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Monday, September 26, 2022

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Monday, September 26, 2022.  End of Season.

Our 2022 season has come to a close here at Silver Water Wheel Lodge.  Our first full season of fishing since 2019.  A number of guests asked me out in the boat this summer if we had seen any difference in our stats after two seasons of much less angling pressure.  They were usually wondering if the year had been especially strong, if there had been an increase in the numbers of big fish caught compared to 2019.  I was asked this question often enough that I came up with a stock answer – The bad news is: there was no difference.  The good news is: there was no difference!

Of course, we would have all loved to have seen a bump in big fish.  We haven’t finished counting all our stats yet, but it’s already pretty clear there’s no big walleye bump – that’s the bad news.  On the other hand, if there had been a significant increase in big walleye caught this year, that would mean that for all those previous years our angling effort had been having a negative effect on the fishery!  The fact that we have seen no difference in overall results between 2022 and an average pre-covid season is evidence that we are not – very good news!  We should be able to look forward to many more seasons of big walleye on Lac Seul.

For this final 10 days of our 2022 season, we were back to more usual fall weather, a more usual number of guests, and back to the usual numbers of walleye.  Air and water temps got chilly, there were 55 guided days on the water, and daily guide sheets were back to averaging 24 walleyes over 18 inches per day.  There were 17 walleyes over 27 inches caught, and the big one of the week was 29.5 inches.  Slow moving, finesse presentations were the norm, and a lot of our big fish came from 35’ or deeper.

There were no anglers devoting their whole day to hunting big pike during these last days, but a number of boats spent at least a few hours of their day casting.  Our guides had to switch gears frequently again this week, moving from weed to rock and back again as the weather changed.  For the week there were 10 Northern over 37 inches, with a 40, 41, and 42.5 incher.

After two seasons of not fishing every day, it was refreshing to be back on the water all season long.  Sometimes, you don’t realize how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone.  The last two summers have been a good reminder to me of just how much tracking fish day to day, week to week, and all the way from spring to summer to fall matters to a guide.  And a reminder of just how much I enjoy that!

Here’s looking forward to tracking down those fish with you all in 2023!

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