Blog #2 2008
By Daniel Kiazyk

Late Spring Reports

Cat Eye

24 May 2008 12:41

Walleye are creatures that follow rhythms of the season, As the sun rises higher in the sky and warms the north country there appears to be a trigger that sets the stage for a scene that has gone on since time in memorial. The combination of sun and weather patterns either speeds up or slows down the spring play that is being referred to here. This year the weather patterns have been such that all fish species are not behaving as they would in a normal spring season. It seems as those the walleye are about two weeks behind. As an example I made a call up to the waterhen last night and spoke to one of the region's most enthusiastic walleye aficionados. He was telling me that all he was picking up were larger post spawn females in lesser numbers. Normally by this time of year the smaller males are in the river and the bite is fast and furious. It's surprising how late this spring really is...

Odds and ends

26 May 2008 8:00 pm

OK after a long winter it really becomes apparent that a boat has to go through a lot with being inactive all winter long. I'm forever surprised with my boats having so much that needs to be repaired after a few months of inactivity. I don't remember putting them away with as many difficulties as they seem to have in the spring. Oh well spending a few hours with the boat seems like a rite of spring by now. I also get a few ideas on things that can or needed to be improved last year.

Fishing cooler waters

27 May 2008 10:10 pm

Some things remain the same.... Yeah and this spring was longer cooler more prolonged and of course the result has been to have fish that have been far less active than they would normally be at this time of year. In effect where I've sped up my approach to fishing for walleye as the spring progressed, this year I've had to slow down presentation and fish a lot shallower. It's probable that approaches I've used at this time of year will probably be even more effective later on in the year. One anomaly to all of the prior has been that fish have been taking baits that would normally correspond with later on in the season. Sunday past was our first rainy southern Manitoba day.... so it'll be until I fish again.

What's on board?

Cat Eye Outfitter

28 May 2008 7:10 pm

A very interesting spring in so far as it's been very difficult to get everything up and running. One of the challenges all of the time s to know what to have on board the boat and not sink it with excessive weight. I've started this spring by not loading the boat with stuff that I've normally had on board as a point of principle. Well guess what inever seemed to have to dip into my tool chest but this year I seem to not have the tools necessary to make the "on the water" repairs etc. I've still yet to establish the real all-around tool kit that would be able to solve most need on a boat while not sinking it..... Keeping the weight down in the boat does make a difference in terms of mileage at the end of the .... or for that matter more room in the boat.

Spring walleye on Lake Winnipeg

29 May 2008 9:03 pm

Just had a look at the photos of some walleye we caught on lakeWinnipeg recently. For sure as everyone had predicted the walleye are out there but were not that day as necessarily as hot to bite as they might have been if the water was a bit warmer. It is interesting how these fish are longer and have hollowed out bellies with fins that are split and somewhat beaten up. The bite was slower and the fish were in very shallow water. We had a lot of short bites but they would hit and run successfully

Trout fishing

30 May 2008 9:32 pm

Been trout fishing a couple of times this year and the fishing has been good. I'm amazed at how the fishing at Patterson continues to improve every year. The fish on general are better than they were last year and there also seems to be a lot of smaller rainbows. On one trip I saw a small boat trolling a spoon that was nothing short of dynamite for smaller trout. They were moving a lot more quickly than other boats as well. I'm going to go in there with a fly and my tube in mid June and may get towed around all day..... :)

Month's End

31 May 2008 9:32 pm

Well that's a first full month of blogging. It's been fun having the time to sit back and reflect on what I'm doing when fishing. I remember the last time I blogged for three months and then the software went south..... argh that was really frustrating. This round I'm going to keep my eyes on the prize of writing about fishing. In the end there'll be a record of what one Manitoban fisherman does with his passionate past-time. I still have this image in my head of Bill Robinson of Neepawa and how he documented his fishing excursions over the years. Those documents are a picture of what was fishing in Manitoba. This document will be a little of what is now fishing in Manitoba.

