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September 2, 2023

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It is the time of year here at Silver Water Wheel when our staff starts to depart. Three guides have left already, and two more are done today. We averaged 10 guides and boats on the water this week, about two thirds capacity and we will average about that for the rest of September.

A couple of the guys that usually depart stayed for an extra week this year and they noticed something that was new to them – but it’s a change we’ve come to expect this time of year. Nights were cool, even on the hot days. The weather was more changeable, each day often had sun and rain, wind and calm. Lake surface temps began dropping. But the key part for guides is the change in the behavior of the fish at this time of year. Walleye will be found in a wider range of depths, answer to a wider range of presentations, and most importantly be a lot less “pattern-able”. Welcome to fall fishing on Lac Seul!

I was talking about the week with some of the guides in preparation for writing this report and thinking their comments over to try to find the common trend. But after a while it became clear, the take-away for the week was: there was no take-away. As a guide crew we did not come up with a consensus for the best method to catch fish this week. The guys had a lot of different answers for the best way to target walleye, and there were lots of varying results. What worked one day or one spot did not work on the next.

There was one constant in all the reports – marking many fish on our electronics. Many spots we would see lots of fish, but building a pattern was tougher than usual. A structure might produce 20 or even 60 fish on the guide sheet, but the next three similar structures had just a handful or none. Usually when we see fish on our graphs in those numbers we can generate good production, but this week it was common to see those fish and not be able to convert them into numbers on the sheet. The guide crew ended up about evenly split on their preferred strategy to counter this: either keep moving until you found an active bite, or experiment with many different presentations on known spots or marked fish until you identified the one method the fish would answer to.

For the week we caught and released 20 Walleye over 27 inches, including 2 of the heaviest 29 inchers I’ve seen in a long time. And another giant – a 32 inch walleye! Caught by Lenny Marks. A handful of our big walleye were caught moving fast with gulp. More were caught on live bait, but the presentations they answered to varied more than usual and we were left without a clear pattern. More than half the biggest fish were found down deep, but on the other hand the 32 incher was caught in less than 17 feet of water.

Piking this week – once again there were not many hours spent. We boated 8 over 37 inches, including 2 -40’s and a 42-inch fish. The main lake weed beds began thinning out last week and progressed quickly this week. Some of the big pike were caught in fall locations, but there were also still good fish on the remaining main lake summer weeds. Our guides moved back and forth between summer and fall stuff in their search for big pike. Spoons and blades were still our best producers, not much on deep running baits yet… but that is coming soon.

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Additional Photos for September 2, 2023