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June 28, 2024

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Cooler Weather, but the Hot bite continues:

We ended the week with a massive weather system.  We are talking about inches of rain, winds gusting to 30, and temperatures falling into the 50s.  I was out in it all day and it was cold, windy, and rough.  From a guide’s perspective, today, it was a job.  I tell that so that you and I can sort out the writer’s bias.

Nathan brought me the stack of daily guide sheets with the week’s analysis on top.  Frankly it was a shock.  We killed it this week.  Did you notice when I switched from I to we?  Reviewing the guide sheets before I write the weekly report helps me keep the discussion focused on the entire week and the full guide staff.

Walleye numbers were strong again this week.  Guide sheets averaged 45 walleyes over 18 in. per boat per day.  The highest daily total was 84.  We caught and released 60 over 27 in., including 10 – 28s, and 2 – 29s.  The fastest bites were found on flats between 8 – 16 ft. of water.  In many cases, the walleyes were located on the deeper side of emerging weed beds.  Whether using minnows or Gulp, speed was important (1 – 1.5 mph.)  When the fish are scattered, you have to be able to cover water to contact them.  If you choose to fish slow and vertical on those bites, you will get out fished 10 to 1 by the boats covering water.  At the same time, there were still some fish to be found down deep on main lake summer structure.  Jig size varied from 1/8 to ¾ oz. depending on location, weather, and the speed required to get a bite.  It was an even split between minnows and plastics.

There was some time spent chasing big pike this week.  Most of the populations are in the middle of transition between spring and summer locations.  Even with fish on the move, the results were solid.  For the week, we caught and released 17 over 37 in, including 7 – 38s, 3 – 40s, and 1 – 41.  Spoons and blades were top producers.

Overall, the bass bite was great again, even though some regions are beginning to wind down.  This past week we caught and released 89 smallmouth bass over 19 in., including 16 over 20.  Tubes, Ned rigs, and other soft plastics fished slowly were the key to most successful bites.

With lots of rain, the lake continues to rise and now is just a little below the normal level for this time of year.  We have seen a few mayflies emerge, but the big hatch has yet to happen.

The Take Away:  The importance of data collection; not only does it keep me straight when I write the fishing report at the end of a challenging weather day, but it also allows us to follow trends and patterns between months and years.  We go back to the archives on a regular basis and use previous year’s data to predict the next hot bite.

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Additional Photos for June 28, 2024