The 2011 season is in full swing now and my guiding schedule is almost full until the fall. My first guests of the season, Bob and Mike, from Wisconsin just left. We had a great 5 day trip with too many fish to count. 100 + walleye days are the norm at this time of year on Eastern Lac Seul.
The walleye are post spawn and are in transition from spawning areas to the main lake. Points, sandbars and saddles along mainland shorelines are producing a lot of fish in depths of 10-to -20 feet. Lindy Jigs and X-Change jigs tipped with minnows are all it takes to catch fish. Pitching to shore and vertical jigging are both producing depending on the conditions. One pattern that works well at this time of year is to slide into shallow soft-bottomed bays when the afternoon sun warms up the surface water. This triggers mayfly nymphs to emerge from the bottom and the walleye are right there to gobble them up. Bob, Mike and I really capitalized on this bite one afternoon and caught 60 walleye in about 3-hours from 3-to-8 feet of water. The spot looked more like a pike spot than a walleye spot but the walleye were in there thick. Talk about fun.
Mike with a nice 'eye off a current swept point.
Bob gets a nice one on a bluebird day.
The boys also wanted to catch some lake trout so we hit up Big Vermilion, just 15 minutes from Sioux Lookout. We tried trolling spoons and plugs at first but had no luck so we looked deeper and found them in 60-feet. Drifting with 4" white tube jigs was the ticket. We got our hits by dropping the tubes to bottom and reeling up to the surface with a steady retrieve. This mimics a baitfish fleeing through the water column and the trout give chase and hammer the baits. It's a lot of fun and we ended up catching 38 lakers!
I also had the chance to fish with my good buddy and fellow guide Brandon Ouelette last week. We decided a trophy lake trout hunt on Minnitaki was in order. We knew we were only looking for 1-or-2 big fish and that's exactly what we got.
What a pleasure it was to see these two monsters hit the Beckman net! Both fish came trolling, one on a Reef Runner, 100-feet straight behind the boat and the other on a Rapala J-13 125' behind the inside planer board.
Looking ahead, more walleye and lake trout - plus the smallies should start going good soon and the countdown to muskie season is on.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.