We had another massive weather system go through mid week dumping another 2 inches of rain and increasing the lake level by nearly a foot. We are now going through the Styx wide open and the lake is beginning to look a bit more like “normal.”
It was a volatile week for weather and the result was dramatically different key depth zones for active bites on different days. On the few days that we had intense sunshine, there was an immediate pulse of active walleyes into the 4 – 10 ft. shallows. After the fronts, we usually found semi-active fish back down deep in 16 – 24 ft. There were a few exceptions where we fished shallow in the dirty water from the previous day’s winds. In all cases, we were dealing with pulses of walleyes moving in pods. If you had one fish on, you usually had three and if you weren’t on the right track, you could fish 6 different spots in a row without finding a fish. It was definitely a feast or famine week.
Overall volume was very heavy with daily guide reports averaging 50 walleyes over 18 in. The highest daily total for the week was 106. For big fish, we had 30 walleyes over 27 in. including 7 – 28s, and 1 – 29.
The smallmouth bite was still generally off. On the few days with sunshine, we found active bass shallow. With passing fronts, we had to fish finesse patterns in 7-12 ft. to catch big bass. For the week we had 27 over 17 in., including 6 – 18s, and 5 – 19s. Many were caught as incidental while walleye fishing.
The pike are in transition from Spring to Summer spots. There were no patterns to work with and the few that were caught while casting were found in areas more considered main lake rock/sand transition zones. For the week, we had 1 – 38 and 3 – 39s
The lack of a consistent weather pattern is the most notable observation for the week. It affected all species and all bites, but because of our knowledge of seasonal walleye location, it was easier for us to concentrate our efforts on walleye volume and mid sized fish.