June is one excellent month if you're an angler. All the gamefish are going hard, feeding at every opportunity, crunching jigs, chasing spinners and slamming crankbaits. The water temperature is just right and these fish have one thing on their mind – eating.
June is my hands down best time of year to chase walleye and pike. Pretty much every other gamefish from trout to whites are going hard in June as well, but the aforementioned two keep my interests, especially the walleye. Walleye and long warm days spell camping trips and fresh fillets on the fire. The weather usually cooperates, the bugs aren't too bad and the fishing is first rate.
Slave Lake, Calling and Fawcett are my big three Alberta walleye destinations for the simple fact that walleye at any of these locations are easy to catch. There's the chance at catching a bigger walleye and you or I have the opportunity to keep some. Shore lunch is a big draw not just for me, but for a lot of anglers I speak with.
Slave and in particular the area around Shaw's Point has to be an all time classic walleye destination. Come June you will find me along with many other eager anglers catching all kinds of walleye and pike around this very famous piece of real estate. Most fish from boats and pretty much everyone is having a great time. Fishing at Shaw's Point isn't just about fishing, however. Going to Slave is as much a social gathering as families of all sizes come out for this yearly bonanza. Young and young at heart fish side by side catching walleye and pike until the smiles can't get any bigger. That's what makes fishing for walleye in June so special.
The fishing around Shaw's is as easy as it ever gets as millions upon millions of walleye, fresh from the spawn, flood out from the Heart River into the lake basin. These fish are eating machines and to catch them simply requires a quarter ounce jig with a minnow attached. That's it. Back in the early days my buddy and I would slow troll the jig until we started catching walleye. On a slow day that might take all of about twenty minutes. Once we caught a couple walleye in quick succession we'd drop anchor and toss out a jig and minnow.
Walleye are notorious for travelling in schools, which is why it's a good move to stop if a couple of bites are had. As for the fishing the jig and minnow, stealth, finesse and active fishing were rarely needed. In fact, there were plenty of days where my buddies and I would simply lean the rod across the boat and let the gentle rocking motion of the boat do the jigging. We did this because we could and it caught fish. There aren't too many other occasions where an angler can do the ultimate in 'do nothing' fishing and have it produce.
The funny thing was when the fish would bite; they'd hang on to that jig and not let go. The rod would remain bent for as long as it took for me to reach across, pick the rod up and catch the fish. This kind of fishing is a lot of fun and can really spoil a fellow, but that's always alright and I'll gladly accept the great days for what they are: great days – and be thankful that all the stars were in alignment and everything went exactly as hoped for.
My buddy Arnold and I decided to fish through the night to see if we could catch any larger fish. What we found out was that walleye bite hard right through the night and we caught more double headers than we could count. We never caught any larger fish, which was our goal, so after a couple of fish through the night outings, we returned to fishing during the light of day. The fishing was great and from time to time we'd catch a big one, which for us was just fine.
While we never really fished for pike, they were a regular by product of the walleye fishing experience, as were the odd jumbo perch. But with the pike being so efficient at cutting fishing line with their sharp teeth, we resorted to attaching a small wire leader to the end of our lines. With the leader attached we landed most of the pike and we also discovered that the wire leader didn't seem to hamper the walleye fishing. In the process, the odd real big pike would be bite and be caught, injecting a whole lot of fun into an already great outdoor experience.
Come this June I'm making tracks to some of my favorite walleye destinations. The fishing, the fish and the weather are all too good to pass up.