The Walleye Factory
The walleye population in Lake St. Joseph far exceeds satisfactory. From a guiding standpoint, it is amazing! A hundred fish days are not uncommon – not only do you catch a lot of fish, but you also catching BIG fish. When you get on a crushing bite, you would be afraid to stick your hand in the water from fear of a big walleye latching on.These spots have been found through copious amounts of hard work and research. Many hours have been spent on the lake attempting to better understand the habits and seasonal patterns of walleyes. Each year presents its own puzzle that needs to be figured out. Some things to consider include water level, temperature, and the time the ice went off the lake. A spot that was choked with walleyes one summer may be entirely desolate the next; it varies largely from season to season. The spring walleye bite is my favorite time of the year. Not only are there huge concentrations of fish in less than 6 feet of water, but, they are typically in sandy and muck bottoms (which means fewer snags!). I would recommend the use of a leader (titanium is best) when fishing in the spring because you never know when a monster pike may be cruising through. The most obvious sign is the sudden shut down of a bite. The walleyes become spooked, and this is when you better be on your A-game!
- Reed Froklage
Fishing Low Water On Lake St. Joseph
The low water levels this season have offered many different opportunities for the guides to relearn the lake and discover some excellent new fishing spots. At first the lake was intimidating because our depth finders would constantly spike up to 3 feet or less which made navigation difficult. We have had to adjust our trails around the lake and are continuously discovering hidden rock piles and reefs that would normally be well below the surface of the water. The low water has provided an excellent opportunity for us to learn and understand some of the structures we usually would not be able to see.
During the summer of 2009 the water level was very high and overall the pike fishing was difficult. We were able to successfully target only a few trophy northern pike each week and this was extremely frustrating. Weed beds that we would usually catch multiple big pike were nonexistent in the high water and we often found that we were just “washing” our spoons, catching the occasional small pike or walleye. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the extreme low water this season has made trophy pike fishing consistent and very enjoyable. An average ice-out will begin during the second week of May, but this year it went out end of April and this has caused an amazing increase in the activity level of trophy pike.
Fishing Lake St. Joseph in low water requires a whole new strategy to successfully target trophy northern pike. Once we adjusted to the water level, we have found that the pike fishing throughout this past month of June was astounding. Northern Pike between 18 and 23lbs are a daily occurrence and we are often catching multiple trophy northern each day. On four separate occasions this year I have enjoyed the thrill of a double header with two trophy Northern Pike in my boat at the same time. This brings about lots excitement for both the customers and myself.
- Trophy Gators on Lake St. Joseph