Glories of June

01 Jun 2008 4:17 am

I thought I'd start off the Canadian fisherman's favorite month with a photo that a very proficient walleye man sent to me the other day. This fish was caught the month prior but it does come from a lake that doesn't have an over abundance of walleye. On the contrary to catch a walleye in that lake takes a lot of knowledge of the lake and its composition. With the addition of knowledge of the species this angler has unlocked the treasure chest of "big walleyes" for this like. The cautionary side to this piece is that such knowledge is dangerous in so far as a couple of people with this skill set could wipe out the larger genes that are still present in the lake. I'd be remiss to not say to all who read this blog that being able to curtail the desire to possess such a resource will serve the resource well over time. Too many lakes have suffered the fate of being possessed and subsequently discarded. Its a funny thing: You can have it but you have to leave it as well. Nice fish there buddy.... I know I can go back to that spot and maybe hook her up one more time.....maybe.....


Cat Eye Outfitter

02 Jun 2008 12:35

We did a little wilderness fishing recently and found our walleye to be a little more difficult to fond then is normally the case. Well to be honest we haven't really fished this particular lake very often and we only have a few patterns that we can turn to find ol' marble eyes. In general when we get into that circumstance we usually put out two kinds of spinner rigs and we make our way to whatever looks fishy. On the day described as taking place recently we had to look quite thoroughly before we could find anything that resembled a walleye. When we did find the fish we had only a short period of time to get at them as conditions would not allow us to have access at that particular moment. Later on we went back to where the walleye had been to find they had vacated the area. It's not as thought the day was a wash, on the contrary, the day was quite good in as much as we did run into some excellent perch one of which approached 13"

Cat Eye Outfitter

03 Jun 2008 8:35 pm

Lowrance and the NEAMA 2000 network has been a little bit of nightmare for me this spring. I've tried to put a majority of gauges in my boat connected to this back bone system. The difficulty however with the system is that it has gone through a series of changes that leaves certain ones (such as myself) in tougher position. If I want to add any sensors now it is necessary to purchase an adapter cable to have the new network cable mesh up with the former system. Retailers really don't know what is available and whether the suppliers have the items available, Lowrance hasn't been answering their phones as quickly as I've seen in the past (or perhaps I'm calling at high traffic hours). The reason I've been told that Lowrance had to change its network connection (to red) is that these connections are going to fit a wider variety of electronic devices from other companies). Be aware of the change if you're upgrading your network and I you're just starting out make sure you don't buy a blue connector device as the adapter cables are a little more difficult to get.


Cat Eye Outfitter

04 Jun 2008 2:35 am

Electrical connections on your boat have to be cared for.... or they'll corrode and break down in an environment that is at best harsh on electrical components. I have resorted to using an electrical grease from "Grote" on any connections that have power going through them. I can say that since I starting using the electrical coating grease not one connection has failed. This particular grease is also excellent on a battery as I found out this past year. Coat a connector with this stuff and the battery's posts don't deteriorate as is normally the case on a deep cycle battery

Spinner rigs

Cat Eye Outfitter

05 Jun 2008 2:35 am

Well a little experiment with rigs was applied to fishing shallow weedy water. Basically an in-line sinker is better than a bottom bouncer when trolling rigs. The prior allows you to pull rigs through weedy shallow stuff a whole lot better that a rig with a bouncer. We did find however that bouncers shine when you've got to get a rig down deeper. With a rig down deep it is possible to adjust the length of line to the rig with a bottom bouncer... and for the most part keep it an appropriate distance off the bottom. Its a matter of seeing what works best in the conditions present ---- or what works where the fish are at....

What live bait?

Cat Eye Outfitter

06 Jun 2008 2:35 am

I'm always quite interested in how bait choices are different in different parts of the country. In Ontario for example minnows for local Ontarians is by far the bait of choice in the summer time.However just 90 miles away in Winnipeg the presence of live bait isn't as large as it is to the east. in effect worms tend to be a predominant choice in the capital city area. The latter bait choice seems to follow from what is a bait of preference for river fishing. As you move east walleye fishermen have a definite preference forleeches more than any other bait. Being the experimenting kind Icriss-crossed the country using a different bait then that which was popular in that part of the country..... with great success. Bait choice does make a difference but it is not necessarily as limited as some might think

North Bound

Cat Eye Outfitter

07 Jun 2008 7:11 pm

Every year about this time I make my way north. The idea is get up there early enough to experience the bite while the fish are still up shallow. In particular I'm interested in the pike and trout, both species which have a tendency to go down in the water column as the summer progresses. The only difference this year with my road trip this year will be the price of the journey.....gas being that muchmore pricey as you head north. I promised myself when I started his blz that I wasn't going to let just one issue take over the process, but gas certainly has become a significant factor in getting out on the water (or at least it's going to take a while to get used to the cost of getting out on the water). The price at the moment is 1.44 per litre for the high test stuff and from what I hear it is going to go a lot higher this year. Apart from the prior fishing is getting better in parts of the north will only get better now that the price of fishing will deter those who use it to fill their larters (or perhaps it will stir a bit of rebellion and have some keep a lot more - let's hope not!)


