Episode 523: Cranking Summer Walleye

This Fish’n Canada episode had Pete Bowman back with Walleye fishing fanatic Kevin Lavers of Merland Park Cottages fishing on the world-famous Bay of Quinte. It had been a long time since they’d fished together. In fact, their last trip was a fall Sheephead shoot which ended up with great success. Their last Walleye shoot dated way back to the 2002 season.

The good news is that Kevin’s fishing report stated the Walleye were biting!

For this latest trip (and just like that 2002 previous trip), Pete and Kevin were going to be concentrating on casting crankbaits to weedbeds for active Walleye. It’s such a fun and effective tactic! And when you really think about it, that almost 20-year stretch is such a testament as to how good crankbaiting Walleye on Quinte actually is. It truly is a phenomenal summer-to-fall Walleye tactic.

The Walleye Cover

summer walleye fishing in Prince Edward County

This is what to expect when fishing the Bay of Quinte for summer Walleye while casting crankbaits

For this shoot, they were fishing in mid-summer. It’s a perfect time to target Walleye that live in and around weedbeds. The Bay of Quinte is a perfect body of water to look for weed-dwelling Walleye (Bass, Pike as well). For the most part, the weeds grow near the shorelines, and there’s a defined edge on both the deep and shallow sides. A mixture of milfoil and cabbage seems like the best for Walleye.

Summer Fishing Tactics

Eater-size Walleye are commonplace here. Take a few home for the table but don’t be greedy!

A lot of anglers prefer to do a technique called rip-jigging for these weed-bound Walleye. This is simply taking a bucktail jig, casting it into and around the weeds, and ripping or popping the jig with sharp strong pulls through the weedy area. That strong pull normally frees most weeds from the hook. It’s the fast, almost startling, bait action that triggers the Walleye.

Casting crankbaits is similar in location (as long as the weeds aren’t too thick) and it does have some similarities in tactics. A good crankbait angler will be able to feel when their lure hangs into weeds or, more importantly, picks up a straggler weed on one of the trebles. By snapping the rod tip in a sharp motion (almost like a hookset), the weeds often pop free and in turn, this action often triggers fish just like the ripped jig.

Since this shoot, Fish’n Canada has teamed up with crankbait specialists Yo-Zuri so Ang and Pete can’t wait to try their lineup out on Walleye (among the rest of the species they will be after). In the limited time that they have been experimenting with these quality Japanese baits, our guys are thoroughly impressed already!

Yo-Zuri’s 3DB 1.5 MR and the 3DB 1.5 Squarebill are sure to be Walleye slayers in our future.

Shoot Conditions

What a crazy incidental catch while casting crankbaits. This Gar pummelled Pete’s presentation while fishing a long shallow point with weeds nearby.

The conditions for this day were pretty much perfect. Sunny with a bit of cloud cover and some wind. As per usual on Quinte though, be prepared for a feeling of “they lied to me again” when it comes to weather channels, sites, and apps. If “they” say it is going to be a steady 15k with gusts to 22k, bank on much higher numbers. This comes from years of fishing in the area.

The predicted winds were pretty much as the above numbers: the reality was at least 35k gusts. Doable, but certainly not Pete’s choice when it comes to open water fishing.

The beauty of a large body of water like Quinte is, there’s pretty much always a somewhat protected area to hit.

On this particular shoot, Kevin and Pete caught fish pretty much all day long. The bite was strong and the fish were healthy. Along with a bunch of Walleye, the boys also caught a Gar, a nice Largemouth, and some small Pike. A highlight of the trip was seeing a crazy, what looked like a Rainbow Trout (yes on Quinte) swimming close to the shore in circles.

“Fishing is so awesome!” said Pete.

Things To Do Around Picton & Prince Edward County

If you want to learn more about Prince Edward County and all the stops we made while filming this episode, check out our article over at the Northern Portal. From from back lakes to wineries to breweries, this area truly does have it all!

Episode Hotspot (Sponsored by Garmin)

N 44 05.830, W 77 04.785

This episode’s Hotspot is on the world-famous Bay of Quinte in Ontario.

As you can see from this show, it was all about fishing weed lines.

Since the outside edges of weed beds on Quinte usually run erratically and hardly ever in a perfectly straight line, casting is the most efficient way of presenting a bait. Try to get as close as you can to the weed edge.

We like throwing floating crankbaits that dive from around 8-12 feet deep and have a nice wide wobble when retrieved at a slow speed. As said in the episode, cast the crankbait out, reel it quickly to get it to the maximum running depth and then slow down. If you feel a weed, rip the bait free with a hard, fast jerk with the rod.

Check out our Hotspots page on www.fishncanada.com for more Hotspots

Baits: Floating Crankbaits ranging from 6-12 Feet were best

Presentation: Casting (both Braid and Fluorocarbon lines)

Depth: 6-15 Feet

Conclusion

The Fish’n Canada Show has been travelling to Prince Edward County for years and we’ve always maintained the attitude of, “we’re definitely coming back!” This episode, again, had loads of fish as well as some great fishing stories!

TV EXTRAS