walleye with deep jigs

One-Man Walleye Opener Part 1

By Scott Turner

Hello fellow outdoor enthusiasts:

I think we all have a bit of little kid in us when leading up to our next outdoor adventure. I find I can hardly sleep the night before a big trip. That was the case yet again for me a few days ago leading up to my walleye opener weekend at Pasha Lake Cabins.

I have been to quite a few other camps in the past. Some have been fine establishments run by great people, and a few… maybe not so great. One of the main reasons I first decided on Pasha as my destination was the opportunity not just to have a vacation but an adventure. What do I mean by that? I am sure anyone that has been to Pasha can relate. The ability to fish a different body of water every day of the week greatly appealed to me. Not only that, but to know the chances of having anyone else on the lake I was fishing were really slim really excited me. After all, why do many of us go on vacation? To relax and get away from it all!

I arrived at Pasha on Friday evening and was greeted by a smiling Michelle and their children. (Mind you, their youngest daughter was still upset that her dad went to the minnow traps without her). Chad and I agreed to come up with a game plan in the morning for me. I squared myself away in Cabin #1 full of anticipation.

Saturday, I awoke to a warm, foggy windless morning. It felt like it was going to be a great day. After a brief discussion, Chad suggested an adventure a little farther down the road than I had gone before, but it just sounded too good to say no. I opted to let the fog clear a bit and was on my way.

The trip really wasn’t that bad–just over an hour driving time with a half-mile walk into the lake.  Once I turned off the main logging road, I could tell I was going to have the lake to myself. That was a great feeling. Now Chad had described the path to the lake as a “goat path” which had me a tad nervous. I was pretty happy to see that the path was very navigable and clearly marked with tracking tape. You know when you are walking through the woods with all your gear and your fishing rod gets tangled in a tree or your pack gets snagged up? This wasn’t the case here at all, clear sailing all the way through. The walk was actually quite easy, but I did stop just to look around and take it all in. I felt fortunate for standing in the place I was in.

One-Man walleye opener bush and landing   one-man walleye opener landing

Chad believed the walleye would still be in a pre-spawn pattern holding off creek outflows, and he had one in mind on this particular lake. The spot was about a 20 minute run using one of Pasha’s 6hp Yamaha outboards. I have to add I have never  had a mechanical issue with one of Pasha’s motors–maybe three pulls to start and that’s it.

pasha lake fishing spot   pasha lake fishing spot

Taking a look at the amount of water flowing out of the creek, I decided on a 3/8 oz chartreuse jig tipped with a Berkley chartreuse Alive Minnow. First drift and I was rewarded with a scrappy 14 inch walleye, which I returned quickly to the water. I liked how this was looking.

I guess maybe my excitement was a bit premature because the next five drifts yielded me nothing, not even a tap. I decided to switch things up but the current I was in required my constant attention, so I opted to head into some slack water to reequip. I have become more of a fan of plastics over the last year and decided to stay with an artificial bait. Keeping the same jig, I switched to a 4 inch AuthentX purple with chartreuse tail. I maneuvered the boat to run the same seam along the main outflow but again nothing on three attempts.

I decided to have a drink and a little snack, thought that might help me figure things out. So I headed back into the slack water. This time I tied off on a little rock island so I could get out and stretch my legs a bit. Again it just looked like a nice place to hang out for a bit.

Staring at my plastics looking for some inspiration, I thought with the dark tea-colored water maybe these fish could use a contrast with a bit of flash.

authentx plastics jig

With the new plastic on, I gave a cast out into the slack water for a trial run. My fortunes changed rapidly at this point. First cast and I had a fish on, but this what happened on my first drift so I was cautiously optimistic.

one-man walleye opener walleye

There was no need though for my concern, though, and the fishing became very consistent for the balance of the afternoon. What I did find is the majority of the fish I was catching were in the first 10 feet of my retrieve. What I was doing was wasting a lot of time if I didn’t pick up a fish in that first 10 feet. I pulled up off that island and dropped anchor closer to my new found honey hole. Again this was a good decision “be where the fish are.”

On at least three occasions I had a small pike (20-24 inches) follow my walleyes.  I kept thinking, “is he going to hit one of them or not?” You might be thinking it wasn’t the same pike each time, but I could actually see that this particular pike had something going on with his tail.

So on another hit I set the hook and I could tell pretty quick it was not a walleye this time. I looked down at my fish and it was my pike friend with the tail issue. By the looks of it, the pike (which I have since called “Lucky”) had been bit by something bigger. What else was swimming down there that would take a swipe at this 20 inch pike?  Unfortunately I didn’t find out but there is always next time.

pike with bite

The bite was very consistent the entire time on this spot. I was amazed on how deep the walleye were taking these AuthentX baits–I can’t say enough about them.

image1 image2

I ended up boating 23 walleyes that afternoon with half a dozen pike mixed in. I hated leaving a good bite but knew getting back at a decent time with a good night’s sleep would serve me well for the next day. And Day 2 certainly did bring about plenty of adventures of its own.

scott turner prostaffer

To be continued…

About Scott Turner: I have been married for 18 years to my wife, Tracey, and we have two talented and beautiful daughters, Jessica (15) and Jacqueline (12), as well as Sadie, our German Shorthair Pointer. I am currently the president of the Greater Windsor Track & Field Club which includes 200 youth athletes.

A conservative estimate of the days I spend afield would be in the neighborhood of 200, spread between fishing, hunting and trapping. I would have to say my favorite fish to pursue would be the one that is biting the best! I consider myself a generalist, I fish whatever species I can when I can. I am very excited to be a member of Pasha Lake’s Pro-Staff team. My goal is to fish as many lakes in the region as possible and report back to you. I hope some of my experiences at Pasha Lake Cabins help enhance your next trip or maybe encourages you to come up and try Pasha Lake Cabins for the first time. It’s a trip you will not regret. 

Follow me on Twitter: @turnerscott2009

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