nights for the last couple of weeks have moved many of the deeper fish shallow
for certain parts of the day. One great
option is to look for cabbage beds that
grow in lakes and river with good water quality. Cabbage weeds can start growing
in four metres of water and reach the surface or just below. These weeds tend
to hold huge schools of minnows which means big walleye, bass and pike are
moving back into these types of areas.
of my favorite presentations when these fish are holding tight to this type of
cover is to a rip a Berkley Gulp minnow through the weed stocks. You can rig it
weedless or leave a little bit of hook showing depending on the thickness of
cover. By not using any bait, you don’t have to worry about losing it all the
time on leaves and stems. Fish that are relating to this heavy cover are keying
in on sound and profile more than smell.
after pike I love to get out early in the morning at this time of year and cast
a topwater buzz bait over deep cabbage weeds. Marauding pike move shallow first
thing in the morning before the water warms up from the midday sun. Some of my
absolute best pike days have come on this pattern. Never mind it is
spectacular, heart pounding action. If that doesn’t produce, I switch over to
red and white bunny pattern streamer fished on an eight weight fly rod. This
presentation will usually trigger even the most lethargic pike as they gulp in
this ultra slow presentation. I like to
use a floating line with a 20 pound test fluorocarbon tippet. Small lead eyes
on my fly provide the weight to sink the fly at a slow rate. It’s this slow
drop that really triggers the bite, combined with a twitch of the rod tip. If
all else fails on these pike, use a huge bobber rigged with a quick strike rig
and large dead bait like a ciscoe, or herring. I love this technique when the
wind is blowing hard and boat control becomes an issue. I will drop anchor
outside the area to be fished, casting the bobber up into the fish zone, then
letting the bait drift. Depth can be changed
to adjust to the conditions but pike do like the bait slightly above them so
they get a better look at the offering.
Notes: Speaking of slip floats and bobbers, at this time of the year, you will
probably start to see fish surfacing, scooping insects on or near the surface.
A small set bobber with a #8 hook with graduated split-shot tipped with a bit
of nightcrawler might get you into some goldeye or mooneye action as well. Walleye
action on Lake Winnipeg has been decent from Gimli down to Matlock. Anglers who
are fishing out in the four to six metre are having some good success. Bottom
bouncer and spinners are a good choice as are medium diving crankbaits. The
bonus is you never know what you will catch. For launching a boat, Winnipeg
Beach is a good choice. There are all kinds of options out there at this time
of year; you are only limited by your imagination and time.