The water levels on the Winnipeg River in Ontario usually peak in late June / early July and then begin to rapidly decline. This year the water levels did peak on schedule and at levels slightly above the high water mark. Unlike other years the water levels have not declined. On August 1 they are still at the same levels as a month ago and this is something that has really not happened before as long as I can tell from looking at the records.
The usual summer pattern for walleye fishing has been affected somewhat – for me anyway. I had very little success fishing the mid lake humps I normally fish in mid summer. The walleye seem to be more scattered and I had better success finding them on points and transition zones closer to shorelines.
The walleye were also finickier than usual and live worms worked better than Gulp. The *$%#@*!! perch and rock bass liked the live worms too! I found that I had no confidence that I actually had a live crawler left on the spinner rig with all the perch and rock bass nipping at it. My solution was to put both a live crawler and a Gulp crawler on the rig at the same time. The perch and rock bass would often strip off the live crawler but at least I was not fishing with a bare hook as they couldn’t pull the Gulp crawler off.
I did try using a slow death spinner rig with smile blades and the shorter Gulp crawlers and that seemed to work as well as live worms. It was the first time using the rig for me and definitely something that I will be using more often.