HuntFishMB Contributor: Chris Chorney
Delta beach, situated in Manitoba’s Central Region on the south shore of Lake Manitoba is a multi-species fishery. Common species that actively roam these waters during the winter months include walleye, northern pike, tullibee, and burbot.
Located 26 km north of Portage la Prairie at the end of Hwy 240 off the Trans-Canada Hwy is Delta beach. Maintained paved roads right to the lake make Delta an awesome drive-to destination. Bait, fuel, accommodations, and meals can all be found near by in the town of Portage la Prairie. Parking and access is available at the beach access point right in Delta on the west end of Hackberry Ave. Lake travel by all-terrain vehicle or track machine is recommended during high snow fall years. Large snow drifts, pressure ridges, and cracks can be expected due to the north-facing location of the beach and sheer size of the lake. But don’t let this deter you, some of the best fishing can be found right out in front of the beach amongst the numerous hard-sided shacks on the lake.
The sand and gravel flats spanning across the shallows make for an excellent starting point. The lake can produce a great shallow morning bite, three feet of water is not out of the question when targeting hungry walleyes looking for their first meal of the day. Moving around the flats is a proven way to put more fish on the ice. Small 50 yd moves can make all the difference out there. As afternoon approaches and the shallow bite seems to have slowed down, moving out a little deeper to 6-8 feet can be the ticket.
Colours that seem to produce well on this lake consist of shiny silver, gold, blue, pink, white, and red. Gold tends to work well on cloudy days while silver out fishes on the sunny days. The water clarity is great, so good in fact, sight fishing in shallow water is possible. That being said, a fluorocarbon line or leader is a preferred choice on the lake giving anglers that added edge. Rattle baits and jigging spoons tipped with a minnow are a few preferred methods here when targeting actively feeding fish.
Having a rattle bait on at least one rod in the group is never a bad idea. Rattle baits are great for calling in aggressive fish from a distance and is an excellent way to target less active fish in the afternoon. Hole hopping is another great way to stay on top of fish. Drill multiple holes using a grid like pattern and spending ten minutes or so fishing each one is a great way to stay active and on the bite during mid-day.
Like the morning bite there is also a very aggressive evening bite which Lake Manitoba is well known for. When the sun hits the tree tops it go-time! The chances of hooking into a Manitoba Master Angler are all too real. The endless amount of forage on the lake is a key factor in just why these Lake Manitoba walleyes are so thick and healthy. It’s not uncommon for 19-inch walleyes on this lake to hit the 3lb range.
The year of 2011 brought heavy flooding to the area which had a substantial negative effect on Lake Manitoba’s fishery. Since the flood the lake has slowly started to regain its composure, better numbers and larger fish are being reported caught by sport anglers every year including some true giants! The average size walleye on the lake are relatively large. Catching one under 19 inches is difficult and the battle these walleyes put up is second to none.
So the next time you’re looking to head out for an adventure with friends or a weekend of fishing with the family, give Delta Beach a try!
For more information on fishing for walleye in Manitoba, visit our Walleye page.