Snow has filled the trees and the lakes here in Northern Manitoba, giving the angler both outstanding surroundings and good fishing. It also limits the traffic as vehicle access is out of the question, and snowmobiles and tracked machines are your only option to get around. Also, make sure you carry an axe or a spud bar and check any pressure ridges you cross. Many of these have been moving and active, especially with our severe cold to warmish temperatures. And the snow is going to start pushing up the slush….so make sure you have a shovel and rope aboard. And that extension- put it on…unless you like your clutch getting soaked. Sound extreme enough for you…than this is where you want to go!
Walleye fishing has been outstanding, both bays and mid structure. Many fish have been pushing into the basins, and this structure can take some drilling to hit the sweet spot, but it can be unreal when you hit it. Fishing close to the deep water and weeding out the small fish is putting some giants top side. Going with big baits seems to be honing in on some of these fish. We currently landed a 32″ x 19″ walleye doing this tactic using a 6″ tube jig tipped with sucker in 30′. My client was actually fishing burbot on this walleye spot as we just landed a big eelpout, but instead this mega walleye took the big tube. It isn’t always the case, but sometimes big bait really does equal big fish. Regular walleye gear has been working consistently such as buckshot rattle spoons, vmc rattle spoons, slender spoons, tingler spoons, clam leech flutter spoons, pk flutter fish, pk spoons, and acme rattle masters. (basically anything you got!) Some days downsizing has been getting more fish (1/4 oz) and on real aggressive bites going up to the 3/8 oz. Tipping with a whole minnow or just minnow head is a must.
Pike fishing is really strong right now. Many fish are actually deep for some reason but when it warms up and the “Ghost Factor” of warmer water is in effect, they will push into the shallow bays and put the feed bag on. Big baits on tip ups are the way to go. You can also catch pike in walleye areas right now, as they seem to be holding to a lot of deeper structure. I even happened to jig up a big northern just fishing for walleye. Just never know what you are actually going to catch up here.
Lake Trout are slow roaming right now, and we caught more in the 35′ range than anywhere last week. As a normal for this time of year, I usually look at 45′ and slide a bit deeper for the afternoon. You really do need to fish lakers day to day. You also have to chum. Chum is the ticket to bring these fish in to you, and also helps them to become more active once they are under your feet. Dead sticks are working the best lately, even dead sticking a tube jig with some sucker belly has been extremely effective. For some reason they want things still. But I did lose a GIANT laker by ripping a tube jig just before dark. This means you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be versatile, and be confident.
Burbot have for some reason been biting extremely well, and many fish being caught with high light. They have been caught pushing up to the 30′ mark, and even shallower once low light hits. Basically chum away on any type of structure you can find that is adjacent to deep water, and they will show up at some time or another. Glow is imperative at dark, but not so much during the day. Tube jigs work well, and so do spoons. Once you can get a burbot in to your spot, they seem to be hungry. Watch your electronics and keep the bait just above the fish, and they will smoke it.
Wekusko Falls Lodge
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