortment of jigs and plastics.

With the quick ice out and mild winter, I had very high expectations for the month of May, but it didn’t translate much into happiness. At least the new Ranger has been a beauty to fish with, and I wouldn’t trade my lousy weather days for the best day in the office. My friends made the month excellent for me.

Despite having to fish hard, I have a lot of photos to show for our efforts. Based on some of our catches, between myself and friends, we did alright for ourselves. I want to thank my friends whom joined me on the water, and I spent quality time with. Lots of fun was had both on the water, and off the water.



I repowered my river rig this spring. So long old 6 horse, in favor of “new” 15 horse. Wow this baby flies me up and down the river at almost 20mph!



The best fishing I had in May was without a doubt, the Wisconsin River. It warms the fastest and it had the best fishing. I spent multiple days floating and exploring the river as far south as the Wausau Wisconsin area to as far north as the Eagle River area by me in Vilas County. Each day we floated, 30 to 50 fish days were had. I have not been able to enjoy the Wisconsin River during spring season since 2012….... because since then, it’s been nothing but flooded and dangerous. I forgot how much fun the bass fishing is on this river.




Kenny Lookingbill had himself a blast fishing the river with me, which in fact saved his trip. Poor Kenny took 3 days off work to fish with me for 5 days. Two of those days were weather days in which we were forced off the water. Before he returned to Chicago we spent nearly a full day floating and fishing. Several big fish were caught and he loved every minute of it.



On May 11th, my good buddy and fellow river rat and Central Wisconsin guide, Kurt Schultz, hosted me for a day on the river with him in Central Wisconsin. Last summer I hosted Kurt with me on the upper parts where I fish, so this was my first ever crack at fishing the river down south. Kurt specializes in river muskies and smallmouths on the Wisconsin and this leisure trip of ours was quite memorable. Kurt has a fleet of Lowe Roughneck jon boats powered by Mercury jets, thus he can get through the shallowest and most treacherous stretches of river. Several large fish were caught, topping out at 20.5 inches. Kurt guides approximately 150-180 days per season, exclusively on the Wisconsin River, and can be reached online at


While the Wisconsin River treated friends and I exceptionally well, the lakes were disastrous and difficult to get a handle of. Fish were not found nor present in their typical spring numbers but thankfully the straggler big fish was found. These catches led to happy moments and gave me the sense that I’m doing alright, but the lakes and its fish were not yet ready.




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Mike Piorkowski ALWAYS catches giants with me. I’ve converted him from muskies to smallies and he has the magic touch. He caught the largest fish in my boat last season (a sub 22 incher he’s getting a replica of), and this early season 20.5 takes the lead thus far. Always a pleasure fishing with Mike.


17 inches, but 3 lbs 12 ounces!!! What a butterball.


As for the new boat, it’s been the best purchase of my life. WOW! I look forward to hosting many more folks in it as we together pursue the Northwoods Bass.

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In a few hours I depart for the north again for the month of June. Fish are already spawning on most lakes while some will still be in pre-spawn cold water mode like last week was. It will be interesting to examine. I just hope the weather will be on our sides for once because in May it was not pretty.

For the next few weeks I will be fishing solo, hosting family and friends, and available to host/guide inquiring guests (up to 1-2). I invite you to visit me online at as I am now officially licensed, insured, and registered with the State of Wisconsin to teach, educate, and catch and share the experience of my daily life with you.

Thanks all for reading. I wish I had more time to go into detail with how my month of May fared, but this will do for now.

Andrew Ragas





I’m also headed north on Saturday, looking forward to soem good bass fishing on the Chip.

Posted by Arty the 1 man party on June 02

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