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> West Bay quiet, barely any bite
vngpc
Posted: Sep 12, 2021 - 10:11 pm


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Hi all. Currently on West Bay for three days now.
Bite is super slow for early fall. Air can feel brisk but water still at around 19C at surface. Fish might still be in summer mode.
Hitting all the usual spots for smallies. Used to finding them on rocks anywhere from right at shore to few metres deep - none.
Pike is usually pretty easy and majority of our catch. Casting non stop for hours in well known spots from shallow weeds to weedlines at dropoffs and deeper weed islands. Three fish in as many days between two people. Two under 30 cm.
One muskie, which was a fantastic gift at 94 cm.
Perch seem to be absent also. They usually nibble at anything, even at spoons larger than them. Few lazy follows from these guys at best.
Will continue with lures tomorrow morning.
Plan is to try live worms in the afternoon after gas run. Hope dropshotting live bait produces more bites.
Any tips on what's going on? Read about thermoclines, but does it affect West Bay? See a lot of boats at few particular deeper spots, think after walleye, but talking to hosts, walleye bite sounds slow.
Any thoughts from West Arm and West Bay frequenters?

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crappeeeman
Posted: Sep 13, 2021 - 12:42 pm


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First off, welcome to the fishing forum. I do not fish that area but you might try and change up your fishing times. Maybe start very early or fish later in the evening. Also try slowing down your lures, not just a few casts. Try it for an hour or two, concentrating on a real slow retrieve the fish may be getting lazy up there already. They might be hungry but not willing to chase. I know it's frustrating to have slow days in a row. When I run into this same thing, I do the opposite of what I was trying. Big bait to small bait or the reverse. Fast retrieve to slow or the reverse. Artificial baits to live bait. Bright colours to dark etc. etc. Try new tactics, you can still have fun fishing with not many fish. Wish you luck next time you are out. Stay safe.

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beanstir
Posted: Sep 13, 2021 - 06:18 pm


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What would Tom Boley do? Best walleye youtuber on the internet. Check out his video's to see what he does at this time of year. His latest videos are trolling crankbaits and worm harnesses on the flats. Tom is the best for teaching techniques on how to catch and to find walleyes for all seasons. https://www.youtube.com/c/TomBoley/videos

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Goshawk
Posted: Sep 13, 2021 - 07:12 pm


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Welcome to the madness!!

I, too, was in the West Arm for 3 nights at one of the resorts. I didn't venture out on Sat because of the wind (the anemometer at the resort recorded one gust at 79kph!). For me fishing was really slow based on the three previous times at the same location at the same time of year (week after Labour Day). I can't explain it either. I caught one smallie in about 10" of water, and another in 25'.
The pike drove me nuts, stealing one of my favorite topwater lures (fortunately I have 5 others). And I had a musky react to a swim bait and followed it to the side of the boat before disappearing in such a swirl that would embarrass a toilet bowl. It appeared to be between 35" and 40" long, but couldn't be sure because of the speed that it moved.
I'm thinking about delaying my trip up there next year to the end of Sept instead of the beginning. I also noticed that the water temp was 68 where it was dropping from about 67 to about 62 the day I took the boat out of the water.

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vngpc
Posted: Sep 13, 2021 - 09:35 pm


Egg
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Thanks all for the tips!
Looked at pics from same time last year and it was a different season then. Much more red foliage. Still early fall, but summer was over. Too bad I don't log water temp. Remember cold hands from water handling all the fish though. Largemouth were on fire in shallow weeds. No problem finding smallmouth and pike. Many perch. Not targetted but nice surprise few walleye, few sheepshead and a muskie on light power rod, topwater, over a rock 40 cm under surface going after smallies. All in four days.
We've been coming to West Arm and West Bay for few years now. Two-three trips a season, sometimes mid-summer. Few slow days here and there but pike never dissapointed like now.
Leads me to believe fish are affected by hot summer and still not ready for agressive autumn feeding.
Retried all the usual things today for pike. My lady got one and a tiny largemouth. Seriously an antitrophy! 7 cm tops. On a mepps 3 with plastic worm attached. Lure always produces, but most are bigger fish than this. Me nothing.
Switched it up to deep structure, dropoffs. Dropshotting live worms hoping to find action. One perch. Lol.
Beanstir mentioned Tom Boley. No BS this guy was in my head independently from this forum today. I could never figure out walleye in these waters - they were always bycatch. Today tried to remember things from his videos to try again.
Nothing around what I know about walleye.
When trolling slowly to the next spot, noticed horizontal lines on the graph hovering just above bottom.
Not used to seeing anything on the graph in deep inbetween structure flats. Eight metres, flat, featureless bottom. On the harder side - more yellow on SI and DI but not quite yellow as stone. Mud looks different.
Turned out to be walleye and perch. Found more at similar soundings off of another, separate structure. On flat flats at exactly 8m also.
Would never dream of fishing there before. Walleye figured out for today. Landed five of those and three chunky perch. Prey and predator together. One walleye approached the legal limit at 45 cm.
Awesome day overall. Luckily few more to figure this out.
Still think pike are not as active as usual. Hooked into a willing participant trolling home yesterday. Best breakfast in a while. Usual type of shallow weeds. I think they're there but just chilling for now.
All this is about your typical 'hammer handles'. I know more mature ones stay deeper in colder water and mid-season.
We tried deeper structure also. Isolated inside larger bodies of water. Me bigger offerings, she her trusty fish slayer size 3 inline spinner with best plastic worm in tow. Multiple people fishing is like 'giving it a try yourself few different ways'.
Both of us no luck.
Rainy forecast for tomorrow, will stick around base for the day, walleye are probably here too.
Goshawk, it is chilly air now evening and morning hours, but it really looks like earlier in the season compared to same time last year.

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Goshawk
Posted: Sep 14, 2021 - 04:09 am


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What struck me as odd was the water clarity. Granted I have only been to the West Arm 4 times, but I noticed when launching the boat that the visibility was only about 1-3 feet this time where I remember seeing bottom rock in 5-6 feet on previous trips. I talked to the resort owner about it and Frank said that he's not seen an algae bloom this thick in a very long time.

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