Walleye Fiesta Bowl
May 26, 2012
I fished with Hassan & his brother Sam today as well as a friend of theirs, Stephan. We were targeting walleye but I knew they would be catching a few other species as well! Although this was not the first time I had been out since the trout season, it would be the first report from local waters. With the best times being the mid day period, there was no rush getting out too early and we hit the water just before 9 o’clock. It was a picture perfect morning with air temps already in the upper 60’s and expected highs closer to 80. What an unbelievable month of warmth this has been! Well it didn’t take long after setting the lines before a rod fired and Sam was into the first of many fish for the day. To my surprise, it wasn’t a walleye but a rather large northern close to 8 pounds. Not what we were after but we’ll take it! Today was a rescheduled birthday gift from Hassan’s wife and I was going to make sure it was a great one. Due to unforeseen motor issues, I had to postpone their trip from the previous week. With the water temps on the rise I knew they would be catching better today anyway and looked forward to boating many a fish. With all the lines back in the water we continued the troll for more & bigger. They were all reeling in fish after fish throughout the morning with plenty of walleye being caught but I didn’t like the overall size. The walleye were mostly keepers but no real giants. Steph did have a heavy fish on at one point but it came unpinned before we actually saw what it was. I hate the unknown! Sometime after noon I decided we needed a location change and switched areas completely. It was here that we remained for the balance of the day as they just pounded the fish, one after another. Before the four rods were even set into play, one went off and Hassan was battling another large northern close to his brother’s starter fish from this morning. They may have been taking turns with the rods but there wasn’t much time in between. Two of the four rods were doing the most damage, but we needed a spread and I left the others out hoping for a bigger fish. I believe it was Stephan that managed to land the largest walleye at right around 5 pounds. There were so many other walleye in the slot that could have been kept today, that we almost lost count! Water temps were key and as long as I stayed in the upper 60 degree range, we were on fish. Despite the flat calm & high sun conditions, we were trolling over lots of fish and picking at them pretty good. The dog pecker knats were out in full force along with the caddis flies and we all prayed for any wind to keep them away. Well, sometime mid afternoon it kicked up and we got our wish. It went from a mirror to a 10 to 15 knot wind out of the SW. Not only did this help with the bugs but the fish decided to go nuts as well. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! Our numbers increased rapidly in the last couple of hours and so did the size of the fish. We started having double headers and the rotation was even quicker. Although they didn’t keep any fish today, they surely could have all left with real decent limits of walleye. Plenty of fish between 18 & 21 inches were released to fight another day. We ended the day just around 4:00 when the last couple of fish were reeled in making this an excellent first outing for the gang. I know I will be seeing them in a few short weeks again when the bass season opens. I expect the fishing to be even better as there will be three rods casting for post spawn smallies. Hopefully the weather will be as cooperative as it was today, just spectacular!!!