It is long over due, but we have recently added a detailed article on how Silver Water Wheel guides have refined techniques developed to catch more and bigger walleyes on Lac Seul.
This is the last fishing report of the year from up here at the Wheel. We had a great week of fishing to close out our guiding season. Fall weather was in full force – lots of wind, cold nights, brisk days, even some sleet and hail throughout the week. But surprisingly the fish kept on biting (I had my doubts some mornings) and guides and guests alike did a great job to wrap up another great year at the Lodge.
The walleye fishing was good this week. Fish are huge right now, getting their feed on for winter (I think I said that last week, but it’s still true!). Our numbers were above average for this time of year (20-30 fish over 18” per boat) and we saw some big fish too. For the week we had 13 walleye over 27 inches, including a 28 and a 29. The challenge this week was you really had to key into the few areas holding biting fish. It may sound like an obvious statement, but the challenge was that there were fish at all the spots (the screen was always lit up)… it was finding spots where they were actively feeding that mattered most. One method that worked over multiple days was fishing some of the lake currents created by big winds funneling water down into narrow pinches. This pattern was replicated in a few different places and it paid off. The average depths varied anywhere from 20ft down to 40.
The pike fishing was great this week as well. We had 15 fish over 37 inches, with multiple 39s, 41s, and a 42. Pike were found in some of our classic spring pike fishing spots, which was surprising to us. Usually we are throwing for pike in fall spots that are closer to deep water, but many of the big fish came out of 3-4 f.o.t. in back bay stumps, and most of them where found in proximity to the healthy weed beds that still remain.
A final end of the year bonus was that our friend Mike Harnetty came up and got the chance to scoot up to the far end of the lake to do some Lac Seul Muskie fishing, and folks, he caught a big one. He and Dave worked hard all day and it paid off with a 53” giant.
We had an awesome season up here at Silver Water Wheel Lodge, and a big thanks goes out from all of us to our amazing guests. Without you, we’d just be a bunch of unemployed fishermen! Just joking, I am sure we’d find jobs, but none that would compare to taking friends out fishing on one of the greatest fisheries in the world.
So thanks again, and hope we see you next year.
Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge.
Fall keeps on rolling on here, and this will be our 2nd last fishing report of the season. This week we saw it all as far as weather is concerned. Early in the week was “stable” (long johns in the morning and sunscreen in the afternoon). 3 days ago it was blowing 40km/h all day, gusting to 60. The next day rained all day. Today the fog was so thick leaving the dock that boats disappeared into the mist after 100ft. So I am guessing tomorrow will be nice!
Our efforts are still equally divided between pike and walleye fishing and the bear hunt. There were only a few boats fishing walleye consistently and the pattern of deep rock and sand held steady (30-40ft). For the week we had 9 walleye over 27 inches including 2X28 and one huge 30.25 inch fish.
The pike fishing is on in full force. 2-3 boats were fishing pike all week and stayed busy. Only a few monsters were found (one 41 and one 42) but we saw 9 fish over 37 inches and many many mid-30s kept anglers happy and busy. In this week coming we should see similar volume for pike and the boys are anticipating some big ones for sure.
For those still coming up (Larson and Co.) we await your arrival! For those who have come and gone – thanks for checking in on us and making this season a great one. Tune in next week for our final report.
Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge
Another great week of fall fishing up here at Swwl. The walleye bite was on in a wide range of locations, and fish were settling back into many of the spots we have been anticipating. In general fish seemed more active as the week went on, but whether they were active or not – these fish are huge right now, and obviously they have been feeding heavily in anticipation of the coming winter.
The walleye numbers this week were very good – 24 walleye over 27 inches, with 4 of them being 28. If the angling effort was doubled as it would be in summer, this week could complete with some of our most productive summer weeks. Stats like these go to show that there are still lots of bigs ones to be caught here in the fall, and as I mentioned, the girth on these fish is astounding right now! Average depths for good bites were deep – 35 to 40ft. Some fish remain shallower I am sure, but most of our attention is still on deep water, whether it be rock or sand.
The pike bite was on as well, and it is only getting better. The increasingly cold nights and the last cold front seemed to do just what we had hoped for – the Lac Seul giants are returning shallower water where they can be targeted. Pike numbers for the week included 12 over 37 inches, with some really big ones in there: two 40s, a 43, a 44, and a 46! We currently have several serious pike anglers in camp right now and this week we should continue to see some great pike fishing.
Thanks for checking in, hope to see you soon!
Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge.
Hello again from the Wheel.
It is Sept. 1st and the camp is full of an even mix of fishermen and bear hunters. Weather has been warm this week again, with nightly temps dropping only to the mid-teens (60F). Wind has been blowing on and off (never just in the middle, like we prefer) and today it was very calm, overcast, and humid out there.
