Walleye volume continues to be strong, but we are definitely stuck in a big fish rut. The weather remained warm and relatively dry and we did go on fire ban this week. There was a noticeable increase in the number of mid to large (24-27 in.) walleyes, but this is the first July report since I’ve owned the lodge that didn’t have at least one walleye over 29 in. Very little has changed in the past 3 weeks. The fish are all over the place and we can keep the rod bent, but the big ones “have gotten away.”
We are still running primarily with jigs (3/8 oz) and minnows, but did use some crawlers on harnesses as well as with jigs this week. There was really no obvious difference in production. Most fish are being caught between 20 and 30 ft.
For the week, we caught and released 30 walleyes over 27 in., including 7 – 28s. Volume remained fairly steady at about 40 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 83. There was a 41 in. pike caught this week by the one boat that spent time casting weed beds. We also stumbled into 2 – 18 in. smallies while walleye fishing.
I am still happy to have the walleye volume, but when we have so many repeat groups in camp that have become so accustomed to exceptional July trophy walleye production, it does make for some tough guiding. I have closed several round table guide meetings with the advice to “not let it get to you… Just keep working … just keep thinking … and the big ones will come.” I also tell them to “do as I say, not as I do.”