The highlight of this week is 7 walleyes over 29 inches, including 3 over 30 inches. With just 42 guided days this week – that’s about half as many as a typical summer week – that many top end fish really stands out. In contrast, daily guide sheets had relatively low volume, averaging just 26 walleyes over 18 inches per day. When I look back over our stats from previous years, that kind of contrast for a week is very much an outlier compared to a typical week.
These outlier numbers came despite unusually stable weather. We experienced a long stretch of warm temperatures, sunny days, and south winds. That kind of stable weather usually leads our guide staff to return to summer patterns, and pretty consistent bites. This was not the case. All through the week, our daily guide reports once again had fish being caught anywhere from 15 feet and 35 feet. While fall spots and depths were often the answer despite the summer type weather, most of the big fish came from summer structures. We also saw very different bites day to day, and spot to spot. Walleye seemed to become active or go negative in different locations without any significant weather or condition changes. One of our guides described it as “boom or bust fishing”. Results each day were either great or terrible, not much middle ground.
As a group we did almost no piking again this week. Very few anglers chose to devote even a few hours to piking. There was some scouting by our guide staff on their down time, with limited success. We totaled just 4 Northern over 37 inches, including one 40 incher. Our scouting reports did note that the weed beds are just this week beginning their die off. That is often a sign that the best piking of the fall is still to come….