This past week was a soaker. We had over 4 inches of rain at the lodge and the lake has gone up over a foot. We are finally able to get through the Styx trimmed up and slow, but the variable and stormy weather did have a major affect on fish location. The massive fronts combined with wind and cold left the lake with very little temperature difference from the backwater bays to the main basins (50 – 58 degrees). The result is that we caught walleyes from 2 – 35 ft deep, from spring – summer spots, and found them on sand and rock, all at the same time. When the fish are everywhere and decide to be a little finicky, the bite can be very tough.
The biggest surprise of the week was how deep we found walleyes. Most of the biggest fish were pulled from 20 to as deep as 35 ft. I personally have never caught walleyes that deep in May, but we were searching for big ones, marked a few fish down deep and caught them. Once we caught a few, we realized that the uniform water temps from top to bottom, meant that we could find fish anywhere and consequently did. Down deep the fishing was never even close to fast. You had to basically “dead stick” jig and minnow combos and crawl for a bite.
With the cold fronts, walleye volume dropped a little this week with guide reports averaging 25 walleyes over 18 in. per day. The highest daily total was 62. For the week we had 23 walleyes over 27 in., including 5 – 28s, and 2 – 29s.
Our smallmouth bass bite was also a little less than previous years at this time. The consecutive rainy fronts and lack of sunshine, kept the bass a bit deeper than usual. Overall bass volume was down, but we did have some big fish. For the week, there were 22 bass over 17 in. caught and released, including 5 – 18s, and 3 – 19s.
There really wasn’t a great deal of effort spent on pike fishing, but a few key transition areas turned some good fish for those anglers casting for them. For the week, we had 2 – 38s, 2 – 39s, 2 – 40s, and 1 – 41.
Today was the first real day of sunshine and by this afternoon, we found surface temps as high as 65 degrees. Even with light winds, we found a fast shallow water pitching bite for walleyes this afternoon. A few more sunny days should have the same dramatic affects that the cold fronts have had. We will keep you posted.