I can really appreciate the warm weather this summer especially after operating during one of the coolest seasons in on record in 2009. An early ice out this spring (approx April 19th) and sunny skies have contributed to warm water temperatures and active fish. The water temps are holding at a steady 70 degrees, just warm enough to enjoy a quick dip in the lake. The majority of this week and last saw an abundance of sunshine with several days of thunderstorms. Hail was reported at a couple of camps too.
The fish are beginning to hold in the late summer patterns. Walleye are descending to 14-20 ft while pike are scattered throughout the lakes. Most larger pike are being caught o
n the edge's of weed beds while the occasional monster has been caught off of rocky points. Yesterday, I witnessed a common occurrence. While a smaller walleye was being brought to the boat a massive pike darted from the depths and smashed the little flailing walleye. When I see this scenario unfold I immediately open up the bail on my reel and allow the pike to swim away for a short while. After about 15 seconds I'll snap my bail shut and slowly, very slowly, reel the pike back to the boat. The majority of the time the fish has a better grasp on t
he walleye and will refuse to let go. Get the net handy, take a picture, release the fish and enjoy! You just caught two fish at once.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, jigging is one of the most effective ways to reach walleye in deeper waters. However, other technique's such as worm harnesses are a great alternative if you feel "jigged out". Most of the time I don't even bother with the worm and just place a twister instead. This time of year the fish move from deep rock shoal to shoal quite frequen
tly, so don't get discouraged if you cannot find the fish immediately. If the fish seem to have completely disappeared try the windy shoreline. A steady wind for two days will stack the fish on the wind blown shore.
For larger pike on these hot calm days I prefer hunt them in the late afternoon. Case in point, while guiding yesterday we witnessed about 7 large follows in the morning. None of the fish appeared to be aggressive, just curious. I gave up and switched to walleye until about 4:30 pm. Maybe we got lucky or maybe it's skill (I prefer to think the latter) but we boated fish consistently until we left at 6:00 pm including a 42.5", 40.75" and a 36" pike. Two of the fish, were boated on a Top Raider and the third was on a Mann's Hardnose Swim shad. The weedless soft plastic baits have been incredibly effective this summer for large pike. Berkley Hollow Body lures are another bait that gets a thumbs up.
The weekly big fish award for walleye once again goes to South Lake at 29" while Central wins it with a 42.5" pike. Pictured above (myself with a 27" inch walleye and Mike Radis with a 42.5 pike, look at the jaws on that pike!)
Good luck on the water everyone. Please remember Big Hook has a NO trophy take out policy which means NO walleye can be kept over 18" and NO pike can be kept over 27.5"
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