It was Fall weather all week again, until today. And now we are back to summer with warm, humid south winds. Conditions are all over the place and so are the guides and the walleyes.
When it is good, we tell it like it is. When it is a tough, we also tell it like it is. This week was a challenge. Walleye volume was still good. We caught tons of eaters, slots, and just overs, but the big fish were very tough to find. For the week, we caught and released 23 walleyes over 27 in., including 2 – 28s, and 1 – 29. Daily guide sheets averaged 35 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 73.
There were many walleyes caught off traditional deep water sand and rock spots this week. On occasion, Gulp trolled deep with big jigs was successful, particularly for big fish. But the Gulp production was still limited. We checked the shallow water bite with traditional walleye gear for poor results. Yet there were walleyes caught in the shallow weeds by anglers casting for pike with spoons and spinnerbaits. In all cases, the big walleyes were hit and miss and hard to find.
You do have to keep in mind that this analysis is based upon Lac Seul Southern basin 2013 season standards. We know we were spoiled, but we still can’t help comparing production to what we saw earlier this season. To put things in perspective, I would have called this an average – good week of big walleye production back in 2008. But now we know those big fish are out there, it is just that we are fighting the weather conditions and 5 – 10 ft. deep clouds of baitfish everywhere we turn. Fat Lac Seul walleyes are well fed. Well fed fish don’t always bite.
The lake is changing. The weed beds are breaking up and dying. The water is distinctly clearer than we have seen in the recent past. And the surface temps never peaked into the 70s as they have over the past few years. The main lake is in the lower 60s and has been for quite some time.
I will admit that I was a grumpy guide this week when I couldn’t figure out the big fish puzzle. But I did realize that I am the only one that can put things back into perspective for my guide staff. I had a first time guest in my boat today take a picture of a 21 in. walleye. And I thought – Wow, we truly are spoiled. And yet that didn’t stop me from talking up the season and pushing to move to find bigger fish. The truth is that a bad day of walleye fishing on Lac Seul is still way better than the best day of walleye fishing on neighboring water. I strive for the balance, but I know why it is hard to maintain. When it is good, Lac Seul is just sooo good. When it is slow, it is still the Best walleye game in town.