Anyone who’s been out in Ontario fishing one of the many lakes knows that your success will greatly depend on adjusting your techniques depending on the time of year. Although many Ontario fishing resorts are open year round, we will focus on spring, summer and fall fishing. Spring and fall fishing packages are a popular offering at many Ontario fishing lodges. There are any number of Ontario fishing resources that will provide tips and techniques for catching walleye (pickerel) but the basics are fairly straightforward with only a few seasonal adjustments required.
The long weekend in May marks the beginning of fishing season in many lakes and this is often the best time of year for catching walleye. Walleye are typically more plentiful in the spring and generally willing to bite a much larger variety of lures and bait. One of the most popular Ontario fishing lakes is Lake Nipissing. It has an outstanding Walleye fishery and in the springtime, fishermen are usually rewarded with plenty of fish. The best Ontario fishing lodges are located such that they can provide easy access to a variety of locations suitable for walleye fishing. River fishing is especially productive in the spring as the walleye will have travelled here to spawn and will often stay in the area for some time after the spawning period.
Walleye generally show a strong preference for various rigs using live bait as well as crankbaits. A basic jig and minnow is often the simplest and best presentation for catching walleye. Low light periods are best which includes dawn, dusk and days with overcast skies or rougher water. Due to the structure of their eyes, walleye can see much better in low lights conditions than other types of fish and they prefer to feed in these conditions.
Summertime brings a different set of circumstances and catching walleye can often be quite challenging. Dropping jigs into pockets and holes along the edges of green weed beds will often provide the best results. Walleye will generally use these weed beds for cover during the hunting. One of the better options for fishing in and around weed beds is a bucktail jig due to it movement and ability to reduce snags. Using live bait such as minnows or worms will increase your odds of success dramatically. Walleye are famous for taking a little nibble before they bite so be patient before setting the hook.
Fall is generally the best time to snag a huge walleye. The water in most Ontario fishing lakes begins to cool and the fish will be feeding much more aggressively. Dusk and early twilight will provide the best conditions and trolling or casting with minnows and worms will usually lead to a great catch. Slower trolling speeds will generally be more successful and long, slender bait is also preferred.
Obviously there are many more details and specific techniques that will help you have success catching walleye but by following some of these basic seasonal tips you will be able to have some early success.