Keep your mind open about what you fish for!

Keep your mind open about what you fish for!

Something really small that I have come to love about guiding is when we are heading out from the docks and I ask my guests "what do you want to fish for today?" And I get back "well, what do you like to fish for?" My answer... "whatever is biting!!"

Now this may sound a little sarcastic, but I assure you it's nothing but the truth. I'm a huge fan of catching whatever is willing to bite my hook. This is going to lead me to talk about keeping your minds open to targeting different species than you may have initially anticipated. Now I am going to back-pedal a bit here and put some minds at ease. So when I say "targeting different species" I'm not talking about having anything other than those golden walleyes for our famous shore lunches, or attempting to convince a musky fisherman to jig for perch. Because I would like to keep at least some credibility as a professional guide! I mean keeping your mind open to what each day offers you as a fisherman.

We are very fortunate here at Duck Bay to have great fishing close by for many different species including walleye, pike, musky, bass, crappie, perch, and in some areas, lake trout. But as anyone who has ever fished will tell you, you know each day is different and changing conditions will affect each fish differently. I have had days up in Obabikon Lake where the temperatures are right, the sun is hidden behind the clouds, and you can pull pike out at will. Or a light wind is giving you that perfect walleye chop up in Miles Bay and the second your jig touches the bottom a walleye grabs it. However, I've also gone back into Obabikon the day after, and the sun is high and the water temperature shoots up 20 degrees from the day before and the pike don't want to play. Or a thunderstorm blows in overnight and the walleyes are all stuffed from the feeding frenzy that happened just before the storm. So when conditions change, or the fishing slows down, you have two options. You can keep pounding the water for your preferred species and pull a few out, or you can switch things up, target a different fish, and possibly come back with some great fish stories.

So now I'll offer up a few pieces of "wisdom" to keep in mind that have helped me turn some tough days around pretty quickly. If I want to cast, but the day is hot and the sun is high, I'll often switch from pike or musky and go look for bass. The small mouth during this time can often be picked off from behind big boulders sitting in the shade. If a storm rolls in and shuts the walleye fishing down, I'll often start looking for big pike or musky, as sometimes it takes those big storms to get those fish moving. Luckily on Lake of the Woods we have nearly endless options. Simply put, don't become too focused on one fish because you could be missing out on some great fishing if you're not willing to switch things up.