U.S.C.G. Captain Jeff Evans has been guiding fishing trips for over 27 years in northern, Wisconsin. Born in Hayward and eventually moving to Ashland, he grew up fishing all over the northwest part of the state. He’s a multi species guide that targets anything from crappies and walleyes to smallmouth and muskies. A true fishing junkie, his favorite fish to catch is “The next one that bites.” Learning his trade from several Hall OF Fame fishing guides, Jeff emphasizes customer service and customizing each day to the people in his boat. His guide service operates seven days a week throughout the year and covers a wide range water from the Hayward Lakes to Chequamegon Bay in Ashland and the St. Louis River in Superior. Jeff lives in Iron River, WI with his wife LeeAnn and daughter Morgan.

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Spring Walleye & Smallmouth Bass

Walleyes move shallow to spawn right after ice out in northern Wisconsin and smallmouth bass aren't far behind. When walleyes are recovering from the spawn, they usually hang off of the first break along rocky/gravel shorelines, and you'll find some fat pre-spawn smallies mixed in with them. It's one of my favorite bites of the season, and I love not knowing what will be at the end of your line after every hook set. Suspending jerk baits and slow sinking plastics really shine at this time of year fishing them with a jerk, jerk, pause cadence. Strikes will always come on the pause, and you'll have to play with timing. If you're getting lots of bumps but no hook ups, lengthen the pause. Sometimes they just need to look at it awhile. A more aggressive approach is to throw lipless crank baits and rip them off the bottom after long casts into the shallows. Strikes can be violent, and it's a super fun way to fish fast taking advantage of the most aggressive fish.

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Top Water Bass

Everyone likes a good top water bite, and smallmouth definitely give you the most bang for your buck. Fish usually start hitting surface lures as the spawn is wrapping up in June with low light time frames in mid to late summer months giving you the best chance at action. I've also run into a fun stretch that seems to happen every year in late September and early October when fish move shallow and will crash something on top. When they're in the mood, I'm not sure it really matters what you through as long as you throw it well. Poppers, walk the dog lures, etc., all have their place as long as they're worked properly over the right fish. I always have a rod in the boat rigged with my favorite lure to throw at fish surfacing during random bug hatches or while chasing schools of bait fish throughout the season. If you see busting fish, make a few casts at them and hang on.

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Lake Superior Walleye

Lake Superior walleyes like to roam, and you need to roam with them. The largest fresh water lake also has some of the largest walleyes making it a destination to catch some amazing fish. In big water like this, trolling is really the way to go for locating fish and dialing in a pattern. A spread of planer boards will help you eliminate water and lures until you're hooked up. If you're seeing big pods of bait on your electronics, you're getting close. Use a variety of crank baits in various color patterns and running depths along with crawler harnesses behind snap weights or on lead core. These fish are notorious suspenders, but will have no problem shooting up from 10' - 15' of clear water when they're active. Pay close attention to conditions with water temperatures in the 60's ideal for a good bite. The big lake is no place to mess around in bad weather though. If in doubt, don't go out...

Waterbodies: Lake Superior

Species: Walleye

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Summer Musky

There are no shortcuts to putting summer time muskies in the net no matter where you fish. Time on the water is the number one factor in hooking up, but you can improve your odds by being efficient and paying attention to details like moon phases, water temperatures, and weather systems. Obvious structures like weed points, rocky reefs, and shorelines with wood will all hold fish especially if there is a known food source near by like a school of crappies, walleyes, etc. Use different presentations like buck tails, top waters, or jerk baits until you dial in a pattern that is moving fish and stay at it until you get bit.

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Crappie

Crappies have always been a favorite fish of mine. They're usually abundant, fun to catch, and great in the frying pan. Early season presentations should focus in shallow bays with the warmest water in the lake. After the spawn, fish will transition to weed points and mid lake weeds for the mid summer months before settling in to mud basins during late summer and fall. A small plastic fished under a slip bobber is my go to presentation in almost any circumstance, but I've been using more verticle jigging and ripping presentations in recent seasons having a lot of success when fish move into deeper water.

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Summer Walleye

Walleyes in northern Wisconsin Lakes can be found in a variety of areas during mid summer months. Trolling crawler harnesses and crank baits are a great way to cover water and locate fish using your electronics on deep weed edges, rocky reefs, and mud flats. Once you pin down a big school, vertical jigging presentations and live bait under slip bobbers can be efficient ways to put numbers of fish in the net.

Species: Walleye

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Lake Superior Smallmouth

Smallmouth bass in Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior are protected so they get old and big. Smelt, spot tail shiners, & crayfish are all part of the forage base, and there is an extreme diversity of structure that includes sand, gravel, rock, weeds, wood, etc. Stay flexible throughout the season, and follow the fish through their migration from shallow spawning areas in the spring to mud flats adjacent to shipping channels in the fall. It's truly a trophy fishery with lots of fish in the 18" - 20" range.

Waterbodies: Lake Superior