Location: Hugh-Keenleyside to Lion’s Head
Weather: Sunny with some cloud
Temperature: 27 degrees Celsius
Our goal was simple… Supper. We set out mid-afternoon around 2pm and launched the tinner on the Mighty Columbia. We were hunting Walleye. September is known as the month Walleye become the most active, and we were not disappointed!
We tried a number of techniques to target the fish. When starting out, you first need to locate them. For this I like to drift a 2 OZ bottom bouncer with any type of set up and use a combination of beads, blades/spinners and small inline floats; typically on a 2-3-foot lead, and always tipped with a worm. We drift down stream, which in the Columbia currents sometimes requires a trolling motor due to the eddies. I track towards and away from shore until I find the magical depth. On Sunday this was between 29 and 34 feet.
I found that the Walleye were really aggressive towards any green and black combo from chartreuse to dark green. Blue and silver often work, though I found myself sticking with the greens. After we located the sport fish by trolling bottom, we anchored up and began to jig off the side of the boat. The current is low during the day so we were able to get away with 1/4 OZ jigs, which put us mostly right below the boat. After the light fades and the dam begins to spill you need to up your weight game and increase it up and including 1 OZ jigs (which are hard to find around here). The lighter your set up is, the better you can feel light nibbles which Walleye are famous for.
We caught enough Walleye to feast upon. We lost a few, and kept a few. The bite was aggressive, and there was no problem differentiating between grazing a rock off the bottom and a Walleye taste testing my presentation. As the summer temps cool they will become more aggressive. If you only fish walleye one month out of the year September is your best bet by far.
At one point I switched to a 1 OZ pink jig head with a 4” pink rubber minnow, but this was a mistake as it seemed to attract Sturgeon. We ended up leaving the area after about 6 sturgeon in under 20 minutes, ranging in size from 2-5 feet (I’d guess between 10lbs-80lbs) Sturgeon are highly protected and must be released immediately. They are easy to identify quickly as they almost always fly to surface for a beautiful show of power and one heck of a breach fairly quickly.
Happy fishing everyone!
Brad -Rod Sprocket Canada