Offshore Baby! Well, whether we want to or not we now find ourselves suddenly many miles out in the lake catching the same grade of Walleyes that we caught all summer long only a few short miles out. As I suspected (and dreaded) the fish have moved out on us big time. Near shore waters as defined by NOAAís marine forecasts is the waters that is within 5 nautical miles of the south shore. Thatís where we spent every day of fishing the last 3 months and slaughtering the Walleyes for the last 2 months to boot. We now find ourselves 10 to 15 miles out! There for about a week now the main band of fish has been moving northward on us about a mile a day. Yikes! I sure hope they put the brakes on here pretty soon!
And besides the obvious much higher fuel consumptions and the longer traveling times involved, comes the hardships of dealing with big water offshore fishing. Itís another world out there. The water is so often so much rougher that far out! In closer to shore, any wind with some south on it be it southeast, south, or southwest is very manageable. When you get out that far, it just donít matter. Waves are violently much bigger whenever the wind blows. And I believe the waves in general are always so much bigger offshore no matter what direction the wind is from. This is the water where you really appreciate a much larger sea worthy vessel. I was very appreciative of my 30 ft. Cherokee Sport Fisherman this past week. Being that far out we had several days this past week that were downright nasty. Yet we fished comfortably and safely through it all and as we have done now all along since early June, we limited out easily each day keeping my unreal streak of perfect limits for my guests still intact!
I think a new huge batch of Shad baitfish has arrived offshore and the Walleye are in hot pursuit gorging themselves like kids in a candy shop! All the Walleyes this past week that we were catching aboard THE TROPHY out there have been puking up handfuls of very fresh and some really good sized Shad. No longer am I seeing the tiny minnows, Emerald Shiners and Smelt that they were spitting up closer to shore. I donít recall in past years seeing this many Shad like this coming out of the Walleyes as we net them. Smelt, yes at times but not consistent fresh Shads out of so many fish. They are definitely eating good right now and consequently must be growing and putting on fat for the winter months like crazy. Even though the fish are further out now and also deeper at the same time, there is still a feeding frenzy going on each day that is unprecedented. And I thought they were eating good last month! I am so happy that there appears to be enough food out there to sustain this incredibly huge school of Walleyes that we are so very blessed with now.
So we are approaching the mid point of August this week. The game has changed now with the fish really only being where they are supposed to be at this time of year. We were very fortunate to have them that close to shore for so long this summer. They should start moving back in next month and in October again but who really knows what's in the cards this year. Itís like a completely different lake this year. What we did in past years and where really hasnít applied a whole lot this year. Here we are in mid August and I have yet to use any wire line which is my specialty! Unheard of. The Jet Divers are still producing very well and Dipsy Divers are simply smoking hot. Just with a little longer leads. All Spoons have been the ticket for me thus far this summer. Other then using them in the shallows back in May, I have felt no need to pull any crank baits this summer. I keep waiting for things to drastically change and the bottom to fall out on us but it just never does. I guess the huge schools of hungry Walleye out there right now is so forgiving that you really donít have to have anything particular really dialed in. Somebody pinch me...