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Lake Kipawa Walleye Fishing Tips & Tactics:

Factors effecting Walleye Feeding Habits:

Walleye feeding habits can be affected by so many factors. Location or region, depth of the lake, lake structure, type of weed cover, mineral content in the water, water clarity, the amount of current, weather and atmospheric pressure. All these factors will effect when the Walleyes will feed and how the Walleyes will feed. The secret to having a successful day of Walleye fishing is to keep trying different techniques over and over again and see which ones work best on that day in the current weather for your location.

The fishing tips below are specific to fishing in deep clear lakes in Northwestern Quebec and Northeastern Ontario because these tips are designed to maximize the amount of Walleye caught by guests of Chalets du Huard and increase the chance of a big Trophy Walleye over 8 pounds.

Early Spring on Lake Kipawa:

Shallow Water: The Walleyes have just finished spawning a few days before Walleye season opens. They will spawn on sandy beaches, sand bars or in river current. The smaller males will stay shallow all day and all night while the bigger females will take off into water that's a little deeper during the day. At this time of year the male Walleyes are protecting the spawning grounds so they will go after bright colors that seem to be threatening. Because they are shallow you can cast or troll along the sand all day long with shallow minnow lures or worm harnesses and catch the smaller males, which are usually 1 to 3 pounds. Fire tiger, red, fluorescent orange and chartreuse are great colors to use in early spring.

Deeper Water: During the day the big females will go deeper so try jigging with a white unscented twistertail in 10-foot deep water just off the sand bars or beaches. Adding a tiny piece of worm to the jig will increase your strikes. You can also use a light bottom bouncing rig which is basically a slip sinker and a split shot about 6 to 10 inches from a floating jig with a worm or leech. Just do slow long jigs and then let the floating jig rig fall back to the bottom. Let the rig sit on bottom for 10 seconds before doing another long slow jig. If the Walleyes are not feeding aggressively they will be more likely to hit a stationary bait.

Late Spring / Early Summer: By late spring and running into early summer most Walleyes will be hiding themselves from the sun but don't want to get too far from shore because that's where all the food is at that time of year. During the day most will be in the 6 to 8-foot range and off rocky points, shoals and islands. On Lake Kipawa there are some weedy plateaus where the Walleyes will hide. At this time of year trolling along the shore with small floating Rapalas, Thundersticks or other shallow running minnow lures is a great way to find them. Once you find a spot that's holding a school of Walleyes; don't keep trolling back and forth because you may spook them. Once you find them put on a 1/8 oz jig with a small white twistertail and try jigging. If it's in the middle of the day try just a plain hook and a worm with a tiny weight and cast out and just let the worm sit on bottom. Walleyes during the day hug the bottom and will take a worm off the bottom, even if it's in mud or weeds.

Summer: In the summer the walleyes go a little deeper, hang out at the mouth of rivers or lay off rocky points and could be as deep as 14 feet. Islands that have patches of gravel around them are good spots. Rocky drop-offs are also good. With lakes that have a flat structure, the Walleyes will head into the thick weeds to get protection from the sun.

In the summer, Walleyes tend to go after more natural colors like silver, brown, perch or black and white. When fishing with jigs, you can go to a heavier jig like a 3/8-oz or even 1/4-oz depending on how deep you are fishing. The unscented twistertails or rubber you put on the jig should be these natural colors. Fish in the north do not like scented rubbers. They do like salted rubbers. Live minnows, if allowed, are excellent whether on a jig or just a strait hook. If you are on a lake where you cannot use live bait, get some salted minnows. We used to catch minnows and then cure them with salt. It seems a little cruel but it's convenient and the Walleyes go nuts over them. Just put a bunch of minnows on a cookie sheet and cover them with a generous amount of table salt and stick in the fridge.

Hot Days: Sometimes the Walleyes get very lazy in the summer, especially if it's a hot sunny day. Use a 1/8-oz jig and put a white unscented twistertail on. Then cast out and literally drag the jig across the bottom. Give it tiny little jigs (2 or 3 inches) once in a while just to shake off any mud or weeds. This bottom dragging gets the Walleyes feeding. It really works. You should always jig slowly. Just make the jig motion longer in the morning, as the Walleyes are more aggressive. Sharp quick jigs will attract pike and you will lose your jig if you are not using a leader. Jigging is way more effective not using steel leaders. In the afternoon when the Walleyes slow down, put a piece of worm, Walleye gullet or salted minnow on your jig and use the slow bottom drag method and you will start hitting Walleyes again.

Trolling off the rocky points with a Rapala or Thunderstick is also good in the summer. Natural colors like silver or brown seem to work best. If you use bright colors, you will hit tons of pike. In the summer, the Walleyes tend to go a little deeper and stay off rocky points or rocky drop-offs because wave action on the rocks creates more oxygen. Also, bugs and other food floating on the surface tend to get more dense when drifting past a point so small minnows show up to feed and the Walleyes feed on the minnows.

Fall: Fishing in the fall for Walleyes can be very frustrating. What happens in many lakes is the water cools down and the weeds start to die. As the weeds die, they absorb oxygen out of the water as they decompose. Dead weeds also produce a dirty methane-sulfate and when the methane bubbles are released and float to the surface, the molecule capture a hydrogen molecule and releases the sulfur, which is poison to fish in high concentrations but with trace amounts, it's annoying to them. The Walleyes take off into open water or up rivers and away from the dying weeds. They may move to the outer edge of big weed beds where the prevailing winds are blowing fresh water into the weeds.

Walleyes usually go deeper in the fall and get spread out so trolling deep is the best way to come across them. The best way to get them is troll with a worm harness and a big fat worm and use a 3-way swivel Lake Trout rig to get down. Walleyes in the fall can be 15 to 20 feet deep. The usual rule for fall and late summer Walleyes is fish deep during the day and extremely shallow at night.

At Night in the Summer or Fall: The big trophy Walleyes over 6 pounds are always females. They go deep during the summer and fall but will come shallow at night to feed. This is your best chance at catching a big 10-pound trophy. The perfect spot is a sandy shore with some wild rice that drops off quickly into a deep hole. Another good spot is the mouth of a stream or river. The big females will come right up into 2 or 3 feet of water so very quietly troll with blue Rapalas and Thundersticks or any other shallow running lure. The big females really go for the color blue in the evening or night in the summer or fall. You need to troll slowly and quietly.



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