The number one question that most anglers want to know is if the fall walleye run has started yet on the Red River. The last few years have been slow on the Red, but reports indicate a slow bite. Anglers are catching more fish in the lake itself that the two rivers. Speaking of rivers, the Whitemud River north of Portage la Prairies is starting to produce fall walleye and drum as well as big carp.
Lake of the Prairies continues to impress for the quantity and quality of the walleye being caught on a consistent basis. Jigging raps fished in 20 feet or slightly deeper have been consistent producers. Look for rock/sand transition spots off points or inside turns on shorelines. These will hold numbers of fish.
Whiteshell Provincial Park is producing some outstanding smallmouth bass and crappie fishing right now. There are several lakes in the region that are producing outstanding fishing. Those include Caddy, North and South Cross as well as the Lee River. Want some professional help on how to find them? Check out this video from Jeff Gustafson.
Don’t forget that fall is a great time to pursue the many trout species in the province. Fish get super aggressive at this time of the year and will hit almost anything that moves including crankbaits. Blake Morken has been having some good success on Twin Lakes with that pattern.
Fishing has been excellent on Lake of the Woods as most fish are making moves from their summer locations to main basin fall spots. Walleyes have slid out a little deeper into 25-35 feet, smallmouths are showing up on humps and deeper points, while some fish remain shallow chowing on crayfish. Pike are showing up on main lake rock systems, similar places where you might find a musky. Lake trout are slowly showing up on shallower structure in 45-65 feet.
If you have a few days, consider visiting one of the resorts open around the lake. There are several still open in the Sioux Narrows area, including Crawfords Camps, where I have stayed many times, Totem Lodge or Indianhead Lodge, if you’re looking for higher end accommodations. The folks at these resorts can show you where to fish and will look after you. It’s been a tough year for these resort owners so any support would be helpful for them. I know times are tough for many of us, but if you can make it happen, try one of these resorts. Fall rates are usually discounted somewhat and the fishing is excellent. Please refrain from asking these guys for further discounts, their expenses are high and they are doing the best they can for you.
There are resorts across Sunset Country still open for anglers looking for a getaway. You can check out visitsunsetcountry.com for a ton of good information for planning your trip and finding the perfect place to stay. If I could toss some recommendations out there, consider Eagle Lake or Lac Seul for muskies, Wabigoon Lake for crappies and Red Lake for walleyes, but there are hundreds of great places to go. Have a great fall season!
VERMILLION BAY AND AREA
Early September brings the first major cool down to Northwestern Ontario. Cooler water temps generally drive the fish down to deeper water prior to turnover. This year is no exception. Walleye and bass are being caught throughout the area on deep rock structure. The end of September will bring an end to open water trout season. With nice weather in the forecast this is the time to try for trophy lakers!
INCREDIBLE MUSKY ON EAGLE LAKE
This past week only one fish has been the talk of the Eagle Lake area. An absolute beast of a musky caught by resident Eagle Lake pro guide, Danny Herbeck. Danny is no stranger to true legal ( 54”) sized musky, but this is a once in a lifetime kind of fish. She hit a Savage Gear Alien Eel way out from the boat and “put up one hell of a fight” according to Herbeck. When she hit the bump board she measured a staggering 55 ¼”
Fish this size are rare for our area, however Eagle Lake produces catches like this a couple times a season. With October just around the corner, these apex predators will start putting on the fall feed bag. The late fall will bring only the most dedicated musky anglers out to battle frigid conditions for a chance at a true monster fish. Congrats to Danny Herbeck on this amazing catch, and good luck to all those who continue to fish into the fall!
Speaking of musky, check out this new release from Aaron Wiebe!
WES DAVID, FISHING THE WILD WEST TELEVISION SHOW
I only had a chance to fish one Alberta lake since the last Hooked Magazine Fishing Report and that lake was Gull Lake in central Alberta. The bite was consistent and with the kids back in school, I had the lake to myself. Simply vertical jigging a 1/4 oz Big Sky Jig baited with a variety of 4 inch soft plastics from Big Bite Baits on sunken humps in water depth ranging from 12-feet in the morning and moving into 16-20-feet of water during the heat of the day was the key to setting the hook on walleye all day long.
Wind plays a huge factor at this time of the year, especially on larger lakes and reservoirs. Last Mountain can be a tough slug when the winds roll down from the north. You especially want to check out the forecast before you head out for a day on the water. One of the best wind apps on the market is called windy.com and its worth a download on your phone.
Walleye on the Mountain are sliding down to deeper water in the 25 foot and deeper mark. One of the best ways to cover water at this time of the year is by trolling crankbaits. Leadcore line can help you get to those deeper fish as well as drop weights on your line. Jered Reiss from Regina recently cranked up this beauty out of Rowans Ravine Provincial Park.
Tobin Lake continues to produce some nice walleye and pike.
Bass on Boundary Dam have been tough to catch but the walleye fishing has more than made up for it. We have caught numerous fish while chasing bass. Some have been on top water even! We have been finding the walleye from one foot to twenty feet in depth.
Not much to report on Rafferty but a good option at this time of the year is trolling with crankbaits. Casting bigger cranks and swim baits in the bays is a great way to trick a big pike into biting. Hope you can get out and enjoy the rest of the open water season. Be safe everyone.