No need to sugarcoat it, the fishing was tough this week. From a guide’s perspective it was very tough. We managed to find a few spots that were producing, but many of our standby spots were vacant. You know the feeling – not marking bait, not marking arcs.. it means things are changing, fish are moving, or as I like to call it – “reorganizing”. But while they are moving, we guides are working harder than ever. For me, its weeks like these that I fish as much random stuff as I dare in effort to stumble into something out-of-the-box that pays off.
From the guests’ perspective, I can say that the fishing was pretty good. The team found a pile of fish stacked up in an area not too far from camp. It was perfect – a well sheltered area for the big wind days when our mobility to our go-to spots becomes limited. With a lot of hard work, we managed to find enough fish to keep our stats up, our cameras flashing, and our guests happy. For the week we had 18 walleye over 27 inches, including 2X28s (one of them a monster 28.5). The daily guide sheets averaged between 25-35 fish over 18 inches per day, and often some big incidental pike were on there as well. The highest daily boat total was 65 walleye over 18 inches. Good numbers when you consider we are about 6 boats on the water per day.
Fish were found in a depth range of 15-30 ft. (still very spread out). What was significant to me was that the area that held all these fish is (for us) a classic spring spot – a small protected lake basin bottoming out at 30ft. It is something we usually fish in May and early June. So often “we” (those obsessed with theories about fish behavior) box ourselves into thinking that big walleye have to be near deep water at this time of year (50+ft). Apparently, they are just wherever the cisco are – they were spitting up many, and clearly feeding actively. So this week, it turned out something that seemed like a ‘retro-move’ had enough fish to pad all our sheets during a rough week. Personally, I find it amazing how complex this fishery is, and that is what makes fishing on Lac Seul so exciting and challenging at the same time – so much water!
There were still more incidental big pike caught this week than targeted, but there were 3 or 4 nice pike found casting in good weeds that remain intact. For the week we had 7 over 37, including one 40 and one huge 41. I have a feeling this fall will be prime time for pike once the cold nights start to set in. Well, I guess that is enough rambling from me. We hope to see you soon, and check in on the report next week.
Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge
We have once again reached the fall season here at the Silver Water Wheel Lodge. Mike, Missy and the kids have headed back to Iowa. The cold weather is not yet here, but the trees are turning, the wind is blowing, and we have had several powerful storms move through this week. All this wind has stirred up the lake significantly by mixing the water around (we call this the “blender effect”) and what follows is a scattering bait and as a result, a scattering of fish behaviors.
The walleye fishing was stable early in the week, with most guides finding success by fishing deep (30+) on both sand and rock. But then the storms and the wind came and shook all that up. A powerful 3 hour electrical storm made for a slow day following, and the next day a similar system moved through. In general, continued high winds and storm systems have this week a harder week for “easy street” guiding, but we still managed to pull it off in style. For the week we had 23 walleye over 27 inches with 2X28s, which is good considering there were less guides on the water (some days as few as 5). Daily guide sheets averaged 25-30 walleye over 18in. per day. We did have to find fish in more scattered depths (20-35ft.) and we are all watching out for changing trends put in motion by the mixing of water this week.
There are still some big incidental pike coming up while fishing deep water, (38s and a 42) but the big pike have yet to come shallow enough to target consistently. Only a few afternoons were spent checking on the pike bite, but this is something we are all watching out for and anticipating… there is nothing like big fall Lac Seul pike fishing!
This fall is shaping up to be a busy one with many great guests coming in – so that should mean good numbers, big fish, and lots for me to report for the next 4 weeks!
Have a great week and looking forward to the next report.
Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge.
The Fall season began this week with back to back cold fronts along with several blasts of wind and cold rain. Mornings were cool and the surface temps have dropped by almost 5 degrees. It wasn’t as comfortable to fish this week, but overall it continued to be a good walleye bite despite the challenging weather.
For the week we caught and released 38 walleyes over 27 in., including 4 – 28s, and 3 – 29s. Volume continued to be excellent with guide boats averaging 40 walleyes over 18 in. per day. The highest daily total was 77.
We still caught some walleyes trolling big jigs and plastics at speed, but there was definitely a trend towards a more finicky walleye bite. Jigs with leeches or minnows were the go to presentation for more than 90% of our walleyes this week. We also saw a definite shift of walleyes into deeper water. The key depth zone this week was 30 – 36 ft. The list of productive locations was fairly evenly divided between main lake rock and main lake sand.
There was some time spent chasing pike this week that resulted in a half dozen in the high 30s and one 44 in. giant.
