The fish have finally begun holding in their late summer/fall patterns. Walleye are now holding on 20ft reefs and are being caught as deep as 30 ft. Jigging and spinner rigs/
worm harnesses are the best option when fish are holding deeper. My favorite set up is jigging with a 3/8 oz jig and a flouro orange Berkley Gulp. Another great setup is a Lindy Rig (attached right is pic). Most Lindy rigs with a flouro orange or a chartreuse blade are more effective. Backtrolling with these rigs is crucial for "feeling" the bottom, it allows you to slow the boat to a crawl. Thus your baits are able to reach the bottom much easier.
Pike are prowling everywhere, aggressively feeding on their prey. Larger northern were boated while fishing a variety of techniques, from retrieving topwater lures to trolling larger crankbaits in 20+ ft. With the decline in sunlight and lowered water temperatures, the majority of the weed beds are beginning to brown and thin. However, these dieing weeds will still hold numerous fish. The thinning weeds allow fisherman to burn bucktails through the foliage with ease. A great tactic for fishing a weed bed is: Find a wind blown weed bed, meaning a weed bed where the wind has been blowing into for at least several hours. Then align the boat at least 100 ft from the border of the weeds and begin to cast the outer edge. After casting the outer edge of the weeds, slowly begin to creep the boat further into the foliage. Typically the larger fish will hold on the outer edge.
As for the outposts, big pike were reported all around last week, which is normal for late August. Typically, the largest pike of the year will be caught in the waining weeks of August and into the first weeks of September. West Lake boated 7 fish over 40" and the largest of the week at 44". Burnt Lake boated and released a 42" pike. South Lake managed to duplicate another 42" fish and South West reported an impressive 41" caught on a jig. Numerous other fish between 30-39" were boated and released throughout all the outposts.
Several large walleye were reported last week. South had numerous fishover 25" topping out at 30.5". They reported the majority of the larger fish hanging in 20-25 ft of water. Cocos boated and released a chunky 26" fish while trolling Shad Raps along the edge of the current on the first set of rapids. (Attached right is a beauty 29" walleye boated and released at South Lake).
Please remember Big Hook has a NO TROPHY take out policy. Which means, walleye over 18" and pike over 27.5" MUST be released.
Remember to send us your pics from your latest Big Hook fishing trip.
Good luck on the water everyone.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps
(Attached right: the impressive cliffs at SW Lake).