Back to School Days
We are now, officially and unequivocally, in the semi-season known here as late summer. (One could, I guess, consider it as pre-autumn, but for a former school teacher, it is still a depressing thought to consider fall being here. Perhaps Post-July?) While the water temperatures remain unseasonably warm and we have not had the cold north winds yet nor have the nights been cool, there are signs that this, the most wonderful, hot, sunny and fabulous summer ever, is nearing its end. We are down to our final four weeks with fishing guests. But, as has been the case for most of the season, the lodge is fully booked right up until we end our fishing season (and begin the pre-hunt phase.)
The signs are here if you look close. I haven’t killed a mosquito in my cabin in weeks, the solar panels don’t rotate as far as they once did, from our deck we see the sun setting off the mouth of Wolf Bay, the red squirrels are tossing pine cones down, driving Kip nuts, and the local mouse population try to find their way between the logs of our cabins. And so goes the cycle of the seasons here in the wilderness.
And the fish, do they follow the Academic Calendar, or are they on a less regimented schedule, following the minnows, flies and predator cycle? I will assume it’s the latter even though, for the walleye, this time of year finds them going back to school, gathering in schools and moving in on mid-lake shoals and reefs to feed. Walleye fishing, from now until the lake turns over in the fall, is all about knowing where the schools are feeding. And patience. That’s about it.
Worms, leeches, lures, casting, trolling—these choices matter less this time of year than being in the right place (and right depth) at the right time. If the walleye are where your bait is when they’re feeding, you’ll get fish. If not, there isn’t much you can do except try another spot or wait for them to move in.
But knowing where the schools gather is key. Being at a specific location and depths are critical. Off by a few feet might make the difference between a fishfry and hotdogs. Not sure where, exactly these spots are? Just ask your friendly neighbourhood outfitter!
Over the past week or two the fishing has (generally) been hot in certain locations and I am optimistic that the next few weeks are going to be fantastic wrap up to are fishing season.