How We Caught ‘Em: Dog Lake Walleye

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Presented by Xplore

This trip was mainly a Walleye shoot but Ang and I knew the possibility of Pike and even Smallmouth was there. Dog Lake near Misinnabi Ontario has all three species. Between Dog and the many surrounding lakes in the vicinity, we had a lot of areas to fish.

Our home base for this shoot was a recently converted home on the water owned and operated by Dog Lake Cottages and Campground. This is a great location for a large group of anglers looking for a fishing destination in Walleye country. 

Here’s a screen grab from the Navionics web app (very handy BTW). As you can see there are lots of areas for Walleye to roam.

In looking for our Walleye, the first area we hit was a gigantic bed of cabbage weed that came out to a point near the deepest water. An absolute perfect scenario for pretty much all species. Ang was throwing his new-found Twitchbait as we talked about in the Seine River article. I wanted to go deeper into the weedbed by throwing a jig and fluke combo. I chose a 5” pink fluke because the locals told me that pink works well in that area and I know from experience that Walleye LOVE big flukes!

A fluke isn’t just a slow-sinking, aggressive Bass bait. They work extremely well with a jig head for Walleye too!

Within minutes I was into an aggressive weed Walleye that brought instant confidence to Ang and I. Quick & Dirty… love those starts. The problem though is the next 5 or so bites I had were all Pike. A couple of half-decent ones and the rest small. Nothing that makes a “showcase” status. Time to move on.

First fish of the day was out of a cabbage weed bed on a jig & pink fluke

Trolling was our next option. Since we were running our big 300 racing Merc on the back of our Princecraft, we utilized our Garmin Force electric motor to pull us around at perfect trolling speeds. With the aid of a wireless remote, the trolling opportunities are pretty much endless.

While using the Garmin Force remote, we can attain perfect speed control, we can lock on to a specific heading, we can automatically troll from waypoint to waypoint, we can use cruise control (just like your road vehicle), mark a waypoint while on the move, and so on

I started out by running a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye in a crazy colour called Purple Wonderbread. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it. With all my years spent on the late-season Bay of Quinte Walleye,  I’ve seen so many crazy colour patterns work that nothing would surprise me. 

How’s this for a crazy, flamboyant colour for Walleye. Trust me, it works!

On this trip, I didn’t even need to experiment with other colours. Pulling this baby through Ontario’s northern waters was kicking butt. I’m the kind of guy who says if it’s working, I ain’t changing.

Ang is more of a natural-coloured bait guy. Colours like Purple Wonderbread, Acid Perch, Zombie, Banana Peel. etc. aren’t usually his go-to. And I 100% get that, we all have our ideas that sometimes work yet sometimes there’s an alternative.

In this case, P-WB was the deal. Reluctantly, my boy Ang eventually switched to it as well. Unfortunately, shortly after he hooked a couple of nice Walleye, including the biggest of the day, he got SPOOLED… something literally took his entire bait setup along with all of his line… INSANE! We still scratch our heads on that one.

Since we only had two of the Crystal Minnow Deep in the Wonderbread, he went to a Yo-Zuri 3DB Deep Crank Bass crankbait and immediately picked up two more fish. 

Chalk up another day to going beyond the norm and experimenting.

A Bass bait in “Prism Tennessee Shad” colour for Walleye… you betcha’!

Incidentally, we both ran baitcasting rigs with approximately 7-foot-long rods and either straight fluorocarbon line (10-12 pound test) like mentioned above or with the addition of a homemade fluorocarbon leader.

When slow trolling from the front of the boat we hand-held our rods. When trolling a bit faster in bigger waves, we moved to the back of the boat and utilized our rod holders. 

The ultimate in covering water, trolling with the rods in holders. Check out that sky, “the pass before the storm”!

Although we had planer boards and snap weights with us, there wasn’t a need since the fish were biting and the water was relatively shallow. And thankfully we didn’t have to get out the bottom bouncers, spinner rigs, and Lindy rigs. Life is so much easier if you don’t need live bait.

Trolling Info

When trolling for pretty much any species of fish, it’s often a game of feet and even inches. We’ve seen many days when a 2-foot depth change could be the ticket. As well, if you accidentally sway even a short distance off of an effective trolling line or “pass”, that too could spell either success or disaster. Some trollers don’t believe this but a GPS/Fishfinder combo is absolutely essential.

Check out the trolling passes (paths) on the left of our screen, it may look like mayhem to you but to us, it’s all about precision boat control.

The lures we were using are designed for trolling, and even better yet, they’re designed specifically for trolling Walleye. Not to say they won’t work on other species but man do they ever work on Walleye. They come in three different sizes that run at three different depths, approximately 7 – 10 feet, 10 – 15 feet and 15 feet and beyond.

Line size will ultimately determine the running depth of these baits.

The thicker the diameter of the line, the shallower the bait will run. Depth takes precedence over bait size every time. Anglers have to get that bait into the fish’s strike zone.

Want to hear more about How They Caught ‘Em at Dog Lake? Listen to the podcast they recorded live from location!

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

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