During the open water season we try to get out on as many lakes as we can to continue our pursuit for walleye because it is fun of course but also to learn about the lakes so we can use the experience to better inform our hardwater pursuits.
Lake Newel has presented the biggest challenge to learn under open water conditions due in part by the shear size of the waterbody but also because the gale force winds of Alberta frequently make open water conditions on this lake very dangerous for small and medium size watercraft. If you read between the lines here … it is time for Nate to buy a larger boat!
But today was a special kind of day! With light winds forecasted and no storms brewing in the west, we decided to hit the water and explore as many of the areas that we had “marked” during the few years of assessing available bathymetric information.
Launching early in the morning, we headed directly to a spot that reportedly had been fishing well. A Facebook post from a walleye groups identified a possible “secret weapon” bait to try when others had been failing! Eager to test the recommendation, and with organs from a family veal in the freezer, looking a lot like a leech, a freshly sliced strip of heart (selected over the liver because it was heartier) was slipped onto a Northland Thumper Spin Jig and tossed into the current of the lake inflow. Nate had also heard rumours of liver and heart being used but remained somewhat skeptical until the first walleye of the day smashed the meaty strip. Game on!
We managed a few small eyes from the first spot and then decided to check out some other locations that had fantastic looking contours on bathymetric maps and confirm they were run fact real and then to see if fish were on them as we had expected. Well not surprisingly (if we do say so ourselves), we were right on the money and continued to catch fish in each location. Unfortunately we couldn’t connect with the monster eyes that we KNOW swim in this lake.
However, we did catch walleye in every spot we tried and in every way we wanted to… from pulling spinner blades to vertical jigging with some new lipless crankbaits! Fortunately all the pike seem to fancy Nate’s offerings much to his chagrin. Thanks again to Nate for allowing Exploring Alberta into your boat!