I started writing this report in the afternoon today. I stewed about it for a while and I began with this sentence – “There’s no two ways about it, this was a difficult week of fishing on Lac Seul”, and things went downhill from there. I was half-way done with the report when supper rolled around and I went down to eat with the rest of our guide crew. Over supper we commiserated with each other; no big fish today, lower numbers on our guide sheets, and having to sort through so many small fish in the last couple days. The report to be written tonight began to look even gloomier…
Then I spoke to some of our guests after supper and at checkout. What they talked about was; the high number of fish caught, the afternoon they spent on a hot bite, the 27 or 28 incher their boat caught earlier in the week! The difference in perspective was black and white, and a good reminder that those of us lucky enough to fish on a lake like this all day, every day, all season long can easily become “Lac Seul spoiled”!
The first half of the week the weather was pleasant; cool and sunny, with light to no wind. Good walleyes could be caught, but they only wanted slow moving, finesse presentations – we had to be patient and work for them. The weather shifted mid-week, and our guide staff expected the fish to get more active on the leading edge of the front. We spent that first day of the weather change looking for an aggressive bite that just did not happen. Our conclusion was that the walleye still wanted finesse presentations, but now they were harder to get to and harder to finesse in the big winds and rain. There were, as always, a few exceptions – some boats had great days during the week. And even if the average size had shifted below 18 inches, there were still lots of fish caught.
Volume on our guide sheets was down this week, our boats averaged just 19 walleyes over 18 inches per day. For the week we boated 11 walleyes over 27 inches, with 2 – 28 inchers, and a 29.75 incher. The straight up number of big fish is low, but there were just 34 guided days this week, 13 of which were spent primarily hunting big pike. That left 21 walleye days, translating into one 27″+ fish for every 2 guided days of walleye fishing.
We did have a lot of boats hunting Northern Pike this week. Our staff did some scouting for pike on their down time last week and reported lots more weed beds green and healthy than expected. With that information in mind, we focused on summer patterns early in the week – targeting main lake weeds. There were big fish there, but we moved or saw many more than we caught. As the wind and rain began the bite shifted to fall patterns, fish were deeper and often on rock structures, fewer fish in the weeds. However, numbers went down and the bigger fish became harder to find. For the week we boated a total of 7 over 37 inches, including 1 – 40 incher.
There are still no two ways about it, the numbers we’re reporting this week are lower than we’re used to. But Lac Seul remains a great fishery, and it’s good for those of us who are “Lac Seul spoiled” to remember – the very next bite could be the fish of a lifetime!