It was a difficult week for walleye hunters. The guide crew works very hard to try to figure out where the walleyes are and why. Last week, we could tell you that they were in the weeds. This week, “I don’t know.” Those are my three least favorite words in the English language. I hate it when I don’t know and this week, we don’t. For years, I have preached that the Mayfly hatch made little or no difference for walleye fishing. Or if it did, then you could move to a different region on Lac Seul and fish for walleyes in areas where mayflies were not an issue. Part of my argument was that from the angler’s perspective, mayflies hatch when the weather changes and those weather changes are more important than the hatch. This week, I don’t know.
Here is what we do know. The walleyes are definitely not on main lake sand. Catchable walleyes are mostly in 25 ft. of water or less. Main lake rock is only holding a few walleyes in shallow water. The weed bite has slowed dramatically and most importantly, we aren’t finding the big ones there. We fished from 5 to 35. We fished sand, rock, weeds, flats, transitions, retro, and anything else we could think of and we never came up with a pattern or a solution. We did find plenty of small walleyes in many areas, but we could not pattern the bigger fish, despite all of our efforts.
It is what it is. Guide sheets averaged less than 25 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. For the week, we caught and released 20 walleyes over 27 in., including 6 – 28s, and 1 – 29. Results were evenly split between minnows and Gulp.
We did have some groups shift gears and chase pike and they did have relatively good results. For the week, we caught and released 14 Northerns over 37 in., including 5 – 38s, 1 – 39, and 3 – 40s. Big spoons were effective, but double 8 in-lines also turned a few big fish.
The Take Away: I am asked often, what is the best time of year to book at the Wheel. My response is, whenever you can find an opening. Historically, the 3rd week of July has been one of the most productive weeks of the year. It was definitely slow this year, but next year will be another story.