There was an improvement in the walleye bite this past week. We are not quite yet back to “normal” July standards, but we did catch some big walleyes. For the week, we caught and released 44 over 27 in., including 10 – 28s, 2 – 29s, and a giant 31. Volume was again steady with the average guide sheet reporting around 40 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 85.
We are fishing spots, patterns, and presentations that are typical for mid – late August. We found volume in the 18 – 25 ft zone, but all of the big fish were found in 25 – 32 ft. The sand flats and main lake rock have both been sporadic. There were a few walleyes caught shallow in front of the weed beds, but these spots held no real size. Jigs are still out-producing spinners and 3/8 – ½ oz. fished without plastic are the current hot pattern.
I don’t have concrete data to back up my opinion, but there is some evidence that we are competing against an early and strong baitfish “hatch.” There are many times when we are marking dozens and dozens of fish, but just can’t get them to hit. In the fish house we are finding walleye stomachs gorged with “young of the year perch.” This wouldn’t be a surprise for Aug., but most of the perch are well over an inch long. Juvenile perch are rarely that long at the end of Aug. in the southern section of Lac Seul. My gut feeling is that the super early spring may be responsible for an early and strong spawn of yellow perch and quite possibly for several of the prime forage species on the lake. The Lac Seul walleye fishery was built upon a strong and diverse forage base, but as in most things in life, there can be too much of a good thing from an angler’s perspective.
There was no effort put into pike or bass this past week, but we did have incidental catch of pike at 40 & 42 in. and bass of 17 & 18 in.