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July 31, 2011

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And just like that, it turned back into a normal summer. The fire ban ended even though it is still quite dry and the lake remains about 1.5 ft. below average. The walleyes returned to deeper water “normal” summer rock and sand locations on the main lake and the bite was good with high volume and big fish in the mix.

Both deep water sand and deeper water rock produced equally well this week and the most consistent depths were 18 – 32ft. You can still find a few fish in shallow water, but the vast majority of our production came from the main lake basins. Jigs and minnows produced most fish, but the guides have also successfully been experimenting with big jigs and plastics moving fast in deep water. Tipped with minnows, we primarily used ¼ oz. and occasionally dropped down to 1/8 oz. jigs for stubborn fish marked on the graph. But especially on the deep water sand flats, jigs in 3/8 to ½ oz. or more worked well when backtrolled at .5 – .8 mph with 5 in. Gulp Alive crazy legs jerk shads in white. This presentation just looks like a smelt and the big profile often triggers bigger fish. Chuck Willmott caught his personal best walleye at 28 in. “dredging” the sand with a big jig and a “crazy legs Gulp.”

For the week we caught and released 35 walleyes over 27 in., including 6- 28s. Volume was very good with guide sheets reporting an average of 35 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 62. As we have moved into deeper water, we are seeing an increase in the number of medium to large walleyes. There were a total of 272 walleyes over 25 in. caught and released last week. Many boats had strong catches for walleyes over 24 in. and the highest daily total was 20. Overall, it was a very good walleye fishing week.

There was very little pike fishing effort and we ended the week with just one big one at 42 in.

The Kicker:

Guest: You got a good one?

Guide: No, just a little one.

Guest: Where I come from, an 18 – 21 inch slot walleye is Not a Little one.

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Additional Photos for July 31, 2011