The best description of this week’s walleye fishing is, in a word, ‘spotty’. Not the way the word is usually used – in the sense of catching a few fish here and a few fish there. Instead, meaning that each day our guides may have had to search hard and experiment a lot to find a location that held good fish and a presentation that worked, but when they found that perfect combination the results were really good. Out of just 34 guided days this week there were seven guide sheets that had 50 or more fish over 18 inches recorded for the day, all with multiple fish over 25 inches. The best guide sheet had 66 walleye over 18 inches for the day, with 16 of those over 25 inches, topping out with a 28.75 and a 29 incher. And every time those great days happened this week, they came from searching until we found a location and presentation that produced good fish and working it all day. The tricky part was that even with identical weather and conditions, when we went back to those hot spots the next day (or even that afternoon) the fish were gone and we needed to start our search again. The walleye were on the move, pursuing bait or staging for movement to fall locations, but clearly not holding on any structure for more than a few hours.
For the week we had 34 guided days on the water and our boats caught and released twenty walleye over 27 inches, including five over 28 inches, one 29 incher, and a giant of a 30 inch fish.
Almost every night in our dining room somebody was talking about a great day of walleye fishing, and many of our guests chose to spend their days working on finding another walleye hot spot rather than hunting for big pike. The hours we did spend pike fishing produced some good fish – seven over 37 inches, with the biggest of the week being a 41.25 incher. The main lake weed beds continue to thin out and most of our piking time was spent concentrating on the remaining patches to produce good fish, but unexpectedly this week most of our big pike were caught either in shallower weedy areas or on rock structures. Spoons were our best producing bait.
A guide’s takeaway: The only sure way to catch fish is to keep fishing. This week, when we kept searching and kept trying the next experiment is when we found those great walleye bites, or that big pike.
At Silver Water Wheel Lodge