Cat Eye Outfitter

08 Jun 2008 7:11 pm

The Assiniboine river up by the dam at first street has been a hot bed of action this spring for sturgeon. Most of the sturgeon being caught are less than 40" but the number being caught is extremely positive. I have to smile at our recent luck only to think what it mustof been like when the paddle wheelers of days gone by used to ply the river. I can only hope that one day the river recovers just a little bit of its former sturgeon glory. BTW the best sturgeon I've heard caught on the river to date was a 4.5 incher ... so I guess it won't be too long before they start showing up in the book from the Assiniboine river.

Lights Action Camera

Cat Eye Outfitter

09 Jun 2008 6:11 pm

OK this year Cat Eye Outfitter is doing a few things differently. Firstly I have been keeping this here blog. Its going to take a long time before the spiders find it but that's OK as the content component must be there if people are going to read. I guess I'm going on the field of dreams motto: If I write it they will come.... ha! It would be a little bit presumptuous to think the prior. Nonetheless I'm writing for other purposes and plan to continue for at least a whole year. The other thing that Cat Eye Outfitter is up to this year is an effort to start to put on film some of the wonderful experiences that are possible in the Canadian outdoors. I used to be quite proficient with Adobe Premiere but have since relinquished many skills and knowledge of the software. At present I'm into a new learning curve with both the digital video camera and the digital SLR. I have a feeling it's going to be a while before I get to where I'd like to be in terms of documenting the wide variety of experiences possible in our northern countryside. I look forward to the day where what I think can happen can actually be translated into visual reality


Cat Eye Outfitter

10 Jun 2008 6:11 pm

OK there is a sight for CatEyeOutfitter that has been put up onUTUBE since December 2007. The first 70 or so videos are for the most part without sound (due to some technical glitches and "learning lacunas" as like to call them) but they mark the video age for the organization. Getting into this aspect is a lot more than I originally thought in so far as the hard drive requirements for any lengthy video are enormous. I'm also recognizing limits to my first digital video camera .... but that's another story. For now there's going to be an effort to create a little bit of a video log of the kind of fishing adventures that Cat Eye Outfitter is involved with throughout a fishing season. The medium in this context is to some extent actually effecting the way we go about fishing.. and perhaps more importantly how we go about reporting on what we do as fishermen here in Manitoba.... kind of reflective of Marshall McLuhan's, "The medium is the message".


Cat Eye Outfitter

11 Jun 2008 1:11

A recent expedition to Lake Wahnapotah (or however you spell it) brought to light how a particular species has a particular habitat at a certain time of year, year after year. Go look in the Manitoba master Angler book and you'll see the predominance of certain species being caught in certain lakes at certain times.... well Rock Bass are just one species. As with most other bass they have a tendency to hang out around riprap and obstructions in waterways around the middle to end of June. Knowing their whereabouts is of course the key to being able to focus a certain amount of effort on the greatest number of fish (big fish that is!). Well along the rip rap face of the Lake W impoundment is a great ay to spend a warm June afternoon catching these feisty little characters. I like to use lighter tackle when angling for Rock bas in this situation as it allows me to feel the lightest of bites. Moreover the light line also allows for the jig/worm combo to enter without t much resistance into the mouths of these little warriors. I always look forward to this time of year and the countless opportunities we have to angle for some of this province's most unique native species.

Those Other "Tactics"

Cat Eye Outfitter

12 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

Just as an aside concerning a thread that runs through this blog. I did have the opportunity to witness another technique used to target trout in one of Manitoba's better trout bodies. The technique involves using colored trout bait (prepared by one of many companies) and using a modified type of bottom rig. The rigs most important component was a specific type of treble that would hook up with a trout if they were to attempt to ingest the bait. The bait itself is able to float up off the bottom but only to the extent to which is allowed by the length of leader tied to a swivel. The appropriate height of the leader is somewhere between eight inches and a foot and a half. Holding the rod is probably a good idea as there is the possibility that if a trout is left to bite it may take the bait a little too far into its throat. This method really is an effective means for shore fishermen to get at trout in their locally stocked body of water.

