Official ice out for the central basin of Lac Seul was May 8, but the south shore has been ice free since April 30. There was a stubborn chunk of thick white ice in the north central basins that took quite some time to thaw.
The difference in timing between ice out on the North shore vs. the South shore has made a difference. We still have some “main lake spawners” just finishing up on the reefs and rocky shorelines on the North shore. In contrast, many of the warm water areas on the South shore are already attracting and holding post spawn populations migrating back into the area.
The weather has been a little bit cooler than normal, but we are steadily progressing into the middle of what I would describe as a more normal spring season. The walleye fishing has been good with our first groups arriving on May 19.
For the week, we caught 24 walleyes over 27 in., including 7 – 28s, 1 – 29, and 1 – 30. Volume has been steadily improving as the lake temps have risen to close to 60 in some of the more protected areas. The main lake is around 50. Standard jig and minnow combos have been by far the top producers.
The big pike bite was good, but we never had the classic “day 3 of constant sunshine feeding frenzy.” It was a more gradual progression of pike into and out of the warmer shallow water bays. Many of our biggest fish were caught on the first structure outside of the spawning bays. For the week, we caught and released 22 pike over 37 in., including 5 – 40s, 1 – 41, 1 – 42, and 1 – 43.
We haven’t really begun to target Smallmouth Bass yet, but it seems that there are more and more around every year. To date, we have released 13 over 19 in., including 2 – 20s.
Lake levels are just about normal as well for this time of year.
Looking back at previous seasons, the headline or take away from the fishing report is often an extreme; fire ban, low water, late spring, super early ice out, etc… So far, this spring has been as close to “normal” as we have seen in many, many years.