Sunday, August 19, 2012

Late Summer Attack

It is amazing how quickly the days shorten here in the north country.  Just last month the sun was setting around ten p.m. and was high in the sky by six a.m.  The sun now just barely starts to crest the tree line at 6:15 and remarkably we are still losing 5 minutes of daylight every passing day.  The shorter days generally mean cooler temperatures.  However, weather forecasts are looking promising.  The week is predicted to hover around the mid seventies with nights dropping as low at 40 degrees.

so glassy, which way is up?
Water is flowing again at the West Rapids
Last week we received plenty of rain to raise the water levels.  A stubborn low pressure descended over the Opasquia Provincial Park last Wednesday and Thursday.  The system dropped about 2-3 inches of rain, cooling the water temperatures to 65 degrees.  The cooling water didn't seem to affect the fishing.  Both the walleye and pike bite remained constant


Fish have been descending through the water column to about 20 ft.  Most big fish have been caught jigging on rock reefs.  3/8 oz jigs with solid  chartreuse tails seemed to favor the trophies last week. However, I had tremendous luck trolling wind blown shorelines in about 18 ft with Wally Divers (white, blue) and Shad Raps (perch colored).   I have never seen so many pike strike walleye at the side of the boat as last week. South Lake boated the largest fish of the week at 30.5".  Central boated and released a 26.5" and a 27.75" just off Airplane Island.


Quite the bear scratch on a Central Portage
Pike were extremely aggressive this past week.  As mentioned before, all lakes reported big pike striking walleye at boat side.  This aggressiveness is a sign of pike attempting to bulk up for winter. The shorter days coupled with the drop in water temperature has triggered the fall feed. 

Lots of big fish have been located circling schools of walleye.  When fishing on a hot walleye spot, it is common for the action to suddenly stop. This is a sign a big pike has rolled through the area.  At this time, I like to start tossing large deep water baits such as Depth Raiders, Bull Dawgs or large plastic jigs to entice the toothy trophies. 
Top water action last week was also amazing.  Top Raiders, Zara Spooks, Giant Jackpots, and Dancing Raiders all sent pike flying out of the water.  The top water action was superior during the evening (6 pm-9 pm) bite.  For example, a 30 minute nonstop top water blitz last Tuesday on Central was just jaw dropping.  Just about every cast resulted in a fish blowing up on the bait.  We (I should say my fiance)  boated a 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 34 and 36" fish during this short period.  I just ended up being the net man. The only reason we stopped fishing was to remove a hook that became buried underneath my thumbnail from a thrashing pike.  All I have to say is "thank goodness for barbless hooks!" 

The biggest pike last week was boated and released at Cocos at a whopping 43".  Central, Burnt and SW came close with respective 40", 40.5" and 42" fish.  

Good luck on the water everyone!

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