Friends in other places.

Cat Eye Outfitter

13 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

It is interesting how having friends in different parts of the province can make an enormous difference to your fishing acumen. I can see it now that if you were to fish just one way you'll probably just fish that one way and have just one particular perspective vis a visangling in general. To have at least another perspective from another part of the country does give you additional insight into angling that you probably would never have. I personally have been incredibly blessed with an opportunity to angle with some of the most colourful anglers in this province (and here I'm not talking about people who are well know celebrities). Having the opportunity to fish with these people has given me a few more insights into what angling in Manitoba is about. Friends in other places has meant I've been able to work on developing skills that either I had little knowledge existed or perhaps I personally needed to refine. Having the friends I've made in the past few years has made me a better angler and perhaps a bit more knowledgeable about what it takes to angle successfully in this province.

That Camera

Cat Eye Outfitter

14 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

I've taken to re-discovering what it takes to get a good photo of that special fish, that special place and perhaps most importantly that special friend who we take the time to fish with on this or that occasion. Taking a good photo for the most part has been enormously aided by today's point and shoot digital cameras. The digital slr however is another beast. Once again I find myself looking at aperture, shutter speed, fill flash and length of objective (type of lens) of my camera. OK here I go again with another learning curve. But perhaps that's what makes angling such an interesting 'pursuit' is that it's much more than a hook line and some bait. On the contrary it is an endeavour that can take you outside yourself.and that means improvement of self in its best sense.

Trout Maneuvers

Cat Eye Outfitter

15 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

One particularly interesting thing about fishing IMHO is that it tends to have a different twist to it relative to the different species you'll angle for...... Lake trout are one such species where a specific approach is called for given a particular lake. Ok firstly it should be said that there are particularities to this and that application of the basics of hook line and sinker (and bait of course) but there always appears to be a common thread that runs through it (trout fishing that is) that seems to be a common thread no matter where I've gone for lake trout in this province. What is that axiom. Well it's rather simple...... Remember you're fishing for trout! The prior statement says a lot about the particular species and their capacity to be rather capricious when it comes to targeting a trophy. I don't think that's there's another species that is AS capricious as the mighty laker. Some days you can be doing absolutely everything right and the next day with the exact same tactics another group of anglers can be so much more successful. Ok that's the case for many species but connected with laker fishing is the large amount of effort that generally goes into fishing successfully for lake trout. I haven't really met a lake trout fanatic that hasn't put in long grueling hours riding some huge swells on some of Manitoba's largest lakes. That's just the point fishing for these fish involves a little more if you're going to be doing it more than as a passing fad.

A Change of heart

Cat Eye Outfitter

16 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

Being very active with sport fishing in the past few years has given me an opportunity to every once in a while to step back and look at where we came from with this particular activity. At one time there was no real regard for fishing as being governed by management concerns. Lake trout fishing is one such example. These fish are most often found in some of our province's most pristine bodies of water. These deep cold lakes often are not as near fertile as other bodies of waters that may be right close by. Such environments have a definite impact on numbers and quality of a particular fishery. Now add in the human element. If as in the past there were more liberal limits and fish were harvested at all sizes the fishery was eventually seen to be impacted. The impact was longer term than most other fisheries as the larger fish didn't seem to re-appear as often as with other warmer more fertile bodies of water. The lesson that has been learned the "hard way" with regards to these lakes is that these lakes are very fragile and are not to be considered to be a larder to be returned to on a regular basis. Such a mentality resulted in disappointing returns over times and they left many anglers with only memories of what was in the past. Moreover there are still those people who still haven't understood the necessity to make a change if fishing is going to be as good as it was. A change of heart is still happening but as I see it more and more fishermen are starting to realize that a change of heart is a good thing for fishing.


Cat Eye Outfitter

17 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

While fishing the other day I had a chance to see the grandeur of nature one more time. A fish for some reason was on the surface of the water and had attracted a certain amount of attention from a group of gulls. The gulls could be seen to be picking at the unfortunate creature. All of a sudden out of nowhere a bald eagle came in and swooped down to pick up the fish in single fluid motion. Interestingly there was a brisk wind that day and the eagle was able to pick up his prey and gain altitude. However as he flew away with the wind he proceeded to lose altitude to the point where the cooler denser air next to water allowed him to continue with his flight.

