June 21, 2014
I have just finished my third consecutive 8-day Grand Slam Guide Service trip to Quetico and head into Conmee for the big walleyes tomorrow. These first three trips have all produced outstanding smallmouth and lake trout fishing. We have averaged about 350 smallmouth per trip with lots of 18-19 inch fish. About half have been on topwater plugs like the Excaliber Z pop and the Rapala X-Rap Pop with many others on soft plastics. We have netted over 30 smallies that have topped the 20 inch trophy mark. On the latest trip, into Pooh Bah Lake, we also spent a couple days on Wink Lake where we really got into the big bass on topwater one night. Both of the last two trips we have completely lost 2-3 days of fishing to bad rain and wind but the action has been good whenever the weather settles down. My clients have produced the makings of one big walleye fry each trip but I have not caught a walleye since my first trip—and that is fine with me- I’ll take those explosive topwater bass strikes everytime. I do enjoy targeting those 28-30 inch trophy walleyes in Brent and Conmee so hopefully I will get my annual walleye fix this next trip.
As many may know that follow the news, we have received a lot of rain in June which combined with all the snow melt has led to very high/record high water levels. I can’t stress enough how important it is to approach ALL areas of current with extreme caution. Consider using any portage trail extensions or lining your canoe along shore through current to the normal portage landings. Don’t assume things are “normal” on any of the border/collector lakes like Knife, Basswood, Crooked and La Croix. The water is up into the brush and will be for some time as recent heavy rains continue to flood these areas. All the water means a bumper crop of bugs- so plan accordingly. I keep my headnet in the pocket of my lifejacket where I put in on/off 25 times a day. This limits how much DEET I have to use. The good news is that we are primed for a phenomenal crop of blueberries so watch for that in mid-July.
The Summer Issue of BWJ should arrive in subscriber mail boxes this week. Enjoy reading it and I hope you all have safe and wonderful canoe trip adventures this summer. I will check back in after my next trip.