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The annual central WI family vacation was again a blast this year. It was centered around my cousin's wedding, which took place on the middle weekend. It was great seeing so many family members and old friends who came up specifically for the wedding.

The fishing this year was fabolous. When Yami Master came up, we really chased them hard and established several patterns. Buzzbaits are my favorite bait, and previously I had never bothered to throw them on the Chain, which is a big clear body of water with spooky fish. Come July most fish are hunkered down in 20+ feet of water most of the day. We however found a dynamite 4:30 AM buzzbait bite at a select spot and also a a great midday jerkbait bite on midlake humps and flats when the wind was up.

After going up here my whole life and never catching or witnessing a walleye being caught we got 4 this year. The DNR did some supplemental stockings in 02 and 04 and it is finally paying off.

I have tons of pics so I will try to only hit some of the highlights.

The first fish of the trip is always sweet.


The dock fishing is always decent as there are two nice drops within casting distance.



I took the nephew and sister out to a midlake hump for the evening bite






We always bring a few back to the dock for some quick pics and "local stocking"


...which makes for great dock fishing every year






Yami Master made it up a few days after I did and we spent the first night putting together a game plan and catching a few









This guy had a black spot in his back and I caught him twice during the trip, both times on the same bait :p







My sister with her first fish in quite a few years :)2


Yami and I started hitting it hard in the early mornings. We did well each morning, but ours best count was 26 bass, 1 pike, and 1 walleye on a morning where it all came together.



















Plenty of snakes on the Chain





And lots of bass





















I made an effort to land a walleye off a midlake hump at night. I caught some great fish, but no walleye of this hump.

Night pike


Tons of nice bass








This huge grouper, errr, I mean smallmouth


but the only walleye I caught was midmorning off a rock point on a Husky Jerk.


Next year is too far away. Time to take a shower and head to work :cry:

BTW-No fish were harmed in the making of this production ;)
 

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Matt, one word: Wow! It looks like some awesome fishing that many of us here can only dream about. Thanks for the post.
 

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I've always wanted to take a photo of myself holding two bass that I caught the same day....... unfortunately I don't got a livewell.... one day though!

Nice job fishinmatt! You caught more fish in this one outing than I probably did all summer... lol
 

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Thanks guys :D

The Chain is an ultra clear set of lakes that suprisingly see little pressure. The fishing is always tough, but fortunately I have been fishing this lake my whole life, so I know a few secrets :wink: Every year I try to build on my knowledge and find some new spots and patterns, and fortunately this year we found some good stuff. The buzzbite bite inparticular was a blast. We decided to give it a try at a spot that we thought might produce. My buddy and I each throw our first cast and are greeted with a double. It doesn't get much better then that :p We also had some luck drawing reaction strikes working midlake humps and sharp shoreline breaks with jerkbaits. The most fun however was getting the whole family involved. There is somewhat of a mini lottery involved in who I take out fishing and it is awesome to put people on fish and see the look on there faces when they hook up :D
 

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A friend of mine has a cottage on Columbia Lake. We used to catch alot of largemouth and northerns in Dake and Miner. It looks like your cottage is on one of the no wake lakes on the way to the Old Soldiers Lake(can't remember the name) Is Dings Dock still in business ? How about The Wheel House ? Haven't fished up there in years but it looks like things are in good shape. The chain is alot like the Fox Chain with all the boat traffic in the summer. Keep up the good work.
 

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junglejim,

The cottage we stay at is on McCrossen, which is indeed on the way to the old vet's home on Rainbow Lake. Dings Dock is still in business and does the Crystal River canoe trip and boat rentals. The Wheelhouse is still going strong as well. There is tons of boat traffic, and it just gets worse every year. We fish early and late and also a fair amount of night fishing too.

The smallies do have some great colors and there are a fair amount of 16-20''s available if you can find them. Night fishing seemed to produce the biggest smallies this year :wink:
 
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