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July 15, 2023

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Most of the headlines across the US are focused on record breaking heat, smoke from B.C. wild fires, or torrential rains. In NW Ontario, we have enjoyed a week of cooler weather with some much-needed rainfall. We received enough rain last week to lift the fire ban.

As expected, the shift in weather resulted in changes to fishing patterns and production as well. It should be noted that the differences were much more gradual than they were the previous week. With night time lows in the 40s and day time highs of 60 – 70, the lake temps have cooled quite a bit.

The walleyes are beginning to move towards their traditional summer locations. Both rock and sand structures adjacent to the main lake basins are producing more and more walleyes as those fish trend deeper. There were some outlier bites in both shallower and deeper water, but the bulk of the walleyes caught this past week were found in 16 – 25 ft.

Big jigs and Gulp plastics pulled at speed were still productive at times, but there were many more reports of walleyes responding to light jigs and minnows fished vertically as the week progressed. It was not uncommon for guide boats to change tactics and locations several times a day before finding a good bite. For the week, we caught and released 49 walleyes over 27 in., including 10 – 28s, 1 – 29, 1 – 30, 1 – 31, and 1 – 32. Volume varied quite a bit, but averaged 30 walleyes over 18 in. per boat each day.

The Northern Pike bite was a bit different this past week. Volume for small to mid-size fish dropped dramatically, but the guides and anglers that stuck to it caught quite a few big fish. For the week, we released 12 pike over 37 in., including 1 – 38, 1- 39, 3 – 40s, and 4 – 41s. William’s Whitefish, Cabela’s five of Diamonds, and Doktor spoons continue to be the most consistent producers for big pike in and around the main lake weed beds.

A Fun SWWL story: Senior guide Gouws Oberholzer had his fiancée, Hunter Hoium out for a visit this past week. They took some time to fish for walleyes and she caught a 32 in. main lake monster!

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Additional Photos for July 15, 2023