For those of you who don’t want to travel long distances, look no further than the mighty Red River. With manageable water flows and decent water temperatures, the catfish and walleye should be biting. I will never forget the trip we had last May at Lockport with Jeff and Nicolas Connelly from Swan River. Jeff had asked me to take them out as a 16th birthday present for his son Nicolas. It was a cold, windy but sunny day with fast, dirty water conditions. No matter, the big channel catfish were hungry after a long winter of inactivity. We anchored on the side of two current seams, a perfect spot to congregate baitfish. We didn’t find the spot by accident, but had seen scores of fish rising nonstop in this little area by the locks. Using cut sucker for bait on # 5 circle hooks, we had the fishing day of a lifetime. Don’t only think the catfish will be biting: I can remember one other spring with the conditions on the Red River like they are currently. It was the opening of fishing season and we had launched our boat at the End of Main. We journeyed out into the main river right by the outflow of Netley Creek with a bright sun overhead and a south wind blowing. Checking the depth finder I started marking some fish in three metres of water. Anchoring the boat, we dropped down ¼ ounce jigs tipped with salted shiners. On this particular day, working the lure did not help in the least. In fact all our walleye were caught sitting our rods on the side of the boat. You could see our rod tips twitch slightly, then dip down just so subtly. By lifting our rods straight up, we were able to get a good hook set on these light biters. Like in most fishing situations, it pays to experiment. As most anglers know, stocked trout are fair game all year long. Our small trout lakes have been ice free in most cases for a few days now. Smaller, shallower lakes in Northwest Ontario also are ice free for the most
A Big Vermillion Lake lake trout.