Our official ice-out date for 2008 was May 20. We dodged huge ice sheets for about a week during guide training, but the last blocks that hampered navigation were blown out on Tuesday. After canceling the groups booked for opener, today was the first day that camp was full for the season.
The weather finally broke over the last few days with warm afternoons and bright sunshine. Water temps reached the low 50’s in very specific areas of the lake. The walleye bite was tough, but most of the action was found in areas with relatively warmer water
After suffering through a long cold winter, spring snow storms, and all of the challenges that come along with a late spring, I think we are all much more tolerant of marginal fishing. “Fishing was OK, but at least it was a nice day.” I would be very disappointed with guide sheets averaging less than 20 walleyes over 18” per day at any other time of the year. We have been spoiled by early springs and fast action out of the gate in the last few years and this year is back to reality. Despite the challenging bite and camp at 1/4 capacity for the week, there were 8 walleyes over 27 in., including 2 – 28s, and 1 – 29.
Water temps in most areas were still cold enough to prevent the pike from pushing into the shallows. Creeks with sucker runs produced a few nice pike including 3 over 40”, but it was not a fast and furious bite to say the least. Most of the big fish were caught by working the first deep break close to the warm water shallow areas that will be hot in a week or two
To give you an idea of how cold the spring has been, the only smallmouth bass caught this week were pulled out of 30 ft. of water. The forecast is for warmer weather for the next 10 days and we expect the fishing to change dramatically.