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The Shallow Water Hunt is On

 

The seasons are changing and the shallow water hunt is on. I heard evidence of it happening from my buddy Ross Stout. He called to let me know that this past week he was trolling for walleye at Pigeon Lake and landed a 15-pound pike. Hmmm! That got me thinking; tonight I want to see for myself. I hopped in the car and headed west with Damien and my three-year-old daughter Angela. We were off to Star Lake on a hunting trip. Not for big game as you might think. We were hunting for trout.




Hunting rainbows is very different from fishing rainbows and the fall is just the right time to do it. At this time of year you will find them all day long but more in the evenings and mornings. They will be hunting and feeding in water so shallow, even the electric motor can't get in. I'm talking about fishing in water six inches deep to no more than three feet max. These shallows are full of life and now that the water has cooled, the temperature is just to the trout's liking and they are in there feeding like crazy.

Tonight our happy trio jumped in the boat and headed to the shallow bay across from the boat launch. There we saw exactly what I had hoped to see. In the shallows the surface of the water was alive with feeding trout.

I cast out a bobber and bead head nymph to one of the first risers and immediately connected. I held the rod while Angela reeled in a scrappy trout. We moved in tighter and were now routinely casting in a foot or two of water. The bobber and bead head were now the wrong tool for the job. These trout were aggressive and I needed a shallow water presentation. I dug into my little tackle box and pulled out the only plug I had brought with me. A #5 floating, brown trout Rapala. I tied it on and waited and watched. Soon a trout moved close to me. I shot the plug out and in no time a wake was bearing down on it. The wake stopped; I felt a sharp tap and a rainbow rocketed skyward. I fought the trout in and grinned, knowing this was going to be a good night.

We continued to move about the shallows targeting individual trout. Both Damien and I got hits but we couldn't seem to stick them. Just then a large snout appeared to my left, about twenty feet away. A flick of my wrist and the plug was on its way landing right where the snout had come up. Within seconds a swirl and a bulge of water charged at the hook. It slashed at the plug, but did not hit. I gave it a couple more twitches and the trout turned and hammered it hard. I set the hook but rather than jump the big rainbow slashed water side to side, making big, large audible sloshes. It shook its head and the rod pounded in my hands. I held on as a determined tug-o-war ensued. After several minutes of steady pressure the trout wore down and we scooped up a beautiful rainbow of better than twenty inches. "You got the daddy fish!" Angela said.

Along the shore the trout continued to 'shark' about, but the sun was down and fishing didn't seem so important. I had found the answer to my question. For a spell I listened to the geese and breathed the fresh autumn air. Damien gave us each a chocolate bar, straight from the UK and Angela and I scarffed them down. It was a great day.

For the month of October look to the shallows for great fishing. While I spoke of trout, another gamefish that loves the shallows come fall is our submarine sized pike. Big pike are different than the small ones. The small pike have a tolerance for warmer water, which explains why we catch them in the weedy shallows all summer long. Big pike, however, don't like warm temperatures and to beat the heat in the summer months they go deep. Come fall the water cools and they push right up shallow to hunt for their favorite food, lake whitefish. Anyone who has fished pike in the fall knows the rest of the story. Fish shallow, concentrate on the remaining healthy weedbeds and hold on. In these glorious days before freeze up pike of six to twelve pounds will seem to be everywhere and as an added bonus every now and then something really big will come along and make your day.

It's fall and it's time to go hunting. Hunting for those shallow water pike and trout that is. Have fun.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) Old Man River

(2) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River

(3) Small stream BT fishing

(4) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started

(5) In The Walleye Zone

(6) Zoo Trout

(7) Fly Selection for Beginners

(8) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(9) New Waters

(10) Big Bad Burbot

(11) Looking Back

(12) Out of Africa

(13) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(14) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(15) The Browns of Autumn

(16) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(17) Walleye Town

(18) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(19) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(20) Going With The Flow

(21) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(22) Swinging The Fences

(23) A View From The Aerie

(24) Dixieland Delight

(25) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(26) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(27) Montana's Cool Missouri

(28) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(29) Toothy Critters

(30) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(31) Top Ten Flies

(32) Northern Exposure

(33) Home Water Lessons

(34) Chicken Of The Sea

(35) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(36) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(37) Keep It Up!

(38) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(39) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(40) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(41) Hawg Holes

(42) Saltwater Salmon

(43) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(44) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(45) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(46) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(47) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(48) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(49) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(50) Fall Walleye

(51) Wet Flies

(52) Versatility the Key to Success

(53) Grayling of the Boreal

(54) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(55) Size Matters

(56) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(57) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(58) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(59) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(60) The Point Of It All

(61) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(62) Fall Fly Fishing

(63) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(64) Big River, Big Fish

(65) Bottom Bonanza

(66) Fishing Small Flies

(67) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(68) Four Seasons of the Bow

(69) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(70) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(71) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(72) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box

(73) Edge Walleye

(74) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(75) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(76) Four Corners – Four Waters

(77) Chasing Pothole Trout

(78) Springtime Stoneflies

(79) The Torrents of Spring

(80) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(81) Bust Them With Bait

(82) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(83) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(84) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(85) Terrestrials

(86) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(87) Rocky Mountain High

(88) Reading the clues

(89) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(90) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(91) Fly Fishing 101

(92) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(93) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(94) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(95) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(96) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(97) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(98) Trust Your Electronics

(99) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(100) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(101) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(102) Walleye can be Humbling

(103) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(104) Winter Flyfishing

(105) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(106) Hot Fall Pike Action

(107) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(108) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(109) Frequently Asked Questions

(110) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(111) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(112) Deep Water Perch

(113) Post Spawn Brookies

(114) A Fisher's Life

(115) The River's Last Stand

(116) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(117) Coho on the Coast

(118) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(119) Summer in the Mountains

(120) Peak Walleye Season

(121) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(122) Last Ice Rainbows

(123) The Burbot Event

(124) Tackle Matching

(125) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(126) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(127) The Lure of Brook Trout

(128) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(129) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(130) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(131) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(132) The Vesatile Plug

(133) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(134) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(135) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(136) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(137) Daily Fish Migrations

(138) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(139) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(140) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(141) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(142) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(143) The Fun in Ultra Light

(144) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(145) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(146) Never Stop Learning

(147) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(148) Jigging through the Ice

(149) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(150) Rainbows on Ice

(151) The Season of Ice Begins

(152) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(153) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(154) Facts On Cats

(155) West Coast Adventure

(156) June Walleye Frenzy

(157) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(158) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(159) "Northern Exposure"

(160) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(161) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(162) Man Overboard