HuntFishMB – Eric Labaupa
Manitoba is stacked with endless lakes and rivers to target walleye.
Anglers can choose to hit a variety of drive-to destinations, ranging from our inland oceans down to small out-of-the-way feeder creeks, and still count on getting bit. At no time is this most true than in the early part of the open water season. The post-spawn walleye bite can be downright phenomenal for fish after fish action. If you are looking for a walleye hot bite, here are our Top 5 from a long list of destinations that you need to hit this spring.
WINNIPEG RIVER at POINTE DU BOIS
The well known massive Winnipeg River system in the Eastern Region is synonymous with fantastic fishing no matter where in its countless lake sections and river stretches you point. That being said, the area on the high side above Pointe du Bois generating station all the way to Lamprey Rapids to the northeast surpasses all expectations about what great fishing actually is. This untouched majestic stretch of lake section, dotted with islands and bays, is chock full of walleyes from eater-sized specimens to trophy Master Anglers. Early season tactics working creek mouths and current areas will often result in a pile of marble eyes in the boat before you can say doubleheader.
This scenic lake is located in Paint Lake Provincial Park at the heart of ‘the Land of the Giants’. A deceptively huge body of water containing countless islands and bays, Paint Lake is well known in the Northern Region as an absolute walleye factory. Anglers can quickly pad the stats on daily number of walleyes caught on this northern Canadian Shield lake. Lunker ‘eyes that typically inhabit the cold depths in this lake are catchable shallow in the spring using oversized lures or bait. The ice cover here generally melts much later than its counterpart lakes to the south, so keen anglers can target a post-spawn bite well into June and early July when the Southern Region waters have already entered summer temperatures.
The Waterhen River that connects Waterhen Lake to Lake Manitoba is the very definition of a drive-to trophy walleye fishery. Numerous Interlake Region Master Angler walleyes are caught here and from its nearby sister river the West Waterhen every year. The 22km stretch of water that runs through the namesake town of Waterhen splits and meanders several times over creating numerous ideal river walleye fishing areas. Working the sections at either the inlet to the north or outlet to the south, both within easy boat driving distance from each other, can provide some of the best action as well. A relatively shallow body of water, trolling crankbaits or pulling spinners with a leech or nightcrawler behind the boat is a popular tactic to get into big numbers.
MANIGOTAGAN RIVER at LAKE WINNIPEG
The Manigotagan River is a long waterway that originates deep in Nopiming Provincial Park in the Eastern Region, but it’s the last several kilometre section where it empties into Lake Winnipeg that is a spring walleye fishing bonanza. Situated at the far northern end bottleneck section of the Southern Basin, anglers here can intercept schools of famous greenback walleyes migrating their way back up north. Triple digit days are not unheard of as these emerald ‘eyes are on the feedbag big time after they spawn. Casting lures and pulling spinners and bait in the river sections, or drift jigging and cranking at the mouth will all produce more spring greenback action than you can handle.
LAKE OF THE PRAIRIES
A sight to behold against the vast surrounding prairie landscape in the Parkland Region, Lake of the Prairies is a magnificent body of water and a walleye mecca for anglers from all over. Big walleye after big walleye is the norm here once you get locked on with a Master Angler surpassing 30” always a possibility. In your search for monsters, huge schools of chunky eater sized walleyes will keep you more than busy. The early season bite here is voracious and they will readily attack a variety of presentations in every area of the massive reservoir. A plethora of boat access points from north to south makes certain that walleye action is often just a short ride away.
For more information on fishing for walleye in Manitoba visit our Walleye page.
Check out our Master Angler Record Book for more information about trophy walleye catches in Manitoba.