The drive there and back....

Cat Eye Outfitter

18 Jun 2008 6:46 pm

It was very interesting for myself and a friend on a recent fishing trip to take into account the variety of wildlife that you're bound to see while going and coming back from a fishing trip. OK here's the list in order of appearance for the show we would experience. Firstly we saw a white tailed deer by the road side chomping on the lush new green growth that you'll often find by the roadside. A little further along the way we caught glimpse of a young bull moose wading and foraging out in a roadside slough. This was followed only a short time later by a black bear sighting where the bear was obviously on the move to another place in a hurry. About an hour later we spotted a larger animal standing out in the middle of a section of land populated by a lush new flush of juicy alfalfa. At first our idea was that this might be a moose again but upon closer inspection with the vehicle's binoculars we were able to determine that the animal we were seeing was a cow elk by herself. As for the rest of the trip we would see turkey vultures, bald eagles, sparrow hawks, white pelicans, ground hogs, two other bears, one a sow accompanied by two cubs the other a cinnamon phase black bear (to name just a few) . All of this wildlife could be seen roadside if you had the eyes to look for them....

It's raining it's pouring

19 Jun 2008 6:46 am

Yes there have been significant changes in weather over the past few years. Waters seem to be warming and dropping in level each year. Trout farmers in western Manitoba have been complaining of declining success because of warm spells that haven't been the case in years gone by.. and then there's that element of severe weather we normally see but as such it is getting a bit more severe. Where does fishing fit into this picture? Well with some of the best fishing taking place earlier in the season getting to the fish in water that is rising and subject to constantly changing weather systems is a bit more challenging. Realizing that the prior is operative means just a few changes in tactics and perhaps a slight adjustment in expectation. Sizing down and knowing structural components will be an asset.

Interesting Article on the Red South of the Border

20 Jun 2008 6:23 am

This morning I read a very interesting article on action being taken to reconstruct or perhaps more accurately "reconnect" the Red River of the south. According to the article the Red River of the south has been segmented by a series of low head dams. This segmentation has given rise to what were in effect large pools that were really only being inhabited by a few species. The effort now being undertaken has been to create riffle structure below these dams to increase the window through which fish can move from one section of river to the other. The procedure seems simple enough, fill in behind the dam to create a riffle structure through which fish can navigate to get over the low head dam. Elegantly simple, but it took some time to get it done. Of the six low head dams, three have been refurbished with three remaining to be done. The effect already with three that have been repaired has been remarkable. People are catching fish that to this pint have been scarce. There's also a safety component that is an added component to such river repair. It was apparent that prior to the repairs that at each dam there was a dangerous hydraulic undertow at each dam. By filling in behind the dam such a context has been now negated or at least reduced to a great extent, It is suspected that when the last dams are repaired that even species such as the sturgeon may be able to make use of water that was once friendly to their movement throughout the system. In effect such repairs will create better opportunity for fish to move from the headwaters of the Red in southeastern North Dakota where the bois de Sioux and the otter tail river meets to the great expanse of Lake Winnipeg some 549 miles away.

21 Jun 2008 11:03 pm

Lake trout fishing on Lake Athapapuskow was just the break needed earlier this month. Every time get out on he big lake I'm just amazed at how a lake that has pavement right down to the water's edge can be as good as this particular body of water. I'm told by locals that the fishing has been declining as has the quality of the water, Learning the prior only makes getting such info out to even more people and perhaps pleading with the game hogs to back off a little to let this great jewel of a fishery catch a break. I'm not too sure people understand that time period is required for a lake trout lake to recover but let it suffice that a generation may not be enough time. Short term thinking in this regard needs to be reigned in if such a productive lake is to stay that way for many years to come.

CDN Boat parts merchant

Cat Eye Outfitter

22 Jun 2008 6:03 pm

A good boat parts supplier north of the border?...... If someone has knowledge of a good boat parts supplier (with a wide array of even the smallest parts) up here in Canada let me know. I have found that boating buddy (Minneapolis based) is excellent but it means the whole brokerage deal and international shipping hassles that we all don't like.