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August 31, 2012

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Hello again from the Wheel.

It is Sept. 1st and the camp is full of an even mix of fishermen and bear hunters. Weather has been warm this week again, with nightly temps dropping only to the mid-teens (60F). Wind has been blowing on and off (never just in the middle, like we prefer) and today it was very calm, overcast, and humid out there.

No need to sugarcoat it, the fishing was tough this week. From a guide’s perspective it was very tough. We managed to find a few spots that were producing, but many of our standby spots were vacant. You know the feeling – not marking bait, not marking arcs.. it means things are changing, fish are moving, or as I like to call it – “reorganizing”. But while they are moving, we guides are working harder than ever. For me, its weeks like these that I fish as much random stuff as I dare in effort to stumble into something out-of-the-box that pays off.

From the guests’ perspective, I can say that the fishing was pretty good. The team found a pile of fish stacked up in an area not too far from camp. It was perfect – a well sheltered area for the big wind days when our mobility to our go-to spots becomes limited. With a lot of hard work, we managed to find enough fish to keep our stats up, our cameras flashing, and our guests happy. For the week we had 18 walleye over 27 inches, including 2X28s (one of them a monster 28.5). The daily guide sheets averaged between 25-35 fish over 18 inches per day, and often some big incidental pike were on there as well. The highest daily boat total was 65 walleye over 18 inches. Good numbers when you consider we are about 6 boats on the water per day.

Fish were found in a depth range of 15-30 ft. (still very spread out). What was significant to me was that the area that held all these fish is (for us) a classic spring spot – a small protected lake basin bottoming out at 30ft. It is something we usually fish in May and early June. So often “we” (those obsessed with theories about fish behavior) box ourselves into thinking that big walleye have to be near deep water at this time of year (50+ft). Apparently, they are just wherever the cisco are – they were spitting up many, and clearly feeding actively. So this week, it turned out something that seemed like a ‘retro-move’ had enough fish to pad all our sheets during a rough week. Personally, I find it amazing how complex this fishery is, and that is what makes fishing on Lac Seul so exciting and challenging at the same time – so much water!

There were still more incidental big pike caught this week than targeted, but there were 3 or 4 nice pike found casting in good weeds that remain intact. For the week we had 7 over 37, including one 40 and one huge 41. I have a feeling this fall will be prime time for pike once the cold nights start to set in. Well, I guess that is enough rambling from me. We hope to see you soon, and check in on the report next week.

Jesse Wright.

Senior Guide, Silver Water Wheel Lodge

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Additional Photos for August 31, 2012