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.
Early Season Walleye
Spring came early this year in NW Ontario. Usually we're still ice fishing in early April, but not this year. The ice has been unsafe for weeks now and a lot of areas are open water. The ice isn't totally gone from the big lakes, but it will be any day now.
Early ice out like this gives us a unique opportunity to fish walleye from a boat before the season closes on April 15th. It's been a real treat with some awesome action and big fish. We're getting fish in 15-25 feet as they stage near spawning areas. Males are already milty and the females are fat with eggs.
This is the earliest I've ever fished Lac Seul in a boat. It sure felt great to get out and set the hook on some walleye.
Coming up - ice out lake trout and wild turkey hunting. Gotta love springtime!
The weather we've had here in NW Ontario this March will go down as the warmest in memory. The snow disappeared so quickly and the ice is already unsafe. And to think, last year we were ice fishing well into mid-April. Now my snowmobile is put to bed for the summer and my short rods are stored for another year. Looking back, though, it was an awesome season on the ice - short as it was.
I snapped this shot on March 22nd at the Deception landing boat launch on Lac Seul. The ice is breaking down quickly and any current areas are already open water.
The whole lake is probably going to be ice free before walleye season closes on April 15th. This unique situation will result in some great opportunities for catching 'pre-season' walleye from a boat.
There are a lot of things to look forward to in the spring - particularly ice out lake trout fishing and turkey hunting. Stay tuned for more reports.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.