It is pretty safe to say that the weather this week had a greater effect on the fishermen than it did on the fish. It was an unbelievably windy and cool week. With multiple days of sustained winds over 30 mph along with higher gusts, we simply chose not to fish on the main lake. I can tell you first hand that it was a physically and mentally draining week of guiding.
The big news of the week is that we caught and released 3 walleyes that were 31 in. or over. We get spoiled handling so many big walleyes on Lac Seul that are 25 – 29 in., but fish over 31 in. are in a completely different class. We don’t see them very often, but when we do, it is special.
Even though we caught some really big walleyes this week, it was Not a good walleye bite. With the heavy winds, we expected to find walleyes stacked up, but instead they were scattered. There were just as many walleyes caught out on main lake summer sand as there were caught on wind-blown, dirty-water transition areas. We caught walleyes in 7 ft. and we caught them in 27 ft. We caught them in front of the new weeds and we caught them on main lake rock. Some of the big ones were caught dead sticking 1/8 oz jigs and minnows. Other big ones were caught pulling 3/8 oz. jigs and 6 in. Berkley Nemesis. They were all over the place.
For the week, we caught and released 29 walleyes over 27 in., including 5 – 28s, 1 – 29, and 3 – 31s. Volume was down from last week. Guide sheets averaged 30 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day.
July 1 is usually a bench mark for our Lac Seul fishing calendar. On most years, the cabbage weeds usually top out on the surface by this time. They are not quite to the top yet and the big pike have not yet moved in. The guides spent very little time targeting pike this week. We caught and released 5 over 37 in., including 2 – 38s and 2 – 39s.
Without the wind, it probably would have been an awesome bass fishing week. With it, very few anglers spent time chasing bass. Those that did had great results, but overall, we likely missed the peak of the smallmouth bass bite for 2022. My best guess is that there was less than 30 hours of angling effort spent chasing bass this week. Even with that minimal effort, guides caught and released 17 smallies over 19 in., including 1 over 20. The most significant observation is that with the high water, most of the bass were caught deeper than usual.
The Take Away: We always want a wind direction to target fish, but be careful what you hope for. The high winds and big waves made it a very difficult week to fish regardless of your target species.