Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reporting In

Fisherman had some elements to contend with last week.  Walleyes having spawned during the week were lethargic.  On top of that, Mother Nature provided some less than pleasant wind with cool temps for several days.  However, some surprisingly productive fishing reports rolled in after conversing with the fisherman on Saturday.

Most reports were consistent that the week began slow with the walleye coming off the spawn.  The bite steadily increased as the week progressed.  All reports reflected that Thursday and Friday were the peak days for both pike and walleye.

Water temperatures are still very cool for this time of year.  50 degrees can be found on some mud flats, with fish congregating around the warmer water.  Steady sun forecasted for this week should send the water temperatures skyrocketing.

As I have stated before, finding the warmer water temperature is crucial for fishing success this time of year.  Fish are craving some warmth after a long cold winter.  Even one degree difference can change a bay or channel from a vacated room to a fish party.  Analyze the area, is it a mud flat?  Dark shallow bays heat up super fast in these tea stained lakes.  On top of that, if a current is nearby you have the perfect spring fishing combination.

The "bottleneck" and the narrows were the most productive spots throughout the week.  Both walleye and northern both congregated in the same area.  Walleye's centered on the current with pike flanking the stray pickerel or sucker.
Boated and released 3 pike over 40", and an impressive 28" walleye.  The rapids continues to gush with the higher waters.  Guests were able to drive up the rapids 5 out of the 7 days.  Some of the biggest pike however were boated just a stones throw from camp.
The east and west rapids were the hot spots on the lake.  Slow trolling a shallow diving crank bait was the key to catching the lethargic walleyes.  Three pike sized between 36-38" were released in 15 minutes just outside the west rapids.  The bite for both species steadily increased as the week progressed.
Three fisherman reported over 1000 walleyes and three pike over 40", topping at 42.5".  Fish were located in the narrows towards the "fish bowl" and shallower water where the water temperatures were slightly warmer. The key was standard for spring fishing, finding that warmer water temperature.
The fish factory continued to pump out tons and tons of walleye.  Most fish were holding in shallow mud flats soaking up the warmer water temperatures.  One of the hottest spots was the narrows just in front of the cabin.
The narrows just south of camp is the goto spot.  Big female walleye were stacked in the area.  Sporadic lulls in the walleye action meant cruiser pike swept through the area.  The north end of the lake was also active just above the outgoing rapids.  Numerous walleye were boated and released over 25".

Good luck on the water everyone.  Looking forward to talking about fishing with everyone soon.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps


  1. Hi Nathan - another fishing tackle question for you: how many lures should we bring ? I realize this varies by person but there's always lures lost due to snagging on rocks, trees, fish etc. My son and I are coming late July to Central Lake and wanted some rough idea on quantities, if possible. We appreciate your tackle box detail on the website, very helpful. Regards, Mark

  2. That is a tough question Mark. Being stuck in the bush without tackle is an awful thing. However, over packing can cause overweight issues. If you are good at "feeling" the bottom while jigging for walleyes, snags will be minimal. Plan on going through about 3-5 jigs a day per person due to rocks, pike, etc. Twister tails get chewed up fast. Plan on about 3-5 a day per person also. A good variety of about a half a dozen or so pike lures per person is a good mix. Also, remember leaders, extra line, an extra rod for each person. Oh, a 3-4 crank baits that dive around 8-16 feet is great for trolling up walleye that time of year.
    As I mentioned before it's a tough question, due to fishing styles and fishing knowledge. Hopefully this helps.

  3. Nathan - that helps alot, much appreciated. I should have mentioned my son is really interested in pike fishing more so than walleye. How deep will pike typically be in late July ? We want to make sure we have enough crankbaits that go deep enough. Bucktails and spoons don't go that deep.

  4. Mark-
    Pike will be mostly holding in weed beds in July. Our weed beds typically run 4-8 ft. Bucktails, Johnson silver minnows and Manns Hardnose Shad are great baits to get through the slop. Some pike will also prowl the rock reefs that time of year feeding on walleye. That is when your deeper baits will work well such as Bulldawgs and deeper running cranks. The walleye will be anywhere from 8-20 feet in late July, with many holding in current of rapids.

  5. Nathan - what kind of rod/reel do you use for pike vs walleye fishing ? We have medium power, fast action spinning gear (Shimano) but that seems light for chucking big lures like Bull Dawgs. Would MH baitcasting be better ? Thanks ! Mark

  6. Pike- I like a 6' 6" Medium or MH rod. The gauge of the rod really depends what I am casting with a bait caster. Spinning reels are great also, the 2000 or 4000 size in Shimano are best. Chucking those Bull Dawgs gets very tiring very quickly. Bucktails and spinner baits are great light lures that you can cast an area really quickly and you don't really need heavy rod/reel setup to do so.

    Walleye-I'll scale down to a 6" medium or medium light action rod with a 1000 or 2000 size Shimano spinning reel and 6 or 8 test line.