Anglers have been enjoying a fantastic first few weeks of the fishing season. The weather has been all over the place but that hasn’t stopped people from getting out and enjoying the outdoors. The months of May and June are primetime for targeting gamefish of all species, so if you have been thinking about making a trip now would be the time to do it.
The annual white bass run is at its peak right now and local enthusiasts have been taking full advantage. Good numbers of stripers have been reported at Manigotagan and Pine Falls. The usual hotspots on the west side of Lake Winnipeg such as Wavey Creek, Willow Creek and up to Hecla Island are running a bit behind but should pick up in the next few weeks. On a recent guiding trip, I helped mang Totoy Caspillo catch his first ever fish in Canada, a huge freshwater drum (silver bass). A quick learner, he went on to catch a few more white bass and drum although not all of them made it into the boat.
Ideal opening week conditions on the Red River gave many fishermen, such as young avid angler Geno Meligrito, an opportunity to hook into loads of leftover greenback walleyes, white bass, and channel catfish. Lower than usual water levels and light current made for great fishing from the banks and on the boats. Recent heavy rainfall has muddied up the water and the current has increased drastically so fishing has slowed a bit in the last week or so. The river should get back to seasonal norms soon. Remember to pick up a ticket for the Lockport Tagged Catfish Contest just in case you should hook into one.
Sturgeon are relatively rare to catch on the Red or Assiniboine, but on all sections of the Winnipeg River they are very targetable. On a recent trip I took to Pine Falls fishing for stripers, I witnessed mang Eric Ramos battle a 52.5 inch sturgeon to the shore. I’ve seen many sturgeon before of all sizes but this monster was the thickest one I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I helped out by carrying it down to the shoreline for release, but I’m sure I broke something in my back doing it. Nutimik Lake and Pointe Du Bois are other popular places to try for one of these prehistoric giants.