The unsettled weather continued again this week. There was another major front mid week that dropped close to another 2 inches of rain. Since May, the lake is up over 4 ft. I would not have believed that it could rise as fast as it has. It is now above the seasonal norm for this time of year. Rocks literally disappeared in a day last week; above the water in the morning, below in the afternoon.
The unsettled weather once again was the major challenge for the week. There were several days where almost all guide sheets reported very high volume, but after the front, the numbers and size took a major hit. For the week, the average daily guide sheet reported 40 walleyes over 18 in. The highest daily total was 93. The big fish totals were down with only 24 walleyes over 27 in. for the week, including 7 – 28s.
The most notable observation from the weekly review of data sheets was the wide variation in types of areas where walleyes were caught. Every day was different and on many occasions, there were different bites during the same day. Walleyes were caught shallow dragging jigs, there was an occasional shallow water pitch bite, there were a few fish caught in front of emerging weeds, early spring spots turned some nice fish, and deeper summer spots also turned some bigger fish. I began most guiding days with an honest discussion with my guests explaining that I had no idea where we would eventually find fish that day and that I planned to try it all. On the days that the bite was tough, the fact that fish were so spread out, made it even more difficult to establish a pattern.
There was some very limited success with bouncers and spinners, but the vast majority of walleyes were caught on ¼ oz. jigs and minnows. When they were active, plastics helped a bit, but when they were tough, it had to be straight meat.
When the weather was stable, the bass bite was also very good. There were a few nice fish caught on top water when the wind wasn’t blowing, but jigs and rigged plastics (tubes, tails, and short worms) along with cranks and small spinners turned the most fish. For the week, there were 39 bass caught over 17 in., including 11 – 18s, 1 – 19, and 1 – 20. This week and the next 2 should be the peak for the year for big bass.
We had several groups spend a great deal of time casting for pike this week and in hindsight it was wasted effort. There were small fish caught, but transition from spring to summer combined with variable weather makes for a very difficult big pike bite. For the week there was just 1 – 37 and 1 – 39 caught and released.
We needed the rain to get the lake up, but some stable weather would be nice.