Monday, July 11, 2016

Post Hatch

A beefy South Lake pike. 
 The warm days of July have arrived.  The past three days, humid weather with temps in the 80's has stalled over the Opasquia Provincial Park. Weather forecasts have been predicting rain and cloudy weather. However, as I sit on the deck writing this blog, I am basked with sunshine under blue skies .  The pleasant days are very welcomed after a cool and wet June.  The lack of rain this past week has allowed the lakes to drain a fair amount.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, most lakes were at record high levels.  Thankfully, lake levels have dropped close to 6".   Our lake temperatures are beginning to creep back up to 70 degrees on the surface once again.

A nice 37" SW Lake pike. 


The walleye bite is back on schedule.  After a several day lull due to the inconsistent weather and a mayfly hatch, our bread and butter fish has grown hungry again.  Last week we witnessed the tail end of the mayfly hatch and most fish were stuffed with the winged creatures when caught.  However, after a day guiding on the Central yesterday, I would say one in five fish showed any signs of mayflies in their throats.  Furthermore, I filleted four fish up for shore lunch and on closer inspection did not see a single carcass in the bellies.

Surprisingly, many fish are still being boated in shallow water.  4-8 ft was the magic depth finding walleye schools yesterday at Central.  Creeping deeper than 12 ft nothing was found but dead water.  Vertical jigging below the boat while back trolling was the most effective way to locate schools.  1/4 oz jigs were out performing 3/8 oz  as walleye were still preferring the smaller presentations.  According to most guests I spoke with, Flouro orange, white and pumpkinseed have been top twister/gulp colors.  Casting Flicker shads and Rapala Shad raps on top of shallow reefs have also been productive.  Walleye should begin transitioning to deeper reefs (15-20 ft)  over the next couple weeks.  

Yesterday while guiding I knew the pike were going to be aggressive when two walleye were           T-boned boat side within 20 minutes.  Pike were holding tight on wind blown weed beds.  Silver minnows and bucktails were top baits.  Some top water action was to be had; Buzz baits and Bucher dancing raiders produced some great explosions in the late afternoon hours.  West, Burnt, Cocos, and Central all reached the infamous 40" mark for northern last week.  Fisherman are having an easier time locating the weed beds with the receding water levels.

Good luck on the water everyone and don't forget to send us pics of your stays at Big Hook Camps.

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