The Seine Chain Walleye: The Seine Chain of Lakes offers an incredible array of walleye fishing opportunities throughout the system. In a time when many lakes are facing declining walleye stocks, nettings by the MNR on the Seine Chain indicate population levels are strong, consistent and perhaps even rising.
Aside from being able to access 30 miles of water and five lakes right from our dock, our pickerel anglers appreciate many other features of the Seine River System.
The water on the Seine is a stained shade of rust - some say it's from the iron formation upstream in the Steep Rock Lake / Atikokan area. Others say it's from other naturally occurring causes. Our walleye anglers say it's great because it enhances their fishing success at any time of day.
Seine Chain Walleye Techniques: The majority of people who fish walleye and do well with good numbers tend to favor live bait.
Vertical jigging, primarily with a leech or minnow, seems to offer the most action as far as numbers go. Jigs usually vary from 1/8 oz to 3/8 oz. Some use heavier - particularly in channels with current - but keep in mind that the bottom of our lakes is full of snags and you may spend a lot of time re-tying jigs when you use heavier weights.
Although all colors are used, the most popular colors for jigs are white and chartreuse. Bright green and black tend to be the runners up while many other colors are used, but not as popular.
Although you'll hear lots of proponents of drifting while jigging, plan to anchor and do a lot of stationery jigging. Drifting works to a point, but the guys who do really well on this system tend to drop the anchor once they find the fish.
Another pointer - many of the "walleye holes" we fish, have been great walleye holes for the last 40 years, and long before that. They may not always be there, or they may not always be biting, but just because you don't get action when checking them out once or twice, don't cross them off your list. Keep checking them out - it's worth your while.
Although we don't encourage drifting on a regular basis over vertical jigging, when fishing in the current - mainly the narrows, we are big advocates of anchoring in a good walleye area, casting your line upstream & letting the current carry it back downstream. It is one of the best ways to get depth when fishing in current without using too heavy a weight and has resulted in some great walleye action for many anglers over the years.
When doing this, again, jigs with minnows & leeches are the most popular as well as tackle like Little Joe Spinners & leech or minnow (and sometimes a sinker).
Nightcrawlers are often effective in any of the above scenarios as well, and worm harnesses work well, although crawlers seem to be more effective in the warmer months of the summer.
Depending on the time of year, weather and lake, depths vary. In the spring we often see a lot of shallow water action - sometimes as shallow as 7 - 8 feet and less.
In mid summer we often see walleyes in depths of 25', and if it's a hot year up to 35' - 40'.
We will advise you what depths have been the most active recently to help you narrow your focus. We will also point out good areas to start working. We don't just say - "There's the lake - good luck!".
When fishing for walleye on our system, you need to get the jig or spinner down to the bottom and work it about a foot or so off the bottom. Bottom bouncing works well, providing you have a spot and / or tackle that doesn't snag easily.
Many of our guests favor trolling - usually back trolling - and this is a very successful technique. Trolling on our system does take some time to learn spots to work and technique.
Guests often use spinners - like Little Joes' - with # 8 or # 9 sinkers and usually minnows.
To a lesser extent, we have a number of groups that prefer using artificial baits to catch walleye.
Many of these groups cast or troll with plugs such as Rapalas, Mepps Spinners, Thundersticks etc.
These anglers tend to catch bigger fish on average, but unless you know the water it is a tough technique to be successful with.
Most of our groups who favor artificial have been fishing our waters for many years and work areas that they know to be tried and true.
It's certainly worth trying, but you're far better to take one of your spots where you've caught 'eyes by jigging, and work that specific area.
Otherwise you can burn a lot of precious time trolling aimlessly, perhaps over schools of walleye because the depths vary so much throughout the system, and begin to think there's no walleye at all.
When to Fish Walleye on the Seine Chain: Although some of our regulars do well fishing all day, the most productive times still tend to be early a.m. through until around 10 or 11 and in the afternoon from about 4 until dark. The early bird often does get more walleye.
Wind direction tends to account for the most excuses for walleye not hitting.
"East is least" is one of the most popular, but we've seen it disproved over and over again. On a recent day in August ('06), with a strong east wind we saw one of the best fishing days we've ever seen - loads of good eating size 'eyes, a couple trophy size (29") and some great bass and pike.
The Walleye Fishery on the Seine Chain: There are lots of walleye on the Chain, but they can be finicky and you have to be open minded.
For the most part we have a lot of "good eaters" - we've seen huge numbers of fish in the 12" - 18" range recently (the majority around 15"), quite a few 18" - 21", and some in the 22" - 25" range. They're there, they just are more elusive.
The good numbers and varied sizes - particularly the strong numbers of smaller 'eyes indicate to us a very healthy walleye fishery.
Of course each year we have the big ones in the 30" + range, but they are the exception and not the rule.
Our best advice is to go out, work hard, try different things
Other Lakes With Great Walleye Fishing: Although most of our groups never leave the Seine Chain, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of nearby lakes where you can fish walleye.
They range from easy access with boat launches, to lakes that require portaging, canoes etc.
Some of our most popular daytrip walleye lakes are Ear Lake, Whelan Lake, Pipe Lake, Eye Lake, Surprise Lake, Dovetail Lake and Marmion Lake / The Floodwaters amongst many others.
You'll be amazed by the water we can offer!
Walleye migrate or change their feeding habits with changing water temperatures and different bug hatches. Please read the fishing details based on the month in the menu under fishing.