Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Now is the time for some bass fishing

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Tim Black (l), of Waukesha, and his friend Brett Christianson, of Chicago. (Photo by Dan Durbin)

By Dan Durbin

Contributing Writer


Each year in between full moons and rising and falling water temperature bass slip onto their spawning beds and do their thing. After the spawn, the females tend to slip out of spawning grounds and find some thick weeds or maybe a drop-off where they recover before they start putting on the feedbag. Males will stick shallow and guard newly hatched fry.


It can be tricky. An angler can find really rough conditions or extremely satisfying ones until the next wave of fish come in to spawn.


Joining me was Tim Black, of Waukesha, a mutual fund representative for PNC Bank, and his friend Brett Christianson, a UW-Madison graduate now living just across the border in Illinois.


“I don’t get out much,” Black said. “So even though conditions might not be the best with this wind I’m just happy to do some casting.”


Black, a Waukesha South graduate, for the last several years has spent more time watching his three kids in their sporting events than he has fishing. His son, Gavin, plays football and wrestles for Waukesha West, his sophomore daughter, Lauren, plays lacrosse , and his seventh grade son, Mason, wrestles and plays football and lacrosse. Black’s wife, Shari, is the chief programs officer for the Wisconsin State Fair, so the Blacks are as busy as anyone in the summer.


Black asked if he could bring along his client/buddy. I was cool with that but was a little nervous that the Chicago investment advisor would show up to the dock with a can of red worms in a Hill’s Brothers coffee can (think “River Runs Through It”). I was happily surprised that when I got to the dock to launch he was already there casting. A quick look at his rods and reels that were armed with Ned rigs, wacky rigs, and drop shots and I breathed an immediate sign of relief.


This was going to be fun.


“There we go,” Black said, hooking up first.


We started shallow and caught a few but decided to move out to breaks, points and flats outside of the major spawning grounds. The decision was a good one.


“Fish on,” Christenson said. “Pretty good one.”


As we fished along I quickly realized the Christenson was no green horn. He fought fish well and was eager to get the next one on.


“I actually was mainly a muskie guy,” he said. “Fished for them more than anything. About 10 years ago I met a guy from a local fishing club called the Spoon Pluggers. I learned so much in so little time.”


While there was no real defining moment when he switched from muskie to a more bass-focused pursuit, my guess from the short time on the water we spent, he needed more action.


“I fish a lot on Geneva now and by our lake home,” he said.


We figured out that the better fish were hanging in 8to 14 feet of water around sand flats that had thick weed clumps growing on them. There were some good stretches that offered up multiple fish. We probably put close to 20 in the boat in about three hours of fishing.


The action should continue like this for the next couple weeks until the bass settle into their post-spawn patterns.


The only buzz kill was a text Christianson received towards the end of our day.


“Oh man, I just got a text that there are looters about two miles from my house hitting a Walgreens,” he said.


We knew it was a possibility, and even a likely one, that more peaceful protests would be going on that day, and some not so peaceful ones too. But, for a few hours fishing occupied our minds and offered us a nice recess.


It was a sobering moment when the text came in and I asked the guys if they wanted to leave.


“One more cast,” Black said.


“Yeah, just one more,” Christenson added.

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