Thursday, July 10, 2014

They're Heeeere!

The little girl from the movie Poltergeist quoted it best with "They're Heeeere!"....and no I am not talking about ghosts.  Another entity has risen from the depths in the form of an insect to torment fishermen, the dreaded Mayfly.  I should begin to call these short lived bugs July flies because the last four or five years the hatch has occurred around the 4th of July.

About five days ago Lemonade Lake exploded with the winged creatures, covering the skies and surface of the water.  Cocos and Southwest Lake hatch followed a day later (last Sunday). While, last night (July 9th) Tyrol and I witnessed a big hatch on Central while trying for some top water pike at 8 pm.  Needless to say, the hatch is in full swing throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park.

If you'll reference some of my previous blogs from years prior I note some tactics for combating those pesky Mayflies for the prized walleye attention.  In a brief recap: 1. Scale down on your size, if you love to jig remove those 4" tails and use 2-3" tails.  Many of the walleyes that you'll be targeting will have a full belly and will be quite lethargic on their strikes.  Often they will just barely hang on the tail and attempt to slowly swim away with your jig.  2. Note where Mayflies hatch, in the mud.  Go there cause that is where the walleye will be congregating.  3. Don't get discouraged with a slow bite for a day or two, walleyes digest mayflies quite quickly and will be on the prowl before you know it.


The woodchucks of West Lake do a great job of mowing the lawn
Sunday July 6th, we received roughly 5" of rain.  It was quite possibly the most rain I have ever witnessed in a 24hr period at Big Hook Camps.  The result is the lakes are still rising, some faster than others.  Waterfalls and rapids drastically changed overnight into raging currents.  The rain however, was well received as we had begun to experience several forest fires popping up throughout the park.  

For the most part, the torrential downpours last Sunday was the only weather to discuss.  The temperatures are still cooler than normal, directly resulting in cooler water temperatures.  We have received an occasional 80 degree day but they have been few and far between.  And yes, because of the cool weather, the bugs are still feisty.


The summer patterns for both species are slowly developing.  Walleye will gradually making their way to the reefs as soon as the mayfly hatch has expired.  Pike are holding in the weeds and windblown points.  Weed growth is picking up steam, however with all the additional water from the rain the weeds are far below the surface. As I noted earlier the water is still cool, hanging around 63 degrees at Central.  This time of year I usually see 70-72 degree temperatures on the surface.   

Some outpost snippets:

Big Boy Bay or Hotspot #5 is the place to go.  Several nice pike were photo'd and released from the Kennedy party while standing right on the beach.  The perch action is still holding strong.  

The action below the north rapids has been steady.  With lots of water flowing the walleye are congregating in the current.  Two 40+" were photo'd and released near Trophy Bay.  When the winds change to the South fish Husker Rock for trophy walleye.  Guests have seen five moose in the last two days. 

43" from Cocos
Guests should use caution when attempting to shoot the rapids this week, the current is getting stronger everyday.  Walleye have been flocking to the rapids with the increased flowage.  Duckling Island has been holding some great pike. 

Lemonade has slowed a bit with the ample mayfly binge.  The action should only be a temporary lull with the hatch on the tail end. Favourable's weed beds have been harboring just about all the fish.  Fishing has been slower on the rocky points and ledges.  

Great release shot. 
The big walleyes woke up with the rains, lots of 25+" fish being boated and released.  7 yr old Tate from the Cox party even boated a 26.5" on a surface bait.  Now that shows the fish are feeding!  Fish are shallower than normal, try 12' or above if you aren't catching anything in the deeper water. 

Southwest Lake has just been on fire with numbers this year.  I can't really expresses the hotspots because everytime I ask the guests where to go they just respond with "Everywhere!"  Several dandy 37" pike have been boated and released in the last two days.  

Fish still seem to be holding in the Fish Bowl half of the lake.  The windblown mudflats in the fish bowl are dominating the action. The narrows leading to the Fish Bowl have been consistent.  

Good luck on the water everyone!

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