It has been a long stretch of warm, dry weather through the end of July and the beginning of August on Lac Seul. We turned the page this week. We started sunny and nice, had some unsettled stormy weather midweek, and finished with a full-on dawn to dusk, cool soaker. Looking back on the summer, this was the first all day rain event we have seen since May and the forecast is for continued cooler and wet weather.
For a change, the weather did not have an immediate impact on the walleyes. We continue to consistently see key depths ranging from 18 – 25 ft. There are always some outliers, but I will tell you that 75% of the walleyes this past week were caught in that depth range. Same as always, sometimes they responded well to big jigs and Gulp pulled at speed and others they preferred vertical presentations with lighter jigs and live bait. This week the split was 50/50.
It was also a 50/50 split between main lake basin sand and rock structure that held walleyes this week. We did catch most of the big ones from the deeper side of known Grade A summer big fish spots. For the week, we caught and released 31 walleyes over 27 in., including 5 – 28s, and 1 – 29. Overall volume was strong. One of the consistent comments from round table meetings, was “heavy sorting.” Guide sheets averaged 35 walleyes over 18 in. per day, but often we were catching 2 – 4 eaters for every sheeter. The smaller walleyes have definitely made their way out to the main lake basin as well.
There was less time spent chasing pike last week, but it was also a much tougher bite. I heard a couple of reports of good volume of smaller to medium size pike for guides casting main lake weedbeds, but the number of big fish was down.
For the week, we caught and released 4 over 37 in., including 1 – 40 and 1 – 43.5. For those of you paying attention at home, second-year guide Justin McLean caught both of the big ones. He has been working hard at expanding his range for both known and new spots and his hard work has paid off.
It is so hard to beat Blades and spoons for big pike in summer on Lac Seul that I almost forget to mention it. At round table, we pay attention when someone catches a big pike on something different. Even though we experiment, it does not happen often.
The Take Away:
I guided this week, but I also sent my family home, met with our contractor for our fall project, picked up a new staff member in Kenora, my folks arrived, and I spent a great deal of time with my second-year guides – Tyler, Curtis, Brody, Justin, and Carson.
Missy and I appreciate all the hard work from our incredible staff, but as second year guides these five have exceeded our expectations. They have crushed it this year.
I told them that the “page has turned” and because of how well they have done, we expect more. I asked them to take on the responsibility of teaching and training the next crew to become as good as they are. That may not be fair, but that is the formula that has resulted in a consistent string of rock star SWWL guides and I am confident that they will help me make that happen again.