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I have a really close friend of mine who's like family to me. He’s caught mostly panfish and done a little saltwater fishing but not someone who fishes more than 5-6 times a year. He was invited by an old school friend to fly into a northeastern Ontario lake north of Cochrane - which other than a 2-fish slot limit, is totally catch and release. The lake is a little over 400 acres in size with a rocky bottom and maximum depth of 30-ft. They have 2 small boats available but without electronics. According to what he's been told the primary fish sought are northerns and walleye. He doesn’t care that much about northerns but really wants to catch walleyes. Since they’re flying in they are restricted to what they can carry in which including tackle - so I’m trying to help him come up with a selection of lures that would best cover general walleye fishing in that area the last two weeks of August. They will be accompanied by their spouses - and in my friend's case, his spouse (new) has fished very little - so the objective here will be more numbers and less trophies so to speak. With two boats he won't be always able to depend on his friend for help or guidance.

I told him I would do a little research and put together a little tacklepack to take with him. His friend told him all he needed for both were “medium Mepps and Dare Devil spoons” - while I respect tradition, I think there’s more available such as soft-plastics in bright to subdued crawfish colors on 1/8-1/4 jigheads, which could also be attached to medium “safety-pin” spinnerbait. I assume that traditional inline spinners would also work - so Mepps “French-blade” spinners in size 2 or 3 and Rooster Tails in 1/6-oz to 1/4-oz sizes. Since it will be typical northern stained lake water, I assume that gold blades would be preferred over silver. I’ve got 2”-3” soft plastic grubs in brown-red-orange-yellow and combinations between plus some crawfish plastics in similar but darker shades. I’ve got 2/0-3/0 1/8-1/4 jigheads in various colors including gold. Looking for advice from someone who has walleye experience to advise me. If I’m all wrong in my assumptions, you won’t hurt my feelings telling me so, but if I need to get other items, I need to hurry.

ADDITIONAL NOTE ADDED: Limited to single hook, barbless. No fishfinders as batteries are a weight issue and the small outboard motors are pure manual start no alternator charging. No electricity at camp sites.


Please no judgmental comments just steer me in the right direction as to lures plus any advice that would make his trip more enjoyable given the limited resources available to him.

Thanks much.

Last edited by Offshoreman; 07/27/22.

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Moon eye hair jigs would be in my kit; so would original Rapalas, sizes 9, 11, maybe 13 even. Dark colors would be best but some brights as well. I would take a pack or two of salted minnows.

The biggest help you could give him would be a portable fish finder of some kind. Any kind. Anything is better than nothing in that regard. There are lots of portable ice fishing setups which would work well in a small boat like that with a kit to put a transducer out. He could buy one on Ebay and turn around and put it right back on there when back from his trip even.


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The biggest walleyes I. and my wife have caught, have been with hand tied spinners, white spoons, and dead minnows.


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Your list is fine. Were I dropped into Canada on unknown waters first and foremost would be a selection of 1/4- 3/8 ounce basic jigs in various colors. Some rubber tails 1 1/2”-2 1/2” long to tip them. Again various colors. You can wind drift to your hearts delight and clobber walleyes.

When jigging, especially with newcomers like wives etc, I find it best to use the larger jigs so your fishing them as vertically as possible when drifting or slow trolling. The less line angle out the less they snag up.
Any raps/rapala type lures that run at depths down to 20’ will be great for trolling walleyes.





Sounds like a great trip!

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No electric, take a deck of cards.


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I had the time of my life catching Pike a month ago. Lot more fun than Walleye. We'd catch enough Walleye for a meal then go back to Pike.

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Big swim baits for pike. Blade baits, deep diving rap alas, 1/4 to 3/8 oz jigs tipped with power bait minnows. Fish deep weed lines. Walleyes will come and feed in shallower weedy areas during cloudy day, winds

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Chasing fly in walleyes in northern Canada out of Red Lake is what we did for 30 years with 2 to 6 guys. We always went the second week of June because the mayflies were hatching and the fish were shallower. Dark stained water was the key because the light penetration was down and fish bit all day long. The lake we liked was smaller with some islands and it didn't blow up like the big lakes up there. 6 of us fished Eagle Lake and it was too big and we would have gone hungry if it wasn't for a couple guys with floating jig heads and trolling SR-7 crawfish Shad Raps. You are smart to fly in because if guys can drive to a lake, it gets netted and that is what you are eating at the Red Lobster. Our lake was in a chain and two lakes were about 5 miles long each. 16 foot S-16 Lund boats with 15 hp four strokes were perfect.

Dad never liked the big northerns because he likened them to having an alligator in the boat, so we hammered the walleyes. While we did have electronics, we found "Bud's Bay" by trolling Rapala's one windy day years ago and it had perfect structure. Deep water rising to a rock 15-7' section that went into a sand flat. Minnows and mayfly nymphs would get pushed up into there and back trolling and vertical jigging just murdered the fish there in 9-12 feet of water. Casting was fun, but depending on the bottom we got snagged way more often and didn't have the control and didn't produce as many strikes as vertical jigging.

