It’s amazing how quick the turnaround is from summer fun to fall season activities. For anglers in Manitoba, post-Labour Day weekend signals primetime trophy fishing is just around the corner. There is arguably no better time to target Master Angler northern pike, lake trout, and walleye than the timeframe from late September to deep into October. Below are just a few drive-to destinations across the province that have proven to be giant fish factories once the leaves start to change colour.
Winnipeg River at Traverse Bay – Walleye
It’s no secret that this area is the heart of the fall greenback walleye run. A long hot bite window spanning from late September all the way up to ice-up in mid-November offers plenty of time to fit in a trip to this Eastern Region mecca. Massive travelling schools of thick-bodied walleyes commonly going over six pounds and often surpassing ten can be caught here relatively easily at this time of year. Hooking into a monster greenback is only a drop of a jig and bait combo away from your grasp. Access to this popular fishery is primarily at the town of Pine Falls-Powerview.
Clearwater Lake – Lake Trout
This sprawling Northern Region body of water is famously home to tons of trophy lake trout. Beginning around late September, lakers begin to move up into shallower water in preparation for their annual spawn. Anglers timing a trip right can hit a lake trout bonanza during the height of the prime window which can go for a couple of weeks. The trout can be caught a variety of ways this time of year including trolling lures, drift jigging, or casting artificials. Master Angler 35inch trophies seem small compared to the 40inch plus monsters that are possible to be caught on this water. Clearwater Provincial Park has several boat launches to access the lake. Note: There is a spawning season area closure for a portion of the lake around this time of year. Please refer to provincial regulations for what sections are closed to fishing.
Lake of the Prairies – Northern Pike
Truly monstrous northern pike is not just a bastion exclusive to the fly-in regions of the province. The fall period is one of the best times to hitch the boat and hit the road in search of giant gators. One lake that is absolutely stacked with well above average northerns is this Parkland Region reservoir. The entire lake stretching over 30 miles north to south has these predators lurking in the shoreline shallows. Casting and retrieving large lures at practically any shoreline structure in the fall can net you the fish of a lifetime. Master Angler 41inch fish are readily attainable with a realistic chance at behemoths in the mid to upper forties. Assessippi Provincial Park to the south, Pyott’s West Campground mid-lake, and Rickers Campground to the north are some places to access the lake.