Monday, June 29, 2015

Quick couple of things

Rainy and kind of humid weather wise.....but what are you going to do? Sounds like nicer days are coming tomorrow. Mosquitoes are still strangely low key. Don't know why, but we'll certainly take it!

Just wanted to note a couple of things quickly.....warmer weather seems to have arrived...and the walleye (and others) are starting to head deeper. As a lot of you mid - late summer walleye anglers know, 25' ledges are usually a good bet as far as summer walleye go (and some nice bass & pike come from those ledges as well).

Anyway, we're seeing some people starting to get the walleye at this well as some big bass, but one thing I always like to point out is that many overlook the opportunities to fish walleye in (under) the weeds during the summer months - and much, much shallower. Rick & Joe from IL reported catching some nice 'eyes in weeds to underline this point. Just wanted to point that out as an option that is often overlooked in the summer months.

The Groh party is in, and Donna started the trip out catching a nice 37" pike off the docks. Good way to start!

More to come!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quick Update - Late June topwater bass

Well, Lori & I got out this evening for a couple of hours - just going for bass...It was a pretty good evening overall. Weather was beautiful....lake very calm. We casted the shores...wanted to get a handle on what was happening with the smallies.

Anyway, I had a couple shake off or hit short....landed a little pike. Lori did much better....including a really nice 18" smallie. Very fat - great fish...would have liked to take a picture, but we didn't bring a time.

We used topwater plugs - even though it's a little later in June. You can use topwater all year, just you won't get the sheer numbers that you get in early June. My hula popper didn't produce much action. Switched to some type of chug bug (or a reasonable facsimilie)  and got a lot more interest from the bass.

Lori used a Torpedo all night, and she had the best luck. It was only a couple of hours, and we got some decent action. Only fished Banning - all within eyeshot of the camp. The action increased considerably on the south shore  - just at dusk when we were making our way back to camp. Likely between 9:00 - 9:30 p.m. The swirling seemed to increase too - seemed to come much more alive just before dark.  The bass were hitting likely 5-10 feet from the shoreline, but many were swirling further out.

Slow, patient retrieve worked best. Cast it out, let it sit, slowly jerk it back. Make sure, after the "jerk" that you reel in so your line is taut while it's sitting there before the next. Missed a couple due to loose line and inability to set the hook. All the bass hit when the bait was idle.

Purposely avoided weedbeds in order to avoid the pike - aside from the one I caught, that worked out. But the pike were doing some swirling of their own in the weeds. Likely could have had some fun with them tonight if we felt so inclined.

Weeds are really coming along...forming quickly. Didn't catch the water temp as we didn't bring  depth finder.

All in all looks positive for working the shore in the next little while...will get out this weekend and try & give some more updates.

Fishing Update June 14-26

Been a tougher week fishing this week (since the 20 or 21), but Amber, Adam & the Danielson's from Minnesota did terrific with walleye and lake trout (good sizes & good numbers) and I'm seeing the Benston group bringing in quite a few 'eyes - some nice ones and lots of good eaters. Newer groups in camp, so it can be hard without all you Seine Chain veterans. Some people are saying that the bass are a bit on the shy side...seeing smaller pike, but no real notable sizes yet this week. Strange because the bass and pike have been very aggressive. The weather has been really crazy though - seems like September.....storms coming and going.....the forecasters are pretty much batting at 0% for the forecasts this week. Won't be long and it'll break though!

Water isn't moving up in temp in a real hurry - still in the mid 60's for the most part. Weeds are developing really quickly....water is staying fairly high - likely about average for this time of year. Nothing like last June though...and bugs are not bad at all (yet!).

Earlier on this period, the Krueger family was up - Dean's second trip this year.....they did terrific as always....some great walleye on the Seine and they did terrific with lake trout on Big McCauley & Little Joe. Pics from their trip going up on FB soon as well as some from Dean's first trip with the guys in May!

The Rogers group was back for the second time and absolutely hammered the smallmouth. The Uebelhach group was up for the second time as well.....I heard about a lot of really big bass with them as well.

The Murphy / Binotti group were up and did great as always.  Hardly saw the guys as - aside from the night when the Hawks won the cup (!!), - they seemed to be on the water an awful lot. They got their walleye fishing out of the way early in the week and had fun with pike and bass later in the week....

and the Emery group was back for their second trip and also did really well.

It was wonderful to see Rita Scholl & the kids again. We all miss Paul, but it was such a great thing for you to come up and fish the areas that he loved so much. And, based on those stringers and pictures (awesome bass Bethany!) you brought in, I'd say that he taught his considerable angling skills to you all! 

Steve & Jo Mitchell wrapped up their trip of bass fishing....reported as their best in the 7 or 8 years that they've been coming (and that's saying something!)....a comment from Steve....

Canada Wow what a trip we had. We caught 551 total fish 2 perch, 7 walleye,91 pike, and 451 bass. We caught 88 between 17-18", 58 between 18-19 inches, 17 between 19-20 inches, and 3 between 20-21 inches.This is the best we have ever done. I would strongly recommend branches seine river lodge to any one looking for a fishing trip. 

I gotta say that it is great to hear someone that has been coming for several years - and has always done great - report that this year has been their best yet! Looking forward to the tackle stats Steve...and I gotta steal some of those pics from you as well!

