Fishing Tips from the Pros at Pine Island Lodge

Our professional guides know the Winnipeg River up and downstream. All the channels, inlets, and falls. The rocks, the beds and where the big ones are hiding. They'll guide you to the hot spots and help you with lure selection. So here's a few tips on what to put in your tackle box for your fishing trip to Pine Island Lodge.

Smallmouth Bass

The Winnipeg River holds a healthy population of hard-fighting SMALLMOUTH BASS. Make sure you consider picking up a few of these proven bass baits:

TUBE JIGS (with heads) 1/8 ounce in smoke or pumpkinseed

FLUKES, 5 inch with or albino

MEPPS SPINNER #2 Plain or Bucktail gold or silver

BEETLE SPINS 1/8 ounce in black or white

Fly fishers have had a lot of success at Pine Island Lodge throwing all sorts of bass bugs, minnow imitations and sinking flies. You'll find some great fly fishing tips from our guests on our comments page.Fly Fishing info - Comments Page

Walleye

Walleye fishing at Pine Island Lodge is catch-and-release with the exception of a few sweet-sized-keepers for shorelunch. Our walleye have plenty of forage to feast on from shiners to minnows. Trophies up to 18 lbs. have been caught out of Pine Island Lodge and 10-pounders are common.
Jigs and salties are a killer combination when you're over the fish. Minnow crankbaits are also effective with varying techniques from delicate slow cranks to aggressive rips that produce fierce strikes.
Stock up on 1/4 and 3/4 ounce jigs to match the conditions, current speed and depth. A spinning rod with a sensitive tip helps feel those tricky walleye bumps.
Colors: Our go-to color is chartreuse, but bring a variety of white, orange and pink/white.
Summer trolling with BOMBER B07A models or HOT N TOTs both 1/2 ounce in dark brown, crawdad or fire tiger patterns.

Northern Pike

Catching a big pike can be the thrill of a lifetime. Landing one is another thing. Stock up on quality 6 and 9 inch wire leaders to protect your line from their sharp teeth. Spool at least 15 pound test line on your reel.

Pike generally search for prey that is between 10 and 20 percent of their body size, so carry some big lures to target the biggest fish.

Spoons and spinner baits are good for targeting northern pike. Your spoon selection should include 4 to 6 inch five of diamonds, red and whites, and silver spoons. Go for longer and thicker skirt spinner baits with big willow leaf blades and an oversized hook. Bright colored skirts in yellow, chartreuse or white with silver or chartreuse blades.

Eye to eye with a trophy Northern Pike

The best northern pike fishing story from Pine Island Lodge over the last few years has to be the guest who was haunted by a giant pike for an entire winter.
He said at first it just sat there and he believed he was snagged; then it moved a bit and he was sure he was snagged on a branch. He gave his line a couple of tugs to try to free the lure. Lucky for him he failed to dislodge it. Instead, he woke up the pike gripping his Rapala x-rap in its jaws.
Now, to cut a long fight short, when he gets the pike boat-side, it stared him straight in the eye. One violent headshake later, he was gone.
His buddy and the guide all agreed they'd never seen a pike that big. Guestimates were over 50-inches.
But this isn't the story of a fish that got away. This is the story of a fish that haunted an angler for an entire winter! He'd be sitting at work and suddenly feel those eyes staring at him. He'd see them in his sleep.
When he arived at Pine Island the next season, first thing he did was head right back to the bay to hunt for the fish that haunted his thoughts. Before too long, something huge burst out of the water taking a swipe at his bait.
Now we can't confirm that it was the same pike, but he swears he recognized him by the look in his eyes.
He caught some big pike on that trip, but it looks like the eyes of the giant will haunt him forever.

Sturgeon

If you like your fish with a fight, we can arrange a Manitoba lake sturgeon fishing trip during your stay at Pine Island Lodge. In the Winnipeg River, sturgeon average 10 to 80lbs., but sturgeon have been caught weighing over 100lbs.

If you hook into one, HOLD ON! You're in for a fight. Sturgeon will launch themselves out of the water–jumping and twisting–when hooked.
Fishing for lake sturgeon is similar to that of catfish, as both fish are bottom-feeders. Our guides have a few sturgeon hooking secrets they'll share with you.

If you hook into one, HOLD ON! You're in for a fight. Sturgeon will launch themselves out of the water–jumping and twisting–when hooked.

Perch

Some people think perch is even better in the pan that walleye, and catching a few to add to shore lunch can be a lot of fun!
Perch are the smaller cousin of the walleye and sauger. They are day-feeding school fish and are active throughout the season.
If you've ever fished for walleye and felt a bite only to retrieve half your minnow, chances are that was a perch. They're great at stealing bait. So small is the way to go.
For a good fight, our guides recommend ultra-light gear, small jigs and only small sections of minnows and worms.
Perch can also be caught on the fly during insect hatches that bring them to the surface for a feast of buggy protein.

Sauger

Angling for sauger is similar to walleye fishing. In fact, most sauger are caught while bait fishing for walleye and wrongly identified as small walleye because the two appear almost identical. Here's how you tell them apart:
• Sauger are smaller than walleye and have distinct dark spots on the dorsal fin that are absent on walleye.
• Walleye have one large dark blotch at the base of the last few spines of the dorsal fin, which is not present in sauger.
• Sauger have 17 to 20 soft rays in the second dorsal fin versus 19 to 22 in the walleye.
Live or dead minnows are used as bait in still fishing. Like walleye, sauger will mouth the bait very lightly, so be alert to slight movements.