There were definitely some quieter fishing spells mixed in during this past week, but once again it was another great fishing week on the south shore of Lac Seul.
The first hint of a change in seasons settled in this week. The mornings are distinctly cooler and there have been several with mist coming off the warmer lake surface. Lake temps dropped to around 70 this week and we have just begun to notice floating clumps of broken and dying weed beds.
The patterns changed a little this week, but overall walleye size and production continued to be consistently good. There were a few mornings that were great and there were a couple of flat calm afternoons that were really tough. The week began with a good Gulp and big jig bite, but ended with much more focus on dead sticking lighter jigs and live bait for very reluctant biters. There were some nice fish caught on main lake sand, but rock was much more productive again this week. Productive depths shifted slightly deeper as the week progressed; 20 – 35 ft. was the key depth range.
The numbers: For the week we had 39 walleyes over 27 in., including 3 – 28s, and 2 – 29s. Volume was up and down by the day, but overall we averaged 35 walleyes over 18 in. per boat. Once again, it was a great week of walleye fishing for both size and numbers. I am much more accustomed to writing about drastic weather changes and variable bites, but this summer has continually been productive and consistently normal for weather.
The pike fishing will pick up soon as the water temps fall, but this week there were just a few over 38 and only 1 – 41. The Bass production was incidental catch with several caught off main lake sand bars. We had 6 – 18s, 2 – 19s, and 1 – 20.
It is still summer on Lac Seul, but for those of us on the water every day, it feels like the beginning of fall is just around the corner.
Not much has changed over the last week on the south shore of Lac Seul. The weather and walleye fishing were consistently good. Our stats weren’t as off the charts as they have been the last two weeks, but overall, everyone would call it excellent walleye fishing.
For the week we had 30 walleyes over 27 in., including 4 – 28s, and 3 – 29s. Volume was a little lighter than last week, but we still averaged 35 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. As a general trend, main lake rock structure produced more and bigger fish than main lake sand. The most active depth zones continued to be 20 – 32 ft. Once again, production was evenly split between Gulp Alive plastics, jigs, and leeches.
Virtually all of our angler effort was focused on walleyes this week. There were a few random nice pike and bass caught, but there were no patterns worth mentioning.
This report is much more brief than usual, as very little has changed; water levels are normal, temps are average, walleye locations are predictable, the morning bite has been great, and the afternoons have been slower. We aren’t accustomed to “normal,” but that is what the fishing experience was like this past week at the Wheel and it was great.
It was another awesome walleye week in the south central basins of Lac Seul. We boated big walleyes, we enjoyed high volume, and we caught an unbelievable number of walleyes between 23 – 26 in. It is great to see one really big fish for a group of anglers, but even better to have the one or two really big fish combined with every angler catching multiple 23 – 26 in. walleyes. Everyone I checked out this week was thrilled with their walleye production.
For the week, we caught and released 52 walleyes over 27 in., including 7 – 28s, 2 – 29s, and 1 – 30.5. Volume was excellent with guide sheet averaging more than 40 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 76. When you factor in 1 or 2 days with 6 – 9 guides on the water compared to the average of 10 -12, then this week’s production was even better than last week.
We did continue to use a 2 speed approach to hunting walleyes this week, and by percentage there were a few more walleyes caught with lighter jigs and live bait than last week, but the big plastic Gulp Alive bite was still very strong again this week. Both 29s and the 30 were caught on Gulp trolled at speed. The key depth zones have shifted just a bit deeper with most production coming from 20 – 30 ft. Most guides are selecting the ½ oz. Offshore Angler long shank jigs with 5 in. jerk shads or Gulp Alive Crazy legs Jerk shads. When the bite slowed, we fished both minnows and leeches on ¼ and occasionally 1/8 oz. jigs for really stubborn “big arcs.” The live bait was definitely the key when the wind died in the afternoon and the bite slowed.
The other side effect of the Berkley Gulp Alive bite is that we continued to be successful in areas that historically have not been that productive. When you can cover water quickly, you can still be successful, even in areas where fish concentration isn’t that high. What we have found is that some of these lower volume areas are still holding numbers of large individual walleyes. The key factor present in almost every one of these spots is the immediate proximity of deep water. When you mark walleyes in 20 – 30 ft. of water and the location is within 50 yds of a 75 – 100 ft. basin, it is time to start dragging big plastic and searching for giants.
Effort spent chasing big pike was very limited this week, but we did see one 41.5 in. gator. When the weather breaks and surface temps begin to cool, there will be more effort spent chasing big pike, but this is absolutely prime time for numbers of big walleyes and the guides will lobby guests hard to continue to hunt them instead of pike.