Chasing Green Bay smallies

The Mystery Lake is no more. We’re on Green Bay, off of Lake Michigan, doing the best we can with the wind, reduced fishing waters and a tough bite. The wind was especially nasty on Monday.

I may have mentioned this before, but just in case I haven’t I’ll let you in on a Hartley not-so-secret secret — I suffer from motion sickness. First off, I don’t call it seasickness. There’s something about that name that doesn’t quite fit with an Elite Series angler. It doesn’t make you sound very tough, hardcore, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, the result is the same.

Well, it got so bad out there on Monday that I had to come in, take some medicine, and rest for a while on dry, stable land. Motion sickness is the kind of thing that, once it gets going, there’s no stopping it. It’s sick, sick and then more sick. (Note that I didn’t use the word puke, but that’s what it is and we all know it.)

I’ve learned that lesson over the years the hard way. I come in and get fixed before it gets out of control. That’s one of the few benefits of maturity.

Anyway, we’re up on the water chasing smallmouth, and it isn’t easy. The bite has been a little slow, the fish few and far between. No matter how few the bites, however, the size will stay strong.

These are big fish and five of them will push the scales up high. I’d say we’ll see some extraordinary stringers before this tournament is over. Stand by for some serious pictures of serious brown bass.

I’ve noticed something else up here this week. As you know, these are the longest days of the year. And when you’re up north like we are they’re even longer. You can fish until almost 10 o’clock at night and still see pretty well. That does a couple of things.

First, it doesn’t give us anglers much time to recharge our batteries. By the time you trailer your boat, get something to eat and go back to the motel, it’s almost midnight. That’s not a lot of sleep time if you get up early like I do. Three or four hours isn’t enough anymore. Father Time is taking his toll despite the fact that I’m fighting him all the way.

The second thing it does is mess up your charge time on your trolling motor batteries. We use them hard in this wind and current. They don’t completely recharge in the few hours we give them. Over the course of several days that can create problems. You don’t bass fish very long if your batteries are weak, dead or if you have to nurse them along. They need to be at full power and ready to go at all times.

Despite all I’ve said, I’m having a good time. It’s no secret I’m a Great Lakes and smallmouth bass junkie. This is my kind of water and my kind of fishing.

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