Open Water Kick-off
After one of the latest ice-outs that I can remember on Lac Seul, the 2013 open water season is underway. Late ice out years are typically great for catching big walleye. This year didn't disappoint.
The ice went out the night before opener, leaving us with clear sailing to my favourite early season area on Lac Seul.
Jigs tipped with minnows or soft-plastics are all it takes to catch big walleye
Other than walleye fishing in the spring I also love to chase pike and lake trout. Check out this big pike my buddy Ian caught last week.
This big spawned-out female was sitting in 2-feet of water in the back of a large bay
My good buddy Mike and I took a shot at lakers on Minnitaki this past week. We went with the quality over quantity approach and that's exactly what we got.
Both fish hit a blue jointed minnow bait 125-feet behind the planer board
June is one of the best months for fishing in northwestern Ontario. Big walleye, pike and bass are on the menu and muskie opener is also coming up quick. Stay tuned for another report in a couple of weeks.
With walleye opener just a few days away it's going to be down to the wire with ice out. I think there will be some areas to launch and fish but I really believe we will be restricted on where we can go because of ice. If so that will be a first for me on opener. The weather forecast is in our favour so things will melt before saturday, it's just a question of how much will it melt.
That's the Deception boat launch on Lac Seul on Tuesday May 14th. You can see the ice about 200 yards out.
In the meantime I got down to business rigging my boat with Humminbird and Minn Kota electronics. Here's what's onboard now.
- 80lb Minn Kota Terrova with iPilot Link
- Humminbird 788 HD combo graph on the bow
- Humminbird 898 HD Side Imaging combo at the back
The new iPilot Link is a slick deal. It lets the graphs talk to the trolling motor so you can control the trolling motor through the graphs. It takes boat control to new levels, allowing hands free tracking of contours and GPS tracks. If you mark a school of fish, just drop a waypoint and tell the trolling motor to hold the boat on that waypoint.
I just need the ice to go so I can get out there and put it to good use.
It's hard to believe it's May already. There's still a few piles of snow in my yard and the lakes are covered with ice.... enough to still fish on. It's definitely going to be a later ice out year, and with walleye opener on the 18th I wouldn't be surprised if there's still ice in places.
This was a couple weeks back, but here are the last ice fishing shots of the season. Minnitaki walleye that fell for the Lindy Darter.
It was a seamless transition this year from ice fishing to spring turkey hunting. I switched the snowmachine for the quad in the back of my truck and headed to southern Ontario to hunt turkeys with my good buddy Jocko.
Jocko has the turkey thing really dialed in and as always we were on birds right from opening morning.
I got this nice 3 year old Tom on the 2nd day of the hunt. Inch and 1/8 spurs, 9" beard and 25 pounds on the digi scale.
Some sweet redemption after missing one on opening morning!
Looking ahead, it's time to uncover the Alumacraft and get rigging it for the coming season. I'm pumped to add the i-Pilot Link system this year. The Link system lets the Minn Kota trolling motor and the Humminbird graphs talk to each other for easy navigation and unmatched boat control.
Once the ice is gone it's going to be full speed ahead for big walleye, lake trout and pike.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.