Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shallow water steady source of good-sized bass, walleye

Winnipeg River low but excitement runs high

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AS we pulled into the boat launch last Saturday at Pointe du Bois, vehicles and boat trailers were parked everywhere with a lineup at the launch waiting to test the water of the Winnipeg River.

Water levels in this section of the river were below normal but not as much as some sections. However, current flow is lower than I have seen it in a long time . That gave me the idea to check Lamprey Falls, the fastest flowing section of the river.

As we headed up river, I again was amazed by the number of boats that dotted the bays and islands of this beautiful stretch of water. Every year I try and plan at least one fishing trip to this section, mostly to enjoy some of the best fishing in Manitoba.

As we arrived at Lamprey, a young couple were cleaning fish at the campground located just below and to the west of the falls. They waved as we slowly motored by, moving up toward the two signs that mark the route through the rapids.

In the last few years, anglers and boaters would have been greeted by a plume of water roaring towards them. Not so now. The rapids are nothing more than a bit of fast-moving current. It is the slowest flow I have seen in 21 years of coming to this area. It was the perfect opportunity to check out the depth in the rapids along with the fishing.

We decided to start by trolling up-current with crankbaits to check out the structure and see if there were any fish holding along the boulder-strewn bottom. Watching the depthfinder closely, we found most of the water to be about three metres deep, so Jim Price and I quickly hooked on medium diving Berkley Frenzy crankbaits.

From past experience we knew these lures would dive to about three metres in this kind of water. Another advantage we have found during the last few years with these baits is they are very snag resistant. Buoyancy and a plastic lip on the lure push the hooks up at the back, keeping them from digging into the rocks and crevices, thus reducing hangups dramatically.

Also, the lure's frantic action, combined with the rattles, drives aggressive current fish crazy. No sooner had we got the boat in gear and the lures down towards the bottom when both our rods bent over. Jim's fish cleared the water a fair distance behind the boat, a real nice smallmouth bass that had been using the medium flow to track down food.

My fish bulldogged a little more and soon a good eating-size walleye came to the side of the boat while Jim's bass was still dancing around the boat. This scene was to repeat itself often during the next couple of hours as we hauled in a number of fish, including a walleye in the two-kilogram range, some nice big bass and a few pike, for good measure.

This was just one of a number of segments filmed for The Complete Angler TV series to be aired next year.

Leon Bouvier, owner of Blue Waters Inn and Guide Service below Pine Falls, is constantly fishing above and below the Powerview dam.

Recently, he and a couple of friends decided to try their luck above the dam for walleye. They already had caught three when his friend Pete Lachiver hooked onto something that felt like a submerged freight train.

Suddenly this fish headed up, clearing the water as only a sturgeon can. Half an hour later a tired Lachiver got the fish to the side of the boat were Bouvier and Gary Mysak grabbed it by the tail and upper body.

They quickly measured and released the sturgeon, with a few pictures for good luck. It was a very large specimen of 173 centimetres with a girth of 76 centimetres. While it was not a Manitoba record, this lake sturgeon weighed 36.2 kilograms on an uncertified scale.

Congratulations to Pete Lachiver for hooking and releasing a true Manitoba trophy fish.

dlamont@mts.net

Solunar tables

Solunar tables for fishing have long been used to find the best fishing times and peak feeding periods. Expert fisherman believe the phase and position of the moon greatly affects fishing results. This solunar table predicts the two best times for fishing each day for the next week. Use this chart to help plan your next fishing trip.

Aug. 2 -- 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.; 1:06 p.m. to 3:06 p.m

Aug. 3 -- 5:18 a.m. to 7:18 a.m.; 1:54 p.m. to 3:54 p.m.

Aug. 4 -- 6:06 a.m. to 8:06 a.m; 2:42 p.m. to 4:42 p.m

Aug. 5 -- 6:54 a.m. to 8:54 a.m.; 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 6 -- 7:42 a.m. to 9:42 a.m.; 4:18 p.m. to 6:18 p.m.

Aug. 7 -- 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; 5:06 p.m. to 7:06 p.m

Aug. 8 -- 9:42 a.m. to 11:42 a.m.; 6:18 p.m. to 8:18 p.m.

PHOTO

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 2, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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