Have a great Independence Day everyone! Here at Big Hook we are celebrating with some delicious fresh from the lake walleye. Mom mixed up a batch of tasty home made ice cream, a rare treat here in the north considering the closest Dairy Queen is over 300 miles away. Tonight we will ignite some fireworks purchased from Sandy Lake to cap off a great day.
Mayflies continued their hatch throughout the week. Fortunately, stiff north winds on last Sunday and Monday prevented the winged nemesis from landing on the water and thus into the bellies of walleye. The hatch should be on it's tail end here. Remember a healthy mayfly hatch is a sign of a healthy body of water.
Overall, the weather trended warmer throughout the week. Last Thursday and Friday brought plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. Continued humid warm weather with thunderstorms is fore casted throughout this week. Water temperatures areagain flirting with 70 degree's on the surface. I even jumped in the lake Friday three times to cool off, lets just say the water is a tad cooler 4 feet under the surface. Water levels have peaked on most lakes and are hanging around normal levels for this time of year.
First time fishing at Big Hook? The most valuable piece of luggage other than a fishing rod, in my opinion, is a depth finder. Depth finders can tell you water temperature and show you reefs that would go otherwise undiscovered. The Eagle Cuda 300 is a great portable depth finder, make sure to purchase the rechargeable battery.
Jig fisherman are you having trouble locating a school of walleye? Try jigging the edge of a weed bed or lilly pads you would be amazed how many walleye will hang around foliage. Keep the leader in your tackle box and not on the end of your line. Take the risk of a bite off from pike. Walleye's are leader shy and will strike more often when no leader is present.
I managed to chat will all the guests this past Saturday and obtained some valuable fishing information from each lake, which I'll now pass on to you.
Lots of fish reported. Weed growth has been solid and fish are all holding tight to the beds. Large walleye can be caught on reefs just 400 yards straight south from camp. Fish are still holding in the narrows. 8-12 ft is still the magical depth for Burnt for walleye. Pike are holding in all water columns. Perch are still hanging in weed beds with the pike. Try yellow or white beetle spins for best results.
The topside of the north rapids was the hot spot of the week. Jigging just above the falls resulted in hundreds of walleye. With water temperatures warming walleye can be found throughout the water column. Schools of fish were found as deep as 20ft. Pumkinseed and flouro orange twisters/gulp were great lures. Trolling a blue and silver shad rap in twelve feet of water over rock piles was successful too.
Pike were hanging in the north narrows where weeds are continuing to develop. Many pike are suspended right now feeding on whitefish. Whitefish come to the surface to feed on Mayflies and are great targets for hungry for monster pike. Try tossing some deep diving cranks or a Bulldawg over reefs to target the suspended fish.
Favourable or Lemonade didn't disappoint last week. Tons and tons of fish were boated on Lemonade. Many walleye between 18-21". Any shoreline with a depth of 8+ feet was producing fish. Favourable hot spots were "walleye point" just before you make the turn to the first arm. Trolling an orange crankbait along this point was very productive. For pike, "pike alley" was still the hot producer. Bucktails and johnson spoons are the best way to retrieve through the weeds.
The rapids as usual held the fish. Weed beds just 1/2 mile to the SW of the rapids were holding nice pike. Remarkably, one of the best pike spots was a giant weedbed straight across the bay from camp. Walleye were also holding on the edges of weed beds. When in doubt finding fish, try the windy shoreline. If a wind has been blowing to that shore for more than one day, chances are the fish will be stacked there. The rapids is still navigable, remember to stay just left of center for the first set of moving water. For the second, just giver and stay in the middle.
The south guests handed me a list of impressive catches from throughout the week. The list is as follows: Pike 1- 40", 1- 39", 3-36" and a number between 30-32". Walleye 2-29", 4-27", 4-26", 20-25" had too many to keep track of. Jigging with Berkley Gulp along the weed edges was most productive. Some of the bigger fish were holding on drop off just away from the weed beds.
Southwest produced the usual plethora of fish. Hundreds and hundreds of eye's were boated between 18-20". Yellow jig tails once again were the most popular lure. Weed beds in the north arm of the lake produced the largest pike. The tiny island just west of camp was amazing for walleye.
The west lake crew reported great fishing despite a dominant may fly hatch. A 40" was boated and released in the fish bowl. The sunken island just east of the camp produced some large walleye, a 26" was photo'd and released. According to the guests, "big bertha" was hooked but won the battle, snapping the line and returned to the depths. The weed beds throughout the lake are heating up. Lots of sunshine has attributed to excellent weed growth. Try tossing top water baits in the "horseshoe" in the afternoon for an exciting pike strike.
Good luck on the water to everyone. Send me some pictures to post on the blog here.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps