Fall has arrived, the most dynamic time of the year to fish for a variety of species. With angling license sales up by 30 percent, Manitobans are enjoying what this province has to offer!
If the summer bite on Lake Winnipeg is any indication it should be a great run of big fall walleye on the Red and Winnipeg River at Pine Falls. It has not happened yet on the Red given muddy water conditions and extremely fast current. Many anglers are watching the wind and heading out on the big lake with consistent success for both numbers and walleye and Master Angler sized fish.
With the water still ripping through the gates at Lockport, the catfish bite has been a bit inconsistent with the best action in the back eddies next to the faster water. Goldeye fishing on the Red has been good in the Netley Creek area. While fall walleye are a big hit, many anglers spend the time to pursue smallmouth bass, especially in the eastern section of the province.
One of the most scenic and remote drive-to reaches of Manitoba’s Eastern Region is Nopiming Provincial Park. This Canadian Shield playground is home to a seemingly infinite amount of lakes.
On Lake of the Woods and in many of our Canadian Shield lakes, walleye and bass have moved out to deeper water. Friend and professional angler Jeff Gustafson has been fishing close to home as he self isolates after returning from another tournament in the United States. He has been finding both the bass and walleye in about seven metres of water.
Jeff relies on his electronics, a Helix 12 by Humminbird, to mark fish before he drops a line down. When he does, he is using a jig tipped with a Z-Man Jerk ShadZ or a Ned rig “As you spend more time on your electronics and see where the fish are setting up it’s pretty easy to distinguish between the bass and the walleyes, but you really could get either when you drop your bait down.”
Uncut Angling’s Aaron Wiebe just released another video of his experience on Lake of the Woods recently at the Kenora Walleye Open. Some pretty amazing big fish catching.
Fall means trophy fish and two of the most popular lakes in Saskatchewan really start kicking out big fish starting right now. While Last Mountain Lake has been good all spring and summer, this natural lake north of Regina really starts to heat up about now. That’s if anglers can get out on the water. Fall means days of big wind, especially from the north. That’s bad news for Last Mountain, which is wide open.
Usually at this time of year, hardcore walleye anglers are getting ready for the Last Mountain Walleye Classic. Not so this year with the cancellation of the Saskatchewan Walleye Trail events. That means there is plenty of water and accommodation to make this trip a reality in 2020.
Walleye at this time of the year really key in on deep sand points along the middle of the main lake out of Rowans Ravine Provincial Park. That isn’t the only place to look though. They can be on scattered boulder pikes or along inside turns along main lake shoreline. Depth can vary at this time of year but conscientious anglers restrict themselves to less than 30 feet of water. Walleye coming from deeper water than that will have trouble getting back down due to a build up of air in their bladder. This results in delayed mortality in many cases, even if released. The only fish that survive this kind of pressure in the lake trout, which has a valve that releases air as it comes to the surface.
TOBIN STARTING TO GET HOT
Tobin Lake is another fall hot spot but here a lot of the big fall walleye run up the river towards Nipawin. These fish are usually in water a lot shallower than 30 feet, which alleviates release problems of big fish. Anglers who fish the main lake find the majority of the pike and walleye on main lake breaks in less than 30 feet and has shallow as 10 feet depending on the available weather and the forage.
SOUTHEAST REPORT WITH BRAD GRAHAM
Bass fishing has been slow at Boundary Dam. In order to get the fish to bite we have had to keep changing lures and speeds, from buzz baits to drop shot rigs
Rafferty Dam has been good with most walleye between 12”to 18”. Bottom bouncing with slow death hooks and crawlers along with shiver minnows has been the best.
Reports of some nice walleyes being caught at Kenosee as well. Been a great summer for fishing, here’s hoping the fall is as good. Good luck to everyone and be safe.
WES DAVID, FISHING THE WILD WEST TELEVISION
I just returned home from 21-days on the road/water in northern Saskatchewan and as always, northern Saskatchewan did not fail to impress me. We made several stops in Saskatchewan but two stops north of La Ronge SK were truly memorable. Our first stop was a five-hour drive north of La Ronge to a self-guided trip at Wilderness Family Outfitters. The cabins were spacious and comfortable and the northern pike and lake trout action was nonstop.
Large northern pike were being pulled out of the deep weedbeds with a #2 Len Thompson Lure and an XL SteelShad. Lake trout were easily jigged up from 50-75 feet of water using a BuzzBomb or Spinnow and a couple of lake trout fillets returned home with me to go on the smoker!
Our second stop was at Twin Falls Lodge. We stayed an hour north of La Ronge at Missinipe SK and Thompson’s Resort before our short floatplane trip to Twin Falls Lodge. This was a fully guided trip for northern pike and walleye and it too did not fail to produce large pike and walleye and an abundance of both species. However, I wanted to stay in the historic Twin Falls Lodge as it is being retired and torn-down this winter to make room for the new lodge that is 90% complete.
Next year when you book a trip of a lifetime to Twin Falls Lodge you will be staying in a brand-new lodge in the middle of Saskatchewan’s beautiful boreal forest.