Finally it’s starting to feel like summer! These 80 degree days are really starting to warm things up and the bite is picking up as well. Our typical hot early June bite started off a little slow as the cooler than usual spring we experienced lasted quite a while and made for a lingering transitional phase that we typically are faced with the first couple weeks in May. This didn’t stop us from catching but it definitely had us wondering where they were at times. We found ourselves having to continue running our late spring programs which by now should be slowing down as the bottom bite becomes more consistent.
Where the heck are the Salmon? I’ve been hearing this a lot lately and we know they are there. We have been lucky enough to connect with some but the day to day pattern has been a challenge to stay on top of, which we are thinking is also weather related and indicative of the long spring. We are thinking some solid warm weather will help set the water column up with some warm water bands much needed to control where these fish will be located. Although they will feed “out of temperature” as bug hatches, stormy days etc. will result in fish caught where you wouldn’t expect to find them. It always amazes me to see the amount of bugs in these fish and it’s no wonder they can be tough to pattern early in the season. Plentiful food sources and fish populations that still are not quite as plentiful as the once were will continue to keep salmon anglers on their toes!
The Lake Trout fishing of course has been great. We are so blessed to have a tremendous Lake Trout population and we hope through good stewardship along with practicing catch and release this population will continue to flourish for years to come! There has been a tremendous increase in pressure since Dad starting fishing the lake back in the eighties and it’s always good to remember that nothing lasts forever and if you think it’s an endless resource just take look at the Atlantic Ocean as a reminder of what once was. A majority of our seafood is now farm-raised due to over harvest and depletion of species that we once considered “an endless resource”. That being said, we are big believers in catch and release and take very few Lake Trout every year. We have a variety of techniques we practice to ensure that the fish we do release survive. This includes bringing the fish up slowly to avoid barotrauma, a condition many Lake Trout develop from being brought up too quickly from deep water. We also use a variety of techniques to “vent” these fish, which will release gases from the abdomen allowing the fish to swim back down to deep water.
Lake Trout are consistently taken on a variety of spoons and stick baits, jigged using plastics. We love the way these fish hit hard and fight on light tackle consisting of 6lb test and “noodle” style downrigger rods. We are still consistently catching fish way up high which is a pattern we will normally see slow down dramatically around this time. With still so much water in the low fifties anglers will still find lake trout cruising deep shoreline edges and suspending in open water chasing bait schools.
The Bass are off there bed’s and can now be located suspending off structure and hanging out around food sources not too far their from spawning grounds. The Smallmouth Bass population has reached a downright infestation in our opinion and can be caught just about anywhere in the lake. We consistently catch these fish all over the place! The amount of fish caught on deep water downrigger-set ups and suspended in open water is truly incredible and often times can get quite frustrating when targeting other species. Look for these fish most consistently on flats that break into deep water in the 25 to 40ft. range, submerged rocky humps, deep grass flats and sandy shoals. We target these fish with a variety of plastics in natural colors and typical catches of fifty-plus fish are quite common.
The season is upon us and we look forward to another year of catching fish and making memories. Thanks for reading and may you be blessed with bent rods and tight lines!