I closed last week’s fishing report with a prediction of change. Truth be told, that is a pretty safe bet for every third week of June. What I did not expect was massive winds and dramatic changes in weather. Early in the week it was flat out Hot. In the middle of the week, we dealt with sustained winds approaching 40 mph. By the end of the week, nights were once again cool and felt more like June. The old Joke applied. If you are in Northwest Ontario, and you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.
We were so close to hitting the peak of the smallmouth bass bite at the beginning of the week. Surface temps were approaching 70 and the smaller bass were moving into the shallows. All we needed was one or two days of blazing sunshine and it was going to be perfect for our Texas bass fishing guests. Instead, we almost got blown off the lake, but then the high water combined with monster winds, left entire regions of Lac Seul with super dirty, clay-stained water.
The bass that were moving shallow left or staged one level deeper. We caught smallmouth bass this week and it was fun, but the top end size and the volume for big fish was significantly lower than what our long-time guests were hoping for. I always try to tell a straight story on this report and even though my boat caught some nice bass, there is no way around the fact that it was a little disappointing. On the plus side, those groups scheduled for next week will have a once in a decade window to catch numbers of really big smallmouth bass.
For the week, we caught and released 25 smallmouth bass over 19 in., including one 20. For the casual reader, that sounds great. We expect double those numbers for this week. To clarify the bite, it was all tubes and plastics. There was not near enough activity to warrant any crank bite, let alone a top-water bite. What we know tonight is that the peak of the smallmouth bass bite on Lac Seul is 4 – 7 days away.
The big winds and dirty water that I mentioned earlier were a boon for the walleye anglers. Volume and size were excellent this week, with 45 walleyes over 27 in. including 9 – 28s, 5 – 29s, and 1 – 30. Guide sheets averaged over 40 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The most significant trend identified is that many of the bigger walleyes were caught in 12 ft. or less in the wind blown, dirty sections of the lake. The high water still changed some of the key big fish locations, but overall, walleye volume and size were well above normal for the week.
Jigs and minnows edged out Gulp by a slight margin, but the clever guide switched his guests’ multiple times every day to stay on top of the changes in the walleye bite. Walleye anglers were jacked about this week’s results.
With all of the focus on bass and walleyes, there wasn’t much effort applied to chasing big pike this week and there were almost no results to show for it. The big pike are in transitions and can be anywhere. I do not expect to see guests targeting big pike for at least another week until the cabbage weeds top out.
It appears that the lake level has crested at 1170.67 ft. above sea level. There may still be some small changes based on precipitation, but the overall trend appears that the lake levels should begin to slowly fall in the coming weeks.
As a final thought for the week, I cannot over emphasize how significant the dirty water was for this week’s results. For those of you who haven’t seen the milky, clay-stained water on Lac Seul after a big wind, It can be a shock. It was a definite negative for the bass bite, but it was also a huge win for walleye anglers. Don’t bother fishing the edge of the dirty water, get right in it with confidence and you will be surprised at how many big walleyes move shallow when the water is stirred up.