Mid April is here and we are still waiting for our warm up. Northern Manitoba is covered in heavy snow, and many many many inches of ice. Snowmobiles and a minimum of 12” extensions on the auger are required. Yep, it is still winter.
Walleye are starting to move into prespawn areas adjacent to spawn areas. Now you still have to fish them, as cold fronts are keeping the bite slow. However, on those real
Warm days the bite is red hot. Hard baits like rippn raps and jigging raps are working good, as well as pk spoons, leech flutter spoons, buck shots, hyper glides, Vmc rattle spoons, leech flutter spoons, ….well basically anything targeting walleye. Tip with a whole minnow or minnow head, and be sure to watch the reactions on your electronics. Lately I have been finding the feeding ceiling is very high so they have been chasing and then committing to baits over 5’ off bottom.
Big pike are cruising shallow right now, and they are big. With the warm up slowly happening and pre spawn in effect, check out every weedy bay you can. If the bay is real shallow, check the points adjacent. I like 4-5’ of water under the ice. Hang big dead baits on tip ups, and do your yoga stretches because the running will get fast and furious.
All the Northern Manitoba Lake Trout lakes are on fire. Clearwater, Athapap, and Reed Lake are red hot. Each lake fishes a little different. Clearwater you want to chum anywhere around 45’ and eventually a big fish will come cruising. Athapap is a structure lake where the fish relate. Chum on the edge of a reef or island close to deep water for those big fish. Reed lake you want to target UNDER 30’. With zillions of whitefish and ciscoe shallowing up, the trout are cruising shallow reefs and bays. Many giants on reed actually get caught under 10’ of water. Both lakes are big baits for big fish. Laying quick strike rigs on 14”+ ciscoe work great, as well as 5”+ tube jigs. The spoon bite is starting to heat up as well, so have a few of everything!
The spawn is still waiting!!! They are just starting to slide up now, and the next warm spell the spawn will be full bore. But who knows when the next warm up will be! They are attacking anything big like tube jugs or big spoons. Just tip them with some whitefish or Tulibee belly. And chum will really hone them in!
Our ice fishing season is still going strong wth lots and lots of ice. If you want some unreal action and adventure, come up to Northern Manitoba. Pavement highways and unreal fishing with almost no fishing pressure. Can it get any better?
Wekusko Falls Lodge