Well, it felt like the walleye were just recovering from the effects of the last cold front when another big front blew through early this week. A cold front following a cold front meant the active bite that we usually find at the leading edge of a front didn’t happen – the walleye hadn’t recovered yet from the first front when the next one blew through. The guide crew here responded by gearing down and using finesse techniques on those locations we knew held fish to produce numbers, and a lot of our big fish this week came from anglers investing time and patience in key spots.
Looking back at our guide sheets for the month of August, it’s clear it has been a “month of rock”, and good bites on sand structures continued to be few and far between this week. Our guide staff regularly checked the sand where we’ve seen so many great bites in previous Augusts because nobody wants to miss out, but we kept coming back to main lake rock to collect fish. The cold fronts, the high winds, and the walleye on rock this week led to most of our fish being caught with live bait and finesse techniques, but there were still bites to be found with big plastics and speed whenever the weather stabilized for a few hours. Key depths varied a lot both from spot to spot and day to day. It was common this week to hear nightly reports of boats catching both numbers and size in less than 15 feet of water all the way down to 39 feet.
The daily guide sheets reflect the challenging conditions this week and the number of walleye on the sheet varied widely day to day, but the average stayed at 25 walleye over 18” per guided day. For the week we boated 29 walleyes over 27 inches, with 9 over 28, and the biggest was a giant 30.5 inch fish caught by Paul Burkhardt.
Our anglers spent very little time hunting big pike this week. The boats that did chase pike sometimes found action but very few big fish up at casting depths. A lot of boats reported big pike seen or caught from deep water while walleye fishing, the two big cold fronts created a clear separation of depth and size. Our totals reflect the limited time devoted to pike this week with just 3 pike over 37 inches, the biggest being a 39 incher.