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July 7, 2006

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It was another rough one this week. Walleye volume improved, but the big fish remained difficult to find. We caught walleyes all over the lake. There were fish in the weeds, on deep rock, deep sand, mid level sand flats, suspended, and everywhere in between. On days when the conditions made for a quiet bite, about all you could do was to keep trying different types of areas and different depths and then move on. The typical guide sheet had 2-3 times more locations listed than what is considered normal for this time of year. I have been asked a hundred times what I think is the reason for this broad distribution of locations. My honest answer is that I don’t know. The only major difference between this year and others is how early Spring began.

The average daily guide sheet reported 40 walleyes over 18 in. and the highest daily total was 90. For the week we caught and released 41 walleyes over 27 in. including 13 – 28s and 1 – 30. Most of the bigger walleyes this week were found in water deeper than 25 ft. but the big one was caught in 15 in front of a weed bed along with a bunch of “eaters.” That is the way the bite has been.

Once again the numbers at the end of the week read well, but from a guide’s perspective, it was work. Some days you blow into the right spot, mark the fish, and fill the sheet. That never happened this week. We still caught lots of fish, but it took some hustle. Presentations in different areas were also across the board. We had guys catching walleyes on spoons while they were casting for pike in the weeds and we had guides resorting to downsizing to ¼ oz. jigs w/ straight meat trying to catch one of the 50 fish they had marked in 30ft. If you found eyes in front of the weed beds, they were snapping. A 3/8 oz jig with just a twister was all you needed. On deeper structure, they were usually a bit more picky. Spinners worked well at times on the sand flats, but were also unpredictable. The bottom line is that to finish well, you had to be versatile.

With the sporadic walleye bite, we did have a few more boats working on bass and pike. They met with marginal success as well. For the week, we caught and released 7 bass over 17 in., including 2-18s, and 2-19s. We also had 5 pike over 37 in., including 1-39, and 2-40s.

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