The trend is still headed in the direction of a more normal summer bite, but day to day results are still hit and miss.
If we did well one day on summer sand, that did not mean that we won there again the next day. Main lake rock was good for several days this week, but also got quiet again when the weather changed. For walleyes, the over all trend is heading towards deeper water. If I had to pick a depth range that was consistently mentioned most of the time at nightly round table meetings, I would have to go with 25 – 30 ft. There were some days that shallower was better and other days that deeper was the key, but overall, that was the best starting range for the day’s experiments.
If I tell you that the guide sheets averaged 35 walleyes over 18 in. per day, you have to understand that many times on the same day, we had guides with close to 60 fish on and others with only 20. The guys that put numbers on were the ones that found a pod or found a bite and stuck with it. I always like to run and gun and I can tell you with great certainty, that was not the most favored path to success this week.
For the week, we caught and released 28 walleyes over 27 including, 5 – 28s. The super top end was missing this week and it was not for lack of trying. Often, this time of year, the big ones are one level deeper than the nice fish and our guide crew knows how to work that angle. It was not the case this week. The deeper edge was much quieter. Jigs and minnows worked well on some days. Gulp worked well on other days. You had to fish both every day to figure it out. There were some schizophrenic round tables where one boat smashed them at speed with Gulp, another racked up good numbers and size dead sticking minnows, and then several others couldn’t put a pattern together after trying both in multiple locations.
The big pike bite has still been pretty good. If the Fall cools off well and the big girls come back up, this could be one of our best seasons ever for big pike. The goofy part is that there are weeds everywhere this year. Deep water and bigger baits made the difference. For the week we caught and released 11 pike over 37 in., including 2 – 40s, 1 – 41, and 1 – 43. Double bladed in-line spinners turned some of the biggest fish.
The Take Away: I cannot help that I am a stats, numbers, and details guy. Some of that focus has attracted a specific type of angler to the Wheel. The numbers and big fish may have been the initial attraction, but the guests in camp this week are simply thrilled to be back and spend more time talking about the guides, the staff, and the improvements. This week just had a good feel and a nice vibe.