Wow - I can't believe it's the end of June already.....time flies - it's been very busy - one of our busiest Junes' ever - which is great!
Been a strange year - we had a very warm spring - as mentioned earlier, we had people in boats by around April 4. Usually the ice isn't even out until at least the end of April. Water levels are low - about a foot lower than usual on the Seine Chain....spawns were all early likely around 2 weeks early each.
Had some groups in during early May for pike & trout fishing. Most did very well.
The walleye opener was a little slower than usual. The week prior the 'eyes were hitting like crazy - people fishing other species threw a lot back.....the early spring & spwan moved them out of their traditional locations for opening week.
Late May & early June were overall pretty good for walleye though. Many smaller ones, but we've seen more 28" - 30" than I've ever seen - acouple 30" + already and quite a few in the 25" - 28"....still seeing lots of smaller ones though - everything from 6" - 7" - 12" - 14" +. Happy to say that the vast majority of the bigger fish were released, along with many of the smaller....
One of the big developments this year is that I've seen people bring in more perch than ever. We alwys saw the occasional one here & there, but this year the numbers were 'way up and many i the 3/4 - 1 lb range. A very nice surprise. Not sure what the implications of that are as far as what that indicates for the "big picture" on the Seine, but people are enjoying a lot of tasty yellow perch this year!
Late May & early June the smallmouth fishing was absolutely terrific. Many new groups that came asked why we don't "brag it up' more.....honestly sometimes it sounds like an exaggeration. We do say we have world class smallie fishing, but we had groups here this year that have fished at lodges that were specifically trophy smallmouth lodges and did better here - hands down. Crazy numbers and loads of trophies. They were on the topwater a little early this year, and the groups that hit that found the action almost unbelievable. By mid to late June they had already moved a little deeper, so were a little tougher to catch....BTW - Steve & deb Mitchell just left & Steve will be sending his annual smallmouth report. Last year they hit the topwater bite; this year the smallies were out a ways - a different dynamic with weather / conditions so a different type of bite for them this year. I'm looking forward to Steve's report as I know that many of you are as well.
the vast majority of the bass were released - I went weeks where people were catching loads of fish & still I never had to empty buckets from the fish house.
The pike were much less hesitant than last June when they were famous for follow ups but not actually biting. The pike bite has been pretty good this year - of course loads of smaller ones, but quite a few 40" + so far. I think we've seen more trophy pike so far this year than we have in a long time. Again - most released.
Other stuff ....
Thanks to Richard, Howie & Lenny, our docks are in better shape than they have been in a long time ....bought 1 new one - more to follow.
Also thanks to Richard, Howie, Lenny,plus wayne, Daryl & Cora we have the frame of a new fish cleaning house right by the docks. Waiting for the steel roof to come in, and, when finished, it'll be a terrific fish cleaning facility - including stainless steel counters, power otlets etc.
They've also all cleaned our grounds up in a big way - the debris from all the windfalls we've had is mostly gone....a lot better looks wise in our yard!
This will also provide a number of electrical outlets at the docks for trolling motors plus lighting for those nights that you stay out into the dark!
Howard H - mechanic extroadinaire tuned up our outboards and cleaned up our props & skegs this spring - huge help and very much appreciated by all!
Richard S has been the driving force behind these and many of the other improvements at the camp the last couple of years and we can't thank him enough! We'd be several years back in improving the camp (and our home) if it weren't for Richard. Most of the improvements over the previous season that you repeat guys notice when you come into the yard is due to Richard. Plus many things that you can't see. We owe him big time!
American Plan has been going great - very busy with the meal plan through late May & early June - hoping it continues!
BTW - many pics to come on the site www.seineriverlodge.com .....
Keep checking our Facebook page under "Branch's Seine River Lodge - starting to post lots more specific comments & pictures.
talk to y'all soon!