Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lac Seul in September

Pete's High Noon Walleye
No worse for the wear because of my bonehead move on August 31st, our trip to Lac Seul finally got underway last Thursday.  As stated last week, this trip would be quite a bit different than my previous visits as we were taking my Ranger 620T.  It's was sort of exciting and worrisome at the same time.  The exciting aspect had to do with the accessories on the boat, a great depthfinder/gps, a bow mount trolling motor with Ipilot that has an anchor function, the Sirius radio attachment for weather overlays, it would be a real test of their validity on Lac Seul.  The worrisome part deals with my own, what some call anal, concerns with the huge amount of sand everywhere.  Sand is hard on carpets and can really scratch up the gunnel's if one rests their sandy shoes on them.  Without being too much of a pain I gradually let Pete know of my concerns and both him and our other guy Dan Sadler really respected my wishes.  Having a broom and a rug on the dock right where you entered the boat didn't hurt either!  The only other concern was the stainless steel prop on the Suzuki, they are great for open water performance but hitting a rock can bend the prop shaft, I know as I have done that in the past.  Prior to leaving I was able to locate an aluminum prop from Frankie's and installed it, using the stainless as a spare.  Being extra careful, we returned with not even a scratch on the prop.  The only other issue was the tilt/trim function on the motor, on Sunday it started acting up, I'm not sure what I did to fix it but the rest of the week was fine.  With the concerns addressed it was time to get into camp and hit the water.  From the landing at Deception Bay to Lac Seul Outfitters, it's about a 75 minute run at 30 mph.  We followed Bruce as he had the route on his GPS, however my Lowrance and Navionics chip had a detailed map of Lac Seul which included the safe routes displayed on the map. Although we did deviate somewhat, a safe arrival at camp was welcome.  Unloading and settling in, it started raining so it was decided that cocktail hour would suffice. 
Dan and Dave with a couple nice walleyes

Friday morning arrived as planned with coffee, eggs, bacon, American fries, and stove top toast (toasters draw too much current for the generators).  This would prove to be our staple morning meal for the next 4 mornings.  Our first destination was Wapesi Bay north west of camp and about a 30 minute boat ride.  Actually its only about 5 miles as the crow flies yet the route takes us past Tom's Landing, Pecker Point, and back southwest around islands and sunken reefs.  Following Bruce we stopped at one of his favorite points with only a few fish.  Using the electronics we moved over to the next point and drifted the 25 foot to 12 foot depths looking for active fish.  At 20 feet we found them as we deployed the Minnkota and set the anchor function.  This really works slick as the head of the motor has a built in GPS and it directs the motor to stay on that spot, or at least within 15 feet.  We started hammering them including the first picture, Pete's high noon walleye.  Fishing with a simple jig and a minnow dropped over the side of the boat was all one needed to do.  Often the jig never hit the bottom before a walleye would take it.  Lac Seul has a nice regulation, 4 fish, everything from 18 - 21 inches has to be released and only 1 over 21 is allowed in the 4 fish limit.  Our own slot is 16 - 18 inches and no fish kept over 21.  Catching over 100 fish a day is pretty easy for the boat yet our tight slot can mean limited fish to bring back to camp.  Of course we always have enough to eat yet trying to time our take home fish can be interesting.  Dave Callister was the new guy in camp and in his honor we did a genuine shore lunch.  BTW, I am the designated fish filleter as I've seen what the others do and personally I can't deal with it so it's lucky I love to fillet fish.  Going to work I cut up 10 walleyes while the rest of the crew (except Pete) started the fire, cut up potatoes, cooked up some beans, and got the oil nice and hot.  Everything was ready as I filleted the last fish, it was time to relax and chow down.  Because the shores are 99% rock one can't be too choosy where you have your shore lunch as long as it had sand, we managed to find an acceptable spot.  An hour later we were back catching walleyes, filled to the gills with shore lunch and 2 hours later we headed back to the cabin, a great first day. 

Blue colored walleye
On Saturday it was decided to head south to an area called the Goal Post.  A 14 - 20 foot flat rising in the middle of the channel, we drifted a couple of runs before anchoring again.  Although the wind was fairly strong the trolling motor held up beautifully.  Unfortunately it was difficult to fish as the wind continued to get stronger by the hour.  Deciding to leave, Bruce headed into what is known as Tuktegweik Bay as we followed.  Being out of the wind would be nice and who knows, the fish might be biting better than where we were.  Bruce headed to the front of an island to fish the face of the steep drop off that existed.  He likes this kind of structure yet I prefer the sharp drop offs then 15 - 25 foot flat area just off the points.  With little room to maneuver 2 boats we decided to go and look for fish with the depth finder.  Two points later we mapped an area where the fish seemed to be stacked, dropped the virtual anchor and again started hammering the walleyes.   What was really interesting about this spot were the "blue" coloring on the walleyes.  Checking the Internet it appears that they are simply a coloration phase of your standard walleye, much like you see then vary from dark golden, green, to almost black.  These fish were absolutely beautiful, especially as they came to the surface the color was almost neon like.  Our spot was consistently producing all day as it was hard to leave.  Before leaving we established a waypoint on the Lowrance and labeled it Dan's Hole after Dan Sadler, the guy that occupied the middle seat.  Although his fishing equipment leaves much to be desired, his fishing abilities are second to none! Catching quite a few, we ended up with enough fish for our evening dinner. 

Lac Seul is a great place to fish and as I get to know the lake better it's really fun to go exploring new places.  It's easy to have a few honey holes and jump between them yet finding new areas can be really exciting.  This spring we discovered an area just full of walleyes in the 7 foot depths and there was no one around to bother you.  It's said that you cannot catch fish where there is no fish so using the electronics to verify that a spot even holds fish became very important.  Next week will be the last 2 days of our trip as we have a wedding on Saturday and there will be little time for fishing this weekend, not that the last 4 days shouldn't last me a while!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We catch more and more with the blue tint each year. Can't wait for your spot on the Tuk. We fish a day or two up there every year.
See you Saturday,
Paul W.