Waves & Walters
October 25, 2012
This was Brian’s lat day with me and he was hoping for some walleye to take back home. We decided that they would be the priority today and went directly to work, trying to fill his limit. It wouldn’t be an easy task as the winds were blowing once again from the east and this time they had a little north in them as well. In fact at 10 to 15 knots from that direction, we were in 3 footers! The water temps had fallen to 52 degrees, along with the air temps and we could feel the chill running to the area to fish. I set the first line in and it fired before I could even get the second one in the water. Wow, now that’s a quick bite! This would be an easy day, or so I thought! Brian reeled in a very nice starter fish that was just shy of 20 inches and on his way to a quick limit of eyes. After releasing it into the livewell, I reset the lines and went back to work. We trolled through the area uncomfortably with the waves occasionally rolling over the bow. They were big and I had to be careful to watch for the rogue ones, not to fill the boat. I did manage to find a few more biters but some of them were short striking and coming off before we could even reach the rods. Fortunately though, there were a couple of others that weren’t so lucky and we now had 3 in the livewell for Brian to take home. I was marking all kinds of fish up high and plenty of bait and knew it was just a matter of time before we would score a big one. The next fish to strike was that one and now Brian was into a real beauty. We weren’t sure exactly what it was as the waves were surging and more pressure was added to the already heavy weight at the end of the line. When we finally caught a glimpse, I saw the white tip and knew it was the right species. This one turned out to be just shy of 26 inches and weighed in at 6 pounds on the nose. She was fat and definitely well worth a few photos before the release. We went back to the troll and managed only one more for the livewell, along with a pretty skinny northern. I was still marking plenty of fish but for some reason, they weren’t really active anymore. It almost felt like they were digesting after a big meal and had no interest in any of our offerings. After plenty of painful attempts at getting another fish or two, we pulled the plug here and decided to try for bass instead. With the winds having calmed down considerably, I figured we could at least get a bunch of smallies before resuming our quest for the walleye. Off we went for a long run and once we arrived, I realized that the water color wasn’t what it should be. This area had obviously taken a pounding from yesterdays gale force winds from the east and today’s blow as well. It was almost gray in appearance and I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be when Brian made his first cast. He had a couple of follows and a few fish on, but they all came off before they could reach the net. I relocated once again to another area nearby with similar results. The next place was a little better as it produced a few nice fish up to 4.5 pounds, but not the numbers I had expected. We switched gears, covered more water and managed several other smallies that were quality ones before leaving all together. I searched deep water with the electronics trying to find where the schools might have gone but was never able to find the mother load. I think they were still there, but not eating! Water clarity was below par and a few fish were taken exactly where they should have been, signaling their presence. It was time to relocate and maybe even change species once more! A failed attempt at this for a while had us resuming our quest for the walters afterwards. Back to the troll and hopefully a few more bites! This wasn’t to be however as we marked loads of fish almost everywhere we went along with plenty of baitfish as well. I switched areas a few times and had the same results in all. With the full moon approaching, it may have had a hand in the inactivity as the early morning bite was the best. I have had similar results before during this period and wasn’t surprised at the results today. One of these times I will have to get out and fish the dark part of the day just to see what happens. Although we may not have had another banner day on the water, it was still a pretty good one. It started off with a bang and Brian had fish going home with him. He had endured 4 days of fishing without any two being the same. Weather patterns were so inconsistent, each and every day! Fortunately, we made the best of it and managed to boat plenty of quality fish, giving him many photos and memories to take back home to Alaska. Hopefully he’ll be back next year for more of this incredible smallmouth action. Worst case scenario, I may have to pay him a visit and fish for trout & salmon in the “Great White North”!!