The Suspense is Killing Me
I found that when we moved our outfitting operations to Lake Kipawa ten years ago, it was like I had to relearn everything I thought I knew about walleye fishing. In my previous life as a guide and outfitter in Ontario, I caught walleye by jigging live minnows or twister tails off bottom. Cast—sink—drag— twitch, repeat. Kipawa is not like that. First, live minnows are not permitted on Lake Kipawa. So, worms or leeches are the live bait. While the north end of Kipawa doesn’t have an abundance of natural leeches, when you do see them swimming past the dock, they are not snaking their way along the bottom—they are suspended a foot or two above. It makes sense then that if presenting a leech as bait, one would keep it well off the bottom.
This week, suspended bait was the ticket as the anglers who stayed above were hanging in the strike zone. Slip bobbers set so the bait was presented two or three feet off bottom did the trick. So did drop-shotting a worm or a leech. One technique that has been scoring big is to rig a jig tipped with a worm on the bottom, then tie a drop hook and leech 3 feet above the jig. Julie and my highly scientific research this week revealed the suspended leech outperformed Mr. Worm, at least on one outing.
Regardless of the bait setup, the key to walleye success these days is to work the drop-offs. If you are set up to fish the bottom of a drop-off, just where bottom flattens out in the 20 foot level, your suspended bait will be dangling alongside the feeding fish, which are pressed against the wall, not the bottom.
The other technique that is often overlooked is to troll minnow imitating lures along the edges of these drops. The walleye, pike and bass are here feeding on minnows, so why not give them what they want? Hot n’ Tots in gold, orange or purple are the best to get down to that 15 – 18 ft strike zone.
Overall, the past week saw some up and down fishing: strong winds kept anglers a shore one day; a snap cold front stirred things up another day. But still, there were some very good catches by our guests who put in the time to be there when things turned on. And that is one great thing about staying at Two Moon Lodge— you are always close to the lake’s best fishing spots when the action turns on.
And pizza—you get our gourmet wood-fired pizza dinner too!