Spence Petros fishing seminars, classes, articles and tips with one of America's top fishing educators on freshwater fishng.

Guide Services and 2015 Guiding Results (click here)

In 2008 was the first time I guided on a regular basis, and really enjoyed it. Almost all my guide business were people from my fishing schools, so it was extra fun to show them how techniques that were taught in the classes worked on the water. I regret not being able to take out everyone that wanted to book me, but I just didn’t have enough dates available.

This year I will take more bookings in May and extend a little more into July. I expect an even better year because I discovered several new patterns that are deadly in May on both Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan.

Guiding on a regular basis made me a better fisherman because I could see the changes in fish location and activity levels on a day to day basis. I wasn’t just going fishing under more favorable conditions.

Drop-shotting is by far the best presentation on Lake Geneva using 4 ¾ inch Yum Houdini worms, a 1/4th ounce drop-shot sinker and a size 1 Gamagatsu drop-shot hook. On Delavan, using 5-inch soft plastic Yum Dinger rigged wacky worm style on a 1/0 Gamagatsu shiner hook caught the most fish, but other presentations were also effective.

Last years clients and those that were on the waiting list will get first crack on dates. Then will come those in this spring’s classes. After that the general public, but all the days should be booked by then.

Prices will be the same as last year $325 for one person; $375 for two for a full day. The day usually starts at 6:30 am and lasts until at least 2:30 pm., unless other arrangements are made. 

This year I might try some half day trips. These would be from 3:30-4 pm to 7:30-8 pm. I’d only do this a few times a week so I don’t get too tired.

The cost on these would be $225 for one or $275 for two. We meet at Linn pier on Geneva and at the main park on route 50 for Delavan.

Last year I often spent several hours in the evening re-spooling lines; sometimes as many as three reels with expensive super lines. It would be a great help if you can bring a spinning reel spooled with 10-pound braided line. I would recommend SpiderWire Stealth. Fire Line and Power Pro are other good lines.

I will have plenty of fluorocarbon line to make leaders and I will be happy to show you how to tie them. I will have extra rods if needed.

The ideal rod for drop-shotting is a 6 ½ to 7 foot medium-light rod which is generally rated for 4 to 10 or 6 to 12-pound test. I’m working on getting a great deal on perfect 7-footers that will be available in the classes.

2015 Guiding Report

There is a friendly rivalry between the Nebel brothers. Last year the two youngest Steve and Jack Jr. went fishing with me on Geneva and we only managed to catch 20 bass under lousy weather conditions. Older brothers Brian, Brad and I got 50 a few days later. Every time we reached 30, 40, 50 they texted their brothers to bust their chops a bit. This year Brian, Brad and I got 74 bass in early June. They were pretty confident about their success. Ten days later Steve, Jack Jr. and I landed 91 bass, a new Lake Geneva record for me. For years the most bass we ever caught on a guiding trip was 64 bass. This year my average for 20 trips (guiding and with friends) was 62.6 bass, and I’m not counting rock bass. Last year Andy Norocki and son A.J. and boated 80 bass. This year we had days of 84 with John Bales and Bret Christianson, 85 with Rick Rochetti and Matt, 72 with John Szlenk and Craig, and 74 with just Dan Zamen and myself. Greg Bedow thought my numbers were B.S. until he went out with me last year and we caught 44. This year Greg went out with me again with Ron Seiver and we caught 67, slightly above average. My last day out was June 29 with my neighbor Mike “Green Acres” Ventresca and Mike Haber owner of Broken Oar Bar and Marina on the Fox River and we caught 63. I’ll probably get out to Geneva a few more times but it will generally be for other species.

Delavan was also good as we averaged 36 bass a trip. My best day was with Becker Lara and his partner when we boated 68 bass. I left Delavan a little earlier than normal because slime and near surface growing weeds covered a lot of my favorite early season spots. Last year we averaged 51 bass a trip on Delavan. You just never know what weather conditions will be and what lake will get hot. Between the two lakes we caught 1648 bass, averaging 53.16 a trip.

Wacky worm rigged soft plastic stick baits such as Yum Dingers and Senko’s took most of the bass on Delavan. We put a small zip tie around the middle of the worm, pull it tight then trim it down. This tactic will enable you to catch many more fish on a single worm. Many times I’ve caught 20 or more on one bait. Tie on a size 1/0 Gamagatsu Shiner hook on and put it just under the zip ties band, not into the worm. I’ve used many different hooks when wacky worming and this one gives me the highest percentage of hooked and landed bass. Almost all of our Geneva bass were caught drop-shotting. Again the right hook plays an important part of our success. Everyone in my boat is rigging up with Gamagatsu drop shot hooks. Most of the time I’m using size 1/0 but may drop down to a size 1 if going down to a smaller than normal, skinnier worm, or Uncle Josh Pork Leech. Get both sizes. Since I don’t think they make smaller Mighty Worms anymore, I’ve been using Zoom worms and Uncle Josh Pork Leeches. Chompers also work well. Watermelon is the top color. Plain watermelon, watermelon-red, watermelon –gold, watermelon-anything! Browns and greens are the best colors.

On the day we got 91bass I used Jim Grandts new Cuda rod (7-foot medium lite 8-12-pound test) for the first time. And it’s been my go to rod ever since. Before that I used Grandt’s Payara rod 7-foot lite rated for 6-10-pound test, which I loved. My plan is to use the Payara earlier in the year, and the little stiffer Cuda as the fish drop deeper and a little more of a hook-set is needed. If anyone is interested in looking at Grandt rods, got to www.grandtrods.com. If you buy one mention my name and get $100 off. My reels are usually spooled with 10-braid (Spider Wire Stealth, Nano-fill, or Power pro), with a 6 or 7-foot fluorocarbon leader. 10 to 12-pound test on Delavan, 8 to 10 on Geneva.

Two things should be on your bucket list. A Grandt rod and going fishing in Venice, Louisiana. Sorry, all the trips are filled up this fall. Next reports will mostly be on muskies.

Have a great summer!



A note from the webmaster:  I was lucky enough to spend a day on the water with Spence, first on Lake Delevan and then on Lake Geneva, this past season. The photos on this page are just a sampling of the many largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and northern pike that we caught on that one day adventure.

All I can say is that if you can book a trip with him - don't even hesitate. It was one of the most enjoyable days of fishing that I had all season and I also picked up a few new "tricks" that put more fish in the boat the rest of the year.

Thanks again Spence for the GREAT memories!


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Spence Petros fishing seminars, classes, articles and tips with one of America's top fishing educators on freshwater fishng. Learn the best fishing techniques that will produce walleye, musky, northern pike and bass with Spence Petros nationally reknown fishing classes and seminars.