Over the last several months, I have received a number of phone calls from local anglers wanting to discuss concerns about walleye numbers and changes in catch rates on two lakes in particular in our area. These anglers have been long-time Pelican Lake and/or Big Detroit Lake anglers, and believe that walleye catch rates are lower now than ever before.
As we move further into fall we will continue to be riddled with fronts on top of fronts. September is typically a month of instability, inconsistency, and transition for fish. You can have some great days on the water with fish activity, and the next day swear there is not a fish in the lake. Guiding, I can be a hero one day, and a "goat" the next (no ... not "Greatest Of All Time") more the scapegoat-type goat!
After the Labor day holiday, many believe that summer is over. It may be, but that doesn't mean that lake activity, especially fishing, needs to stop. Lake activity slows considerably from now until the end of October. Recreational activity slows, and so does fishing for many. It is the time of year that it is difficult to get all the interests and hobbies into the schedule.
This seems like a good time for an update on the fundraising for the replacement of the public fishing pier at Dunton Locks on Lake Sallie. With so many returning to the area for the holiday weekend, it seems like a good time to beg for a few more bucks to put the project over the top! Our target to replace the damaged-beyond-repair fishing pier (damaged two years ago) is $24,000 dollars. We are currently at $19,000 thank to a huge contribution of $10,000 from the couple Heather Hundt and Shawn Goodchild. Thank you so much you guys, truly an awesome commitment!
Every summer, from mid-July until the end of September, you can count on a great search technique to locate fish and consistently catch the aggressive fish for several different species. That search technique and fishing pattern is the art of "bottom bouncing." The concept is simple. A bottom bouncer is typically a wire with a wire arm that has a weight on the bottom leg. The bouncer is attached to the main line and the arm can have many options of presentations trolling behind.
We are at the time of the summer now that we will see a slowdown in the level of lake activity. Most of the major summer weekend events are completed, college students are headed back to school, families are wrapping up summer vacations and getting ready for elementary, middle school, and high school students to get back in school in a couple weeks.
This week's topic was stimulated by some repeat behavior from several different customers. It is the bad habit of hooking a jig or a hook in the guide on a fishing rod.
Water temperatures have finally started to come down from the 80-degree range. Some of the shallow water areas close to shore were getting to the mid 80-degree range and felt like bath water! The rain, mild cold fronts of the past week, cooler nights, and the shortening daylight hours are all helping bring water temps down. With the extremely warm water, some of the lakes with tullibees will have some die off. They will not go to waste, as the eagles, osprey, and gulls will all make meals of any dead kill on the lakes.
We are at the peak of the summer season now. Water temperatures have been in the upper 70-degree range and even touching 80 at times for the last couple weeks. Everything has hatched, including very successful perch and sunfish hatches, along with multiple bug hatches. Food is very plentiful in the lakes right now. Fish are used to chasing young of the year hatches for food, and are keyed in on needing to chase to eat. This time of year can always be a good time to fish aggressively for the predatory fish you like to chase after.
This week I will try to provide just a few tips that make your time on the water a little more efficient and trouble free. If you fish, you will have some challenges. One of the most common conflicts that can be frustrating to resolve is tangled lines. Tangles happen in the reels, around the rods, and with other lines fishing next to you. Having good quality fishing line that is also fresh will help. Old line tends to be full of "line memory" and can have lots of curls and loops.