Traverse Bay last day in September

Beautiful fall weather has anglers in Manitoba heading to their favourite lake or river in droves to enjoy some great fall fishing. One of the more popular locations has been Traverse Bay on Lake Winnipeg with the legendary fall greenback walleye run underway.

Out in Traverse Bay walleye movement is dictated by wind generated current. A big north wind for a few days can move some fish out of the bay and up into the Winnipeg River. Conversely a switch in wind direction to the south will empty water out of the river back into the bay, creating increased current back out into the bay. When this occurs walleye usually will stack up on rock piles and edges of the main river channel. Another overlooked pattern is the massive back eddy created by a sudden rush of river water out in the bay. This triggers a massive bait fish movement up on the flats and rock piles that exist along the southwest shoreline.

Friend Jim Price and I found this pattern a few years ago, and faced with a strong south wind in the morning this past Sunday, we headed to this spot first thing . After a slow twenty minutes, I started marking fish on my Humminbird fish finder next to three waypoints saved from past trips. Sure enough in no time, Jim’s rod bent over with our first walleye of the day. The bite lasted for about two hours but then as forecast the wind switched to the northwest at eleven in the morning and the bite died. Heading over to the main channel to jig some points and inside turns, we found some small saugers and walleyes but no sustained big fish concentration.

With the north wind now picking up in speed it was time to get off the big lake and back into the Winnipeg River. We tried a number of different spots along the way to the boat launch by the old mill, with little success. We then headed up the chute all the way to the dam in Pine Falls.There were already a couple of boats anchored here but we caught three nice sized saugers and left, boat control a bit of an issue with strong wind and current flows. We headed down below the chute and anchored up on a rockpile in ten feet of water. After a ten minute wait, I had three bites in a row, finally hooking a good walleye. After that it was non-stop action for another two hours. At the end of the day we went home with a nice limit of two pound walleye, perfect eating sized fish. The largest walleye we caught was about 24 inches, a beautiful emerald green specimen. Unfortunately nothing was recorded this day since I had forgetten the memory card for my Canon camera.

Oh well, I have added a few photos from past trips just for old time sake. If you plan on heading out, stay mobile and when the bite slows anchor in areas with current. Be patient when anchoring, give it a good fifteen minutes. Vary your jig presentation as well. We did well at the end of the day by deadsticking the jig just off the bottom!