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Jerry Dunlop, Lodge Owner/Operator jerry@dunlopfishing.com

Phone: 204-346-FISH (3474)

48 Bluebird Lane, La Broquerie West, Manitoba, Canada R0A 0W1

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Trophy Northern Pike Fishing in Manitoba

Everybody knows that if you want to catch big Northern pike, you've gotta go pike fishing in Canada, and in the heart of Canada, lies the province of Manitoba. Manitoba has a huge reputation for producing big Northern pike. With barbless hooks being provincial law since the summer of 1990 and the province's promotion of catch and release being second to none, it's no wonder the fishing just keeps getting better.

Northern Pike

The Northern Pike is the most sought-after game fish in this part of the country. With their great strength, they can provide one thrill of a fight, many times ripping apart lures, leaders, line and occasionally even rods and reels get blown apart. The ability to sight-fish these huge Northern pike in shallow water and being able to see the strike on your lure is truly the most exciting part.

Lake Waskaiowaka has no shortage of trophy Northern pike. Here, every time you step into the boat, you have a realistic chance of catching a true trophy fish. In Manitoba, the minimum requirement to qualify a Northern pike in the Master Angler Program is to catch one at least 41 inches in length. At Dunlop's Lodge, we consistently catch Northern pike well over the required length. Every day, there are pike caught that range 42" to 46", even a few 50+" monster Northern pike were caught and released back into the water.

When is the best time to come and fish?

This is probably the most commonly-asked question people inquire about when looking at booking a trip for the first time. This is a good question as you are spending a lot of money and don't want to be disappointed with your trip. This far north you get spring fishing, summer fishing and fall fishing all in a three to four month period and the rest of the time the lake is frozen over. With such a short season, the fish are constantly on the move and the hotspots are changing every week.

This little guide might help you see what the fish are doing and what kind of fishing you can expect at different times of year.

  • PRE-SPAWN: (Usually around the last week in May or the first week in June.) This takes place as soon as the ice is off the lake and is great for numbers of fish. Many pike can be caught in the shallow water while they are moving towards the spawning areas. Males are a lot more active than females but the big trophy females can still be caught with little enticement.

  • SPAWN: (This is within 14 days after ice-out...usually first or second week in June.) The spawn is triggered by increased water temperatures and longer daylight. This only takes a day or two and they are not likely to hit lures. Fortunately, not all pike in the lake spawn at the same time, you can have the pike in one bay spawning and in the next bay they are still biting.
  • POST-SPAWN: (Around the second week in June.) At this time the males are more active and can be caught on most anything. The big females are recuperating from the spawn but can still be caught with slow moving baits or flies.

  • SPRING: (Third week in June) The pike are really active and are found in shallow waters. There are no weeds yet so they hide amongst the boulders and in the bays with a little color on the bottom. Water temperatures also plays a big part in locating pike at this time.

  • PRE-SUMMER: (Fourth week in June and first week in July.) Pike are moving to the deeper parts of bays where the weeds are just starting to grow. The fish are feeding really well. Pike can be found in all places with any amount of weed growth.

  • SUMMER: (This is usually second week in July to mid August.) This time of year, the weather is fairly stable and the fish feed regularly. The pike are hanging around the cabbage beds and the wind blown shorelines. Most of the really big pike that come out of a lake are caught at this time. Good lures to use are weedless spoons.

  • FALL: (This is usually the end of August) The weeds start to die and the fish move out of them. The number of small pike will slow down but the big ones are still on the feed. This is when the big ones are really heavy and fight hard.

  • THE TURNOVER: (Early to mid September) This is when you don't want to be on the water since it is the least productive. Fishing is slow since the water is now all the same temperature and the pike are scattered and difficult to find.

Lures...

With their voracious appetites, these pike can be caught on most any lure, but we find some seem to work a little better than most. A few must-have lures you should bring along when you come fish with us are:

  • Blue Fox Super Vibrax # 5 or # 6 (Gold and silver are best)

  • Mepp's #5 (with no hair)

  • Len Thompson #2 spoons, any colors

  • 1 oz Daredevils, any colors

  • Johnson Silver Minnow, gold or silver ones with twister tails

  • Bombers

  • Large Crank Baits

  • Pearson's Grinder (spinner bait)

 

Good pike fishing equipment...

The best thing you can do is get yourself some good quality equipment. The cheap stuff will only last long enough to ruin your trip. You will need a medium to heavy action casting or bait-casting rod at least 6 feet in length. A good stiff rod (but not a "broomstick") with a sensitive tip is needed to control the big pike. A light rod takes too long to fight the fish and puts more stress than necessary on them. Over-playing the fish makes it harder to revive them once you're done taking photos. Good strong leaders no shorter than 9" is needed with good snaps and swivels. The best out there are the titanium leaders. For reels, you usually get what you pay for. The most important thing is to have a good working drag system. If it doesn't work good you will lose the big fish, not to mention a lot of tackle. Also bring some new 14 to 20 lbs test line.

Join us and explore the endless shorelines, bays and natural structures of Lake Waskaiowaka, the Little Churchill river and numerous other navigable rivers. These lakes have been catch and release from day one. This is a tradition we will continue to uphold. For success with our conservation efforts, we depend on our guests to be equally conservation minded. Handling all fish with care and diligent catch and release practices is crucial to ensure that future generations will enjoy awesome trophy fishing in our waters.