The lakes have been busy with activity, but not from fishing. The docks and lifts have started to get removed, and the boats/pontoons/jet skis have started to come off the lakes for the season. Some anglers are out, but there is plenty of room on the lake for the fall fisherman. The fall bite has been good and there are many days left to get out and enjoy the lakes.
We are into a fall bite pattern for all gamefish species now. Water temps have dropped to the high 50s and topping out during the daytime at 60 degrees. Water temps will continue to drop with cold evenings, lower daytime temperatures, shortened daylight hours, and the cold fronts that are typical for this time of year. The jets stream will set up to keep driving colder temps our way. Dress for the weather, as wind sweeping across cooler water makes it feel much cooler on the water than on shore.
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.