I am happy to be writing the first fishing report of the 2022 season. It has been a very long and difficult 2 years and despite all of our efforts, we are still feeling the pain of late cancellations. At the risk of being repetitious, I will write again that you will not be allowed across the border if you are not vaccinated. I received another full and 2 partial cancellations yesterday.
Official ice out on Lac Seul was May 20. What first appeared to be a potential record late ice out was broken by heavy and persistent rain. The runoff and spring melt were off the charts. Every lake, pond, stream, and puddle are filled to capacity. On a normal year, Lac Seul is right around 1165 ft. above sea level in late May. Today it is fast approaching full pool of 1170. I have never seen the lake this high in spring time. This evening you can step from the fixed dock to the floating dock without a step down. We are way better off than many of the lodges in Northwest Ontario that are dealing with flooded camps, docks under water, and roads washed out.
I did end up cancelling the groups scheduled for walleye opener on May 21. We knew it was going to be close, but having done this for a long time, we also knew that walleye fishing the day after ice out on the main lake basin of Lac Seul can be challenging at best. We have had fairly sunny and warm weather since the ice went out and the fishing improved rapidly. Our first guests of the year arrived on May 24.
We were able to target groups of main lake spawners as well as the first wave of walleyes migrating back to the main lake basin after spawning. The main lake surface temps are still in the mid 40s, but some of the back water bays have already warmed into the low 50s.
Considering that the ice went off the lake just one week ago, the walleye fishing has been very good for both volume and size. Looking at the guide sheets, we averaged between 20 -30 walleyes over 18 in. per boat each day. For the week, we caught and released 21 walleyes over 27 in. including 2 – 29s, and 1 – 30.
There was a fairly even balance for walleye production between 1/8 oz. jigs and minnows, Husky Jerks (size 12 and 14), and jigs with plastics pitched shallow. Most of the numbers were caught shallow between 2 and 10 ft., but some of the bigger fish were found just one level deeper in 10 – 16 ft.
We didn’t have as many groups chasing big pike this week, but those that did were very successful. The high water has flooded some of the grassy areas at the back of the warm water bays. We have found many big pike in new areas spawning on the submerged vegetation. Spoons, cranks, and spinnerbaits were all effective. The trick was to find a presentation that you could work around the weeds.
I knew it was a good week as it happened, but I didn’t realize how good of a big pike week it was until we did the numbers. Our guests caught 33 pike over 37 in., including 7 – 40s, 3 – 41s, 2 – 42s, 1 – 43, and 2 at 44.5 in. The number of pike over 30 was also off the charts. May is a gamble, but when you hit it right, it can be some of the best fishing of the year. The Ed Rosenow group has been fishing for big pike on Lac Seul for almost 30 years and this was one of their all-time best weeks.
The Take Away – Opener is always a gamble, but when you hit it right, it can be some of the best fishing of the year.
Another take away – I have been calling and emailing groups on my waiting list all Spring. This year is also off the charts for cancellations. My waiting list is no longer as deep as it usually is. If you want to hear about possible openings from cancellations, please do not hesitate to email me.