Anyway, nothing extreme conditions wise...things are progressing along. 'Eyes moving to their summer "holes"...I'd think by early July that we'll be looking for those 25' ledges for them as usual. Had a 19" bass get caught with some guys today fishing deep for they're starting to move as well....but you can usually get action in the shallows all summer. The fact that it seems like it's been mostly smaller pike getting caught along the banks, I would say that those big ones are moving deep as noted...things happening like they always do. The weed formation is coming along quickly and will open up some different angling opportunities...and the lakers on the remote lakes are going deeper, but as shown this week, are still very catchable!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fishing Report - May 30 - June 13

As always, early June has been crazy busy - but in a good way.

Water levels are kinda wonky this year....they were low, then high, then low....then in early June they went high again.....quite high, but not like the last couple of Junes'. Weather has been back and forth too....mostly pretty good so far this month, but some rain - including a huge downfall last weekend that helped raise the levels.

The Schaeffhauser / Richards group wrapped up a very successful year....walleye and bass. They often fish remote lakes that they are familiar with, but have gotten pretty good on the Seine Chain and had a couple of really good walleye days.

The Paquay group were back....3rd year...and did really well again.

The Martin's were back for the second year and did fantastic with all species....they never strayed far from the camp but caught lots of walleye, some great bass numbers and sized and lots of pike including a handful over 30".

The Frazier / Epley group had another great year - some great bass action plus 'eyes to eat. They hit it hard and they are rewarded for it for sure!

The Rose group flew in from Oklahoma to maximize time on the water....and it paid off - they had  absolutely amazing smallmouth fishing - big numbers and big sizes.

The Glisson group did well learning the chain....had some good action out here as well as a very good day fishing the Seine below the Calm Lake dam and a really productive day with pike on Miranda Lake.

New groups - the Goodrich party, the Koenig party, the Voltz party started figuring the out on the chain.

The Berry group were back - first time in June vs late summer when they usually come. Dennis' boat had some really nice walleye caught, while the Bonsett's boat did really good with the bass.....their best action came fly fishing on Banning. Great to see some people taking advantage of some terrific early summer smallmouth bass fly fishing action!

The Przyborowski group was in from Green Bay and Curtis & Gordon had some terrific slow day was offset by a couple of really good days. See you guys in January!

The Eslinger group was back.....they did very well on the Chain and had a couple of really good pike days on Miranda.

Steve & Jo Mitchell finished up one week of two - so they're still at it. Those of you who know Steve know his passion for bass fishing and his record keeping. He has had some amazing years here....I don't want to jinx it, so I won't spout off any of his stats so far, but it seems like it is a record setting year for trophy bass as well as overall numbers....getting daily updates and wishing him & Jo luck! Next report I should be able to provide some specifics.

We welcomed our first few Quetico groups in....the Holbeck group was back and had a really good - albeit not too aggressive (by their standards) - canoe trip. The Phillips group had a great trip..The Spero group just left as well and had a great time as always....The 17' Souris River kevlar's we just added are getting thumbs up all around! See you in Chicago in January Mark!

So the last few weeks have been excellent overall fishing wise. Very much what you'd expect in early June as far as action and conditions go....The walleye have been hitting very well for those who are going after them....yesterday morning saw some really great walleye action. As usual, good numbers - lots of good eaters and varying sizes.....some in the mid 20" range. Minnows seem to be what most are using with leeches next and crawlers behinds that along with some artificial.

The pike have kicked in their attitude...lots of smaller ones...a number in the 30" - 40" range, and lots attacking walleye and stringers...all the classic pike tackle - buzz baits, Raps, twister tails, lures.....and pretty much anything and everything else.

The bass have been absolutely incredible. The numbers being caught (and released) are huge...and the sizes continue to impress. The number of 18"-20"+ we're seeing just seems to keep going up and up. The ones having the most success are still putting the tackle right up on the banks.....the water temps are varying between 65 - 75 on the chain, so different areas are at different stages of the bass spawn - pre, post and mid depending on where you fish. Still all very shallow. A variety of tackle being reported that is working well...Mepps Black Fury #2 with a tail, white wacky worms, flukes, various plastics....chartreuse worms, hula poppers, jitter bugs....all what you'd expect.

Actually have been seeing s fair bit of perch....the Eslingers had a good shore lunch of perch one day - which you don't hear that often here. Odds and ends of crappies - better numbers upstream, but no one has been targeting them the last couple of weeks.

The Seine Chain continues to be where our anglers spend the most of their time, but during this period we saw groups on Lerome Lake for some great bass, the Seine below the Calm Lake dam - for some really great pike, walleye and bass action, Miranda saw a few days of absolutely great pike action, Pipe Lake for walleye, Big McCauley Lake for some really nice lake trout (sounds like they were in the 30' range). We will be adding some boats to some amazing lakes this summer - likely not until a little later though....A few groups this week have already checked out some different waters, so I'll update on that next week.

One thing - and again I don't want to jinx it - is that the mosquitoes haven't been too bad at all (at least by our standards, and compared to the last couple of summers)....don't know why....perhaps the dry spring? Anyway, we'll take it!

Still in the thick of it....full this week with mostly repeat guests, so should have lots to report in a week or so!