May is the time for monster walleye in Canada!
Walleye season here opens on the third Saturday of May each season. Some of the biggest walleye of the season are caught and released at this time every year, as this is close to the time of their spawn. Weather can be testing at this time, so be prepared for anything! The true hardcore walleye anglers prefer this month, as they know that the biggest female walleye in the lake are very susceptible to their hooks. If spring comes late, please handle the fish with care, and let them do their reproductive duties. There are many huge walleyes here, but in these cold northern waters they are very ancient fish!
Walleye are caught everywhere in June, sometimes when you are not even fishing for them!
June is by far the busiest walleye month we have for walleye enthusiasts, not that it could ever get over crowed here. Walleye are simply scattered everywhere throughout this system. A large percentage of the huge fish are still shallow, sometimes in less than a foot of water! The waters are still cool, but the weather is warmer.
Constant moving is the key to success in June, the spawn is over, and the walleyes are roaming and feeding. Although walleye are not quite grouped up like in mid summer, the element of surprise is there, as many walleye are caught while not even fishing for them. Shore and dock fishing are very good at this time. Smaller schools of fish can be found in the 20 foot range.
Many times our Mayfly's hatch in July, my favorite time for targeting shallow fast action, and trophies!!
In the north, on many year's "mayfly's" hatch in July. One day you'll be slammin' the fish in 25 feet of water, the next you can't find them. It's taken me many frustrating hours to master the hatch, but now it has become one of my favorite times to fish walleye!
Overall, July fishing is very consistent with most of the walleye now schooled up well, main lake points, mid lake humps, saddles and sandbars are main producers in these lakes. If you can't find them, start pike fishing in shallow bays, if you accidentally catch a walleye, chances are that there was a reason it was there....and not alone! The bigger fish also might not necessarily be deeper. Depth in this month can range from 1 foot to 30 feet. If you have me along, none of this will matter, as I will just take you catching! Many 100+ fish days are common in these lakes in July!
Even August Heat can bring trophies, and lots of action!
August is the hottest month here, Walleyes are schooled up in huge numbers feeding deeper than they normally do all season. For action, numbers of walleyes are found on 30 foot deep mid lake flats and humps, feeding on smelt, shiners and herring.
This is some of my fastest action of the season, with fish ranging from 15 to 25 inches. At times I can hardly keep up with the net.
I have special areas that do not hold this many numbers, but the chance to catch the less common trophy walleye is there. Most of the monster fish are deeper than people fish at this time of year, shelves with extremely deeper drop offs adjacent to them will prove to hold trophies in the 25 to 35 foot range in August. Walleye caught deeper than this do not fair very well, but if this happens I recommend bringing them up very slow, or they will surely be left for the eagles. Current areas start to show more walleyes at this time as well.
September and October - try the fall walleye experience here!
This is the most overlooked time of year in Canada. Lac Seul and Minnitaki become very peaceful, in fact last year there were days that I didn't even see another boat. For the first half of September, it is pretty much like August for weather and fishing up here. As the days and water temperatures start to cool, the huge walleye will rise up from the depths. Current areas are phenomenal, and there is a strong chance for a trophy in every depth once the lake turns over. Beautiful fall colors, and crazy fishing action, what more could you ask for?
Minnitaki Lake Walleye Fishing
Minnitaki Lake is a stained, deep natural lake full of islands, humps and reefs. There are three fish sanctuaries on this lake which do not open for walleye fishing until June 15 each season. The English River/Grassy Bay, and the entire Rice River area, Twin Bay and connecting waters are strictly no fishing until the 15th of June. Red Pine Bay Sanctuary is catch and release only until June 15th. These are spawn/post spawn areas that are important to this great fishery to ensure the walleye perform their spawn undisturbed. In early season walleye can be almost anywhere, but more so than other lakes, walleye here prefer the depths(25+), that are loaded with smelt and herring. It is common to get into large schools of over slot fish(over 21") on Minnitaki, but every shape and size is readily available on this lake. My preference is the west side of this lake.
Abram, Pelican and Botsford Walleye Fishing
I like to call these natural shield lakes the "flow through lakes". The entire Marchington River system also dumps in at Mcdougall Mills on Botsford Lake. It has been proven through tagging programs that many walleye travel the entire system, therefore even though these are the local lakes here, the walleye population never ends!
Lac Seul East Walleye Fishing
The east end of Lac Seul is made up of an original river channel, and many back lakes that were flooded to create different sections of the lake. The waters flow north, and there is a main body on this end too. Being a reservoir(hydro dam-Ear Falls end), Lac Seul has many hazards such as reefs and stumps. When waters fluctuate, it is common to be dodging floating logs every morning. Always keep your eyes on the water here.
Walleye fishing in this end is simply amazing all season long. Many of the tributaries where they spawn are located here. The options are endless for fishing spots, and you can choose between areas of dark stained water to muddy/clay bottom areas such as lost lake near Hudson. Although this lake is massive, it has been proven through tagging programs that walleye migrate through the whole system, therefore no particular area will ever run out of fish. Massive schools of fish start out in the northwest and south east corners of the lake, and work a migratory pattern to eventually congregate in huge numbers by mid summer in the main body. Smaller schools of fish are always still in the tributaries, and big walleye are just about anywhere they choose. Walleyes populations are found generally shallower than on Minnitaki.
The benefits of bringing along a Walleye Guide
1. You get to relax, fish and not worry about controlling the boat, or catering to your fishing party.
2. The fish are already found for you, and the chances of catching a trophy are higher.
3. Shore lunch will be prepared for you, and all your catch cleaned.
4. If you desire, you will not have to net, bait or tie hooks.
5. You will learn new techniques, plot new areas, and the boat will not get damaged.
Walleye is by far the most sought after species in the Sioux Lookout area. It's a good thing that our waterways are endless, and the fishery is well managed. These fish are in great numbers, and all of the perfect breeding size are returned to these waters. This system has a slot of 18 to 21 inches, meaning none of these in possession. With a sport licence you may keep 4 under the slot. With a conservation licence you may keep 2 under the slot. Technically 1 of your fish limit may be over the slot of 21", but this rule is intended for those who wish to keep a trophy, which I would consider to be over 30 inches. Most people take pictures of their big fish, and some get a replica made. The walleye under 18 inches are a much better tasting fish. Please keep in mind that it's a fish possession limit, which means that if your limit is in the freezer, or you've eaten your quota for that day, that counts towards your limit. All fish that are kept must be killed immediately, as there is no culling of fish allowed.
This slot applies to Minnitaki, Abram, Pelican, Botsford and Lac Seul lakes, including any connecting waters. We are proud of the incredible walleye factory that we have here, and a healthy population of fish in all sizes. With the respectful fishermen of this day and age, and the sensible regulations we have in place, this fishery will continue to thrive for generations to come! Remember to register all fish released over 27.5 inches in our local Master Angler program. You will receive a walleye patch, and be sent out a certificate, as well as having your catch recorded in the yearly brochure.
Lac Seul and Minnitaki Walleye Fishing