As I started thinking about this fishing report, I asked our guide crew what they thought the trends of this week were. The consensus was that this week seemed a lot like a repeat of last week.
Winds and weather remained changeable throughout the week, and walleye stayed spread out on structures. There were few concentrations that could be targeted with vertical jigging, and we continued to use Gulp and speed to cover water and get to the spread-out fish. And big fish were once again caught at varying depths – our two biggest Walleye of the week were caught in 17 and 37 feet respectively.
There were still a few things that changed from last week. Some locations did not answer to fast moving plastics this week, and our guides found success by compromising – still moving quickly along the structures, but with live bait instead of plastic. Key depths were less random, and more tightly tied to conditions – wind moved fish shallower and calm moved them deeper. Our big fish production also shifted in presentation – at least half of our big walleye came from moving fast instead of slow finesse presentations.
There were a couple of last-minute cancellations in our schedule that left some boats off the water, so we averaged just 3 guided boats on the water each day this week. Volume remained strong, guide sheets averaged more than 35 walleye over 18 inches each day, and we caught and released 15 walleye over 27 inches, including 2 – 28’s, a 29 incher, and a 30.5.
There were just three guided days targeting big pike this week, and we boated six Northern over 37 inches, including 2 – 38’s, 1 – 39, and a 40.25 incher.
Compared to most Fall seasons here at SWWL there’s been almost no piking done yet. I don’t think we have enough information to confidently say what the big pike are doing right now. However, the time of year is right, weather forecast looks right, and our boats will have anglers that want to pike – I’m hoping this week will be “the week” for big Northern at SWWL. I know from past experience how risky fishing predictions can be, but I’m throwing caution to the winds and looking forward to seeing if my guess is right this time!