The big walleye bite was off this week. Volume remained excellent for 18-23 in. walleyes, but the numbers fell off dramatically for walleyes over 27 in. The week was sunny and hot with daytime highs approaching or above 90 degrees. Normally when we encounter these conditions, we look for walleyes to hit the weeds. We did find the odd weed bed bite, but it wasn’t fast and there were very few big fish mixed in
For the week, we caught and released just 17 walleyes over 27 in., including 7 – 28s and 2 – 29s. The average guide sheet remained at about 40 walleyes over 18 in. per day per boat. The top end numbers would be considered low for any time of year, but the middle of July is typically one of our hottest times for big fish.
We again found fish in limited #s in every possible type of structure on the lake. There were some fish in shallow weed beds, some on mid lake sand flats, and some on deep rock. We did catch several big fish suspended by drifting just off main lake structure. I suspect that if we adopted all out trolling presentations geared toward suspended fish that we would probably solve some of our number issues. I am just not yet willing to troll plugs in main lake basins with guests. It just isn’t that much fun. At the same time, I am guessing that we may also be able to catch some bigger fish out of extremely deep water. As a lodge owner and guide strongly promoting careful catch and release practices, I just can’t in good conscience pressure fish in the 40-60 ft. In the meantime, we’ll keep shifting gears and patterns and wait for a weather change.
We had a few groups spend some time casting for pike this week and it was also a tough bite for big fish. They found the little guys in the weeds, but the big fish were either not interested or elsewhere. For the week we had 1 – 38 and 1 – 40. Our bass fishing is also pretty much done for the year.
This has been one of those weeks that I would love to have been able to “go to the back of the book and look up the answers.” Unfortunately it is fishing and sometimes you don’t go to “know” the answers.