As to lures, my buddy tied on a chartreuse 1/2 ounce Whistler Jig when we got there and fished the entire week with a tackle box full of those. That was good, but I think that I caught bigger walleyes with a 1/2 ounce lime green Whistler Jig. You read that right, 1/2 ounce. Big walleyes are old fish up there and they are lazy and are on the bottom, or just off of it. The little guys will chase a bait anywhere, but not the big ones. Bigger baits caught bigger fish and the key was getting down to the bottom. A Whistler Jig has a small spinner blade behind the head and we think it looked like a mayfly nymph to the fish. The flash of the spinner didn't hurt either. A white Twister Tail was good on that jig, but for years we would take frozen strip sucker meat along when it was legal and that was excellent too.

In August you are going to find the fish deeper or in the shade. Another reason a heavier jig would help get down deeper faster. Bring enough pole. We liked medium heavy with a fast tip to help set the hook on bigger, older, tougher fish. Braided low stretch line with a fluorocarbon leader. Slow back trolling (trolling in reverse) gives you better boat control than front trolling once you are on the fish. Bring a marker float or two. Walleyes are schooling fish and once you find them, throw a marker and go back over them. Guys here in WI. talk about how light walleyes bite. The Canadian walleyes never got that memo. They often hit really hard. If they want it, they'll get it. The 15-17" fish are the best eating and in Canada you are going to run into the slot size fish that always need to go back in as breeding stock.

Last edited by Windfall; 07/28/22.

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Thanks to all for great advice - my only concern as to plugs is the single hook regulation - its so strict that the lake they going to only allows four guests at a time in a maximum of two boats - and that's on a 400+ acre lake. Probably plenty of fish but anything with trebles or multi-hooks is out.


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Yeah, those deep runner 5-11' SR-7 Shad Raps would be out then unless you wanted to cut off the trebles and mount up a single. Honestly, jigs are your go to bait for walleyes and an orange spinner on a black lead head buzz bait with a black skirt would probably catch every northern in the lake. I tried one one year and the northerns just tore the thing up. Walleyes and yellow perch are the forage base up there for the northerns, so a big Johnson Silver Minnow (they have single hooks) would be good too.

Another thing we did when we were jigging strip bait was to slide a blood red Fuzzy Grub body up onto shank of the hook to help hide it and to prevent short bite offs. Walleyes won't bite through your line, but northerns sure will, so bring lots of baits because you'll lose some. I wouldn't have believed how fast a northern will "plink" your line when they take it deep.


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Forgot to mention the multi hook lures just take a side cutter and snip two hooks of the treble off. Take a pliers to the hooks that are left on and pinch the barbs down.
I’ve not seen lakes in Ontario that are one hook barbless only, could it be the outfitters call?
Then again I certainly haven’t fished all of Ontario.

Osky


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The problem I have is that much of the time with inline spinners, when you cut two of the hooks off, you end up with a single that is much too small to reliable hook and keep a fish on. A single-hook version - with a larger hook - is a pain in the neck but it does a better job than a tiny single. As to minnow lures, you're still limited to one single hook, so cutting the trebles down when it has two or three sets still doesn't make it legal.


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If you bring some Johnson Silver Minnow lures, and you should, also bring an Uncle Josh bottle of white pork rind. That white rind makes them even more attractive to a northern. You will need to work over that hook with a file or grinder ahead of time because they have a big hook and barb. As much fun as we ever had in Canada fishing northerns was when we found them in a couple feet of water back in the pencil weeds. That Johnson Silver Minnow has a weed guard and the northerns would make a wake behind it and you knew that the water was about to erupt in a couple of seconds. We always caught more northerns with spoons than with spinners.

One of those lower jaw clamp things will sure make landing and unhooking bigger fish easier. Northerns will roll up in a net and make a mess of the net and slime the boat. Way safer too because northern teeth are formidable and they'll bite.

Since they will be cleaning fish outside, a head net weighs practically nothing and keeps mosquitoes and black flies off. Bugs aren't usually a problem on the water, but they can be around the cabin.


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Originally Posted by Windfall
If you bring some Johnson Silver Minnow lures, and you should, also bring an Uncle Josh bottle of white pork rind. That white rind makes them even more attractive to a northern. You will need to work over that hook with a file or grinder ahead of time because they have a big hook and barb. As much fun as we ever had in Canada fishing northerns was when we found them in a couple feet of water back in the pencil weeds. That Johnson Silver Minnow has a weed guard and the northerns would make a wake behind it and you knew that the water was about to erupt in a couple of seconds. We always caught more northerns with spoons than with spinners.

One of those lower jaw clamp things will sure make landing and unhooking bigger fish easier. Northerns will roll up in a net and make a mess of the net and slime the boat. Way safer too because northern teeth are formidable and they'll bite.

Since they will be cleaning fish outside, a head net weighs practically nothing and keeps mosquitoes and black flies off. Bugs aren't usually a problem on the water, but they can be around the cabin.

I used the big 4" Johnson spoons with a 3" jig of any color I had. On a 5 day fly in trip we caught 100's of Northerns. 51" was the best. Most fun I ever had fishing. going back next year.

Last edited by blairvt; 07/29/22.
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Thanks, Guys. I appreciate all the good advice and tips.


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