How We Caught ‘Em: Summer Walleye at Pine Portage Lodge

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Presented by Mercury Marine

For this shoot, I teamed up with our brother-in-arms Steve Niedzwiecki as he and I travelled into the Algoma region of Ontario and hit one of the absolute best Walleye lakes in the entire country, Kabinakagami Lake, AKA Kaby Lake.

Ang and I have visited this lake a couple of times previous to this trip so I knew the potential. This was Steve’s first trip here.  Obviously, since this lake is a phenomenal Walleye lake, that was what we were after. 

Again, being newly partnered with the Yo-Zuri bait company, we wanted to do our best to catch as many fish on artificial baits as we could. Of course, we also brought tons of jig heads that would eventually be tipped with minnows but that was only in situations where we had to do so.

So, for the start of the trip, it was Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Divers on the lines.

I played with a couple of colours with my “Ernie’s Special” Purple Wonderbread being one, and Acid Perch being another. Steve was attracted to the straight white bait. In an extensive lineup on a colour list consisting of Acid Perch, Banana Peel, Chartreuse Tiger, Clown, Hot Perch, Hot Tiger, Midnight, Green Perch, Purple Tiger, Purple Wonderbread, Wonderbread, Zombie, Blue Chrome, Clear and he picked… White!!!

We tried two sizes, I ran the 4-3/8″ (110mm), 9/16 oz. (16g) which runs to around 10ft while Steve went bigger with the 5-1/4″ (130mm), 7/8 oz. which goes to around 13ft (you can get deeper depending on line size).

The largest size of Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye in white was Steve’s bait of choice.

Either trolling or casting both worked with our minnowbaits. If we ran up on points near the shoreline then we’d cast. Anywhere else (in deeper water) we’d troll. It was that simple.

Main lake and island points as well as underwater humps were our areas of choice. They produce on almost every northern Canadian lake.

Steve and I invested the majority of our time trolling simply because it’s the best way to cover a lot of unfamiliar water (to us) in a short amount of time.

Our other main presentation for this trip was casting a jig and minnow combo to isolated pieces of structure. The jig and minnow, day in and day out, cannot be beaten for numbers of Walleye in the north. Yes, our crankbaits caught a lot of fish, however, if you add up all the Walleye caught in all of the Walleye-specific lodges, the jig and minnow would prevail. Simply put, it’s deadly when all else fails.

Again, points and islands were the key areas to hit. 

A north country Walleye classic presentation, the jig and minnow combo. Pretty much any jighead will suffice.

A quick story about our jig fishing on this trip. Steve and I hit a perfect rock point that extended well out from shore. According to our guide (another Steve), there are normally Walleye all over it. 

Of course, we couldn’t find any… typical.

HOWEVER, as we ran our LiveScope off the end of the point and into around 16 feet of water, the Walleye started lighting up the screen. We sat there and picked off the fish all while laughing our butts off! 

So much fun!

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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