When To Go?
The weather throughout the season varies greatly. For the most accurate weather within a few days of your trip, you can check this weather site. The weather for Island Lake is given which is the closest community to Bolton Lake (about 50 miles to the East).
In the past few years, we have seen every different kind of weather imaginable in May. In 1996 and 1997 there was still ice on the lake until around the 26th of May. In 1998 and 1999 there was open water on Bolton Lake as early as the 1st of May. The one thing that has remained constant is the excellent fishing. For the year 2000, the ice was off the lake before May 1st, but then the weather turned cold which brought the big fish back into the bays when the weather warmed up.
Ice out determines when the Pike and Walleye spawn and therefore set the stage for the season. When the ice went out late, some groups had to reschedule, but the fishing was incredible when the ice finally went out. When the ice went out early, the fish had spawned and moved out of their spawning areas before the first guests even arrived. Patterns changed and so fishing seemed difficult for the first few days of the season. Generally speaking, May is hit and miss, either the fishing is the greatest you’ll ever experience, or it’s marginal. Weather can also be questionable in May due to the fact that the water is still very cold and any wind that comes up can make things feel very cool.
Lake Trout are in shallow water ranging from 5 to 35 feet, and can be caught casting spoons and jigs. This is a very popular technique at one set of rapids where we have built docks and we have an extra set of boats so that we can fish further down river.
June is our most popular month. The weather is generally fair, and the fishing can be spectacular. After the fish have recovered from the spawn, they actively search out forage, and hit almost anything you throw at them. Smaller baits are still preferred at this time in the season, but large top water baits can be very effective given the right conditions. The Lake Trout begin to go deeper, but are still within reach throughout the month without the use of downriggers.
July is best for stable weather patterns and good for those guests don’t like bugs. Generally, the weather is too hot for the bugs during the day, and gentle breezes keep the bugs at bay in the evening. The big Pike move into the deeper weed patches which make them easy to find once you locate the weed patches. The walleye are easy to find in July in the rivers and along the rocky shore lines and points. Heavier line is needed for the big Pike at this time of year because of the weeds that you’ll have to pull the fish through. Weedless spoons and spinner baits that can remain close to the surface are preferred at this time of year because the big pike will not hit a lure with weeds on it. Lake Trout are mostly fished for with downriggers trolling big spoons or frozen herring. This time of the season forces the Lake Trout into a small area of our lake where the water is deep enough. Therefore, it is easy to locate the Trout and to determine what they are hitting on.
August is best for the biggest Pike of the season. The weather is generally stable, until the end of the month when the winds begin to pick up and the weather systems begin to move through our area quicker. The biggest Pike are caught in August because they have had the chance to feed all summer and they are at their heaviest. The Pike are still in the weed beds, but are found more often around the outskirts of the weed beds because the weeds are beginning to die and are not providing the oxygen that they produced all summer. The Pike use the weeds as cover more than anything else. The Walleye are more spread out in August and are most commonly found using crankbaits and trolling rocky shorelines and points close to deep water. Fifteen feet of water is about perfect for the Walleye around this time of the season. Lake Trout are usually around 50 – 60 feet deep at this time of the year. Jigging and trolling with lots of weight or with downriggers are the only affective methods for catching the trout during August. Downriggers are provided free of charge at the lodge on Bolton Lake.
Our season runs until the middle of September because after then, the weather can change in a hurry. September fishing is usually very exciting since the water is beginning to cool down and the Lake Trout are coming back up to the surface. Casting into one of our out-flowing rivers is very effective for catching Trout in September. Pike are still around the edges of the weed bed (if the weeds have not completely died) or they move to the rocky points and shorelines in search of a Walleye meal. Walleye begin to school up again, and can be found on the shore lines, reefs and points.