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June 22, 2024

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On Fire!

We had a huge rainstorm earlier this week with inches of rain, but after that the weather could best be described as normal. Surface temperatures throughout the lake now range between low 60s to occasionally 70. The cabbage weeds have not topped out yet partly because the lake level is rising so rapidly. And we finally had some nice warm sunny days without much wind. So Mid-June finally happened and we lit it up.

The number of top end walleyes was heavy. For the week we caught and released 62 walleyes over 27 in., including 11 – 28s, and 2 – 29s.

The walleye volume was even heavier. Guide sheets averaged 50 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day. The highest daily total was 90! Even with those numbers, only half the guides were focused on walleyes (because the bass and pike bites were so good).

We did see a trend to shallower bites and a lot more Gulp and plastics pulled at speed. We always fish it all, but 8 – 16 ft. was key to the fastest walleye bites this week. We have a new region that we have scouted extensively, and the consensus from the crew is that plastics pulled at speed are the key to numbers of big walleyes. We always go back and check fading bites with live bait and lighter jigs, but the result has mostly been numbers of smaller fish. If you are not a SWWL guest reading this report and you are trying to find big walleyes, I would Strongly recommend pulling jigs and plastics at 1 – 1.5 mph as you learn a new spot. You can always waypoint pods or fish caught then go back with light jigs and live bait. Speed wins when the search is on.

Normally, when the walleye bite is good, then the pike get neglected. Not so this week. We caught and released 16 over 37 in., including 3 – 38s, 1 – 39, 1 – 40, 2 – 41s, and a giant 42 caught by Craig Marty. It is still not easy. They are everywhere; way back in the skinny, on the early growth cabbage, and everywhere in between. When guests ask for big pike, we use what we know and try it all. Full disclosure, there were some very quiet periods hunting big pike this past week.

I am a watcher of the 14-day forecast. It is almost never right, but I can’t help it. I worry about the weather conditions leading up to every group’s week. Every now and then the stars align, and it is on. Even before our Hartley/Bailey group from Texas arrived, we were already catching great bass. It only improved when we added great anglers. For the week, we caught and released 65 bass over 19 in., including 10 over 20. We have had the occasional topwater bite, but plastics have been the key. Tubes on an 1/8 oz. jig were the most productive.

The Take Away: The guide crew spend hours talking and debating locations, strategies, and tactics. If we were on a lake 5 miles long and 1 mile wide, we would be bored to tears. Instead, we are on Lac Seul. To this day, it still feels to me like a frontier. It is so big and so complex that we know that we will still be doing experiments on new water 10 years from now. It is a puzzle that can never be solved, and we love it that way.

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Additional Photos for June 22, 2024