Right out of the gate we would like to say we are extremely happy with our rediscovery of fishing in Alberta. In the past, this province has always delivered top-notch trout, with the Bow River being one of Canada’s most spectacular fisheries. Once we found out about their Walleye and Pike fishing, however, wow, did our eyes open up.
This episode took us to the town of Wabasca, to fish on North Wabasca Lake—and yes, we were after Pike and Walleye. We hooked up with our now great buddy and Alberta liaison Ray Kholruss of Reel Angling Adventures, along with some locals from the area, and set out on yet another Alberta lake that we had no previous knowledge of.
The Bow River is one of Canada’s most spectacular fisheries.
TIME FOR MODIFICATIONS
We started out for Pike in the river that connects North and South Wabasca Lakes as recommended by Ray and the locals. We instantly caught some small Walleye on jerkbaits and lost some decent Pike on bucktail jigs.
Since nothing television-worthy was happening, we ventured farther into the river. All this time, dark clouds were all around us, along with the looming threat of rain. As our luck this year would have it, once we found the fish the rain found us! Now you would think we would be totally disappointed with this relentless wet weather but, in fact, it didn’t really matter.
Angelo was dialled into some big Northerns, but he couldn’t hook any of them. Strike after strike—missed fish on a giant tube. After analyzing the bait, Ang figured the fish were grabbing the body of the tube, sinking their sharp teeth into the soft plastic, and completely missing the hook. When Angelo would set, the bait would stay stationary because of the power of the fish’s jaws and those incredible rows of teeth.
The rain pounded for the next two days, which left the guys with only one day to finish the show; the flights back to Toronto were scheduled and they couldn’t be changed.
During the rain, Ang and Pete sent the camera crew back to the motel but stayed out with Ray (who could never miss an opportunity to go fishing) looking for good areas on the lake. Luckily, at the eleventh, hour they found a great pattern: A fast breakline held a great population of Walleye, while big weedy points adjacent to the break had some gorgeous Northern Pike hunkered down and ready to attack.
THE LAST DAY
Come the last shooting day: With some quick-thinking adjustments, Angelo and Pete proceeded to catch those same Walleye and Pike with camera rolling!
The Walleye were mostly caught on the slope of the break or at the bottom (8-15 feet deep) on jigs with plastic bodies like Yamamoto grubs or small shad type bodies. Walking the bait down the break and working it on the deep portion was the ticket. Ang and Pete simply worked the breakline back and forth on irregular areas like points.
For the Pike, they moved up on top of the break and fished the heavy weeds. There was a combination of cabbage and what Pete referred to in the show as “Pike Weed.” It’s a long stringy weed that almost looks like giant blades of grass. They either threw their Walleye jigs (with heavy braided line or leader material) or big bucktail jigs on heavy gear. The key to the Pike was to rip the jig in typical weed/jig fashion in order to provoke a strike.