We are like Midwest farmers, pretty much every conversation eventually turns to the weather. This past week was warm, sunny, dry, and there was remarkably very little wind. That was great news for bass anglers, a marginal improvement for the pike guys, but not the best of conditions for walleye anglers. I take that back a bit. The walleye fishing was still good, it is just that this is the time of year when the right conditions can result in one of those phenomenal bites that every angler remembers forever. We did not experience one of those.
Guide sheets averaged 30 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. For the week, we caught and released 47 walleyes over 27 in., including 9 – 28s, 2 – 29s., 2 – 30s, and 1 – 31. Even though the volume was just OK for this time of year, there were still some really big fish caught.
Gulp and 4 – 5 in. Power grubs pulled at speed were responsible for about ½ of the big fish caught this week. The other ½ were caught on some combination of 1/8 – ¼ oz. jig and minnow. The biggest variable from this past week’s weather was depth. Big walleyes were caught out of 2 ft. of water and 32ft. of water and every depth in between. Each day was a search for a key depth. Guides that found it quickly won, those that didn’t struggled.
The bass fishing has kicked into high gear. For the week, we caught and released 188 bass over 18 in., including 70 – 19s, and 7 – 20s. Tubes, plastics, topwaters, and cranks all worked at times. The results varied by day and weather conditions. I am expecting that the coming week will be the peak of the bass fishing season.
There was some effort put into chasing pike this week. Some days were tough, but there were also some good results. For the week, there were 11 over 37, with 2 – 38s, 1 – 39, 1 – 42, and on his day off, one of our guides, Kurtis Broad, caught a massive 44.
The Take Away: If you are reading this report for intel for your upcoming trip and the weather stays flat and calm, do not ignore the super shallow water bite for walleyes. We caught so many walleyes, including big ones, in less than 6 ft. of water this week. If the wind blows and the weather changes, then all bets are off. But the Lesson this week is that if you have multiple days of sunny and flat calm conditions this time of year and you are not finding the answer – go Shallow! Or go bass fishing!