Harness the Heat

This past week has given us some of the hottest walleye fishing of the year so far, and may be the best in many years. We played host to a private group from Florida and Ohio who booked the entire lodge (Yes, we do that: see Private Group Bookings) and while many of the group have been fishing Kipawa for many years, this year has been exceptional in terms of the number and size of the walleye. Big bass added some excitement, but the real story was the quality of the walleye. A number of walleye in the 26″ range were caught and released, plus a whole bunch just over the 20.5″ slot.

Kate with chunker bass

Undoubtedly, the size limits on the walleye have helped keep these larger fish in the lake to be caught again and to breed genetically larger fish. We see the benefits of the slot size each year.

That’s great, but you still have to catch them. And, what if the temperatures are in the 90’s, there is no wind, and the sun is threatening to ignite your can of fly repellent? Time to try a crawler harness. The single-blade spinner rig dragging half a worm was definitely the ticket this past week and accounted for almost all the walleye taken. The advantage of the crawler harness in situations where the fish are there but conditions are not conducive to a feeding frenzy is that real live bait is presented slowly and right in the face of the walleye. The spinner blade provides enough flash to attract the fish’s attention. Unlike a jig, it isn’t dragged along bottom where it is prone to snag rather suspended a little higher in the water column. And because it is trolled, you cover more ground over different depths.

Crawler Harness Rig

This week we saw the water temps shoot from 67 to 76 degrees. A sudden change like this should slow down the bite, but because of the worm harness technique, our guests were able to get the bait down and entice those walleye to feed. And because of that, our guests had a few good feeds as well.

3 year-old Jenson’s first walleye