Its official, fall has arrived! This time of year brings anglers in this part of the world out in droves, hoping to catch a trophy walleye.
On a recent adventure to the Whitemud River, I pulled out my first Berkley Flicker Minnow. My friend Jim Price was using the # 7 Flicker Shad in a custom painted perch patter. By the end of the day he had out fished me about 20-14, so I would have to say that crank proved a little more effective on this day. It was also diving a bit deeper on less line than my Minnow. Still both baits catch fish, lots of fish.
Make sure you have both in your tackle box this fall.
With all the recent rain, current flow will continue to be strong in both the Red and Winnipeg rivers, the two most popular destinations in the province. There is unfortunately, both good news and bad news. I will give you the bad news first. Unless the water clears up, the walleye bite in the Red River could be tough. If you want to catch fish in this river, you need decent water clarity. That also holds for Lake Winnipeg as well, but Traverse Bay and Pine Falls usually is not nearly as affected. If you talk to anglers in the know, this has certainly been the case all summer and early fall.
Anglers fishing the big lake have been catching walleye, lots of them! We are taking about 50 fish days in two and half metres of water. In high water years, the majority of the feed is shallow and this year just highlights that. So if you want to catch fish, get out to the lake. There is a couple of hitches in all this, you need a boat and you need to watch the weather. A fierce north wind will muddy up the water and scatter fish. This is where trolling with crankbaits on the flats or on channel edges really pays off.
I can remember a number of incredible days whacking walleye in three metres of water on the mud flats. Having a GPS is also key so you can track your trolling runs and mark the little rock piles that dot the landscape. These will hold roving schools of fish for short periods of time and when this happens you’re in the money. Monofilament is not a bad choice in these shallow conditions. The stretch of mono will act as a shock absorber when these big fish steamroll your bait! A wide range of a shallow running baits will work so carry a selection.
When you need to contour troll though, things change. I love to use Fireline in 10 pound test. It has such a small diameter, crankbaits get down in a hurry.
Leadcore line, snap on weights, bottom bouncers are all options in getting your lure to the bottom in a hurry.