Thursday, June 22, 2017

First Days of Summer

A great sunset pic at Sandy Lake
Summer is finally here! Well, at least according to the calendar.  In truth, actual temperatures are still feeling like spring here at Big Hook Camps.  With the exception of the past two days, cool rainy weather has dominated.  Temperatures are running below normal and future forecasts show the trend continuing throughout the next week. The rain has surely cut down the risk of having forest fires anytime soon and has also brought the water levels back above normal.  Sandy Lake water level are higher than I have ever seen in the past 20 years.
Central lake 26.5" in the south rapids

The walleye are certainly enjoying the higher water levels. The rapids throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park are gushing and attracting all species of fish.  Minnows are crowded under all five sets of rapids at Central lake and the walleye are close behind.  Jigging or casting crank baits in the current are the best techniques to combat the current and locate the walleye.  Walleye haven't been as shallow as weeks past, they were best located in 8-10 ft the past couple days, with some schools even in 15 ft of water.

The pike have been sorta scattered all over the place.  Several nice fish have been boated near rapids while fishing for walleye.  Weeds are starting to green up and grow in shallow bays.  Guiding last Tuesday at Central resulted in one fish topping at 41.5" and another 36" but the big fish made us work for them.  After a bunch of trial and error, pike began to strike small (3/4 oz) spoons or johnson silver minnows in 5 ft weed flats. They shunned bucktails and any bigger baits.  .

Water temperatures are slowly climbing back into the 60's.  Yesterday guests noticed most of Central lake was holding around 62 degrees.  Weed growth is slower than normal. Something to note, no sign of the pesky may fly yet.  There is potential for a late hatch this year with the cool weather hanging around.

Guests have had no problem locating schools of walleye.  The bottleneck heading north bound is holding plenty of fish.  Several 24" walleye were caught in the narrows spilling into north Burnt Lake.  The perch have been excellent as well.  Small beetlespins or 1/8 oz jigs tipped with a worm have been working best.  Moose creek and Big Boy bay are starting to churn out some nice pike.

Central lake trophy on a small silver spoon. 
The east and south rapids are where the big female walleye have been hanging out.  Lots of 22+" fish have been boated and release in each area.  The 20 ft falls on the north end is also holding lots of fish. The west portage along with the north narrows are areas to focus on for 40+" pike.

The rapids close to camp has been holding thousands and thousands of walleye.  Guests were boasting 16 casts in a row with a fish.  The water is flowing pretty good but the rapids are still navigable.  The burnt lake falls is holding big walleye also.  The creeks near Duckling Island on the north end have had huge numbers of pike.

Some nice walleye were boated yesterday at south.  Several 24" fish and a dandy 27" were logged.  Trolling Shad Raps and Hot N Tots in 10 ft were key.  The narrows on the far SE end of the lake is has been the hot spot. Plenty of nice walleye have been caught above the outgoing falls as well.  Not a ton of fish have been located on deep rock reefs yet.

The fish factory continues to pump out thousands of walleye and even some nice perch.  Guests this week have been focusing on the flats in the east arm of the lake. Pitching shallow diving crank bait in the mud flats has boated all species.  Shallow rock reefs have been holding big schools of walleye.  

The entrance to the fish bowl has been lights out for walleye fishing.  Huge schools of walleye are congregating there.  The shallow huge weed beds in the NE and SW corners of the fish bowl have yielded huge pike.  Never forget to hit the rock right in front of camp, it always gives up the biggest fish of the year.  Also, cast the narrows towards the fish bowl for pike.

Good luck on the water everyone.  Remember to send us your pictures and I'll post them here on the blog.


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