It was a “no surprises” week. Lac Seul has a changeable nature and we talk about how unpredictable she can be, but every once in a while things go just as you would predict. We saw our first truly significant cold front of the fall this week – about the time we usually get one. Before the front we had warm weather and light winds and our best bites were deep with light jigs and minnows – just as they should be. While the front and big winds were moving through, the walleye answered to fast presentations at mid depths – just like they should. Post front light wind days they were back to deep water – just like they should be. No surprises there for any experienced walleye angler.
That may make it sound like everything was easy this week, but there were still plenty of challenges for guides and anglers each day. When the fish were deep you had to spend time working to catch them and if you picked the wrong spot to work on you could quickly run out of time that day. Using our electronics to be sure the fish were there and varying our presentations to find one that worked were key. When the walleye were answering to fast moving plastics on those high wind days it took good knowledge of the structure and close attention to keep your boat and baits working the depths and structure you were aiming for. And when the conditions changed from one extreme to another overnight you had to be quick to check the extremes to find the fish the next day. Both guides and anglers had to be on their toes to take advantage of the good bites this week.
The daily guide sheets reflect the changing conditions this week and the number of walleye on the sheet varied quite a bit day to day, but the average was 25 walleye over 18” per guided day. For the week we boated 30 walleyes over 27 inches, with 10 over 28 and 2 over 29 inches. It was about an even split between fish caught deep and fish caught fast.
Only a couple of guided days were spent hunting big pike this week. The guides who did chase pike reported consistent numbers caught but not many big ones were found in the mix. A lot of boats reported big pike seen or caught from deep water while walleye fishing, and such a clear separation of depth and size led some of our die-hard gator hunters to troll deep water for trophies this week. Our totals reflect the limited time devoted to pike this week with just 4 pike over 37 inches, the biggest being a 41.25 incher.
A guide’s takeaway: There’s something to be learned each week… I was one of the boats chasing pike this week and the sudden weather change and cool nights got me thinking fall a bit too early. I was eager to capitalize on big pike in fall locations and they just weren’t ready for fall patterns yet. The lesson for me to remember for next week is not to get ahead of myself, let the fish tell me when they are ready for a new trend.
At Silver Water Wheel Lodge