I just love it when the leaves on the trees start to turn different colours and the geese are flying in a V formation all over the place and I can see my breath in the air. Fall is here and that only means one thing. It’s time to go hunt GREEN-BACK WALLEYES! Anglers come from all over North America at this time of year to invade Selkirk, Manitoba for a chance to land a huge green-back walleye on the world famous Red River. What is a green-back Walleye you may ask? It’s only the most awesome looking freshwater fish in Canada. Because of the limestone base on the big lake, the walleye are brilliant emerald green in color. These “green-backs” grow very rapidly, fueled by a large rainbow smelt population in the north basin along with an abundant shiner minnow base in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg.
They grow so fast their heads can’t keep up with their bodies. A lot of anglers think the next world record walleye will come from Lake Winnipeg. So now why do we get a fall walleye run? The walleye will instinctively start to school up at the mouth of the Red River and Lake Winnipeg ready to put the feed bag on. Once the temperature hits 52 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit and some strong north winds the green-backs move in for the kill. There after the Lake Winnipeg shiners that also move into the Red River at the same time because of the lack of oxygen in the creeks and marshes.
Since the walleye are in the river to feed on shiner minnows it only makes sense to use what their feeding on. I always have up to ten tubs of salted minnows in my cooler and some days my customers go through them all.
So you now need to figure out where’s the best place to throw your anchor. Early in the fall walleye run I will head down to the mouth of the Red River and get the walleye as they move into the river at the Cut. Just a note if the river level is high and there’s a fast current move down river to the Netley Creek area or the mouth of the river. That’s where you want to be. There less current and the river is not as muddy. Hard bottom is a must. The walleye love their structure. As far as depth goes you will need to play around with that till you zero them in. This is when your fish finder comes in very handy. If water levels are normal you can get the walleye all the way up to the Lockport Dam. I use my fish finder a lot to look for hard bottom, humps and of course targets. A lot of the really good spots are community spots. It’s funny how you get to a community spot and see a lot of boats and I mean lots all lined up in the same depth of water. You know there on fish. I like to fish shallow in the early part of the fall walleye run and move deeper as it gets colder.
Now what do you need to as far as tackle goes to land one of these monsters? Let’s start with the rod and reel. I jig fish for walleye so I use a 7 foot medium action rod with a fast tip. My reel is a Shimano 2500 Stratic with 15 lb Power Pro line that has a four pound diameter. My jig will be a Reelbait Flasher Jig. I want to fish vertical so current will decide the size of the jig I use. I like to use only the best bait out there. I want fresh good sized salted minnows.
Some days the walleye want a slow presentation and other days they want action. So if your buddy is outfishing you, look at what he’s doing different then you. I like to put out a few different colors jigs to see what works best. Then I switch them all to that color. My colors of choice are the pink and white combo and orange. The last thing I want to talk to you about is selective harvest. Let the big fish go as they are the breeders and the future. Walleye can lay anywhere from two hundred and fifty thousand to one million eggs. Yet only one percent of all walleye fry make it to be adults. Well that’s all for now. Have a great and safe fall walleye run everyone.