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Unforgettable Walleye Fishing

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Unforgettable Walleye Fishing

“Let’s go fishing” I announced to my pal and out the screen door we went. It didn’t take us long to find fish! • Credit: Babe Winkelman

On Rainy Lake in Ontario's Sunset Country

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You can't go into walleye country without hearing anglers espouse the virtues of a good "walleye chop." When the gusts make the waves break as white caps, you'll often find active fish on windblown points, reefs and humps. The wave action boosts oxygen levels and creates currents that drive baitfish toward windward structure where the toothy predators lay in wait.

Conversely, when conditions go flat and there's barely a ripple on a lake's surface, the walleye bite can go flat too. Such was my thought when I awoke at the shores of Rainy Lake in Ontario, and saw it was smooth glass. The tranquil weather conditions certainly didn't bode well for walleyes.

Boy was I wrong!

As we ate a hearty lodge breakfast, little did we know that the fishing would be as unforgettable as the Ontario scenery. Honestly, you can travel the world over and never see more pristine natural beauty as you will in Canada's finest Province. From the lodge window (in the time it takes to eat a meal) I saw two eagles, four deer, geese, a mink carrying a field mouse (his breakfast) and several smallmouth bass breaking Rainy's velvety surface.

"Let's go fishing" I announced to my pal, and out the screen door we went. It didn't take us long to find fish! Our first likely spot was out at a mid-lake hump, and one pass with the depth finder showed the telltale "hooks" of walleyes on the screen. Down we went with 1/4 ounce pink-and-white jigs tipped with lively minnows. Pink and white is always a productive color combo on Rainy with its tea-colored water.

In less than a minute we hooked up on our first 'eye -- a broad-shouldered beauty pushing about 5 pounds. All day long the action was equally fast and furious, with dozens of big walleyes and never a dull moment. My buddy summed it up when he said "man Babe, these walleyes are committing suicide!" Not to worry my friends, they did not meet with their ends as the expression implies.They were all released to delight the next angler who crosses their path in Ontario.

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